Tad Heuer

Chair, Appellate Practice Group

I help clients resolve high-stakes disputes with government agencies, whether through negotiation, legislation or appellate litigation.

Tad Heuer specializes in solving the most complex high-profile regulatory and permitting challenges in land use, energy, education, health care, transportation, and public law. Tad is also a leading appellate advocate before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court, having successfully argued numerous high-stakes complex regulatory appeals.

Tad helps public and private companies, educational institutions, and nonprofits avoid regulatory disputes before they occur, resolve intractable disputes through creative negotiation, obtain landmark judicial decisions, and change the law through regulation or legislation. As chair of the Appellate Practice, he has won appeals in cases ranging from eminent domain to energy law, authored amicus briefs in both the SJC and the United States Supreme Court on issues from historic preservation to campaign finance, is a contributing author to the leading treatise Appellate Practice in Massachusetts, and was a law clerk to former Massachusetts SJC Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall.

Tad frequently litigates administrative law cases in the Land and Superior Courts, as well as in adjudicatory proceedings before municipal zoning and planning boards, the Department of Public Utilities, Energy Facilities Siting Board, Department of Environmental Protection, Appellate Tax Board, Office of Campaign & Political Finance, and others. He regularly negotiates with state law enforcement agencies, including the Attorney General, to resolve government investigations on matters from consumer protection to Medicare fraud.

In his regulatory compliance and permitting practice, Tad creates bespoke strategies to guide clients successfully through the often-arcane regulatory processes of federal agencies, state regulators, and local permitting boards. He has extensive experience securing critical environmental and land use permits for high-profile development projects and is sought after for his compliance advice on the intricate regulations that govern zoning, energy, healthcare, and education. Tad also has significant experience persuading federal and state agencies to adopt better regulations, having helped clients craft new rules on topics ranging from medical device coverage to election funding.

Tad is a member the Real Estate Bar Association, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the Massachusetts and Boston Bar Associations, and sits on the board of editors of the Boston Bar Journal. Tad is actively involved in civic affairs, having heard over 500 cases as an appointed member of the Cambridge Zoning Board of Appeals, served on the Wellesley Community Preservation Commission, and as the chair of the Wellesley Historical Commission. He is currently in his fourth term as an elected town meeting member. 


  • Yale Law School, J.D., 2006
  • London School of Economics, Ph.D. in Social Policy & Administration, 2003
  • Brown University, M.A., 1999
  • Brown University, A.B., magna cum laude, 1999

