Peter H. Sutton

Peter H. Sutton
Senior Partner / Litigation
Boston Office
617-692-3400 fax

After being chairperson of the firm's litigation department for almost 40 years, Peter assumed the role of the department's chairperson emeritus. In that role, Peter continues his very active litigation practice and works with the chairperson of the department in its administration and management. He has handled and managed matters of almost every nature and description in Federal, State, and Bankruptcy courts and has litigated contractual disputes, land use disputes, probate disputes, bankruptcy matters, intellectual property matters, and insurance cases of various kinds, including defense litigation, title insurance claims, financial institution bond claims, and personal injury matters. Peter also has been qualified as an expert witness on litigation matters in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts, and has appeared in courts in other jurisdictions and in foreign countries.

Peter has a recognized and distinguished record of service both to the Bar and to the community. In 1998, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court awarded him the first annual William J. LeDoux Clients' Security Board Award for outstanding pro bono legal representation of a claimant before the board. He subsequently was named to and served from 2000 to 2005 on the Clients' Security Board of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, which was formed to compensate victims of lawyers who had stolen clients' funds and had not made restitution. Peter also was a volunteer lecturer at the Boston University School of Law and has served as a trustee for charities and other trusts and as a personal representative of estates. He previously served as a volunteer hearing officer for the Board of Bar Overseers, and as Chief Law Clerk for the Justices of the Superior Court.

Peter is the author of "Obtaining Pretrial Security," a chapter in the Massachusetts Superior Court Civil Practice Manual (MCLE, Inc. 3rd ed. 2013 & Supp. 2015), and has served as a Superior Court appointed receiver in civil litigation matters.

Representative Cases

  • Successfully defended co-trustees of testamentary trusts in state court action for breach of fiduciary duty
  • Represented heirs of estate in recovery of over $1 million stolen by personal representative of the estate
  • Successfully represented heirs of intestate deceased in suit over $3 million in disputed real estate holdings
  • Successfully represented disinherited heirs in will contest claiming undue influence
  • Successfully defended bank in equitable subrogation action in land court brought by title insurer regarding mistakenly discharged mortgage
  • Successfully defended a dog (pro bono) from execution for attack in defense of its owner
  • Served as Superior Court receiver in Essex County regarding low income housing units
  • Appeared as co-counsel in domestic relations disputes seeking undisclosed assets
  • Successfully represented Trustee in bankruptcy in busting debtor’s trust for benefit of bankrupt estate
  • Retained by Rhode Island Department of Economic Protection to assist in recovery of assets diverted from thrift institutions
  • Represented Federal Deposit Insurance Companies in liquidating assets of insured institutions
  • Represented estates in wrongful death suits
  • Represented Trustee in bankruptcy to recover $1 million wrongfully converted and concealed by a Chapter 7 debtor
  • Successfully represented claimants in recovery of a fire insurance claim for restaurant business disputed by insurer
  • Recovered for Trustee in bankruptcy in legal malpractice suit against assignee for benefit of creditor who had conflict of interest
  • Successful defense of an automobile distributor sued under G.L. c. 93B, "Dealer's Day in Court" Act
  • Represented the owner of a polluted property in recovering significant damages against the industrial polluter
  • Obtained contested recovery for banks under banker's blanket bonds and under surety bonds covering defalcation of a bankruptcy Trustee
  • Represented bank group creditors in insolvency proceedings to an insured company before the Supreme Judicial Court
  • Obtained recovery in a class action suit by lenders against surety to recover $35 million owed under payment bonds
  • Successfully defended lending institutions in state and federal lender liability suits

Cases Of Interest

  • In re Duro Industries, Inc., 293 B.R. 271 (1st Cir. BAP 2003)
  • Braunstein v. McCabe, 571 F.3d 109 (1st Cir. 2009).
  • Beatrice v. Braunstein (In re: Beatrice), 246 B. R. 576, 581

In The News

  • Federal judge orders return of Ted Williams's rings to John Henry Williams - Judge William Young of the United States District Court ordered that two championship rings, which once belonged to baseball great Ted Williams, should be returned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to his son. Peter Sutton, a senior partner at the law firm of Riemer & Braunstein, who represents Ted Williams and his son, had filed a motion with the Federal Court to have the rings returned to John Henry Williams, after one of the defendants, who had been found not guilty of extortion, had filed a motion to have the FBI turn the rings over to him.
    Associated Press, July 28, 1999
  • Debtor doesn't have right to jury trial in action seeking turnover of property - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently held that debtors do not have a right to jury trials in actions by trustees seeking the turnover of property during bankruptcy proceedings. Mark Corner and Peter Sutton, who represented the trustee in this case, said the holding makes it easier in turnover cases for bankruptcy trustees to pursue assets of debtors and to cut down on delays and expenses in bankruptcy proceedings.
    The United States Law Week, July 14, 2009


American Bankruptcy Institute
American Bar Association
Massachusetts Bar Association


Commonwealth of Massachusetts
U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court


Boston University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1971
Boston University, B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1968