617.973.6181fax 617.722.4991



  • Northeastern University School of Law, JD, 1980
  • Boston College, BA, 1971, with honors

James E. O'Connell, Jr.

617.973.6181fax 617.722.4991 V-card Download PDF

Jim is a partner in the Firm’s Litigation Department.  Jim is recognized as one of Massachusetts’ top litigators and a trusted legal advocate for both individual and corporate clients.  He has more than 30 years experience in employment, business, probate and family law matters and construction disputes, successfully representing executives and businesses in multi-million dollar litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution.

Prior to joining Posternak, Jim was a founding partner of Shilepsky O’Connell, a Boston employment and litigation boutique, and a litigation partner in the trial department at Perkins, Smith & Cohen.  He was also co-founder and partner of two firms concentrating in civil litigation: Murphy & O'Connell and Sally, O'Connell & Fitch. He began his professional career in the litigation department of Bingham McCutchen, LLP.

Jim represents clients in a broad spectrum of personal, professional and business matters. His active practice includes complex civil litigation, employment and family law, multi-party, multi-faceted negotiations, contested business transactions, trade secret disputes, and restrictive covenant enforcement and defense.  He frequently drafts executive employment contracts and separation and settlement agreements in the context of construction, commercial and employment law disputes as well as individual probate estate and family law litigation.

Jim is admitted to practice law before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the United States District Court of the District of Massachusetts, the United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. In addition to the Courts of the Commonwealth, he has trial experience in the federal courts of New York, Michigan, Virginia and Georgia.

Representative Experience

  • Represented minority shareholder in freeze-out litigation resulting in groundbreaking, multi-million dollar jury verdict.
  • Represented high net worth individuals in complex divorce and post-divorce matters.
  • Represented an international employer in a whistleblower retaliation case in federal court, resulting in the pre-trial dismissal of three of four counts and a jury verdict for the employer.
  • Represented an international employer in a breach of contract case in state court, resulting in a jury verdict for the employer.
  • Represented employees and employers in disputes regarding enforcement of non-competition provisions and other restrictive covenants.
  • Represented numerous high-level executives in discrimination and other disputes, resulting in multi-million dollar settlements.
  • Represented the husband in a successful appeal to the Massachusetts Appeals Court, resulting in the Appeals Court’s issuance of new law regarding the treatment of Social Security benefits in the context of divorce.


American Bar Association
Massachusetts Bar Association
Boston Bar Association


Jim was named Massachusetts Super Lawyer every year from 2004-2017.

Outside Posternak

Jim presently serves as Trustee for a substantial New Jersey charitable remainder trust and serves as Co-Trustee for the family-and-friends trust of a successful workplace “whistleblower.”

News & Media

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