Edward J. Heath

Partner

  • Overview

    Biography

    Edward Heath is the chair of the firm's Business Litigation Group and leads its Government Investigations and Corporate Compliance Team.

    Business Litigation

    Mr. Heath is an experienced trial lawyer who has represented businesses throughout the country in complex corporate litigation for the last seventeen years. He has pursued or defended numerous nine- and eight-figure disputes, including obtaining a complete defense jury verdict on behalf of an institutional client facing $100 million in contract and business tort claims. He has been effectively defending companies against class action claims for over a decade and recently secured the dismissal of a proposed nationwide class action brought against an international manufacturing company, without the company making any payment to the plaintiff, potential class members, or plaintiff's counsel. 

    Government Investigations and Corporate Compliance 

    Mr. Heath also regularly advises institutional clients in connection with criminal and civil government investigations and enforcement actions. This work has involved federal agencies such as the United States Attorney's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the attorneys general and other administrative agencies in various states.

    As a result of his litigation and government enforcement experience, Mr. Heath is routinely called upon to conduct internal investigations for companies and provide guidance on matters of corporate compliance and litigation risk.

    His clients have included technology companies; manufacturers; financial institutions and financial services firms; health care entities; educational, charitable, and religious organizations; professional associations, such as law and accounting firms; municipalities; judges; and media personalities.

    Pro Bono

    Mr. Heath has a strong commitment to pro bono work. He is the vice president and a board member of Greater Hartford Legal Aid, and a board member of the Connecticut Bar Foundation. For seven years, he served as chair of Robinson & Cole's Pro Bono Committee, during which time the firm and its lawyers, including Mr. Heath, individually, received over a dozen awards or other forms of recognition for pro bono work. For example, Mr. Heath co-developed a firm program that for the last several years has provided free legal assistance to victims of domestic violence and harassment seeking restraining orders for protection. He also served for several years as a member of the Connecticut Judicial Branch's Pro Bono Committee and was a founding member of the Hartford Advisory Board of the Pro Bono Partnership, an organization that provides legal service to nonprofit organizations in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.  

     

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

        Business Litigation

      • Represented institutional client in a breach of contract and unfair trade practices lawsuit against an international services provider. Following extensive fact and expert discovery, we negotiated a recovery for our client of several million dollars. 

      • Defended international company in civil lawsuit brought against it by the U.S. Department of Justice in New York arising from an accident that led to multiple fatalities and required extensive environmental remediation. The government initially demanded that our client pay over $200 million to settle the dispute. Following our comprehensive review of the government's documents and cross-examination through deposition of all of the government’s key fact and expert witnesses, the government agreed to settle for approximately 2 percent of its initial demand.

      • Prevailed in multimonth jury trial defending institutional client against contract and tort claims. The plaintiff filed its case seeking $100 million in damages arising from a failed development project. On the eve of trial, we eliminated $90 million of the damages sought through successful motion practice. Thereafter, the remaining $10 million in claims were tried to conclusion, with the jury returning a unanimous verdict in favor of our client. 

      • Successfully defended entity in arbitration involving multimillion-dollar breach of contract claims. The arbitration concluded after several days of evidence, and the three arbitrators thereafter issued a unanimous award in favor of our client. 

      • Represented manufacturing company in lawsuit and arbitration asserting claims against former CEO for fraud in connection with CEO's acquisition of controlling interest in company. The company alleged that the CEO acquired the stock at an artificially low price and then sought to sell it back to the company at an artificially high price. Following the company prevailing in a declaratory judgment action in Court over which the contract controlled the arbitration, the matter settled with the CEO selling the stock back to the company at a fraction of his initial demand.

      • Defeated motion for temporary injunction filed against managed care organization by physician who had been terminated from provider network and sought to be reinstated. Following limited discovery, obtained summary judgment in client's favor and defended that judgment upon appeal.

      • Pursued deceptive practices lawsuit on behalf of international Internet-based company against the Connecticut Better Business Bureau, seeking an injunction directing the BBB to cease awarding improved ratings to businesses who paid a fee. Within days after the trial, and while awaiting the verdict, the Better Business Bureau abandoned the challenged practice.

