Peter Elikann

Peter Elikann

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in Boston, MA

Attorney at Law
 | 50 Terminal Street, Bldg. 2, Suite 722
Boston, MA 02129
Phone: 617-742-9462
Fax: 617-977-9160
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2018
Licensed Since: 1981
Practice Areas:
  • Criminal Defense (50%),
  • Criminal Defense: White Collar (30%),
  • Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI (20%)
Attorney Profile

Peter Elikann is an author, Boston-based criminal defense attorney and regular on-air expert legal commentator. He is a former television news reporter whose previous books are Superpredators: The Demonization of Our Children by the Law and The Tough On Crime Myth: Real Solutions to Cut Crime. He has written more than 75 articles for legal publications and law reviews. He has given keynote addresses and lectured nationwide on criminal defense and criminal justice policy. He currently serves on the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Commission; the Executive Management Board of the Massachusetts Bar Association; the editorial board of the Massachusetts Law Review and is active on a large number of other legal boards, committees and projects. Attorney Elikann has been named to the New England Super Lawyers list for 11 straight years.


About Peter Elikann

Admitted: 1981, Massachusetts

Professional Webpage:


  • The Massachusetts Bar Association Volunteer Recognition Award, Massachusetts Bar Association, 2015

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Commissioner, Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s Special Commission on Operating Under the Influence and Impaired Driving
  • Commissioner, Massachusetts Criminal Justice Commission 2011-present; Massachusetts Forensic Sciences Advisory Board (Appointed by Governor Charles Baker on December 23, 2015); Member, Massachusetts Superior Court 2014-2016 Sentencing Working Group (instituted by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants); Commissioner, Permanent Legislative Civil Infractions Commission (to study and analyze the imposition of civil penalties on certain offenses within the Massachusetts) 2010-present; Member, Massachusetts Legislative Working Group tasked with determining new law after Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional the state law of mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles 2012-2013; Massachusetts Bar Association House of Delegates, 2001-2014; Massachusetts Bar Association Executive Management Board, 2004-2005, 2006-2007, 2013-2014; Massachusetts Bar Association, Standing Court Management Advisory Committee, 2008; Chairman, Massachusetts Bar Association General Practice Solo and Small Firm Section Council,Chairman, 2009-2011; Massachusetts Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Council, 1997-1999 (member 2002-2008); Massachusetts Bar Association Judicial Administration Section Council, 2003-2004; Criminal Justice Advisory Council, Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, Massachusetts 2004-present; Board of Directors, Lionheart Foundation, 2004-2006; Vice Chair, Massachusetts Bar Association Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section Council, 2001-2003; Chairman, Massachusetts Bar Association Corrections and Sentencing Practice Group, 1996-1997; Chairman, Subcommittee on alternative sentencing (drafted alternative sentencing bill for Massachusetts General Assembly); Member, Board of Directors, Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services 1996-2004; Vice Chairman, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Juvenile Justice Committee, 2001-2002;  Editorial Board, Massachusetts Law Review  1999-present; Who’s Who in American Law, 1986- present; Who’s Who in America, 2000-present; Commissioner, Special Commission of the Massachusetts State Legislature appointed to study and make recommendations on whether the state should participate in the federal Prison Industries Program, 1997-1998;  A.B.A. Criminal Justice Section Corrections and Sentencing Commitee; Member, Boot Camp Working Group (judges, prosecutors, attorneys and crime professionals working on improving Massachusetts Boot Camp) 1995;  Faculty, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education(Trial Techniques for bar advocates), 1995-1998; Member, Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Council (sets criteria for law enforcement training in state), 1998-1999; chaired Massachusetts  Bar Association legal education seminars on the Sex Offender Registry Board, Drunk Driving laws and Small Legal Practices, 1997-present; Moot Court Judge, Harvard Law School, 1989-2009; Member, American Bar Association, 1982-present; Member, Massachusetts Bar Association, 1987-present;  -Member, Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 1991-present; Member, Boston Bar Association, 1988-2011
  • Massachusetts Forensic Sciences Advisory Board (Appointed by Governor Charles Baker on December 23, 2015); Member, Massachusetts Superior Court 2014-2016 Sentencing Working Group (instituted by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants);

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Board of Directors, Martha's Vineyard Playhouse

