John J. Davis is a Partner with Pierce Davis & Perritano LLP.
He is head of the firm's Governmental Liability and Civil Rights Practice Group.
His primary practice focuses on the defense of cities, towns, and other public employers in suits alleging civil rights violations, discrimination, harassment, negligence, and educators' and school board liability.
Mr. Davis has successfully defended police officers sued for wrongful death and civil rights violations in connection with fatal shootings, high speed pursuits, and suicides by pre-trial detainees; school officials accused of harassment; sexual assault or unlawful discipline of students; and other public officials against allegations of defamation, abuse of process, unlawful license revocation, and wrongful termination.
- In 1999, Mr. Davis defended the Town of Dartmouth in the landmark school safety case of Brum v. Town of Dartmouth, 428 Mass. 684, where the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a public school could not be held liable, either in tort or under various civil rights theories, for the unforeseen classroom stabbing death of a sixteen-year old high school student.
- In 2008, Mr. Davis represented the Town of Lexington and Lexington school officials in Parker v. Hurley, 514 F. 3d 87 (1st Cir.), cert. den., 555 U.S. 815 (2008), the first case in the country in which a court upheld the right of public school officials to use same-sex teaching materials in the classroom.
Besides his primary practice areas, Mr. Davis also has significant litigation and trial experience in insurance coverage, sexual abuse and molestation, premises liability, and negligent security. He frequently appears in all Massachusetts courts, in the United States District Courts, and before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. Mr. Davis is also licensed to practice law in Rhode Island.
Mr. Davis has been practicing in Boston since 1981. In 1998, he joined in co-founding Pierce Davis & Perritano LLP.