Heather V. Baer
Ms. Baer has tried over 50 jury trials and approximately 100 bench trials in state and federal courts. Her dynamic practice has included the representation of both institutional and individual clients in litigation involving business disputes, shareholder disputes, employment-related issues, real estate and property law matters, tort claims, allegations of unfair and deceptive trade practices, products liability claims, and construction law disputes. In addition, she has an active white collar and criminal defense practice.
Education And Distinctions
More About Heather V. Baer
Prior to joining FITCH in 2000, Ms. Baer served as an Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County from 1994 through 1998, prosecuting major felonies in Lowell and Cambridge Superior Courts and appearing in multiple courts throughout the county. Since joining FITCH, Ms. Baer has developed an active general practice.
Business Litigation: Ms. Baer’s business litigation practice has included representation of companies and individuals in lawsuits and other matters involving allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair and deceptive trade practices, fraud, and other such claims. She has also represented companies in lawsuits involving claims related to products liability and other torts and real estate/property disputes.
Employment Law: Ms. Baer regularly practices in the area of employment law, representing both employers and employees in court and before the MCAD and EEOC in matters involving claims of discrimination, unlawful termination, sexual harassment, violation of non-compete agreements, Wage Act violations, and retaliation. She routinely advises clients on the negotiation and drafting of severance agreements and employment contracts. She has also assisted clients in conducting internal investigations and in the drafting or revision of handbooks and other policies.
Construction Law and Property Disputes: Ms. Baer represents homeowners in disputes with general and home improvement contractors and subcontractors and in disputes related to the sale and transfer of real estate. She has represented clients in matters of partition, adverse possession, ouster, attachments and lis pendens.
Criminal and White Collar Matters. A former prosecutor, Ms. Baer regularly defends clients in serious white collar and other criminal matters in both the state and federal courts. She also represents the interests of corporations and individuals who are the subject of or witnesses in government investigations, including those who have received subpoenas to testify before state and federal grand juries. She has defended clients in many of the Superior and District Courts in Massachusetts on charges including Assault and Battery, Indecent Assault and Battery, Violation of a Restraining Order, OUI, Forgery of Registry of Motor Vehicles Documents, Unlawful Storage of a Firearm, Possession of a Class D Substance with Intent to Distribute and Possession of Class A and B Substances.
Her criminal defense work has also led her to represent clients in clerk magistrate’s hearings, in which she has often been successful in avoiding the issuance of criminal complaints. Ms. Baer also represents victims and witnesses involved in criminal prosecutions, who wish to have the advice and guidance of counsel throughout the prosecution of an individual who has committed a crime against them. She has also represented clients in matters involving the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB), both in connection with and separate from criminal prosecutions.
Ms. Baer regularly represents clients in connection with Chapter 209A Abuse Prevention (Restraining) Orders or Chapter 258E Harassment Prevention Orders.
Representation of University and College Students. Ms. Baer has represented students who are involved in Title IX investigations, both as respondents and claimants, as well as other disciplinary investigations undertaken by their university or college.
Other matters. Ms. Baer has also represented clients before the Architectural Access Board (AAB), the Board of Registration of Cosmetology, and the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
Cases of Note
- Successfully defended shareholder who was forced out of company against false claims of breach of fiduciary duty and violation of contractual obligations not to compete against company.
- Represented family members in dispute concerning ownership of family property. Resolved dispute by way of mediation, resulting in payment to clients.
- Represented homeowners in dispute with general contractor in connection with claims of poor workmanship, delay in completion of home and fraud in connection with the project. Negotiated resolution of case favorable to homeowners.
- Represented manufacturer of luxury yachts in connection with claims related to the sale and construction of yacht.
- Represented board of large condominium complex in dispute with former trustee and construction manager over allegations that he had conspired to defraud the condominium board. Case settled on favorable terms for clients.
- Represented parties who had personally guaranteed a contract their defunct company had entered into with a former employee. Resolved dispute by way of mediation.
