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  • Attorney John Finbury takes novel issue in a negligence claim against the City of Haverhill to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and wins.

    Click here to view opinion

    Click here to watch oral argument
  • $500,000 worker's compensation settlement
    for Massachusetts Home Depot employee who suffered severe spinal injury when he hyperextended his body in order to avoid being struck by employee pushing carriages towards him in an aisle.
  • $400,000 worker's compensation settlement
    for Massachusetts truck driver who injured lower back as a result of a fall in gas station while delivering gasoline.
  • $230,000 worker's compensation settlement
    for employee who developed RSD/CRPS following finger joint surgery for work-related repetitive stress injury.
  • $1.5 Million Verdict
    in Essex County for serious personal injuries caused by a drunk driver in a motor vehicle accident.
  • $1.4 Million Verdict
    in Essex County for a young man who was injured when a stool collapsed at a restaurant in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It was necessary to use experts in the field of medicine, economics, and vocational rehabilitation to prove the damages suffered by this client.
  • $1.3 Million Settlement
    In Essex County for an electrician injured in an arc blast while working in North Andover. He suffered burns and a fractured elbow. Medical, electrical and code experts were used to prove liability and damages. The firm is experienced in filing suit and litigating these types of cases in order to obtain the maximum benefit to which our clients are entitled.
  • $1.275 Million Settlement
    in Essex County where a motor vehicle chased by the police crashed and overturned resulting in injuries to a passenger. The injuries included fractured vertebrae which required surgery and which resulted in a permanent injury, as well as internal complications and lower leg ailments.
  • $1 Million Verdict
    in Essex County Superior Court (Lawrence, MA) for a wife who was beaten and stabbed by her husband, leaving her with significant permanent injuries.
  • $835,000 Settlement
    in New Hampshire for a medical malpractice claim and related workers' compensation claim involving a failed sympathetic block for complex regional pain syndrome.
  • $767,000 Settlement
    for a man who was partially paralyzed as the result of a motor vehicle collision. The plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle in which the operator was over-served at a club in Haverhill. Expert testimony was used to prove that improper training and serving procedures led to the over-serving of alcohol.
  • $750,000 Verdict
    in Newburyport Superior Court for a woman injured in an auto collision. The insurance company offered $75,000 to settle, one-tenth of the ultimate verdict. That offer was refused and we went to trial. With interest the verdict exceeded $1,000,000.
  • $650,000 Settlement
    for a liquor liability case in New Hampshire
  • $450,000 Workers' Compensation Settlement
    where a New Hampshire employee was contaminated by chemicals in the air at his place of employment in Massachusetts.
  • $450,000 Settlement
    in Hillsborough County New Hampshire where a young teacher slipped and fell while exiting a convenience store resulting in orthopedic injuries and a closed head injury.
  • $400,000 Verdict
    in Middlesex County Superior Court (Cambridge, MA) for a young man injured at the Haverhill train station when the train began pulling away as he was boarding. A final offer of $25,000.00 was rejected. With interest, the final judgment was over $500.00.00.
  • $379,000 Arbitration Award
    For tenant in commercial lease dispute
  • $250,000 Verdict
    in Essex Superior Court (Lawrence, MA) for a mailman attacked by two dogs in the course of his employment, resulting in injuries to his back and neck as he was fleeing from the animals. With interest the judgment exceeded $316,000.00.
  • $250,000 Settlement
    in Rockingham county for a Newton, New Hampshire woman who was severely injured in a head-on collision resulting in multiple fractures.
  • $225,000 Settlement
    in Essex County where an employee slipped and fell on her way into work as a result of weather conditions. She settled with the workers' compensation carrier as well as the owner and property maintenance company.
  • $150,000 Verdict
    in Suffolk County for a patron of a bar whose leg was fractured by the negligent conduct of a security guard.
  • $150,000 Settlement
    in Rockingham county for a woman who was severely injured when she slipped and fell on water at a major department store. A lawsuit was necessary to obtain discovery which ultimately showed that the store allowed a freezer to leak for several days without adequate clean up..
  • $140,000 Settlement
    in Essex county for a Methuen woman who suffer a fractured hip on a dark outside stairway due to the landlord's failure to properly maintain the lighting.
  • $45,000 Settlement
    in Essex County for a boy under 2 years old who fell from a landing in a rented apartment due to improper construction of a railing.
  • $25,000 Settlement
    in Rockingham County for a man injured when he slipped on icy stairs at a mall in Southern New Hampshire as a result of negligent maintenance of the property.

