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Martha J. Koster


[email protected]



Martha is a litigator whose work encompasses a wide array of insurance and environmental matters. She is equally comfortable with complex multi-party litigation and using tailored alternative dispute resolution procedures to help clients resolve disputes outside of court. Handling state and federal regulatory matters, administrative proceedings, and appeals for clients is another integral part of her practice.

Martha concentrates her practice on environmental and insurance issues, and on cases raising legal and regulatory concerns under state and federal laws.

She has represented clients in numerous jurisdictions, state and federal, in proceedings ranging from negotiation to administrative proceedings to litigation to appeal. Complex litigation, particularly multi-party and multi-site, has been a central part of her practice.

She has maintained an active appellate practice as well, representing clients in many of the US Courts of Appeals and in appellate courts of several states.

An area of particular focus in Martha’s career has been the resolution of disputes outside of litigation, especially designing alternative dispute resolution procedures to fit the case. She has worked with clients and other parties to a case to help create a dispute-resolution procedure tailored to their needs and to the nature of the conflict. Martha has been an arbitrator in several matters and has served as a court-appointed Special Master.

Martha’s legal career has covered both the private and public sectors. Prior to her 28 years in private practice, she served as a deputy general counsel to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where she worked on health regulatory as well as environmental matters.

Active in civic and bar activities, Martha is also an adjunct faculty member at New England School of Law, where she teaches alternative dispute resolution, including skills in mediation and arbitration. She has taught several courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and has lectured at numerous legal seminars throughout her career.


  • Emerson College (MFA)
  • Boston University School of Law (JD)
  • Smith College (BA)

Recognition & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America: Insurance Law (2021)
  • Outstanding Achievement Award, Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (2015)
  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Adams Pro Bono Award (2011)
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Insurance Coverage (2004 – 2018)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • Phi Beta Kappa


  • Board member, Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Past president, Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Past treasurer, Boston Bar Association
  • Two-term council member, Boston Bar Association
  • Past member, Boston Bar Association Task Force on Unrepresented Litigants
  • Past member, Boston Bar Association Committee on Professionalism


Massachusetts Private Health Care Exchange Announced

August 2, 2013 | Blog | By Martha Zackin

In a client advisory issued yesterday, we explain how the rules governing insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act affect compliance with the Massachusetts free-rider surcharge.
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On January 4, we wrote that the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a dentist acted legally when he fired a female employee because he had become irresistibly attracted to her – a situation the employer’s wife, also an employee, found objectionable. Earlier today the Court, which had taken the unusual step of granting a motion for reconsideration, upheld its decision.
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As we wrote about previously, the legality of unpaid internships is a hot issue this summer, with courts struggling over two issues: (1) whether employers must classify entry-level “interns” as employees under the law, and therefore pay them at least minimum wage and overtime, and (2) whether the job conditions of groups of interns are similar enough so that class action
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The Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying a female employee less than a male employee for work that requires substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility, and that is performed under similar working conditions within the same establishment.
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On June 11, in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc.., the US District Court for the Southern District of New York held that unpaid interns who worked for on the movie “Black Swan” had been improperly classified, and were entitled to pay for all hours work.
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Unpaid Internships may be more costly than you may think

June 11, 2013 | Blog | By Martha Zackin

What do fashion designer Norma Kamali, journalist Charlie Rose, Elite Model Management Corporation, and the Hearst Corporation have in common?  All have been sued by former unpaid interns, claiming that their unpaid status violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.
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Recently, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against Hire Dynamics, a staffing firm (click here for the EEOC press release).  According to the complaint, after a Hire Dynamics employee filed a charge of discrimination against one of its clients, the staffing firm retaliated by failing to give the employee any further job assignments or opportunities.
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New FMLA Forms Now Available

February 15, 2013 | Blog | By Martha Zackin

February 6, 2013 was the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act. In celebration, the United States Department of Labor released the results of a survey on the law’s use and impact.
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Expanding Access to Justice by Engaging Senior Fellows

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