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James E. Gallagher

phone: 617-589-3883
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Jim is a creative and attentive litigator and trial lawyer. He routinely litigates business disputes between partners, zoning appeals and other real estate litigation matters, as well as plaintiff and employer-side employment disputes. He also defends institutional and individual trustees and beneficiaries in probate cases and will contests. Jim has represented clients in investigations before the Securities and Exchange Commission and in state and federal court. When advising clients, his goal is to help them create plans to resolve their disputes effectively and efficiently.

Before joining Davis Malm, Jim served as an officer and judge advocate in the United States Marine Corps. While stationed in Kaneohe Bay, HI, he served as a prosecutor and defense counsel and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii. In these roles, Jim engaged, prosecuted, and defended marines and sailors in numerous contested criminal courts-martial. In 2008, Jim deployed as the Battalion Judge Advocate with 2d Battalion, 3d Marines in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

  • Successfully represented the daughter of a decedent in challenging the petition of his will, which omitted his children. The court dismissed the petition for probate on the basis that the decedent lacked the requisite mental capacity to sign the will, and found that the decedent died intestate. Read the decision here.
  • Successfully recovered a client’s land that had been wrongfully included as part of a foreclosure of an adjacent parcel
  • Successfully represented client prosecuting claims of patent infringement, including defeating motion to dismiss, resulting in favorable settlement for client
  • Representation of real estate developer against claims of violations of the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Successfully represented real estate developer obtaining zoning relief from Boston Zoning Board of Appeals
  • Successfully prosecuted breach of contract, negligent supervision, failure to supervise, and vicarious liability claims against a broker and brokerage house before a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel
  • Representation of trustees, executors, administrators, beneficiaries, and other individuals and entities in legacy disputes, will contests, action for breach of fiduciary duties, and accountings
  • Successfully pursued claims for fraud, breach of contract, and unfair and deceptive trade practices and obtained substantial settlement against one of the world’s largest private aircraft manufacturers


  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2019-2020
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2011-2017


  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Pennsylvania (inactive)
  • United States District Courts for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania 


  • Boston Bar Association
  • International Lawyers Network

Outside the office, Jim continues to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve. He is currently a Lieutenant Colonel serving as an instructor at the Naval Justice School in Newport, RI. Jim also teaches a course on military law at Suffolk University Law School. He donates some of his working time to serve as a pro bono attorney with Veterans Legal Services. When Jim is “off duty,” he spends most of his time as a volunteer coach with Parkway Youth Hockey and Parkway Little League. In an attempt to stay young, Jim also participates in numerous sporting events, including triathlons, marathons, lacrosse and hockey.

News & Insights

Where there’s a will…, quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

Towing Co. Can’t ‘Pick Off’ Lead Class-Action Plaintiff, quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

Career Cluster, panelist at Colgate University's SophoMORE Connections Program

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