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Books: “Superpredators: The Demonization of our Children by the Law” Perseus Books (1999) “The Tough on Crime Myth: Real Solutions to Cut Crime” Plenum Publishers (1996) Automobile Torts “The Intoxicated Driver” (140p. chapter) n 4 vol. set published by Matthew- Bender Legal Publishers, (1988) Boston Tenant’s Guide to Housing, Boston University Publications, 1975.   Articles: “Flight Alone No Indicia of Probable Cause: Commonwealth v. Warren” (Case Comment) Massachusetts Law Review (August, 2018, Vol. 99, No. 4) p. 101.“A primer on the criminal justice reform bill,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(April 9, 2018) p. 25. “Early termination of probation,” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, (Jan/Feb, 2018, Vol. 25, No. 3), p. 23.“Eyewitness Identifications Questioned: Commonwealth v. Johnson” (Case Comment) Massachusetts Law Review(November, 2017, Vol. 99, No. 1) p. 12.“Mandatory minimum sentences endanger public safety,” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, (Sept/Oct, 2017, Vol. 25, No. 1), p. 30.“For now, new marijuana law filled with gray areas,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(December 22, 2016) p. 38. “Prosecuting the losing candidate: the end of democracy?” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(July 17, 2016) p. “A guide to the new rules on contacting jurors post verdict,” Massachusetts Law Journal(July/August 2016, Vol. 23, No. 8) p. 20.“Stalking Through Social Media: Commonwealth v.Walters” (Case Comment) Massachusetts Law Review(October, 2016, Vol. 98, No. 1) p. 9. “Criminal Law: New Parole Procedural Protections for Juvenile Homicide Offenders: Diatchenko v. District Attorney for the Suffolk District & others” (Case Comment) Massachusetts Law Review(December, 2015, Vol. 97, No.2) p. 41.“The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind and Changed the History of Free Speech in America” by Professor Thomas Healy (Henry Holt and Co., 2013) (book review) Massachusetts Law Review(December, 2015, Vol. 97, No.2) p. 45.“Massachusetts Practice Series, Volume 30, 30A and 30B, Criminal Practice and Procedure (Fourth Edition)” by Elspeth B. Cypher (book review) Lawyer’s Journal(June, 2015, Vol. 22, No. 10), p. 12.“Viewpoint: Mandatory minimum sentences endanger public safety,” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal(May, 2015, Vol. 22, No. 9), p. 12.“Understanding the New Eyewitness I.D. Jury Instruction” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, (March, 2015, Vol. 22, No. 7), p. 1.“The Fourth Amendment and Drug-Sniffing Dogs: Florida v. Jardines” (Case Comment) Massachusetts Law Review(January, 2015, Vol. 96, No. 2) p. 50.“Getting Ready for the New Voir Dire Law” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, (January, 2015 Vol. 22, No. 5), p. 1.“When the War Came Home,” by Bill Newman, Levellers Press Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(December 22, 2014) p. 20.“’Wrong-headed idea in otherwise thoughtful I.G. report’,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(March 17, 2014) P. 39.“U.S. Supreme Court strikes down DOMA: Impact on criminal law” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, (August, 2013 Vol. 20, No. 12), p. 14.“Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial” by Janet Malcolm (Yale University Press, 2011) (book review) Massachusetts Law Review(June, 2013, Vol. 95, No. 1) p. 185.“Bill on juvenile life sentences will boost public safety,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(February 18, 2013) P. review “Life of this small-town lawyer far from dull” review of “Jake Dellahunt Vineyard Lawyer with an office on the Cape” by A.J. Cushner, Martin Sisters Publishing LLC Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(November 19, 2012) p. 15.