Our Team

David Hoffman

David A. Hoffman


David A. Hoffman is the founding member of Boston Law Collaborative, LLC, where he serves as a mediator, arbitrator, and Collaborative Law attorney.  He also teaches three courses at Harvard Law School, where he is the John H. Watson, Jr. Lecturer on Law: Mediation; Diversity and Dispute Resolution; and Legal Profession: Collaborative Law.

David was named Boston’s “Lawyer of the Year” for 2022 in the field of Arbitration by the book Best Lawyers in America and U.S. News & World Report, and also Boston’s “Lawyer of the Year” in previous years, including 2021 (Collaborative Family Law) and 2020 (Mediation).  In 2021, he was named in Boston Magazine’s inaugural list of “Top Lawyers.”  David has also been selected for the Massachusetts “Super Lawyer” list published in Boston Magazine every year since 2004, when the listing began. In 2014, the American College of Civil Trial Mediators gave David its Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2015, the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution gave David its highest honor, the D’Alermberte-Raven award.

David’s practice is focused on resolving conflict in business, family, and employment cases. He has served as mediator and/or arbitrator in more than two thousand commercial, family, employment, construction, personal injury, insurance, and other business cases.

David has published three books on the subject of dispute resolution: Mediation: A Practice Guide for Mediators, Lawyers, and Other Professionals (Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, 2013); Bringing Peace into the Room: How the Personal Qualities of the Mediator Impact the Process of Conflict Resolution (with Daniel Bowling) (Jossey-Bass 2003); and Massachusetts Alternative Dispute Resolution (with Prof. David Matz) (Butterworth Legal Publishers 1994, 2d ed. 1996).

David is the past chair of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution and a founding member of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council. David is the former president of Kerem Shalom Congregation in Concord, Massachusetts, and a Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators.

Before founding BLC, David was a litigation partner at Hill & Barlow where he practiced for seventeen years. Before that (in reverse chronological order), David clerked for then-Judge Stephen G. Breyer on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, graduated from Harvard Law School (while serving as a research assistant for Professor Larry Tribe and an editor on the Harvard Law Review), worked as a consultant for the U.S. Small Business Administration, established a woodworking business in upstate New York, and pursued American Studies as a graduate student at Cornell. David lives in a co-housing community in Acton, Massachusetts, with his wife Leslie Warner (a career coach at Tufts); they have five adult children, an adolescent cat, and a rescue Golden Retriever from Serbia.

Law Firms that have hired David for mediation and/or arbitration.

David’s Articles and Publications

David’s Audio and Video Links

Representative cases:

  • Mediates commercial and employment disputes, including recent dispute between hedge fund manager and investors, resulting in settlement of several million dollars.
  • Mediates family business cases, including recent dispute over allocation of trust holding $20 million worth of commercial real estate parcels.
  • Arbitrates business cases, and served as chair of three-person arbitration panel in Hancock-CNA Reinsurance dispute that resulted in post-hearing settlement of $250 million.
  • Mediates and arbitrates family law cases (e.g., divorce, separation, custody, property, support pre-nup and post-nup issues), including recent case involving the rights of married parties when one party sold his business for a nine-figure sum.
  • Serves as Collaborative Law counsel in family cases – i.e., representing the client solely for purposes of negotiation, such as in current divorce case in which the parties jointly own a chain of franchised stores.
  • Serves as “settlement counsel” in business and employment cases – i.e., representing the client solely for purposes of negotiation, including recent case in which three brothers were dividing proceeds from the sale of commercial real estate.
  • Served as arbitrator in 180 Dalkon Shield class-action product liability cases involving injuries suffered by women who used defective intrauterine contraceptive device.
  • Mediates probate and family property cases, including current case for a family that owns more than 10,000 acres of land in a family partnership.
  • Represented large non-profit in design of dispute resolution system for managing 210 claims asserted against the organization.
  • Serves as parenting coordinator in high-conflict divorce cases and post-divorce cases, in which parents need a ‘referee’ to manage disagreements over parenting issues.