John A. Shea

John, a partner and chair of the firm's Family Law and Divorce Group, focuses his practice on all aspects of family law including divorce, custody, support, removal, modification and contempt actions. He represents high net-worth clients, executives and wage earners. These types of matters can often be contentious and emotional for families. With over 30 years' experience in litigation, he has tried cases in the Probate and Family Court, District Court, Housing Court and Superior Court. He has tried contested divorce and custody matters along with probate matters, including contested wills and equity matters and probate accountings; and has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in civil litigation including jury trials.

John is a strong advocate for his clients. However, he also knows that most case should resolve prior to trial. Having practiced in Worcester all of his career, John is well known and highly respected in the local courts. Prior to joining Mirick O'Connell, John was Managing Partner at Lian, Zarrow, Eynon, Shea & Spofford.

John's clients appreciate his calming demeanor and straight-forward approach. He is able to help navigate his clients through the court system, and provide practical advice and resolutions in the best interest of this clients. His pragmatic approach helps his clients reach the desired end.

John recognizes the value of Alternative Dispute Resolution. He is trained as a divorce mediator and Conciliator. He has been mediating Family Law cases for over 15 years. With Mediation the parties retain control over the outcome of their dispute. Mediation is a more economical way to get through a Family Law dispute. He is also trained as a Conciliator. He has served as a Conciliator for the Worcester Probate and Family Court through the Worcester County Bar Association since the inception of the program.

In addition to his family law practice, John has extensive experience in commercial and residential real estate transactions. He represents buyers, sellers and lenders in commercial real estate transactions including purchase and sale of businesses. He has experience in zoning and municipal law, and represents individuals and businesses in a variety of contexts including permitting, appearing before local Planning Boards, Zoning Boards of Appeal, License Commissions, and other administrative-law hearings and agencies.

John is a former President of the Worcester County Bar Association and was a recipient of the Saint Thomas More Society Award for Distinguished Attorney in recognition of his contributions to the profession and to the community. He has received the President's award from the WCBA and the Community Service Award from the Massachusetts Bar Association. He was also named one of Massachusetts "Super Lawyers" by Boston magazine and Law & Politics in 2004 and 2011-2013. 

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for Massachusetts
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Boston University School of Law JD
  • Assumption College BA, cum laude


  • “Does Relocating to a New State with The Kids Impact Child and Spousal Support,” The Divorce Hour with Ilyssa Panitz podcast (August 30 2023) (guest)
  • Quoted in “What Is Mediation in Divorce?,” The Balance, January 6, 2023
  • Mediation in Divorce Cases,” On Air with Mirick O’Connell legal podcast, August 17, 2020
  • Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements,” On Air with Mirick O’Connell legal podcast, July 29, 2020

Professional / Community Affiliations

  • Community Healthlink, Inc., Board of Directors, Chair; Finance Committee, Chair
  • UMass Memorial Health , Trustee; Finance Committee member
  • Worcester County Bar Association, Finance Committee, Chair; Family Law Section; and Executive Committee
  • Pernet Family Health, Board of Directors
  • Webster Five, Corporator
  • Ancient Order of the Hibernians
  • St. Thomas More Society of Worcester County, Board of Directors
  • First Friday Club
  • United Way of Central Massachusetts, Finance Committee