“Practical steps for representing a crime lab defendant,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(October 29, 2012) P. 39.“The new ‘three-strikes’ law: a practical guide,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(August 12, 2012) p. 39. “A Fundamental Reconsideration of Juvenile Offenders: Supreme Court Rules Mandatory Life Sentences Without Parole for Juveniles Violates 8thAmendment” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, (August, 2012, Vol. 19, No. 12) p. 16.“Odor of Marijuana Alone Doesn’t Justify an Automobile Search: Commonwealth v. Benjamin Cruz” (Case Comment) Massachusetts Law Review(March, 2012, Vol. 94, No. 2) p. 65.“In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate” by Nancy Gertner (Beacon Press, 2011) (book review) Massachusetts Law Review(March, 2012, Vol. 94, No. 2) p. 77.“A Primer on Sealing Criminal Records” Massachusetts Lawyers Journal, (April, 2012, Vol. 19, No. 8), p. 21.“William P. Homans, Jr.: A Life in Court” by Mark S. Brodin (Vandeplas Publishing, 2010) (book review) Massachusetts Law Review(April, 2011 issue, Vol. 93, No. 4) p. 407.“Count Them One By One: Black Mississippians Fighting for the Right to Vote” by Gordon A. Martin, Jr. (book review) Lawyer’s Journal(February, 2011) p. review “’Try To Remember’ proves hard to forget” review of “Try to Remember” by Iris Gomez, Grand Central Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(August 9, 2010) p. 14.op-ed commentary “Attacks on detainees’ lawyers show lack of understanding” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(March 22, 2010) p. 39.“A Half Dozen Hot Tips for Starting a Solo Practice” MBA Section Review, (2010, Vol. 12, No. 1), p. review “From start to finish, hard to let go of ‘Permanent Bond’ ” review of “A Permanent Bond,” by former Judge Gerald D. McLellan, iUniverse, Inc. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(October 19, 2009) p. 12.“Lizzie Borden” by Karen Elizabeth Chaney, Commonwealth Editions 2006 (book review) Massachusetts Law Review (August 2009 issue, Vol. 92, No.2) p. 120.  book review “Dark chapter in Boston police history makes good reading years later” review of “The Fence: A Police Cover-Up Along Boston’s Racial Divide,” by Dick Lehr, HarperCollins Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(July 17, 2009) p. 8.“Governor Patrick introduces wide-ranging crime bills,” Lawyer’s JournalJune 2009), p. review “Crime Novel Probes the Dark Side of Public Defender Work” review of “A Cure for Night,” by Justin Peacock, Doubleday Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(February 16, 2009) p. review “Ex-DA Shows True Grit As Prosecutor and Author” review of “The Paradiso Files: Boston’s Unknown Serial Killer,” by Timothy M. Burke, Steerforth Press, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(September 29, 2008) p. 4.Editor “The Evolution of the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry” by Daniel A. Less Massachusetts Law Review(July 2008 Issue, Vol. 91, No. 2). p. 66.“Storming the Court: How A Band of Law Students Fought the President and Won” by Brandt Goldstein, Scribner, 2006 (book review) Massachusetts Law Review(Winter 2007 Issue, Vol. 91. No. 1)book review “The Appeal,” by John Grisham, Doubleday Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(April 7, 2008) p. review “Old City Hall,” by Gerald D. McLellan, AuthorHouse Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(December 3, 2007).book review “Beyond A Reasonable Doubt” edited by Larry King, Phoenix Books Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(August 27, 2007), p. 6.