John C. Sullivan

E-mail MeJohn C. Sullivan

Haverhill, Massachusetts

John C. Sullivan joined Herbert W. Finbury in 1976 to form the present firm. He has been evaluated by his peers and judges, achieving the highest ranking, AV, as reflected in the Martindale Hubbell Law Directory. This rating is given only to lawyers and law firms who are considered to have very high to pre-eminent legal ability and who are thought to embrace very high professional standards.

An experienced trial lawyer practicing law in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, John has tried over seventy jury trials, along with hundreds of bench trials and administrative hearings involving civil, criminal and domestic matters. John has been certified as an Advocate by the National College of Advocacy and has completed the advanced course in Trial Advocacy.

In addition to his busy trial practice, John has been trained and qualified to sit as a Mediator for Superior Court civil cases in Rockingham and Hillsborough Counties, New Hampshire. His years of trial and court experience have been helpful in facilitating settlements in cases that are scheduled for trial in those counties. In Massachusetts, John also volunteers his mediation skills for the Haverhill District Court.

John has lectured on aspects of Massachusetts insurance law as it pertains to automobile accidents and injuries. He has authored an article on the subject that has been helpful both to clients needing information regarding their rights, and out-of-state attorneys referring cases to the firm. He has successfully represented clients in the areas of serious personal injury, worker’s compensation, criminal matters including DWI/OUI, and social security disability.

Areas of Practice

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents — Plaintiff
  • Personal Injury — Plaintiff
  • Social Security Disability
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Criminal Law
  • DUI / DWI / OUI
  • General Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts, 1977
  • New Hampshire, 1977
  • U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts, 1977
  • U.S. District Court District of New Hampshire, 1977


  • Boston University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts
    • J.D. – 1976
  • Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts
    • B.A. cum laude – 1972

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • New Hampshire Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys
  • New Hampshire Association for Justice
  • New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Essex County Bar Association
  • Haverhill Bar Association (past President)
  • American Association for Justice


I think it was a blessing the day I opened the phone book and chose his name, it has been a long 3 years and I was sorry to say goodbye.He is professional, witty, understanding yet firm. I believed in him the first day I met him,he is also very honest all the way through these past 3 years, he worked hard and fought for me every step of the way and then some, very happy ending to a hard case to prove, kudos John. If I ever need you again I will be sure to call you.Thank you so much.


To John Sullivan and Associates:

Hope this email finds you both doing well and hope you had a great weekend. I’ll to take this opportunity to let you know how much I have enjoyed the high standards of customer service and professionalism you have provided to me throughout this process of all legal and medical matters, after my car accident. Your team has delivered such a great level of consistency and care to myself and it has been such great pleasure to have hired you as my legal team. I can’t thank you enough.

Best Regards,

Dear John,

I just wanted to send a little thank you which doesn’t compare to “The Above and Beyond you Do for your clients.” It is so rare to see such a great person keep all the professional values and pass them on to their clients. I have known you since I was a small child and my family has always thought the highest of you. It is so wonderful to know we can always count on such a great man and through time you never lose sight of the human element.
Thank you. I wish the world had more people like you.

D and E

Dear Mr. Sullivan,

Thank you so much for helping me with workers’ comp. I really appreciate it. You are a great lawyer and a good man. Have a Merry Christmas & Happy New Years!

Happy Holidays! Thank you,

Dear John,

Just a short note to thank you for your kindness, understanding, patience and, of course, the successful fruition of my workers’ compensation case. I know at this time I was a bit trying (excuse the pun) but all’s well that ends well.



Thank you for everything you have done for my husband and I. You have truly been a blessing to us. Take care and thanks again!

