A founding member of the firm, Jim has practiced law since 1981. His career in public service began in the Massachusetts Legislature where he served four terms. Later he served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Advisory Board. After which Governor Michael Dukakis appointed Jim to the MBTA Board of Directors where he served for eight years. Among Jim’s legislative accomplishments are the state’s open meeting law as well as its public records law. During his tenure at the MBTA Advisory Board, Jim made national news by holding the T to its agreed upon budget and forcing a one day shutdown of the system that led directly to strong management controls at the MBTA. During his tenure on the MBTA Board, the T undertook its largest expansion in the organizations history, the extension of the Orange, Red and Silver Lines as well as significant expansion of commuter rail.
Jim devotes his extensive legal and legislative experience to representing clients that have issues before the US Congress, Massachusetts Legislature and Massachusetts regulatory agencies. He has also represented clients internationally in China and the Czech Republic. His law practice includes zoning and permitting, exemplified by his successful representation of Seaport Landing in Lynn, one of the largest waterfront developments in the Commonwealth. Jim’s expertise is developing consensus between public and private interests, and he has helped clients with mediations, community outreach, public relations, business development and labor relations.
Among the clients Jim currently advises is one of the largest energy producers in New England, an aggregator of energy purchasers, a medical testing laboratory and a mutual fund. Additionally, Jim advises various associations in the energy business, the broadcasting business and the contracting business, as well as Massachusetts’ only federally recognized Indian tribe.
Jim is an active in numerous business groups including the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the New England Council, the North Shore Chamber of Commerce and serves on a number of boards, including the All Care VNA and the UMass Boston Alumni Association where he is a past president.
Jim received his BA from the University of Massachusetts/Boston, a Master’s degree from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School. He resides in Swampscott, Massachusetts, with his wife, Abbe, and their four children Andrew, Hayley, Tristan and Chloe.
David A. Tibbetts is of counsel to the law firm of Smith & Ruddock., focusing
on economic development and government relations. He joined the firm in February
1999, after serving as Massachusetts Secretary of Economic Affairs and Director
of Economic Development under Governors William F. Weld and Argeo Paul Cellucci.
As Secretary of Economic Affairs and Director of Economic Development from 1996
to 1999, Atty. Tibbetts was responsible for seven state agencies: the Massachusetts
Office of Business Development; Department of Employment and Training; Division
of Energy Resources; Office of International Trade and Investment; Office of
Travel and Tourism, Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance, and the
Massachusetts Film Office. He was Chair of the Board for the Corporation for
Business, Work, and Learning (now the Commonwealth Corporation), and Co-Chair
of the Massachusetts Jobs Council. He served on the Executive Committee of the
Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and as a member of the Boards for the
Massachusetts Development Finance Agency, Massachusetts Technology Development
Corporation, and Jobs for Massachusetts, Inc.
Prior to his appointment as Secretary of Economic Affairs, Atty. Tibbetts was
Chief of Staff and General Counsel for Secretary of Economic Affairs Gloria C.
Larson from 1993 to 1996. From 1991 to 1993, he was General Counsel for the Executive
Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. From 1983 to 1989, he served
in the Administration of Governor Michael S. Dukakis as Legislative Counsel and
General Counsel to the Executive Office of Energy Resources, and as Acting Secretary
of Energy Resources.
In 1999, Atty. Tibbetts conceived and co-founded the Merrimack Valley Economic
Development Council, Inc. (www.merrimackvalley.info), a public-private partnership
promoting economic development in the 24-communities of the Merrimack Valley.
He serves as the organization’s President.
Atty. Tibbetts serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the
Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development. He is a member of the Board
of Trustees of the Institution for Savings in Newburyport, one of the oldest
mutual savings banks in the nation. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts
and Boston College Law School.
In memoriam October 22, 1928 – December 9, 2013.