Lisa C. Goodheart

Lisa C. Goodheart

Ms. Goodheart’s litigation practice spans a broad range of complex environmental, energy, land use, real estate, insurance, business and government disputes. She is a Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American College of Environmental Lawyers and has been consistently recognized by The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, Who’s Who Legal and Massachusetts Super Lawyers (listed as a Top 10 Massachusetts Super Lawyer). She has also been named as one of the Lawdragon Green 500: Leaders in Environmental Law. Ms. Goodheart is a member of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission and a past President of the Boston Bar Association. She has served in a number of other leadership positions in the legal community as well, including as Chair of Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission and Chair of the Massachusetts Court Management Advisory Board.





Education And Distinctions

Lisa C. Goodheart

More About Lisa C. Goodheart

Lisa joined Fitch in 2023, having spent the previous 18 years as a partner of the Boston litigation firm of Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C. On behalf of private and public sector clients, Ms. Goodheart practices in state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels. In addition, she handles contested administrative proceedings, alternative dispute resolution matters, and sensitive regulatory compliance negotiations. She is frequently called upon to advise clients concerning multi-dimensional disputes that present novel issues and involve high stakes and substantial risks. Ms. Goodheart has particularly deep experience in matters involving environmental law and policy, but she enjoys a broad and diverse practice that spans numerous other practice areas as well. Her practice is concentrated in Massachusetts, where she has obtained many noteworthy victories in disputed matters, and contributed to important developments in Massachusetts law. Her clients include commercial, institutional, industrial, and private property owners, real estate developers, operators of manufactured housing communities, colleges and universities, land conservation trusts and other non-profit organizations, state and municipal government bodies, private individuals, and citizen groups. Pro bono work, particularly in the area of environmental justice, has long been an important aspect of her practice.

Ms. Goodheart’s representation of clients is substantially enriched and strengthened by her deep involvement in the legal community. She is regularly asked to take on leadership roles aimed at enhancing the justice system, particularly in the Massachusetts state courts. She currently serves as a Co-Chair of the Racial Equity and Justice Committee of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission, a body to which she was appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court. In 2020, she participated in the Strategic Planning Committee of the Flaschner Judicial Institute, which is dedicated to meeting the educational needs of both new and experienced judges in Massachusetts with programs that reflect the priorities expressed by judges. In 2019, she served as Co-Chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Judicial Independence Working Group, which produced a report entitled “Judicial Independence: Promoting Justice and Maintaining Democracy.” She also acted as Co Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers Bar Counsel Search Committee, by appointment of the Supreme Judicial Court, in 2018 and 2019.

Ms. Goodheart previously led the Massachusetts Court Management Advisory Board (CMAB), a legislatively-created body tasked with assisting the justices of the Supreme Judicial Court, the Chief Justice of the Trial Court, and the Court Administrator on all matters of judicial form. She also served as a member of the Supreme Judicial Court Committee to Study the Code of Judicial Conduct, the work of which led to the adoption of a substantially reformed judicial conduct code for Massachusetts judges. For the first four years of Governor Deval L. Patrick’s administration, Ms. Goodheart served as Chair of the Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission, which was tasked with screening, performing due diligence, and ultimately recommending candidates for judicial appointments in all Massachusetts courts. During that same period, she was also a member of the Massachusetts DEP Wetlands Appeals Streamlining Task Force, which led to reforms to the state system for providing adjudicatory appeals of wetlands permitting decisions.

