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 and public officials 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.
Mr. Davis also serves as an independent investigator into complaints of harassment and discrimination in the workplace and Title IX violations. He has completed MCAD certified training in conducting internal employment discrimination complaint investigations.
- 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.
Doe v. Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District, 578 F. Supp. 3d 164 (D. Mass. 2022)
3137, LLC v. Town of Harwich, __ F. Supp. 3d __, 2022 WL 267435 (D. Mass. Jan. 28, 2022)
Furtado v. Town of Falmouth, 101 Mass. App. Ct. 1108 (2022)
Hayes v. Town of Dalton, __ F. Supp. 3d __, 2022 WL 488466 (D. Mass. Feb. 17, 2022)
Bush v. Fantasia, __F. Supp. 3d __, 2022 WL 4134501 (D. Mass. Sep. 12, 2022)
Berge v. School Committee of Gloucester, 2022 WL 17417578 (D. Mass. Dec. 5, 2022)
PLH, LLC v. Town of Ware, 2022 WL 17491278 (Mass. App. Ct. Dec. 8, 2022)
Robinson v. Town of Marshfield, 950 F.3d 21 (1st Cir. 2020)
Johnson v. Duxbury, 931 F.3d 102 (1st Cir. 2019)
Burke v. Building Inspector of Town of Dennis, 94 Mass. App. Ct. 1110 (2018)
Comley v. Town of Rowley, 296 F. Supp. 3d 327 (D. Mass. 2017)
Venkataraman v. Graniteville Woods, LLC, 91 Mass. App. Ct. 1131 (2017)
Loreti v. Tulimieri, 60 N.E.3d 1197 (Mass. App. Ct. 2016)
Doe v. City of Fitchburg, 76 Mass. App. Ct. 1106 (2010)
Lakeland Harbor SPE LLC v. Town of Rockland Rent Control Bd., 2010 WL 1223602 (D Mass. March 5, 2010)
Comley v. Town of Rowley, 74 Mass. App. Ct. 1122, rev.den., 455 Mass. 1101 (2009)
Jones v. Maloney, 74 Mass. App. Ct. 745 (2009)
Anderson v. City of Gloucester, 75 Mass. App. Ct. 429, rev. den., 455 Mass. 1105 (2009)
King v. Rivas, 555 F.3d 14 (1st Cir. 2009)
McCarter v. Bi-County Collaborative, Inc., 73 Mass. App. Ct. 1115, rev.den., 453 Mass. 1108 (2009)
Parker v. Hurley, 514 F.3d 87 (1st Cir.), cert. den., 555 U.S. 815 (2008)
Anzalone v. Town of Middleton, 73 Mass. App. Ct. 1105 (2008)
Martins v. Town of Rockland, 66 Mass. App. Ct. 1118 (2006)
LaSota v. Town of Merrimac, 65 Mass. App. Ct. 1110 (2005), rev. den., 446 Mass. 1104 (2006)
Tinkham v. Kelly, 2006 WL 8458373 (D. Mass. March 19, 2006)
Abington Transfer Station, LLC v. Board of Health of Abington, 64 Mass. App. Ct. 1111 (2005)
Carlson v. Town of Ipswich, 61 Mass. App. Ct. 1112 (2004)
Demers v. Leominster School Department, 263 F. Supp. 2d 195 (D. Mass. 2003)
Jones v. Town of Sharon, 58 Mass. App. Ct. 1106 (2003)
Brum v. Town of Dartmouth, 428 Mass. 684 (1999)
Serrell v. Franklin County, 47 Mass. App. Ct. 400 (1999)
Brayton v. Monson Public Schools, 950 F. Supp. 33 (D. Mass. 1997)
Aubuchon v. Commonwealth, 933 F. Supp. 90 (D. Mass. 1996)
Armstrong v. Lamy, 938 F. Supp. 1018 (D. Mass. 1996)
Canney v. City of Chelsea, 925 F. Supp. 58 (D. Mass. 1996)
Carista v. Berkshire Mutual Ins. Co., 394 Mass. 1009 (1985)
Awards & Recognition
- Martindale-Hubbell National Law Directory, AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating
- Selected to The Best Lawyers in America© list in Employment Law – Management, 2016 – 2021
- Selected to Massachusetts Super Lawyers List, 2017-2022
- Massachusetts Bar Association
- Rhode Island Bar Association
- Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association
- International Municipal Lawyers Association