Menard & Walsh, LLP : Attorneys at Law

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(617) 832-2500

Practicing Law in Boston, all counties in Massachusetts, and other jurisdictions in the United States and the following areas:

  • Boston
  • Cambridge
  • Newton
  • Lexington
  • Wellesley
  • Hingham
  • Weston
  • Concord
  • Brookline
  • Needham
  • Winchester
  • Dover
  • Belmont
  • Westwood
  • Sudbury
  • Cohasset
  • Lincoln
  • Duxbury
  • Milton
  • Cape Cod

Attorneys : John S. Leonard


Tel: (617) 832-2500
Fax: (617) 832-2550

John S. Leonard is a partner at Menard & Walsh LLP who focuses his practice on complex civil litigation. A trial lawyer for over 40 years, Mr. Leonard has successfully represented private individuals, corporations, municipalities, and governmental agencies before state and federal trial courts. He also has extensive appellate experience having frequently argued before the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He has extensive experience in representing and counseling individuals and public agencies in matters pertaining to real property damages, including eminent domain, regulatory takings, inverse condemnation, relocation assistance, and real estate tax abatement matters. Mr. Leonard has written and lectured extensively regarding the preparation and trial of eminent domain cases. In addition, he counsels and represents business entities and individuals in a wide variety of significant commercial cases, including contract, labor and employment, construction, real estate disputes, and complex domestic relations.


Boston College - B.S. Honors Program, cum laude 1965; Boston College Law School - LLB 1968.

Bar Affiliations and Professional Memberships

Supreme Judicial Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1969; United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts 1969; United States Court of Appeals for First Circuit 1970; American Bar Association; Massachusetts Bar Association; The Association of Trial Lawyers of America; Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers; Massachusetts Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Leonard was selected as a Massachusetts SuperLawyer in 2004 - 2013, inclusive, which is based on a survey of Massachusetts attorneys and reviewed by an independent blue ribbon panel. Listed attorneys and finalists consist of the top 5% of attorneys in Massachusetts. Mr. Leonard was also selected for inclusion in the 2007 - 2013, inclusive, edition of the Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law and the Law Firm has been ranked as a Boston Tier 1 Law Firm in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law. Mr. Leonard has been ranked at the highest level of legal ability A V Preeminent® by the Martindale — Hubbell Law Directory® since 1985.

Representative Reported Litigation

The Woodward School For Girld, Inc. v. City of Quincy, 469 Mass. 151 (2014); Richard E. Swan, et al. v. MBTA, 82 Mass.App.Ct. 1103 (2012); Joan R. Haddon v. John B. Haddon, 78 Mass.App.Ct. 1110 (2010); D. I. Trust II v. City of Taunton (2009); Elias Akiki v. MBTA, 2004 WL 4799503; Chamberlayne School & others v. Robert Banker, individually and as trustee, & others, 30 Mass. App. Ct. 346; 568 N.E. 2d 642 (1991); Robert G. Dynan & others v. Edward A. Fritz, Jr. & others, 400 Mass. 230; 508 N.E. 2d 1371 (1987); Holyhood Cemetery Association v. City of Boston, 394 Mass. 1011; 476 N.E. 2d 962 (1985); United States of America v. James A. Kelly, Jr., 722 F.2d 873 (1st Cir. 1983); Charles W. Sullivan & another v. Board of Appeals of Harwich & others, 15 Mass. App. Ct. 286; 445 N.E. 2d 174 (1983); United States of America v. James A. Kelly, Jr., 543 F. Supp. 1303 (D. Mass. 1982); In Re United States of America, 666 F.2d 690 (1st Cir. 1981); United States of America v. James A. Kelly, Jr., 519 F. Supp. 1029 (D. Mass. 1981); United States of American v. John Doe, 628 F.2d 694 (1st Cir. 1980); Taunton Greyhound Associates, Inc. v. State Racing Commission & others, 10 Mass. App. Ct. 297; 407 N.E.2d 371 (1980); Lic. Inc. v. Town of Hudson, 10 Mass. App. Ct. 815; 406 N.E. 2d 397 (1980); Samuel Markell, executor v. Sidney B. Pfeifer Foundation, Inc., 9 Mass. App. Ct. 412; 402 N.E. 2d 76 (1980); Eben Hutchinson v. Sarah M. Hutchinson & another, 6 Mass. App. Ct. 705; 383 N.E. 2d 82 (1978); Commonwealth v. Gordon F. Haas, 373 Mass. 545; 369 N.E. 2d 692 (1977); Joyce Johnson v. Wilmington Sales, Inc., 5 Mass. App. Ct. 858; 364 N.E. 2d 1291 (1977); R.H. White Realty Co., Inc. v. Boston Redevelopment Authority, 371 Mass. 452; 358 N.E. 2d 440 (1977); Robert C. Haufler v. Commonwealth, 372 Mass. 527; 362 N.E. 2d 916 (1976); Bertram A. Druker, Trustee v. Roland Wm. Jutras Associates, Inc. & another, 370 Mass. 382; 348 N.E. 2d 763 (1976); Samuel S. Weinrebe, Trustee v. Samuel P. Coffman, Trustee, 358 Mass. 247; 263 N.E. 2d 454 (1970); Louis V. Bibi v. Joseph Courville, 357 Mass. 782; 260 N.E. 2d 156 (1970).