Cases of Note

  • Bartok v. Hometown America Mgt., LLC, Case 4:21-cv-10790-LTS (D. Mass.) (ECF Doc. 83, March 30, 2022) (successfully obtained dismissal without prejudice of an early motion for class certification following limited discovery, in action challenging the rent structures at two manufactured housing communities)
  • In the Matter of Brockton Power Co., LLC, OADR Docket Nos. 2011-026, File No. W207973, Brockton, MA (Mass. Dep. Env. Prot.) (on behalf of petitioner residents, successfully persuaded Commissioner of Department of Environmental Protection to issue an unprecedented second interlocutory remand decision requiring re-opening of administrative record for purposes of conducting a Health Impact Assessment study of proposed power plant’s anticipated impacts on vulnerable Environmental Justice community)
  • Craw v. Hometown America, LLC, Case 1:18-cv-12149-LTS (D. Mass.) (ECF Doc. 216, Sept. 23, 2021) (order on final approval, confirming class action settlement affording injunctive relief and money damages to resolve claims about stormwater management and maintenance of permanent elements of leased home sites at an Attleboro manufactured housing community)
  • Nordic Fisheries, Inc. v. City of New Bedford, 2021 WL 4471404 (Mass. Super.) (prevailed on motion to dismiss complaint against municipality and municipal port authority, thereby enabling major public port expansion project to proceed based on terms of lease agreement, notwithstanding the resulting elimination of direct water access from City-owned land leased by plaintiffs for their commercial fishing business operations)
  • Alenci v. Hometown America Management, LLC, 2020 WL 25159872 (D. Mass.) (prevailed on motion to dismiss amended complaint brought by plaintiff for himself and a proposed class composed of similarly situated residents of a manufactured housing community, presenting an array of statutory, regulatory, and common law challenges to a longstanding residential water supply arrangement)
  • In the Matter of Kevin Dwan, 2020 WL 3058249 and 2020 WL 3058254 (Mass. Dep. Env. Prot.) (following an adjudicatory hearing with expert testimony, successfully obtained final decision allowing client’s proposed construction of a pier, seasonal gangway, and seasonal floating dock off the western coast of a peninsula, based on proof of best available measures to minimize impacts on eelgrass, and lack of feasible alternative locations)
  • Thomas & Betts v. New Albertson’s, Inc., 915 F.3d 39 (1st Cir. 2019) (successful appellate representation of prevailing defendant and counterclaim plaintiff in a multi-party environmental cost recovery case arising from a challenging PCB remediation, resulting in the client’s preservation of a multi-million dollar judgment on a jury verdict, a total attorneys’ fee recovery of nearly $2 million, and an appellate decision interpreting a little-used statutory liability exemption as an issue of first impression)
  • Boston Taxi Owners Association, Inc. v. Baker, 2017 WL 354010 (D. Mass.) (on behalf of independent state authority, successfully moved for dismissal of federal case brought on constitutional and other grounds by taxicab medallion owners, who challenged a new state regulatory scheme for transportation network companies [e.g., Uber and Lyft] that differs from the pre-existing municipal regulation of taxicabs)
  • In the Matter of NSTAR Electric Company d/b/a Eversource Energy, EFSB 14-04/DPU 14-153/14-154 (2017) (following a multi-day adjudicatory hearing with experts before the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, achieved industrial client’s goal of accomplishing the relocation of a proposed electrical substation, further away from the client’s facility, via inclusion of an unusual special condition in the Board’s final decision, which triggered the project proponent’s agreement to relocate)
  • Thomas & Betts v. New Albertson’s, Inc., Case 10-CV-11947-WGY (D. Mass.) (successfully led client team through all phases of multi-party trial court litigation, including a six-week jury trial in 2015 with numerous technical experts and extensive post-trial proceedings, resulting in client’s multi-million dollar recovery of environmental response costs, a substantial attorneys’ fee award, and a confirmed finding of the client’s lack of causal responsibility for the PCB contamination at issue, which provided important collateral protections as well as a litigation victory)
  • City of New Bedford / Settlement of PCB Response Cost Recovery Litigation (served as special outside environmental counsel to a large municipality on multiple hazardous waste site cleanup claims against PCB waste generators and transporters; the matters were resolved by a series of settlements including novel arrangements for contingencies, resulting in what was reported to be the largest settlement recovery in the City’s history, with payments of nearly $9 million to the City through 2017)
  • City of Brockton v. Energy Facilities Siting Bd., 469 Mass. 196 (2014) (presented state environmental justice policy issue of first impression to Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of affected community residents, with support from civil rights and environmental amici curiae)
  • Brockton Power Co. LLC v. Energy Facilities Siting Bd., 469 Mass. 215 (2014) (successful defense, on behalf of affected community residents, of Siting Board decision to disallow use of potable municipal water supply as source of cooling water for electricity generating facility)
  • New England Forestry Foundation, Inc. v. Board of Assessors of Hawley, 468 Mass. 138 (2014) (amicus brief for conservation organization discussed at length in court’s decision, in tax appeal confirming land conservation as charitable purpose and establishing legal standard for “occupancy” of conservation land sufficient to establish tax exemption)
  • Regis College v. Town of Weston, 462 Mass. 280 (2012) (successful litigation in Land Court and the Supreme Judicial Court, resulting in a landmark decision on the legal standard for determining whether an educational institution’s proposed real estate development project constitutes a land use “for educational purposes” that is exempt from zoning restrictions under the Dover Amendment)
  • Ware Real Estate, LLC v. Town of Ware, 2012 WL 751739 (Mass. App. Ct. 2012) (successful pursuit of declaratory and injunctive relief against municipality that sought to revoke a special permit for operation of construction and demolition waste recycling facility, through a multi-day Superior Court bench trial and on appeal)
  • President and Fellows of Harvard College v. Westchester Fire Ins. Co., 28 Mass. L. Rptr. 113 (2011) (successful pursuit of summary judgment for policyholder on CGL insurer’s duty to defend environmental response action claim arising from ownership of property first acquired by insured after expiration of pertinent policy periods)
  • Bank v. Thermo Elemental, Inc., 451 Mass. 638 (2008) (successful pursuit of contractual indemnity claim and claims for environmental response costs and attorneys’ fees, through a three-week Superior Court jury trial, a related one-week bench trial, post-trial proceedings, and an appeal to the Supreme Judicial Court)
  • Friends and Fishers of Edgartown Great Pond, Inc. v. Department of Environmental Protection, 446 Mass. 830 (2006) (successful defense of MassDEP groundwater discharge permit, for an expanded municipal wastewater treatment plant in ecologically sensitive watershed, through all stages of litigation including a multi-day adjudicatory hearing, judicial review by the Superior Court, and an appeal heard by the Supreme Judicial Court, which took the case sua sponte)
  • Weston Forest and Trail Ass’n v. Fishman, 66 Mass. App. Ct. 654 (2006) (successful enforcement of conservation restriction, establishing that laches and estoppel are not available as defenses to actions by private entities to protect the public interest in conservation restrictions, through summary judgment in Land Court and on appeal)
  • Emmons v. White, 58 Mass. App. Ct. 54 (2003) (successful enforcement of unrecorded release of easement, based on buyer’s actual knowledge of release agreement, through a Land Court bench trial and on appeal)
  • Merit Oil of Massachusetts, Inc. v. Baer, 12 Mass. L. Rptr. 249 (2000) (successful defense of bank against claim for breach of contract for environmental response cost reimbursement, and recovery of defense attorneys’ fee award under G.L.c. 21E, § 4A(f), through a Superior Court bench trial and on appeal)

Professional Activities and Associations

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, American College of Environmental Lawyers
  • Fellow, International Academy of Trial Attorneys
  • Former President of the Boston Bar Association
  • Former President of the Boston Bar Foundation
  • Former President of CREW Boston (formerly New England Women in Real Estate)
  • Former member of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Environmental Law, and Co-Chair of an early National Law and Policy Conference on Global Warming