David Kelston

Top rated Business Litigation attorney in Boston, Massachusetts

Adkins, Kelston & Zavez, P.C.
David Kelston
Adkins, Kelston & Zavez, P.C.

Practice Areas: Business Litigation, Closely Held Business, Appellate; view more

Licensed in Massachusetts since: 1983

Education: Harvard Law School

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2015 - 2023

Adkins, Kelston & Zavez, P.C.

90 Canal St
Suite 120
Boston, MA 02114 Visit website


A proficient attorney with nearly four decades of legal experience, David Kelston is a founding member and is currently an of counsel attorney at the law firm of Adkins, Kelston & Zavez, P.C. He serves clients in eastern Massachusetts, including Norfolk, Suffolk, Middlesex, Essex, Plymouth, Bristol and Worcester counties. 

Clients rely on Mr. Kelston’s services in matters related to business and commercial litigation, including construction disputes, real estate law, business and partnership breakups, contract disagreements, business valuation and other general civil litigation matters. He also represents clients who are facing class actions, constitutional/civil rights actions and criminal accusations. Furthermore, he has litigated complicated, high-asset divorce cases typically involving assets in excess of one million dollars.

Mr. Kelston attended Columbia College, New York, to earn his Bachelor of Arts in English literature and philosophy in 1967. He obtained his master’s degree from Harvard Kennedy School followed by his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1982. While there, he was elected as editor of the Harvard Law Review. 

Known for handling some landmark cases in the history of Massachusetts, Mr. Kelston is admitted to practice in all the state and federal courts of Massachusetts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit. Additionally, he has appeared as pro hac vice in jurisdictions outside Massachusetts and has served as a law clerk for Federal District Judge Robert Keeton. He acquired extensive experience working for other preeminent Boston law firms before founding Adkins, Kelston & Zavez, P.C.

An eloquent speaker and writer, Mr. Kelston has authored a number of articles for esteemed publications. He actively contributes to his community by volunteering to provide hours of pro bono services every year. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the Massachusetts Bar Association, and the chair of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild – Litigation Committee. 

Practice areas

Business Litigation, Closely Held Business, Appellate, Civil Rights, Construction Litigation: Business, General Litigation

Focus areas

Appeals, Construction Defects, Litigation, Non-Compete Agreements, Trade Secret

First Admitted: 1983, Massachusetts

Professional Webpage: https://www.akzlaw.com/attorneys/david-l-kelston

  • See cases listed in Statement section of this profile. Cases litigated in the trial courts in the past year include Katz v. Burke (Norfolk Superior Court), which resulted in return to the estate of valuable real estate, and Cape Cod Council v. Graves, et. al. (Barnstable Superior Court), which resulted in the upholding of an important land restriction on 100 acres of valuable undeveloped land on Nantucket.  Also concluded this year was a successful class action case on behalf of Massachusetts prisoners objecting to the imposition of unlawful medical fees and resulting in the termination of such fees going forward and the return of past fees to prisoners (see Bentley et. al. v. Sheriff of Essex County, Essex Superior Court).
  • Cases tried include Graves et al. v. Cape Cod Council, Inc., Barnstable Superior Court, resulting in a judgment appointing client trustees to maintain 100 acres of undeveloped land in Nantucket; Trustees v. Marina Docks, resulting in a settlement after three days of trial in the Suffolk Superior Court securing valuable parking rights for condominium association; and B... v. B... (arbitration before Hon. Allen van Gestel), resulting in substantial arbitration award for client in partnership dispute.  , 2018
Educational Background:
  • Columbia College, New York.  A. B., English Literature and Philosophy, 1967 Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, M.P.A., 1982 Harvard Law School, J.D.,  magna cum laude, 1982  
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Chair, Litigation Committee, Mass. Lawyers Guild A significant portion of my practice is pro bono.
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • ABA, MBA, National Lawyers Guild, Civil Liberties Union.
  • Elected, Editor, Harvard Law Review, 1980
  • Magna Cum Laude, Harvard Law School, 1982
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
Representative Clients:
  • GTI Properties, Inc., Nantucket Land Council, Elma Lewis Partners, LLC , 2018
Industry Groups:
  • Closely Held Corporations
  • Partnerships
  • Real Estate Development

Office location for David Kelston

90 Canal St
Suite 120
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-838-6657


9 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2015 - 2023

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