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts



  • Land Use / Transportation. Won a unanimous decision from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reaffirming the limited nature of the “prior public use” land use doctrine, and affirming the legal authority of MBTA to lease an abandoned rail line to a public utility. Town of Sudbury v. MBTA, 485 Mass. 774 (2020). 
  • Utility Tariffs. Won a unanimous decision from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court overturning a Department of Public Utilities order that would have allowed electric utility companies to impose an estimated $3 billion in additional charges on their customers over twenty years in order to fund speculation in gas pipeline capacity. ENGIE Gas & LNG LLC v. Department of Public Utilities, 475 Mass. 191 (2016).
  • Education / Ballot Question. Won a unanimous decision from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court overturning certification of a ballot question that proposed repealing the Common Core education standards in Massachusetts. Gray v. Attorney General, 474 Mass. 638 (2016).
  • Eminent Domain / Public Procurement. Authored a Supreme Judicial Court amicus brief on behalf of the Boston Red Sox, supporting the validity of their “game day” easement from the Boston Redevelopment Authority over Yawkey Way (now Jersey Street). The SJC unanimously affirmed the validity of the easement. Marchese v. Boston Redevelopment Authority, 483 Mass. 149 (2019).
  • Eminent Domain / Urban Renewal. Won a unanimous decision from the Massachusetts Appeals Court dismissing an eminent domain lawsuit challenging the validity of the City of Somerville’s comprehensive urban renewal plan. Pishev v. Somerville, 95 Mass. App. Ct. 679 (2019).
  • Environmental Permitting. Won multiple favorable unanimous decisions from the Massachusetts Appeals Court for an energy-from-waste facility whose environmental and operating permits were challenged by a competitor.
  • Medicaid Trusts. Authored a First Circuit amicus brief for a Medicare pooled trust interpreting a complex Medicaid rule governing when assets are “counted” for purposes of Medicaid eligibility, resulting a concurring decision adopting the client’s position. 
  • Campaign Finance. Authored a United States Supreme Court amicus brief supporting a grant of certiorari in the campaign finance decision 1A Auto v. Sullivan.  This brief provided the first extensive quantitative analysis of the Massachusetts campaign finance database of PAC contributions. 
  • Health Care / Ballot Question. Authored an amicus brief to the Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of a leading healthcare institute urging the Court to adopt a relating to challenges to ballot questions on hospital staffing, arguing that the questions did not comply with the requirements of the state Constitution.
  • Historic Preservation. Authored amicus briefs in the Supreme Judicial Court and United States Supreme Court on behalf of the nation’s premier historic preservation organization, advocating for the long-standing practice of using state and municipal funds to fund the physical preservation of historic houses of worship.
  • Municipal Funding. Represented two major Massachusetts municipalities in a coalition that submitted over two dozen amicus briefs in various lawsuits brought nationwide to successfully enjoin federal efforts to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities.
  • Eminent Domain. Represented numerous clients -- including a major national retailer, a professional New England sports franchise, and several of the largest cities in Massachusetts — in negotiation and litigation pertaining to eminent domain takings.
  • Eminent Domain. Negotiated a resolution to a contentious 80-acre municipal taking that resulted in a multi-million payment to the private landowner, and an easement allowing for full development access of the client’s remaining land.
  • Zoning / Wind Litigation. Won dismissal in the Superior Court after a seven-day bench trial, on behalf of a wind turbine developer whose scientific acoustic study and building permit were challenged by neighborhood opponents.
  • Zoning & Environmental / Transportation Litigation. Won dismissals for state transportation agencies in the Land Court and Superior Court of eminent domain and environmental challenges, avoiding multi-million dollar delays for multiple high-profile mass transit improvement projects.
  • Zoning / Airports. Obtained unanimous local permitting decision rejecting a high-profile effort to expand a nonconforming private airfield, which abutters believed had been creating significant nuisances for surrounding residents.
  • Zoning & Permitting Advice. Provide strategic analysis and zoning and permitting advice to major retail and office developers involving multi-million dollar asset acquisitions and development projects in major cities throughout Massachusetts.
  • Off-shore Wind / Permitting. Led municipal zoning and taxation negotiations for the 800 MW “Vineyard Wind” project, the first large-scale off-shore wind farm in North America, resulting in a landmark Host Community Agreement. Assisted in obtaining state energy and environmental permits from the Energy Facilities Siting Board and Department of Public Utilities in Vineyard Wind LLC (Massachusetts EFSB 17-05 and 19-05), and the follow-on 804 MW “Park City Wind” off-shore wind project (Massachusetts EFSB 20-01).
  • Solar / Fire Code. Persuaded the Fire Prevention Regulations Appeals Board to clarify the state fire code’s battery storage requirements, and unanimously reversed a municipal fire department’s decision to deny a major solar client a critical permit required for constructing energy storage.
  • Solar / Permitting. Lead cross-departmental teams providing environmental permitting, zoning, due diligence, transactional, and compliance assistance for dozens of solar generating facilities throughout Massachusetts.
  • Utility Tariffs / DPU Proceedings. Secured multiple favorable decisions from the Department of Public Utilities, after full adjudicatory hearings, in challenges to the single-customer tariff and rates that an electric utility sought to impose upon a major Massachusetts quasi-public agency.
  • Solar / DPU Proceedings. Represented a solar industry trade organization in the Department of Public Utilities proceeding that established the regulatory framework for Massachusetts solar development, winning multiple key developer-favorable changes to the final SMART tariff.
  • Electric Generation / PILOTs and Taxation. Advise renewable and conventional electric generators ranging from 5MW to 1,000+MW in negotiating favorable PILOT taxation agreements with Massachusetts municipalities.
  • Private Colleges / Federal Policy. On behalf of several private liberal arts colleges, provide strategic advice and developed proactive strategies with respect to federal policies on immigration, student financial aid, Title IX, and affirmative action.
  • Independent School / Zoning. Obtained comprehensive zoning relief for a leading Massachusetts private K-12 institution, which allowed the school to implement its long-range comprehensive master planning process.
  • Charter Schools / Applications and Governance. Represent prospective charter schools in developing applications and navigating the state chartering process.  Represent existing charter schools on institutional governance, statutory and regulatory compliance, and municipal relations. Negotiated the first municipal school building lease to a charter school in Massachusetts history.
  • Public Schools / Federal Policy. Developed model policies and procedures for several major Massachusetts municipalities to protect school children from ICE detentions. 
  • Ride Share / Civil Investigation. Successfully defended the nation’s leading transportation network company in both a civil investigation by the Division of Weights and Measures of whether its ridesharing model violated state law, and in a subsequent third-party appeal of that “no violation” result in Superior Court.
  • Campaign Finance / Civil Investigations. Negotiated favorable resolutions to administrative investigations initiated by the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance, on behalf of clients including a non-profit issue advocacy group and multiple individuals.
  • Pharmacy – Medicare / Attorney General Investigation. Negotiated favorable resolutions on behalf of multiple independent pharmacies whose filling and marketing practices had been targeted for civil investigation by the Massachusetts Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Division.
  • Renewable Energy / Attorney General Investigation. Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of a leading international competitive energy supplier after a civil investigation by the Massachusetts Attorney General.
  • Lobbying, Ethics, Campaign Finance Advice. Advise numerous clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to non-profit organizations on compliance with federal and Massachusetts campaign finance laws, ethics laws, and lobbying laws.
  • CMS Regulatory / Drug Coverage. Developed strategy to convince CMS that a client pharmaceutical was entitled to coverage, persuading CMS to reverse the position taken in its Proposed Rule and adopt the client’s legal analysis in its Final Rule. 
  • CMS Regulatory / Device Coverage. Assisted a consortium of medical device imaging societies in obtaining expanded Medicare coverage for the use of PET imaging in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
  • CMS Regulatory / Test Coverage. Assisted a coalition of medical device companies in achieving optimal Medicare payment arrangements for their genetic testing products.
  • State Statutory / HIV Testing. Advised a major life sciences company in its efforts to encourage state legislatures to adopt statutes expanding CDC-endorsed routine HIV testing.

