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Jim Rudolph is a founder and managing partner of Rudolph Friedmann LLP.

Jim’s clients rely on his sound practical legal advice, based on his seasoned business, employment and construction law experience. For over forty years, clients have come to depend on Jim and his full-service law firm to assist them with their personal and professional goals, be it business consulting, negotiating or litigating. In addition to advising businesses on partnership, corporate and employment law issues, Jim has an expertise in real estate, construction law and business disputes. He has considerable experience handling complicated stockholder and employee disputes and business “divorces”, some of which are listed below. He regularly handles issues involving severance agreements, employment agreements, non-competes, non-solicitation agreements, stock purchase agreements, wrongful termination and many other employment related matters.

Jim has been a Corporator, Trustee, and Director of several Boston-area banks. He also has considerable experience handling (for lenders and borrowers) bank workouts, lender liability claims, and matters involving creditors and debtors rights.

As an active real estate attorney and investor, Jim has substantial knowledge and expertise relative to the buying, selling, financing, the development of real estate and the litigation of real estate disputes.

To stay abreast of the ever-changing business climate, Jim is actively involved in several business, industry and community activities, which are listed below. In addition to Jim’s legal practice, he is a frequent writer and speaker.

Jim has been a member of both the Swampscott (Chairman for six years) and Marblehead (currently a member) Zoning Boards of Appeal. He served three terms as a Selectman for the Town of Swampscott.

Jim’s family was in the electrical business. He worked as an electrician’s helper for two summers and then as an estimator for several months; he started to represent contractors, subcontractors and suppliers when he had just graduated law school. He is a long time Board member of the Associated Builders and Contractors. (ABC has 500 business members in Massachusetts and close to 20,000 members nationally.) Jim served as Chairman of the Massachusetts Chapter of ABC for two terms in 2002 and 2016. He was the first attorney to be elected Chairman of that organization and has been its Legal Counsel since 2002.

Jim also has many clients in the restaurant, hospitality and entertainment business; he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association for several years.

Jim has owned sailboats and power boats since he was eight years old. He has bought and sold several boats for himself and represented numerous clients with their boat purchases and sales. He has also represented many new and used boat owners, dealers, marinas and developers relative to maritime related matters including warranty and insurance issues, property damage, personal injury and wrongful death claims. Jim currently represents Cape Yachts, which sells boats made by Beneteau, Cobia, Jupiter and Monte Carlo.

Having been chair and served as a director, trustee or member of numerous boards and committees, especially nominating committees, Jim has also developed an expertise in governance matters relative to both for profit and non-profit entities. He frequently reviews, drafts or revises by-laws and other governance related documents. He has assisted many boards and companies in this area.

For over thirty years, Jim has been rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, the national directory of lawyers, which is the highest rating (by peers) attainable. He was named to The Best Lawyers in America 2020© in the construction law practice and has also been named “Best Lawyer” by Boston Magazine. Additionally, Jim has been selected as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer by Boston Magazine every year since 2004.


Jim’s representation of clients has included:

  • Managing sophisticated and complex litigation in most areas of business law.
  • Employment law issues including wrongful terminations, severance agreements and non-solicitation agreements, non-compete disputes, sexual harassment claims, confidentiality and non-disclosure litigation and many other types of employment related litigation. (Representation has included management, owners, employees and both majority and minority stockholders.)
  • Drafting employment agreements and related documents including buy sell and severance agreements and litigation of all of the foregoing.
  • Formation of new businesses including drafting articles of incorporation, by-laws, stockholder agreements and LLC operating agreements.
  • Transactional work for several institutional and private lenders involving commercial and real estate loans.
  • Negotiation of complicated mergers and acquisitions of privately held companies in various industries.
  • Handling various types of construction related matters including lien and bond claims, bid contests, arbitrations, mediations, complex litigation and drafting and negotiation of construction documents.
  • Legal services in connection with sale of hotels, restaurants and liquor licenses.
  • Legal representation relative to the purchase, sale and delivery of boats; yacht construction; boat and yacht financing; structuring boat and yacht ownership agreements; maritime insurance claims, including property damage, personal injury and wrongful death; dealer and manufacturer warranty issues, marina and dock development and permitting/regulations regarding same; drafting employment contracts for yacht crew members.
  • Business “divorces,” stockholder disputes and employment matters, wrongful termination, severance agreements, non-compete agreements, non-solicitation agreements and stock option agreements, including the following businesses (partial list) which were litigated in various courts, involving millions of dollars (many others, not listed below, have been settled without litigation and are therefore not public):
    • Michael Popitz v. Popitz LLC d/b/a Airflow Sleep (representation of company founder in stockholder dispute)
    • Mahi Gold, Inc. (representation relative to a business dispute)
    • Rasky Partners, Inc. (represented Larry Rasky in reorganization of his strategic communications firm and related buyout of company partners)
    • Marc Berkowitz vs. Legal Seafoods, Inc. (represented employee/minority stockholder in business dispute involving his brother, mother and father)
    • James Cafarelli v. Todd English et al. (represented minority stockholder in dispute resulting in division of business assets)
    • Burke Distributing Corporation v. Anissa Noreke, Minority Shareholder (represented minority stockholder relative to derivative claims resulting in settlement and dismissal of lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court)
    • Edward Shulkin v. Gift Card Partners, Inc., et al. (represented shareholder and his estate in business dispute resulting in buyout)
    • Green v. Green (represented one of two brothers that were owners of substantial real estate holdings in dispute between the owners)
    • Quality Components, Inc. (represented majority owner of specialty fastener and solar energy component parts company in stockholder dispute)
    • Newbury Guest House and Harborside Inn (represented son/stockholder in dispute involving family owned hotels)
    • Air Carrier Support, Incorporated (represented minority stockholder in air transport company)
    • Color Technology, Inc. (represented minority stockholder in stockholder dispute)
    • Gilcorp, Inc. (represented company owning several restaurants and majority stockholder in employee/ stockholder dispute)
    • Security Source, Inc. (represented minority stockholder in stockholder dispute regarding security device company)
    • Austin Sportswear, Inc. (represented 50% owner in stockholder dispute with his brother regarding clothing/sportswear company)
    • Prophecy Development, Inc. (obtained substantial judgment for minority stockholder against other stockholder in intellectual property dispute)
    • Barnsider Group (represented employee/minority stockholder of company owning chain of restaurants resulting in settlement of stockholder dispute)
    • United Marble Fabricators, Inc. (represented former stockholder in suit to enforce non-compete agreement)
    • Davio’s Restaurant (represented restaurant in wrongful termination case decided in favor of employer after jury trial)
    • Colla’s Super Markets, Inc. (represented minority stockholder in family owned business)
    • Curtain Insurance Agency, Inc. (represented minority stockholder in stockholder dispute)
    • Formaggio Kitchens (represented employee/ minority stockholder suit against majority stockholder of gourmet food business resulting in buyout of majority stockholder)
    • Electric Supply Center Corp. (represented stockholder in dispute with other stockholder/owner of an electrical supply distributor)
    • National American Rubber Thread Company, Inc. (represented majority stockholder in litigation involving other stockholders)
    • Porthole Pub and Restaurant (represented employee/minority stockholder in family owned business)
    • Waves, Inc. (represented employees/ stockholders in dispute involving other stockholders)
    • AIAL, Inc. (represented investor/stockholders in airline company in stockholder suit)
    • Tapeo, Inc. (represented majority stockholder and company in suit involving minority stockholder owners of company)
    • Vinny Testa’s (represented minority stockholder/employee in dispute with majority stockholders)
    • New Angle Glass (represented company in litigation regarding employment agreement with non-compete clause)
    • Standard Electric (represented Electric Supply Center which hired new employees that had non-compete clauses in employment agreement with former employer)