“Inspecting Victim Treatment Records,” MBA Section Review(Summer, 2007, Vol. 9, No. 2), p. 8.op-ed commentary “Mandatory-minimum sentences are endangering public safety” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(April 23, 2007) review “The Birthday Party: A Memoir of Survival” by Stanley N. Alpert, G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(April 9, 2007) p. 6.Dwyerestablishes new protocol for inspecting victim’s treatment records,” Lawyer’s Journal(February, 2007), p. 15.op-ed commentary “Lawyer Bashing: The Big Picture” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(October 23, 2006) p.63.article in M.B.A. Section Review Vol. 8, No. 3, 2006, “No Spousal Privilege Against Grand Jury Testimony” p. 18.“What is Life Worth?” by Kenneth R. Feinberg, Public Affairs, 2005 Massachusetts Law Review(Spring 2006 Issue, Vol. 90, No.1) P.4.“Anti-Gang/Witness Protection Legislation” MBA Section Review(Vol. 8, No. 2, 2006) p. review “A Death in Belmont” by Sebastian Junger, W.W. Norton & Co. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (June 5, 2006) “Understanding the New Drunk Driving Statute,” MBA Section Review (Winter, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 1), p. 17.“Warrantless Searches of Dwellings Without Exigent Circumstances: Commonwealth v. DeJesus” (Case Comment) Massachusetts Law Review(Winter, 2005, Vol. 89, No. 3) p. 132.“Bloodsworth: The True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated By DNA,” by Tim Junkin (book review) Massachusetts Law Review, (Winter, 2005, Vol, 89, No. 3) p. 145.“Reinventing Justice: The American Drug Court Movement” by James L. Nolan, Jr. (book review) Massachusetts Law Review(Fall/2003, Vol. 88, No. 2) p. 112.“Making a Case for an ‘Innocence Commission’ in Massachusetts” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly(March 1, 2004), p. 11“A Defense for the Dead” by Michael Fredrickson (book review) Lawyer’s Journal(July 2004) p. 8.“The Price of Terror” by Allan Gerson and Jerry Adler (book review) Massachusetts Law Review(Fall, 2002, Vol. 87, No. 2) p. 101.“The End of Private Conversations Between Lawyers and Their Clients” MBA Section Review(Winter, 2002), p. 56.“The Problem With Releasing Prisoners Unprepared” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (July 16, 2001), p. 11.“Black Mass:The Irish Mob, the FBI and a Devil’s Deal” (book review Massachusetts Law Review(Summer, 2001, Vol. 86, No. 1), p. 32.“Witness for the Dead” (book review) Lawyer’s Journal(June, 2001), p. B 1.“Releasing Prisoners Unprepared,” Lawyer’s Journal(May, 2001), p. 9.“Just ‘lockin’ ‘em up’ Is Costly Folly” National Law Journal(April 23, 2001) p. A 16.“Attorney-Conducted Voir Dire” MBA Section Review (Spring, 2001), p. 22.“Don’t Credit Prisons With Crime Drop” Lawyers Journal(November 2000), p. 10.“Do More Jails Equal Less Crime?” National Law Journal(September 25, 2000), p. A 20.“The Solution to Youth Crime in America” Champion Magazine(publication of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (April, 2000), p. 18.“A House in Gross Disorder: Sex, Law and the 2nd Earl of Castlehaven” (book review) Massachusetts Law Review(Spring, 2000, Vol. 84, No. 4), p. 201.“A Look at the New Sex Offender Registry Law” Lawyer’s Journal(publication of the Massachusetts Bar Association) (January, 2000), p. 3.“The Argument Against Chain Gangs,” MBA Section Review(December, 1999), p. 19.“Juvenile Records” MBA Section Review(July 1999), p. 19.“A Cinderella Affidavit,” Lawyer’s Journal(May, 1999), p. 22.“Politics, Punishment and Populism,” (book review) Lawyer’s Journal(April, 1999), p. 6. “Jobs in Prison,” MBA Criminal Justice Section Review(December, 1997), p. 3.“Time to Bring Back Education in Prison” Lawyer’s Journal(September, 1997), p. 6.“Multiple Identities and False Memories,” (book review) Lawyer’s Journal (February 1997), p. 17.“Mandatory Minimums” MBA Criminal Justice Section News(April, 1996), p. 4.“Committee Explores Alternative Sentencing”MBA Criminal Justice Section News(June, 1993), p. 2.“Focus on Prevention, Not Punishment,” Boston Herald op ed (along with Governor William Weld) (March 21, 1993) p. 28. 