      • Represented an international reinsurance company and a number of its subsidiaries and executives in a federal court lawsuit brought by an entity that had been one of the company's national sales agents. The former agent sought more than $20 million in damages, asserting claims for, among other things, unfair trade practices, fraud, conversion, misappropriation, and breach of contract. The dispute centered on the calculation of commissions purportedly due to the agent in connection with extensive lines of reinsurance business, as well as the way in which the company handled the agent's clients and proprietary information following the termination of the parties' relationship. After prevailing on a motion to stay certain claims and compel arbitration of the bulk of the dispute, we worked closely with the company's executives, in-house lawyers, and actuaries to develop a record that demonstrated no wrongdoing on the company's part. As a result, we were able to settle the case to our client's satisfaction without the costs of formal discovery or courtroom time beyond the initial motion.
      • Defended Swedish manufacturer of musical instruments in a civil action in federal court in Florida. The plaintiff claimed to have been our client's exclusive U.S. distributor and that our client's decision to terminate the parties' relationship was improper. Following motion practice, the matter was resolved by favorable settlement.

      • Government Investigations

      • Routinely represent nonprofit and for-profit institutional clients in various industries (for example, health care, accounting, financial services/banking, manufacturing, consumer, and education) in connection with civil and criminal federal investigations in Connecticut and Massachusetts involving the United States Attorney's Office, the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Labor, and state attorneys general.

      • Successfully represented durable medical equipment company in connection with joint federal and state investigation and related False Claims Act lawsuit filed in federal court against the company. Following extensive investigation and negotiation, the matter was successfully concluded with a settlement at a small fraction of the potential exposure and the government's initial demand.

      • Represented Rhode Island construction company in connection with claims that the company was defrauding the federal government in connection with an ongoing project. After conducting an internal investigation for the company, we worked with the company to prepare a self-disclosure to the federal government demonstrating the isolated nature of the issue and the company's remedial action. In response, the federal government decided to take no action whatsoever against our client. 

      • Counseled Rhode Island medical practice in connection with government investigation related to alleged fraudulent billing. As a result of our prompt and targeted internal investigation, which was conducted contemporaneously with the government's investigation, we were able to identify the source of the incorrect allegations and shared that with law enforcement, leading to the closure of the investigation of our client with no adverse action against it. 

      • Represented consumer-facing company in joint investigation and lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission and the Connecticut Attorney General's Office regarding nationwide Internet marketing practices. Ultimately negotiated a favorable financial resolution and settlement terms.

      • Represented lead defendant in multiweek federal murder and drug conspiracy trial. The defendant was accused of serving as the leader of a gang in Hartford's North End and participating in a related murder. 

      • Internal Investigations

      • Conducted internal investigations for health care, financial services, and educational organizations arising from misuse of the entities' technology by employees, including to access potentially illegal or contraband content or to misappropriate confidential, proprietary information or trade secrets. In some instances, those investigations have required coordination with law enforcement agencies to demonstrate that our client had not engaged in wrongful conduct.

      • Conducted internal investigation for Massachusetts health care organization arising from concerns about potential violations of federal and state anti-kickback statutes. Following completion of the investigation, we represented the organization in a voluntary self-disclosure to federal and state law enforcement authorities arising from the investigation, which resulted in a favorable financial resolution and no prosecution of criminal or civil claim against individuals associated with the organization. 

      • Conducted internal investigation for New York, Connecticut, and Delaware nonprofit foundations in connection with a seven-figure embezzlement by an employee of the foundations' management company. Following the investigation, we brought the findings to the U.S. Department of Justice for successful prosecution and criminal conviction of the former employee. The firm thereafter obtained a recovery of nearly all of the foundations' losses from various sources. 

      • Conducted internal investigation for religious organization regarding embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars of church funds by a parish official. The investigation required sensitivity, given that the person responsible had taken his own life when the conduct had been discovered and the misconduct occurred in a small parish in a small town. Following the investigation, we successfully assisted in the full recovery of all losses from the embezzlement.