  • Massachusetts Go To Business Lawyer, Lawyers Weekly, 2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2020)
  • Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America; Selected 2018
  • Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, Salem State University, 2016
  • The Governor’s Academy, Non Sibi Sed Aliis Award for community service, 2016
  • Associated Builders and Contractors, inducted as ABC LEGEND, November, 2015
  • North Shore 100 Leaders, Salem News, 2010
  • Bennett I. Solomon Community Leadership Award, 2009 (Awarded by Cohen Hillel Academy)
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyer, Boston Magazine, 2004-2020
  • JRC Recognition Award (Awarded by Jewish Rehabilitation Center for Aged of the North Shore), 2001
  • David Ben-Gurion State of Israel Leadership Award, 1999 (Awarded by the State of Israel)
  • “Best Lawyer of 1998, Boston Magazine
  • Community Leadership Award, Anti-Defamation League, 1996
  • Chairman’s Award, Anti-Defamation League, 1990
  • Marquis Who’s Who in American Law, 1999-Present
  • AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell (by peers) for over 30 years, the highest rating obtainable

Associations & Memberships:

  • Anti-Defamation League/New England Regional Board
    Chair, Board of Overseers (2008-present)
    Chair, New England Regional Board (2006-2008)
    Member, National Executive Committee (2005-present)
  • The Governor’s Academy
    Vice President (2011-present)
    Trustee (1998-present); Chair, Trustee Relations Committee
    Secretary (2000-2011)
  • Associated Builders and Contractors, Massachusetts
    Chairman (2002, 2016)
    Vice Chairman (2001, 2015)
    General Counsel and Member of Board of Directors; (2002-present)
  • Massachusetts Restaurant Association
    Board of Directors (2012-present)
  • Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
    Advisory Board Member (Appointed by Governor Baker, 2017-present)
  • Marblehead Zoning Board of Appeals
    Member (2012-present)
  • North Shore Chamber of Commerce
    Member, Board of Directors (2009-present)
  • Essex National Heritage Commission
    Commissioner (2013-2014)
    Trustee (2014-2017)
  • JRC Charitable Foundation
    Past President (2000-2002)
  • Jewish Rehabilitation Center for the Aged of the North Shore
    Past President (1992-1994)
    Member, Board of Directors (1977-2010)
  • Town of Swampscott
    Selectman (1990-1993)
  • Swampscott Zoning Board of Appeals
    Member and Chairman (1982-1989)
  • Legal Sales and Services Organization (LSSO)
    Member, Board of Directors (2009-2011)
  • Eastern Bank
    Trustee (2003-present)
  • USTrust/Essex and USTrust/Middlesex
    Board of Directors (1994-2000)
  • Grove Bank
    Corporator (1985-1993)
  • Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency Multi-Family Advisory Committee
    Appointed by Governor Weld (1992-1995)
  • Camp Kingswood, Bridgeton, Maine, (A CJP Constituent Agency)
    President (1987-1989)
  • Camp Bauercrest
    Member, Board of Directors (1985-1987)
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Conveyancers Association

Publications & Events:

Bar Admissions:

  • Massachusetts, 1975
  • U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts, 1976
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit, 1976
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1984


  • Boston College Law School
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Juris Doctorate, 1975
  • University of Denver
    Denver, Colorado
    B.A. Political Science, 1972
  • Governor Dummer Academy
    Byfield, Massachusetts
    Graduate, 1968