John R. Hitt


(617) 377-4364

John’s practice concentrates on civil litigation, business law, administrative law, appeals, and civil rights and civil liberties. For more than 20 years, John has tried cases large and small before judges and juries. He litigates regularly in federal and state courts as well as before state administrative agencies. John has extensive experience in civil and criminal litigation in a wide-range of areas. John is also an experienced appellate advocate. He has briefed and argued many cases before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

For a decade before founding Drohan, Hitt & Hadas LLC, John was a litigator in the Boston office of Cosgrove, Eisenberg & Kiley, P.C. John represented businesses, individuals, associations, nonprofits, governmental entities, and public officials in complex litigation and regulatory matters. John also frequently assisted businesses and business people concerning civil investigative demands (CID’s) under Mass. G.L. c. 93A from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Additionally, he also served as an outside administrative hearing officer for state agencies in complex regulatory proceedings. John also regularly provided opinion letters to clients on various issues of law. He also conducted risk assessments and consulted on compliance with state and federal civil rights laws, privacy laws (including the Massachusetts wiretap act) and the Massachusetts data protection and privacy law (G.L. cc. 93H and 93I).

In the decade before joining Cosgrove, Eisenberg & Kiley, John served in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, where he was an Assistant Attorney General in the Government Bureau and Chief of Opinions followed by service in the Public Protection Bureau as Chief of the Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Division.

John also worked as a litigation associate in the Boston litigation firm of Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar, in the area of business litigation.

Prior to joining the Attorney General Office, John served as a law clerk and deputy chief law clerk to the Justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court and as a law clerk to the late Justice J. Harold Flannery of the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

John is a graduate of Oberlin College and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Detroit College of Law (now Michigan State University College of Law) where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. During law school, he worked in the United States Attorney’s Office in Detroit and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s homicide unit in Detroit.

John was selected as a 2019 Massachusetts Super Lawyer, an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in Massachusetts.

Representative Experience

  • Defended city official in four-week civil jury trial involving alleged violations of state and federal civil rights laws concerning land use issues and obtained a favorable verdict.

  • Defended an insurance professional in eight-week bench trial involving claims by Massachusetts Attorney General under c. 93A of unfair and deceptive business practices.

  • Defended a financial company in a civil investigative proceeding by Massachusetts Attorney General under c. 93A alleging systematic racial discrimination in lending and helped mediate a successful resolution.

  • Defended a Massachusetts attorney in a civil investigative proceeding under c. 93A alleging violation of the Massachusetts Data Protection Law (cc. 93H and 93I).

  • Represented a closely-held business in successful litigation against a Massachusetts government authority concerning breach of contract and c. 93A claims.

  • Successfully represented city and police chief in federal civil rights litigation in the United States District Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

  • Negotiated employment contracts and severance agreements for executive-level employees with Fortune 500 companies.

  • Represented insurance company on appeal in actions alleging unfair and deceptive claims settlement practices.

Practice Areas

  • Administrative and Regulatory Law
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Business Litigation
  • Employment Law & Litigation
  • Civil Rights Defense

Admitted to Practice

  • Massachusetts, 1994
  • United States District Court, Massachusetts, 1994
  • First Circuit Court of Appeals, 2001


  • Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University, JD cum laude, 1994
  • Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music, BA, 1990

Honors & Awards

  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, a certification mark indicating that the lawyer’s peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence and ethics, 2013-2019.
  • Thomson Reuters® Super Lawyers® list of New England Super Lawyers in areas of Business Litigation, Administrative Law, and State & Local Law, 2019.
  • James H. Shannon Award, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, 2001.
  • Edward J. Rakow Award, Federal Bar Association of Detroit, 1994.


  • Lexis Nexis Practice Guide: Massachusetts Administrative Law and Practice (Randazzo & Hitt Editors), 2014-2019.
  • Reflections on Our Constitutional Mission: Making Self-Government Work—by Harold Norris, Law Review of Michigan State University Detroit College of Law, 1998.

Speaking Engagements

  • CLE @ Social Law Library, Judicial Review of Administrative Decisions: Nuts and Bolts, Practice Pointers, and Emerging Issues, 2015.
  • CLE @ Social Law Library, Judicial Review of Administrative Decisions: Nuts and Bolts, Practice Pointers, and Emerging Issues, 2014.
  • Boston College Law School — AGO Program, Administrative Law—The View From Private Practice, 2010.
  • Northeastern University Law School, Housing Discrimination Forum, 2006.
  • Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop — Panelist and Moot Court Judge, 2004.