      • Conducted internal investigation for health care organization arising from embezzlement of several hundred thousand dollars by its chief financial officer. Ultimately, through the investigation, we obtained a full confession from the former CFO and then coordinated with the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, and the IRS for a successful criminal conviction of him. Thereafter, we assisted the client organization in obtaining a full recovery of its losses.

      • Conducted internal investigation for Connecticut nonprofit educational institution regarding allegations of historical sexual misconduct by former faculty members. 

      • Class Action Litigation

      • Successfully defended manufacturer of nutritional supplements against a proposed nationwide consumer product class action brought in California state court. The manufacturer, which distributes its product worldwide, was facing claims based on allegations that included product mislabeling and unfair trade practices, as well as violations of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and California-specific causes of action. We aggressively litigated the case in the early stages, and prior to any discovery production by the defendant or any depositions being conducted, the plaintiff agreed to a voluntarily dismissal of the case with prejudice without any payment from the defendant. 

      • Successfully defended national cosmetics manufacturing company in connection with threatened class action in California. Following a rapid internal investigation and curative measures by our client, the plaintiff abandoned the case. 

      • Represented national consumer products company in deceptive practices class action filed in federal court in California. The matter was settled favorably for our client. 

      • Successfully opposed attempt to certify proposed nationwide class action brought by franchisees against franchisor alleging claims for, among other things, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of contract. Following victory on the certification issue, the matter proceeded to a settlement. 

      • Representing municipal entity in pending proposed class action asserting environmental claims in federal court. 

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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      Connecticut Bar Foundation
      James W. Cooper Fellow

      Federal Bar Association (2001 - present)

      American Bar Association
      Section of Litigation, Business Torts Litigation Committee

      Connecticut Bar Association (1999 - present)

      University of Connecticut School of Law
      Adjunct Professor
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Listed in Connecticut Super Lawyers® in the area of Business Litigation for 2015 and 2016 (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.)

      Listed as a Rising Star in Connecticut Super Lawyers® in the area of Business Litigation for 2009 to 2014 (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.)

      Hartford Business Journal, 2010 "40 Under Forty" Inductee

      Connecticut Bar Association Pro Bono Award, 2012

      Connecticut Law Tribune, recognized in 2012 New Leaders in the Law Yearbook

      Connecticut Law Tribune, Pro Bono Award, 2013

      Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, "First 100," 2013

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      Greater Hartford Legal Aid
      Vice President and member of Board of Directors
  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "Lessons Learned from the First Volkswagen Indictment," published in Connecticut Law Tribune, co-authored with Kelly Frye Barnett (10/3/2016)
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      "Feds Lay Down Law on Corporate Misconduct," published in Connecticut Law Tribune, co-authored with Conor O. Duffy (10/19/2015)
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      "A Call to Action: Connecticut Lawyers Partner with Legal Aid and Area Shelters to Help Victims of Domestic Violence," published in Connecticut Lawyer, co-authored with Jamey Bell, executive director of Greater Hartford Legal Aid (GHLA) (June 2015)
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      "Q&A with Robinson & Cole's Ed Heath," published in Law360 (5/1/2013)

      "Stay Ahead Of Curve With 'Voluntary Cure'," published in Connecticut Law Tribune, co-authored with Kathleen E. Dion (9/24/2012)

      "Another Route To Enjoining Deceptive Business Practices," published in Connecticut Law Tribune (3/14/2011)

      "Drawing the Line Between Descriptive and Suggestive Trademarks," published in Commercial & Business Litigation, co-authored with John M. Tanski, a newsletter of the American Bar Association's Section of Litigation (Fall 2010)

      "That's Privileged - Or Is It?" published in Connecticut Law Tribune, co-authored with John M. Tanski (3/2008)

      "How Federal Judges Use Legislative History," published in Journal of Legislation at (1999)
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    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "Rules of Evidence and Hearing Management Conferences," co-presented with Christopher J. Hug, at Hot Topics in Probate Court CLE in Cromwell, Connecticut (12/2/2015)
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      "Education Law: When to Call Outside Counsel," co-presented with Gregory R. Faulkner, Nicole H. Najam and Kathleen E. Dion, presented to University of Hartford doctoral students in Doctorate in Education Leadership program (7/30/2014)

