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Joe Downes focuses his practice on commercial litigation and bankruptcy matters. Prior to forming Downes McMahon LLP, Joe practiced at Demeo LLP, where he was a partner, and Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP, where he was a senior attorney in the litigation and bankruptcy departments.

Joe has extensive experience representing a broad range of clients—including software companies, banks, insurers, trustees, creditors’ committees, private equity funds, accounting firms, data centers, commercial landlords and tenants, corporate executives, business owners, shareholders, closely-held corporations, condominium associations, restaurant franchises, taxing authorities, manufacturers and distributors—in a variety of litigation and bankruptcy matters. Joe has significant trial experience in commercial litigation matters and has led the prosecution or defense of hundreds of adversary proceedings in bankruptcy. Joe also has extensive experience reviewing and drafting contracts and offering related advice to clients in connection with litigation, bankruptcy, settlement, asset sales and financing transactions.

Joe earned his bachelor’s degree from Providence College in 1994, and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 2002, where he served as a contributing editor for the Journal of Law Reform.

Joe is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Joe is a member of the Boston Bar Association and the American Bankruptcy Institute.

Joe has been selected by his peers as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer for 2013-2022.

Recent Highlights

  • Obtained preliminary injunction preventing Article 9 sale on terms that were not commercially reasonable, which led to a favorable settlement for client.
  • Obtained summary judgment in BLS declaratory judgment action awarding clients majority ownership interests in LLC.
  • Obtained preliminary injunction prohibiting former employee from soliciting company’s clients and prospects.
  • Obtained preliminary injunction effectively freezing all of defendants’ assets and successfully opposed interlocutory appeal challenging such action.
  • In appeal before Massachusetts Appeals Court, successfully defended clients’ summary judgment award.
  • Prevailed in U.S. District Court appeal of bankruptcy court order authorizing clients to exercise options to purchase interests in debtor limited liability company.
  • Negotiated favorable settlement on behalf of plaintiff IT provider in breach of contract dispute.
  • Advised manufacturing company in connection with possible chapter 11 filing and negotiations with largest unsecured creditor.
  • Following eight-day trial, obtained seven-figure judgment on behalf of biotech company.
  • Obtained $750,000 award and dismissal of counterclaims at summary judgment for clients in action involving breach of contract and fiduciary duty claims in dispute over closely held corporation.
  • Dissolved nearly $300,000 prejudgment trustee process attachment and negotiated favorable settlement for client in landlord-tenant dispute.
  • Obtained award of $68,912.59 in costs and attorneys’ fees on behalf of client for opposing party’s violation of U.S. District Court’s discovery orders.
  • Obtained seven-figure preliminary injunction on behalf of plaintiff in alter ego action.
  • Negotiated favorable separation and severance package, including resolution of non-compete covenants, on behalf of senior corporate executive.
  • Negotiated favorable settlement for client based on IT provider’s negligent destruction of business data.
  • Obtained seven-figure arbitration award against client’s former independent contractor for breach of contract and violation of M.G.L. c. 93A.
  • Obtained six figure reach and apply injunction in connection with fraud and breach of contract claims in dispute over closely held corporation.
  • Obtained six-figure consent judgment for client in SDNY bankruptcy adversary proceeding contesting discharge and dischargeability.
  • In appeal before the First Circuit, successfully defended client’s $1.4 million summary judgment award.
  • In high-stakes litigation, obtained temporary restraining order on behalf of software company faced with licensor’s bad-faith termination of licensing agreement.
  • In bankruptcy case, negotiated $6,300 settlement on behalf of insider of debtor following trustee’s initial demand for over $170,000.
  • After U.S. District Court trial, obtained permanent injunction and breach of contract award against independent contractors who attempted to abscond with company’s confidential information and form competing business.
  • Obtained $1.4 million award and dismissal of all counterclaims at summary judgment on behalf of medical software company in matter concerning customer’s wrongful termination of software licensing agreement.
  • Negotiated favorable settlement with clients’ former investment advisors.
  • Following trial, obtained order approving Chapter 11 Trustee’s negotiated settlement over debtor’s objection, which resulted in substantial benefit to bankruptcy estate.