Lawrence P. Heffernan

Partner

  • Overview

    Biography

    Lawrence Heffernan, chair of the Real Estate Litigation and Title Insurance Team and a member of the Business Litigation Group, focuses on litigation in the real estate, title insurance, banking, and commercial arenas. He has extensive trial and appellate experience in cases involving complex real estate issues, development, fraud, insurance coverage, banking, and commercial disputes.

    Mr. Heffernan is a frequent speaker before bar and business groups across the country.

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

      • Obtained dismissal of a regional bank from a multi-district class action for hundreds of millions of dollars in an alleged Ponzi scheme.

      • Defeated class certification action against law firms and major mortgage lenders for allegedly wrongful foreclosures that would have involved over 9,000 foreclosures and tens of millions of dollars in exposure. The United States Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of class certification.
      • Marshalling over 100 years of complex title records and boundary evidence and testimony of surveying and title experts, obtained judgment for a developer following trial affirming title to and boundaries of 120-acre subdivision.
      • Represented title insurers and lenders in litigation, resolution, and recoupment of multimillion-dollar mortgage frauds, overfinancing scams, and defalcations.
      • Defended developers of residential subdivisions against alleged violations of subdivision convenants and disputes over subdivision mortgages.
      • Represented and counseled title insurers on coverage of multimillion-dollar claims for condominium challenges, mechanic's liens, insured closing letters, zoning disputes, tender of the policy limits, and bad faith.
      • Represented and counseled commercial landlord in successful litigation and resolution of dispute over exercise of option for an easement to a large bloc of parking spaces for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
      • Successfully resolved and settled suit for banking client involving the deposit and wire transfer of counterfeit cashier's check for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

      • Obtained judgment after trial for a beachfront owner against claims of adverse possession and prescriptive easement.
      • Convinced the Appeals Court of Massachusetts that the absence of a connection to a town sewer system did not constitute a title defect covered by the title insurance policy despite a municipal lien certificate that showed a sewer charge. Kokinis v. First American Title Insurance Co., 68 Mass. App. Ct. 1106 (2007)
      • Obtained jury verdict for landowner on claims of nuisance, trespass, and civil rights violations.
      • Established that the filing of a lis pendens does not constitute slander of title. Powell v. Stevens, trustee, 69 Mass. App. Ct. 87 (2007)
      • Defended condominiums and unit owners against challenges to validity of phasing and zoning of condominiums.
      • Persuaded the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to overturn an earlier Massachusetts Appeals Court decision and affirm a condominium developer's retention of the right to remove land from a condominium. Queler, et al. v. Skowron, et al., 439 Mass. 304 (2002)
      • Defended lenders against claims of predatory lending and violations of affordable housing covenants.
      • Counseled a national real estate developer in a dispute with the master developer of the largest master-planned, mixed-use development in Massachusetts.
      • Defended a large group of homeowners against a claim by a neighboring municipality over the location of a town line/subdivision boundary and obtained a favorable judgment following trial.
      • Defended owners, lenders, and title insurers against claims of forged deeds, mortgages, and discharges of liens.
      • Counseled closely held corporation in the litigation and resolution of a dispute concerning the buyout and employment termination of a shareholder/officer.
      • Successfully defended a $10 million mixed-use (including 134 residential units and 5,000 square feet of retail space) urban revitalization project against a lawsuit by abutters seeking to halt the development.
      • Obtained judgments for title insurers in jury and bench trials on coverage, bad faith, and recoupment claims.
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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      American Bar Association
      Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Past Chair of Title Insurance Litigation Committee

      American Land Title Association (1987 - present)

      Boston Bar Association

      Massachusetts Bar Association

      New England Land Title Association
      Board of Directors (1993 - present)

      Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts
      Past Co-chair of Real Estate Litigation Committee

      The Abstract Club
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell™ in the area of Litigation (Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings is a trademark. AV Preeminent is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc.)

      Listed in Massachusetts Super Lawyers® in the area of Civil Litigation Defense since 2004 (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.)