  • Law Clerk, Hon. Margaret H. Marshall, Chief Justice, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, 2006-2007
  • Guest Lecturer, Historic Preservation Law, University of Pennsylvania and Goucher College
  • Guest Lecturer, Administrative Law, Northeastern University
  • Guest Lecturer, Education Law, Yale Law School
  • Teaching Assistant, Introduction to Public Policy, Brown University
  • Teaching Assistant, Urbanism & Change in the American City, Yale University
  • Teaching Assistant, Terrorism: Past, Present, & Future, Yale University


Foley Hoag Publications

Honors & Involvement

  • The Best Lawyers in America (2023)
  • Recipient of the NAIOP Government Affairs Champion Award for 2020 
  • Boston Magazine Top Lawyers – Appellate (2021)
  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, 2020 Pro Bono Honor Roll (November 2021) 
  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, 2019 Pro Bono High Honor Roll (November 2020)
  • British Marshall Scholar, 1999
  • Harry S. Truman Scholar, 1998
  • Yale Law School, YALE LAW JOURNAL, Notes Editor
  • Yale Law School, YALE LAW & POLICY REVIEW, Executive Editor
  • Board of Editors, Boston Bar Journal (2017-Present)
  • City of Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeal, Associate Member (2008-2012)
  • Town of Wellesley, Elected Town Meeting Member (2013-Present)
  • Town of Wellesley Historical Commission (2013-2016)
  • Town of Wellesley Community Preservation Committee (2013-2016)
  • British Marshall Scholarship, Boston Selection Panel (2013-2021)
  • Harry S. Truman Scholarship, Boston Selection Panel (2007-2016, 2022-)
  • Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Board Member (2016-19)
  • MassBio, Law & Policy Committee Co-Chair (2008-2013)

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, "Massachusetts Solar Development after the SJC’s Decision in Tracer Lane II," Real Estate Bar Association, Webinar, September 21, 2022
  • Moderator, "Innovative Campus Planning for Independent Schools," Foley Hoag LLP, Webinar, September 20, 2022
  • Speaker, “New from Washington: Likely Legal and Compliance Changes under the Biden Administration and Key Provisions of the New Stimulus Bill,” Boston Bar Association, Webinar, January 28, 2021  
  • Speaker, “Will the Affordable Care Act Survive California v. Texas? Understanding the Possible Outcomes and Unpacking the Supreme Court Oral Arguments,” Webinar, November 12, 2020 
  • Speaker, “Financial Challenges and Opportunities Facing Higher Education Amid COVID-19,” Webinar, June 11, 2020
  • Panelist, “CARES Act Funds for Local Communities: Expanding Hospitals, Stabilizing Land Values and Wages, Reducing Homelessness," Strafford Live CLE, Webinar, May 21, 2020
  • Presenter, “Understanding the Property Tax Exemption for Massachusetts Charities,” Boston Bar Association, Tax-Exempt Organizations Section, October 2016
  • Panelist, "Bringing or Defending Chapter 30A Appeals of Administrative Agency Decisions," Boston Bar Association, Massachusetts Practice Section, April 2014
  • Speaker, "Health Care Reform (ACA) - The Supreme Court and Beyond," AOPA Policy Forum, April 2012
  • Panelist, "Health Reform’s Biggest Test: The Supreme Court Hearings on the Affordable Care Act," NEHI On Call Series, March 2012
  • Speaker, "LAW & POLICY: Massachusetts' New Lobbying Laws: A Primer," MassBio, March 2010
  • Speaker, "Health Reform Outlook for the 111th Congress," Boston Bar Association, Health Law Section, November 2008