      "Avoiding Common Legal Pitfalls and Risks," co-presented with Kathleen E. Dion, presented in collaboration with the Pro Bono Partnership and the Hartford Foundation of Public Giving, described solutions to nightmare nonprofit legal situations (3/9/2012)

      "The Law of Departing Employees and Business Partners: Commonly Asserted Tort and Contract Claims," coauthored with John M. Tanski for the CBA seminar "Hey! You Stole My Business" (11/2007)

      "Litigating the Connecticut Class Action: Initiating the Case, Pre-Certification Discovery, Obtaining and Defending Certification, Trying and Settling Class Claims," at Connecticut Bar Association Law Center Seminar (Spring 2006)

      "Connecticut Discovery Ethics," at Lorman Seminar, Connecticut Discovery Practice (9/23/2003)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • October 7, 2016

        Ed Heath and Kelly Barnett Pen Article for the Connecticut Law Tribune

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      • December 15, 2015

        Hartford Lawyers Participate in CBA/Probate Judicial Joint Meeting

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      • November 12, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Hosts Domestic Violence Restraining Order Program for Lawyers

      • October 29, 2015

        Hartford Lawyers Pen Article on the US DOJ's Controversial Yates Memo for CLT

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      • August 4, 2015

        Ed Heath Challenges Connecticut Lawyers to Advocate for Victims of Domestic Violence

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      • August 18, 2014

        Hartford Lawyers Present Education Law Program to UHart Students

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      • December 20, 2013

        Edward Heath and Susan Roberts Present Nonprofit Program

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      • May 2, 2013

        Hartford Lawyers Lend Hand to Homeless Individuals Seeking Job Skills

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      • January 23, 2013

        Connecticut Law Tribune quotes Robinson & Cole's Pro Bono Work

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      • December 10, 2012

        Wystan Ackerman, Ed Heath, and Jeff White are New Leaders in the Law

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      • July 18, 2012

        Litigation Partner’s Comments on Governor Malloy’s Talk Before Connecticut Bar Association in Connecticut Law Tribune

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      • November 2, 2011

        Robinson & Cole Lawyers Participating in Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity Mentoring Program

      • October 20, 2011

        Managing Partner Encourages Pro Bono Work at Summit

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      • June 13, 2011

        Pro Bono Committee Plans Summit to Encourage Pro Bono Legal Work

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      • March 18, 2011

        Ed Heath Writes About Unfair Trade and Sales Acts for Connecticut Law Tribune

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      • October 22, 2010

        Two Robinson & Cole Attorneys Receive 40 Under Forty Award

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      • April 15, 2010

        “What To Do When the Government Knocks” Do’s and Don’ts

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      • August 18, 2009

        Robinson & Cole's Pro Bono Work Featured Prominently in Connecticut Law Tribune Feature Story

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      • June 12, 2009

        Robinson & Cole Attorneys Co-author Article for Connecticut Business & Industry Association

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      R+C News Releases

      • October 18, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • November 19, 2015

        Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence Recognizes Robinson+Cole

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      • October 19, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • October 17, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers

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      • November 21, 2013

        Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence Names Six Robinson & Cole Lawyers Among its “First 100”

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      • November 7, 2013

        Connecticut Legal Services Honors Robinson & Cole for Pro Bono Domestic Violence Restraining Order Program

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      • June 21, 2013

        Local Organizations Recognize Robinson & Cole’s Pro Bono Service

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      • December 21, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Attorneys Appointed to Board of Directors of Nonprofits

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      • October 22, 2012

        Super Lawyers® Names 49 Robinson & Cole Attorneys to 2012 List and Recognizes 26 as Rising Stars

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      • June 13, 2012

        Connecticut Bar Association Honors Edward J. Heath with Pro Bono Award for Work with Veterans

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      • July 27, 2010

        Two Robinson & Cole Attorneys Named to Hartford Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty”

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    • Newsletters

      Newsletters

      Data Privacy + Security Insider, co-authored with Kathryn M. Rattigan and Linn F. Freedman (05/28/2015)