  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "Title Insurance Not a Bar to Equitable Subrogation in Massachusetts," published in The Title Insurance Law Newsletter (12/1/2015)

      "Massachusetts High Court Considers Modernizing State Lease Law," co-authored with Danielle Andrews Long, John T. Ronayne and Kendra L. Berardi, published in the ABA's Real Estate Litigation newsletter (5/20/2013)

      "Massachusetts Rejects 'In for One, In for All' in Title Insurance Claims," published in Title Insurance Litigation Committee Newsletter (Spring 2013)

      "Tender of Loss and Termination of Title Insurance Policy Obligations," published in ABA TIPS Title Insurance Litigation Committee Newsletter (Spring 2012)

      "Title Void When Lender Foreclosed before Recording Assignment of Mortgage," published in The Title Insurance Law Newsletter (12/2011)

      "Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rules on Foreclosure by Mortgage Assignee under a Securitization Trust," published in The Title Insurance Law Newsletter, republished in the March 2011 edition of REBA News, the publication of the Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts (2/2011)

      "New Land Court Rules of Procedure: A Primer," published in Real Estate Bar Association Newsletter (Summer 2005)

      "SJC Confirms Developers' Right to Retain Interest in Condo Land," published in Banker & Tradesman, co-authored with Clive D. Martin (4/28/2003)

      "Real Estate Description and Surveys," published in Real Estate Title Practice in Massachusetts, co-authored with Mary L. Cataudella (2003)

      "Liability of the Closing Attorney to Non-Clients in Real Estate Transactions," published in The Conveyancer, newsletter of the Massachusetts Conveyancers Association (MCA) (Spring 2001)

      "Equitable Subrogation Unsettled," published in Title News (January/February 1999)

      "Equitable Subrogation Revisited," published in The Best of MCLE Journal, presented at American Bar Association's (ABA) TIPS Title Insurance Litigation Committee, Massachusetts Bar Association's Property Law Section, and New England Land Title Association's (NELTA) Spring 1998 Title Insurance Claims Seminar (1999)
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      "The Timing of Loss in Title Insurance Claims," published in Title Insurance Litigation Committee Newsletter (Spring 1998)

      "Title Insurance and the Duty to Search," published in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (9/1997)

    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Any Worse, Pinti v. Emigrant Mortgage Co., Inc., 472 Mass. 226 (2015), and Foreclosures in Massachusetts," presented to the Abstract Club (11/9/2015)

      "More challenges to the foreclosure process: the Massachusetts appellate courts giveth and taketh away," presented to The Abstract Club in Boston, Massachusetts (5/19/2014)

      "The 25 Critical Cases Every Real Estate, Title, Land Use, and Environmental Lawyer Must Know," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education seminar on real estate, title mortgage, leasing, and condominium law (3/17/2014; 1/21/2015; 2/24/2016)

      "Landlord Remedies - A Refresher in Landlord Rights after 275 Washington Street Corp., Trustee v. Hudson River Int'l LLC," seminar sponsored by the Boston Bar Association's Leasing Committee (5/29/2013)

      "The Effect of Eaton on Foreclosures, Third-Party Purchasers, REO Purchasers and Re-Foreclosures," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education's What Eaton Means for Massachusetts Foreclosure & Title Practice (7/25/2012)

      "Foreclosure Issues and Curative Actions," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education's Resolving Common & Complex Title Issues (5/17/2012; 5/8/2015)

      "Tender of Loss and Termination of Title Insurance Policy Obligations," at ABA TIPS Title Insurance Litigation Committee Seminar in Boston (4/27/2012)

      "Massachusetts Foreclosure and Title Practice Viewed through the Lenses of Bevilaqua and Ibanez," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (11/30/2011)

      "Curative Actions," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education's Resolving Common & Complex Issues (3/8/2011)

      "The Background, Impact, and Significance of US Bank National Association v. Ibanez," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education's What Ibanez Means for Real Estate (3/3/2011)

      "A Litigator's View of Liens, Challenges to Liens, and Lien Priorities," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education's Understanding Lien Priorities (7/2010)

      "My Client Has a Title Claim! Is It Actually Covered by a Title Insurance Policy?" at New England Land Title Association Boston Seminar (4/8/2009)

      "Tales from the Frontlines, a Discussion of Current Claims Issues," at American Bar Association's Title Insurance Litigation Committee Spring Seminar in Seattle, Washington (3/6/2009)

      "Recent Developments in Title Insurance Law and Claims," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education's Real Estate Law Conference (3/19/2008)

      "Mortgage Fraud: Trends, Prevention, and Recovery," at New England Land Title Association Convention (6/21 to 6/24/2007)

