Joseph M. Desmond Partner

Boston, MA

Phone: (617) 439-7554 Fax: (617) 342-4935 Download VCard

Joseph M. Desmond

Joe is partner in the Boston office of Morrison Mahoney and an elected member of the firm’s five-member Executive Committee. He is a first chair trial lawyer who has tried significant cases to verdict in both state and federal courts. His healthcare practice is focused on the defense of long-term care providers, including skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, home health agencies, and hospice agencies.

Joe advises and represents healthcare providers on a variety of state and federal matters including class action lawsuits, Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance, and defense of civil enforcement actions, including Medicare/Medicaid fraud matters. He has argued several cases before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and tried more than twenty-five cases to verdict throughout New England. Joe is a frequent author and lecturer on the defense of long-term care claims. He has published numerous articles and been asked to present at national seminars, including the American Health Lawyers’ Association and the American Conference Institute.  

Joe has also served on medical malpractice tribunals, the statutory screening panel that determines the merits of medical malpractice cases. He is licensed to practice in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, and is admitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.


  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • American Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association, Past Co-chair of Torts Committee
  • New Hampshire Bar Association

Noteworthy Accomplishments       

  • Successfully argued that pre-dispute arbitration agreements are enforceable before the Supreme Judicial Court in Miller v. Cotter, 448 Mass. 677 (2007)
  • Lead counsel in Lev v. Beverly Enterprises-Massachusetts, Inc., 457 Mass. 234 (2010) and successfully limited an employer’s duty of care with respect to intoxicated employees
  • Obtained defense verdicts on behalf of assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities in state and federal courts, and arbitration forums in cases involving falls resulting in fractures and deaths, medication overdoses, and decubitus ulcers
  • Successfully tried cases involving motor vehicle accidents, premises liability and products liability to verdict

AV rated by Martindale Hubble

Boston, MA Office

250 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210
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Areas of Practice

Bar Admissions

  • United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • Connecticut
  • Supreme Court of the United States


  • B.A. — University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • J.D. — Suffolk University Law School

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