Real Estate and Title Litigation Attorneys Prevent Class Action Against Client
Real estate and title litigation
attorneys Lawrence P. Heffernan
, Danielle Andrews Long
, and Kendra L. Berardi
attorney John W. Steinmetz, achieved a major victory in a class action in which Robinson & Cole is representing Harmon Law Offices, a law firm handling a large share of foreclosures in Massachusetts. In the action, Manson v. GMAC Mortgage, LLC
(United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, Civil Action No. 08-12166-RGS), the plaintiffs sued three major mortgage lenders and their law firms for allegedly wrongful foreclosure practices arising out of assignments of mortgages. The potential class would have involved over 9,000 foreclosures from 2004 to 2008 and tens of millions of dollars in exposure. Massachusetts federal court Judge Richard G. Stearns denied class certification by applying the United States Supreme Court decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes
and by ruling that there was no commonality because each individual foreclosure transaction would have to be examined in detail to determine whether there was liability. The court also found a lack of typicality, predominance, and superiority and specifically ruled that the law firms did not owe a legal duty to the mortgagors and were not engaged in the conduct of trade or commerce required for unfair business claims.