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • KEYNOTE ADDRESSES AND LECTURES  Keynote Speaker, The Lifer’s Group, Old Colony Correctional Center, Bridgewater, Massachusetts (October 30, 2018); Lecture, Harvard University Institute for Learning in Retirement; 2-hour lecture and moderation of discussion on murder trials in film. Cambridge, Ma. (October 5, 2017); Lecture, Harvard University Institute for Learning in Retirement, 2-hour lecture and moderation of discussion on rape and sex offense trials in film. Cambridge, Ma. (November 3, 2016); Co-chair and lecturer, Latest in the Law series (Criminal and Juvenile and Child Welfare law), annual critical case law development update program series for legal education for lawyers, Boston, Ma. (May 10, 2016); Lecture, Arlington High School law course on criminal law and lawyering, at the John Adams Courthouse, Boston (May 5, 2016); Lecture, Harvard University Institute for Learning in Retirement, 2-hour lecture and moderation of discussion on murder trials in film. Cambridge, Ma. (October 8, 2015); Lecture, Know Your Rights program sponsored by the More Than Words organization of Boston which helps youths in the foster care system, court-involved, homeless or out of school (May 14, 2015); Moderator of panel, National Cyber Crime Conference hosted by the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General, Norwood, Ma. (April 27, 2015); Lecture, Harvard University Institute for Learning in Retirement, 2-hour lecture and moderation of discussion on murder trials in film. (November 13, 2014); Lecture, Boston College Law School, did 1 hour, 45-minute               address on dispute negotiations (April 3, 2014); Co-Chair, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) program “The Effect of the Three Strikes Law on Sentencing Six Months Later” Boston, Ma. (May 30, 2013); Lecture, Boston College Law School, did 1 hour, 45-minute address on dispute negotiations (February 27, 2013); Lecture, New England School of Law, Boston, Ma.  spoke on                                                criminal sentencing issues (January 22, 2013); Lecture, Central Middlesex County Bar Association program on new Three Strikes Law, Concord, Ma. (November 13, 2012); Co-Chair, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) program “The Nuts and Bolts of the New Crime Bill: Three Strikes                                 & the Like” Boston, Ma. (September 21, 2012); Lecture, New England School of Law, Boston, Ma.  spoke on criminal sentencing issues (February 7, 2012); Lecturer, Law Office Management Assistance Program’s “Super Marketing Conference” Boston, Ma. (May 26, 2011); Chair of panel for Massachusetts Bar Association educational program on “Representing the OUI Client” Plymouth, Ma. (April                                                 6, 2011); Chair of First Annual Conference of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s General Practice Solo and Small Firm Section Council “Strategies for Success” (March 31, 2011); Lecture, New England School of Law, Boston, Ma.  spoke on criminal sentencing issues (February 7, 2011); Moderated break-out session for Massachusetts Bar Association annual conference on “Law Practice Management: Alternatives to the Billable Hour” Boston, Ma.  (March 12, 2010); Chaired panel for Massachusetts Bar Association educational program on “Representing the OUI Client” Boston, Ma. (November 12, 2009);   Chaired panel for Massachusetts Bar Association educational program on “Representing the OUI Client” Taunton, Ma. (February 4, 2009); Lecturer and panelist speaking on the admissibility of criminal records MBA Annual Family Law Conference with the theme of complex evidentiary issues in divorce and custody cases (October 18, 2008); Opening Address, Wisconsin Annual State Public Defender Conference  Milwaukee, Wisconsin (October 11, 2007); Speech, Harvard College Law Society Speaker Series, Cambridge, Mass (April 17, 2007); Chaired panel for Massachusetts Bar Association educational            program on “The New O.U.I. Law (Melanie’s Law)” Worcester, Ma. (October 12, 2006); Chaired panel for Massachusetts Bar Association educational program on “The New O.U.I. Law (Melanie’s Law)” Springfield, Ma. (May 15, 2006); Chaired panel for Massachusetts Bar Association educational            program on “The New O.U.I. Law (Melanie’s Law)” Boston, Ma. (January 6, 2006); Keynote Address, Learning Disabilities Association of California, Concord, California (November 1, 2001); Keynote Address, Judicial Conference of California’s Center for Families, Children and the Courts  Los Angeles, California (December 6, 2000); Chair of Massachusetts Bar Association continuing legal education   program on “The New Sex Offender Registry Statute” (November 8, 1999); Keynote Address, “Protecting Our Children Conference”  Community Care Services  Taunton, Mass. (October 21, 1999);   Speech, The Hourglass Foundation, Lancaster, Pennsylvania (October 6, 1999); Speech, The Ethical Society  Cambridge, Mass  (May 23, 1999); Keynote Address,  American Correctional Health Services                             Administration, St. Paul, Minnesota (April 17, 1998); Speech,  National Conference on Violence, Boston, Massachusetts (March 27, 1998); Speech, Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts  (April 1, 1997);   Lecturer and Panelist, Southern New England Law School forum on sentencing alternatives, New Bedford, Massachusetts (July 10, 1996); Speech, The Lifer’s Group, Massachusetts Correctional Institution, Norfolk, Massachusetts  (May 7, 1996); Keynote Address, New York Association for Alternative Sentencing Programs  Albany, New York (April 1, 1996)

Educational Background:

  • Western New England School of Law Springfield, MA Juris Doctor, May, 1980 -Editor-in-Chief, Lex Brevis, rated best law school newspaper in First Circuit by A.B.A. in 1980 -First place in nation for finest article, A.B.A. law school newspaper awards, 1980. -National honorable mention for finest article in law school and community category, A.B.A. law school newspaper awards, 1979. Boston University, College of Communication Boston, MA B.S. in Journalism, Magna Cum Laude, May, 1975 -President of Student Government -Assistant Editor of school newspaper -Semester abroad teaching in Fiji Islands.
Office Location for Peter Elikann

50 Terminal Street
Bldg. 2, Suite 722
Boston, MA 02129

Peter Elikann:

Last Updated: 2/21/2019

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