- Represented homeowners in effort to remove cloud on title of their property and in connection with lawsuit filed by neighbor concerning conditions on their property. Favorable resolution of matter involved extensive interaction with and representation before the local conservation commission.
- Represented client in lawsuit against seller of powerboat who made misrepresentations concerning condition of boat at time of sale and mechanic who performed substandard repairs to boat.
- Represented client who signed personal guarantee of loan to company that later defaulted on loan. Resolved dispute by way of mediation on terms favorable to client.
- Represented client in connection with dispute with neighbor over location of property line. Case settled on terms favorable to client.
- Represented distributor of products in lawsuit in which it was incorrectly named as a defendant. Extricated client from lawsuit while minimizing its exposure.
- Represented multiple manufacturers in toxic tort litigation including asbestos and latex glove litigation.
Criminal & White Collar Matters
- Represented in-house lawyer in connection with investigation by United States Attorney General’s Office and Justice Department into allegations that false statements were made to government regulators. Client was not charged.
- Represented multiple employees of pharmaceutical company who were witnesses to misconduct in connection with investigation into the company’s marketing practices.
- Represented multiple employees of medical device company who were accused of misconduct in connection with investigation into the company’s marketing practices. No clients were charged.
- Represented employee in connection with investigation into whether company engaged in misconduct in connection with government contract. Client was not charged.
- Represented physician in clerk-magistrate’s hearing in connection with allegations of improper conduct in connection with patient. Client was not charged.
- Represented owner of firearms in clerk-magistrate’s hearing in connection with allegations of improper storage of firearms. Client was not charged.
- Represented juvenile in clerk-magistrate’s hearing in connection with allegations of conspiracy to commit assault and battery. Client was not charged.
- Represented client in clerk-magistrate’s hearing and criminal prosecution in connection with multiple allegations of violation of harassment prevention order. Client was not charged with two violations and negotiated pre-trial probation on charged violation.
- Represented client charged with 1st offense OUI. Obtained dismissal after successful motion to dismiss due to fact that arresting officer had unlawfully crossed town line.
- Represented college student charged with forgery/misuse of an RMV document and misdemeanor possession of drugs. Negotiated favorable disposition of case.
- Represented client who was charged with sexual assault. Despite serious nature of charges, negotiated sentence that minimized length of incarceration.
- Represented employer whose employee threatened lawsuit alleging wrongful termination. Successfully negotiated resolution between employer and employee that avoided filing of suit against employer.
- Represented employer in MCAD investigation of false claim made by employee of discrimination and unlawful termination. Resolved case by mediation.
- Represented employer in lawsuit filed by former employee alleging unlawful termination. Obtained dismissal of all claims.
- Represented employee who had been sexually harassed by her employer over a period of years. Resolved case by mediation on terms favorable to client.
- Represented employee whose employer discriminated her on the basis of her gender. Resolved case by mediation on terms favorable to client.
- Represented professor before school disciplinary board in connection with allegations of misconduct.
- Represented employee in connection with severance package; negotiated substantially increased severance package and other favorable terms that protected employee’s professional reputation.
- Represented employers before Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) in connection with former employees’ applications for unemployment benefits.
Teaching and Publications
- Recent Amendments to the Superior Court Rules and Standing Orders, Boston Bar Journal, Winter 2016.
Professional Activities and Associations
- Member, Boston Bar Association
- Member, Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association
- Member, Executive Committee, Boston Inn of Court
- Ms. Baer is admitted to the Massachusetts state bar, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
- “Heather was thoughtful, thorough, responsive, and persistent. She proved to be a valuable and valued strategic partner as we entered negotiations with my previous employer. Although historically intractable, this employer succumbed to the presentation of our highly persuasive position, ultimately agreeing to a severance three times that of its original offer. Further, we reached settlement in fewer than two months–a relief, as I had feared a protracted battle.
- While I certainly hope not to find myself in such circumstances in the future, I would not hesitate to retain her again. I recommend her without qualification.”
- “Heather worked with us to settle a property dispute. This simple case quickly became complex. During which Heather kept her composure and confidence. We were impressed with the competent way she handled herself and successfully guided us to a settlement.”