For more than thirty years, Joan Lukey has tried complex business litigation in state and federal courts nationwide. She has tried approximately 100 jury trials and a myriad of bench trials and arbitrations in all aspects of business disputes. In addition, she is an accomplished appellate lawyer, having argued approximately 60 federal and state appeals. For the past two years, she has been honored by Benchmark as one of the top 10 female litigators nationally.
During the past two years, Ms. Lukey has been lead defense counsel in two prominent, national class actions. This includes serving as counsel to Cultural Care, Inc. in the recently settled “bet the au pair industry” case (Beltran v. Cultural Care, Inc.) in federal court in Colorado and the ongoing representation of Dartmouth College (Rapuano v. Dartmouth) in federal court in New Hampshire.
Since 1983, Ms. Lukey has been selected by her peers for each edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of business, bet-the-company, commercial, personal injury, employment and First Amendment litigation. She has also been routinely recognized for the last several years in Chambers USA and Chambers Global as a Band One Litigator.
Ms. Lukey is a past President of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers, the first woman ever to hold this position. Before joining Choate in 2014, she was a partner at Ropes & Gray in the Complex Business Litigation Practice Group from 2008 until 2014, after almost thirty years as a partner at WilmerHale. She has served twice as a Massachusetts Special Assistant Attorney General and has written extensively on issues of Gubernatorial and Presidential Executive Privilege.
- Who’s Who Legal Litigation practice area (2017).
- Benchmark Litigation: Top 10 Female Litigators (2015) (2018) (2019).
- Benchmark Litigation: Top 100 Trial Lawyers (2017-2019).
- The Legal 500's "Leading Trial Lawyer" ranking (2016-2019).
- Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business (2010-2019).
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2009-2019).
- Acritas Stars: independently nominated by multiple clients as one of the most outstanding lawyers they have worked with, and is included in the Acritas Stars multinational, peer recommended lawyers database (2020).
- The Best Lawyers in America (1983-2019), listed under Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, First Amendment Law, Labor and Employment Law and Personal Injury Litigation.
- Benchmark Litigation: National Litigation Star (2013-2019).
- Massachusetts Super Lawyers (2004-2019).
- Lawdragon 500 (2013-2019).
- Has been listed among Boston Magazine's “Top 50 Female Massachusetts Super Lawyers” and as one of its “Fabulous 40,” a group of forty Bostonians celebrated for their career success and dynamic, unique personalities.
- Named one of the “35 influential judges and lawyers in Massachusetts of the past 35 years” and “Leaders in the Law” in 2013 in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.
- "America's 50 Top Women Litigators,” National Law Journal.
- Named one of the most powerful attorneys in Massachusetts by the Massachusetts edition of the National Law Journal.
- Burton Award for Legal Achievement In Writing.
- Founders' Medal from Boston College Law School (2004).
- St. Thomas More Award from Boston College Law School (2003).
- Inducted into YWCA's Academy of Women Achievers (1996).
Publications and Presentations
An accomplished writer, Ms. Lukey's OpEd pieces have appeared in The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. She is a co-editor and co-author of the treatise Federal Litigation in the First Circuit.
Education & Credentials
Boston College Law School
JD, cum laude, Order of the Coif
Editor, Environmental Affairs Law Review
Member, National Moot Court Championship Team
First woman selected as Best Oral Advocate at National Moot Court Competition
BA, magna cum laude
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
U.S. District Courts, Massachusetts & New Hampshire
Forty-four of our attorneys – including more than 75 percent of the Firm’s equity partners – have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021.
Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business recognized 27 Choate partners as leading counsel in their respective fields, with several receiving Band 1 rankings.
Benchmark recognized Choate for excellence in its annual survey of the top law firms and attorneys in litigation.
Joan Lukey has been recognized for the second consecutive year by Benchmark Litigation as one of the Top 10 Women in Litigation nationally in its annual publication.
More than 75 percent of the Firm’s equity partners have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020.