V + F

Attorney Sullivan,

Thank you for all your help regarding my case. Your time and effort was much cherished. I so appreciate your concern for me and my health. It was such a complicated time for me. I will never forget all of your help and counsel in such a difficult time.


Dear Mr. Sullivan,

I received the check for my share of the settlement proceeds. I want to thank you for representing me in resolving this matter and I appreciate the way you settled it.

Yours Truly,


Words couldn’t possibly express my gratitude for what you’ve done for me. You’re a very kind person and I feel so lucky to have worked with you. Thank you so very much for your hard work. I am forever grateful.


Dear John,

Thank you for your help with my case. You are an excellent person and an exceptional attorney.



Thank you so much. It’s just your nature to be the kind of person and lawyer that you are. I appreciate all that you have done.


Thank you for working on my case. The dedication was easy to see. Remembering you during the holidays. You will always be thought of in a special way. Special people with integrity.


To John Sullivan:

Thank you so very much for helping me with my situation. I will never forget how you helped me.


I just want to thank you so much for all of your hard work in my behalf. Even though we were both disappointed that we didn’t get to try the case, I think we made the right decision in view of the circumstances. Thank you so much for your professionalism and ability to put me at ease. I think we made a good team.

Sincerely, Nancy.

Dear John: (RE: Settlement)

Hello John, please accept this small gift as a token of appreciation. You did a great job handling my case and representing me. I hope this note finds you well.


I would like to thank you for me and my mom. Thanks for believing us, persisting and for your fairness. May you be blessed and rewarded. Thank you!


Dear Attorney Sullivan:

Thank you for being conciliator for our pre-trial civil list. Your continued efforts on behalf of our conciliation program are appreciated. Attorneys like yourself have made our program work. Thank you again.

Myrna Nogast, Clerk, Haverhill District Court.

Dear Herb:

About a year ago, the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly publicized your being deserving of "senior status recognition" and a damn good trial lawyer. I agree! From my family, profound thanks to you and John Sullivan for the support and assistance given to us by you fellows in a desperate time of need for understanding and caring concerning our daughter. The end result was fantastic! John Sullivan is an astute student of the law – and should lecture. His message is certain to be well received. A fine trial lawyer. Thank you again, Herb. Stay well.



It was appreciated. You will remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Always, Norma

Dear John Sullivan,

Thank you! It seems some people have a way that very few possess. A way of being gracious with special thoughtfulness, a way of giving all they do. A warm and loving touch, by sharing acts of kindness that mean so very much. It seems some people touch our lives in all they say and do, the very dearest people, people just like you!


Attorney Sullivan,

Our family appreciates all you did for Steve. It has turned his life around and he is moving on in a good direction. Thank you again from all our family. God bless you,


Dear John:

Thank you so much for your work on my case. This has been a very difficult process for me, but your consistency and thoroughness have provided a calming security and a steady journey to victory. Thank you again and congratulations on a job well done.

Sincerely, Wendi

We wish to thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
For all the work on Barbara’s case, you did more than your part,
You answered all our questions, were there right from the start.
Although we lost our fight, your efforts were a work of art.

We knee this would be an up hill battle, that never stopped you,
We felt as though you knew the pain we were going through,
But you plunged forward always giving advice on what to do,
Knowing we felt Barbara was right, that’s why we had to sue.

Of course we feel bad that our truth did not win out in the end,
But our conscience is clear, it was a message we had to send,
And you have become not only our lawyer, but a decent friend,
We are sure as a great attorney your name we will recommend.

We have no riches or gold to give, to show how much we care,
For all your services that came with such a brilliant, classy, flair,
So please except our heart felt thanks, we say without fanfare,
But we all know, John Sullivan, you deserve a throne, not a chair.

Edward_____ and family

Dear Mr. Sullivan;

I wanted to thank you for all your kind help with my case. You showed exceptional compassion and grace. Also thank you for taking on my husband’s case so quickly and for all your support. You certainly will be highly recommended to anyone I know in need.

Best regards, L.H.

Hi John,

I decided to have you store my files. Thank you for the offer to pick them up.

My best to you both – I will absolutely keep you in mind should I need further legal advice or need to refer anyone else since I could do so knowing they were in good hands.

Warm regards,