Michael T. Sullivan

Industry Expertise


Michael T. Sullivan is a trial and appellate litigator with over 25 years of experience successfully advocating for clients in major cases and numerous jurisdictions. His practice focuses on construction and real estate disputes, professional liability, and business litigation. Michael is a frequent author and commentator on legal issues affecting the construction and real estate industries, and he has addressed many legal subjects as a seminar panelist. Michael is firmly committed to understanding the unique needs of his clients and working efficiently to find creative and practical solutions to their legal problems.

Michael holds an AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest possible peer-reviewed rating from Martindale – Hubbell, denoting an attorney who displays exceptional legal skills and ethical conduct. He has been named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer, and as one of U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Lawyers in America,” over the past several years. Michael is a member of the Massachusetts, Boston, Rhode Island, and Essex County bar associations, and he served as the long-time chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals in the town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.


  • Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, J.D.  (1992)
  • Catholic University of America, B.A. (1989)
  • Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Boston Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Rhode Island Bar Association
  • Essex County Bar Association
  • 2017 – present:  Named a “Best Lawyer in America” in the area of  Litigation – Construction
  • 2015 – present:  Named a Massachusetts SuperLawyer
  • Chairman, Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea Board of Zoning Appeals
  • Trial Courts of Rhode Island, Law Clerk (1992-93)
  • Catholic University Law Review, Member (1990-92)

Michael has handled a number of significant legal matters including:


  • Defended an engineering firm in a jury trial involving alleged property damage, obtaining a jury verdict against the plaintiff and legal fee reimbursement from the co-defendant construction company.
  • Defended an engineering firm against multiple lawsuits arising from the alleged failure of a municipal sewer system and $40,000,000 in repair-and-replacement damages, securing a modest settlement on the eve of trial.
  • Represented a mechanical engineering firm against a federal lawsuit alleging over $10MM of design errors, securing a modest settlement on the eve of trial.
  • Defended a general contractor in a lawsuit alleging multiple catastrophic injuries arising from the same worksite incident, securing a settlement that involved no payments by (and legal fee reimbursement to) his client.
  • Filed suit and secured a favorable settlement for a housing cooperative that suffered extensive damages from hundreds of defective windows installed during a construction-rehabilitation project.

Real Estate

  • Prosecuted claims for two property owners against tenants who misused the owners’ properties, obtaining in each case a trial verdict for and legal fee reimbursement to his client.
  • Represented a supermarket in a lawsuit against a tenant who wrongly claimed it was entitled to a lease extension, obtaining a trial verdict for and legal fee reimbursement to his client.
  • Represented various property owners presenting and opposing applications before various local-regulatory boards and commissions.

Business Litigation

  • Prosecuted a defective software claim, handling the resulting arbitration hearing in Japan, on behalf of a Massachusetts technology company against its Japanese subcontractor.

Professional Liability

  • Defended a podiatrist against a lawsuit alleging negligence resulting in amputation, obtaining a jury trial verdict after week-long trial.
  • Defended numerous medical, legal, and other professionals against wrongful death, unfair trade practice, and other serious claims.


  • Argued and briefed numerous appeals, including state Supreme Court matters involving issues of first impression regarding expert witness testimony and insurance payment requirement and a state appellate court matter addressing whether the state’s housing court had jurisdiction to hear claims regarding the condition of a closed, former housing complex.