Publications and Other Matters

"Evidence," 16 Annual Survey of Massachusetts Law 449, 1969; "Evidence," 17 Annual Survey of Massachusetts Law 675, 1970. Co-Author with J. Owen Todd, "Inverse Condemnation Under Massachusetts Law," MCLE Seminar, 1995; "Preparation of the Plaintiff's Eminent Domain Case," The Best of MCLE Journal, 1995. Lecturer: "Effective Advocacy in Eminent Domain Cases," Mass. Academy of Trial Lawyers Annual Meeting, 1986; "Open and Closing Statements in Land Value Litigation," Boston Bar Association Annual Meeting, 1988; "Inverse Condemnation Under Massachusetts Law," MCLE Seminar on Eminent Domain and Land Value Litigation, 1989; "Valuation of Real Property," MCLE Seminar on Eminent Domain, 1992; "Cross Examination of Expert Appraisal Witnesses," MCLE Seminar Real Estate Property Valuation, 1993; "Preparation of the Plaintiff's Eminent Domain Case," MCLE Seminar Valuing Land in Taking Cases, 1995; "Eminent Domain In Massachusetts" Seminar, Lorman Education Services, 2005 and 2006; The Appraisal Institute 2007 New England Appraiser's Expo "Determination of Highest and Best Use."; Member, Zoning Board of Appeals, Town of Milton, MA 1997-1998, Chairman 1999-to date. Judge at 20th Annual Yale Mock Trial Invitational Tournament.

Publications and Other Matters

Mr. Leonard successfully represented the owner of a shopping mall in Springfield taken by a city agency to construct a baseball stadium, as an invalid taking not for a legitimate public purpose. He also successfully represented a public transportation agency in the favorable settlement of a thirty-four-million dollar eminent domain claim. He has represented public and private parties whose valuable real estate has been adversely affected by eminent domain takings for high-speed gas transmission lines. He is presently representing the Urban League of Springfield, Inc. regarding the taking by eminent domain of its headquarters by the City of Springfield. He has represented the Cities of Cambridge, Revere, Marlborough, the Town of Barnstable and the Economic Development and Industrial Corporation of Lynn on eminent domain matters as well as the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority on the expansion of its railroad corridors including the Silver Line expansion on the Boston Waterfront; the Greenbush expansion to Scituate and the expansion of the Middleborough, Lakeville, Kingston and Plymouth Lines. Recently, Mr. Leonard represented the owner of a realty trust which owned 127 continuous acres of vacant land in Taunton, MA which was taken by the City for recreational and conservation purposes. A pro tanto of $850,000 was paid by the City for the entire parcel. The jury returned a verdict of $5,260,000 plus $986,247 in interest for a total award of $6,256,247 based on a highest and best use as a big box commercial and retail development site.

In October 2014, Mr. Leonard represented a plaintiff in a breach of promise to leave by will case before a jury in the Norfolk Superior Court. The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff on a quantum meruit basis in the amount of $29,324,845 plus pre-judgement interest in the amount of $15,685,979 for a total award of $45,010,824.

Practice Areas: Civil Litigation; Eminent Domain; Land Use Planning; Zoning and Consulting; Construction; Business Litigation; Complex Domestic Relations.

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