      "Closing Protection Letters: The Hidden Exposure," at American Bar Association's TIPS Title Insurance Litigation Committee Seminar in Minneapolis (9/14 to 9/16/2006)

      Chair of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education's Litigating Real Estate Disputes (8/2007 and 8/2006)

      "The Shifting Sands of Massachusetts Beach Rights," at Real Estate Bar Association Spring Seminar, co-presented with Thomas O. Moriarty and Edward S. Englander (5/8/2006)

      "Easements by Prescription, Public and Private," Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education's Litigating Real Estate Disputes (8/2005)

      "Surveying for Attorneys," at Real Estate Bar Association 2004 Spring Seminar, co-presented with A. Richard Vannozzi, P.L.S., and Ward P. Graham, Esq. (5/10/2004)

      "Life After Bishops Forest," at Massachusetts Conveyancers Association Spring Seminar, co-presented with V. Douglas Errico, Esq., Robert J. Galvin, Esq., and Samuel B. Moskowitz, Esq. (5/2003)

      "Crouching Cases, Hidden Issues: A Lively Discussion of Some Interesting Cases," at New England Land Title Association Annual Convention (6/2001)

      "Notice of Claims and Tender of Defense of Title Insurance Claims," at Spring 2000 Title Insurance Claims and Litigation Seminar (Spring 2000)

      "From Risk Elimination to Risk Assumption," at Boston Bar Association's Title Insurance in the 21st Century Seminar (3/2000)

      "Litigation of Condominium Phasing and Removal Controversies," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education's Real Estate Conference (2/2000)

      "The Timing of Loss in Title Insurance Claims," at American Bar Association's TIPS Title Insurance Litigation Committee, Massachusetts Bar Association's Property Law Section, and New England Land Title Asssociation's Spring 1998 Title Insurance Claims Seminar (Spring 1998)

      "Recent Trends in Title Insurers' Duty to Search Title and Disclose Defects," at American Land Title Association's Legal Division Seminar (9/1997)

      "Disputes Between Adjoining Landowners," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education's Real Estate Litigation '97 (5/1997)

      "Closing Protection Letters/The Duty to Search," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education's Title Insurance: What You Need to Know So the Policy Will Adequately Protect Your Clients (4/1997)

      "Mastering Real Estate Titles and Title Insurance in Massachusetts," at National Business Institute (4/1996 and 4/1995)

      "Closing Protection Letters: The Hidden Exposure," at Massachusetts Conveyancers Association and American Land Title Association's Land Title Institute Seminar (10/1994)

      "Somerset Savings Bank v. Chicago Title Insurance Company," at New England Land Title Association Annual Convention, panel presentation (6/1994)

      "Land Court Judicial Forum," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (4/1992)

      "Fraud and Forgery in Real Estate Transactions," at American Land Title Association's Land Title Institute Regional Seminars (1990 to 1995)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • February 3, 2017

        Boston Lawyers Join Annual Walk to the Hill

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      • July 14, 2016

        Larry Heffernan Featured in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

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      • February 11, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Join Annual Walk to the Hill

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      • February 18, 2015

        Despite Blizzard, Boston Lawyers Participate in Annual Walk to the Hill

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      • July 15, 2014

        Boston Lawyer Participates in MCLE Webcast, Speaks to Abstract Club

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      • June 13, 2013

        Boston Lawyer Presents at BBA Seminar

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      • June 7, 2013

        Boston Lawyers Author Article for ABA Newsletter

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      • May 24, 2013

        Boston Lawyer Authors Article for The Title Insurance Law Newsletter

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      • May 30, 2012

        Real Estate and Title Litigation Attorneys Prevent Class Action Against Client

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      • March 7, 2012

        Real Estate and Title Insurance Chair Addresses What Happens When “MERS Attacks”

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      • February 23, 2012

        Attorneys Discuss Bevilaqua and Ibanez Cases at Seminar

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      • March 14, 2011

        Robinson & Cole Attorneys Walk to the Hill in Boston

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      • March 10, 2011

        Larry Heffernan Authors Article on Massachusetts Foreclosure Rules Ruling

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      • August 4, 2010

        Lawrence P. Heffernan Presents on Lien Priorities at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Program

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      R+C News Releases

      • October 18, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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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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      • October 22, 2012

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

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      • May 15, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Further Strengthens Metro NY Presence with Addition of New Attorneys

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