Robinson+Cole demonstrated its continued commitment to diversity, education, and community at a private reception prior to the Hartford Stage performance of Feeding the Dragon on January 24, 2018. For the past few years, Robinson+Cole has made a contribution to an organization whose mission aligns with the theme of the Hartford Stage show being sponsored by the firm. In recognition of Feeding the Dragon's storyline of a little girl who grew up in the custodial apartment of a Manhattan library, Eric D. Daniels, the Partner in Charge of Robinson+Cole's Hartford office, presented a check for $2,500 to the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut to support the United Way’s efforts to improve early childhood literacy. View a photo in the press release.
Auerfarm, an organization committed to ensuring that children and adults engage in, learn about, and enjoy agriculture, science, and the natural environment, has appointed Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Emilee Mooney Scott to its Board of Directors. Read more in the press release.
The Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI), a professional membership association for attorneys, human resource professionals, private investigators, and many others who conduct, manage, or have a professional interest in workplace investigations, has appointed Labor and Employment Group lawyer Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson to its Board of Directors. With over 600 members in 35 US states and territories, Canada, Australia, and other countries, AWI's mission is to promote and enhance the quality of impartial workplace investigations. Ms. Cole-Johnson is a frequent speaker and faculty member for AWI's training and education programs about conducting impartial workplace investigations. Read more in the press release.
New England Women in Energy & the Environment (NEWIEE), a non-profit organization that aims to harness the passion, intelligence, and leadership experience of women to promote and encourage public interest in the energy and environmental sectors, has appointed Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Joey Lee Miranda to serve as Secretary of its Board of Directors. Founded in Boston in 2008, the goal of NEWIEE is to foster a dynamic and enthusiastic environment for those who care about energy and environmental issues in order to encourage the development of creative solutions to energy and environmental issues. Read more in the press release.
The Growth & Infrastructure Consortium (GIC), a consortium of public and private sector practitioners who work in the field of infrastructure planning, finance, and law, has appointed Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Byron D. Flagg to a two-year term on its Board of Directors. The mission of GIC is to advance the discussion, theory, and practice of impact fees and public infrastructure finance needed to serve population centers nationwide. Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole lawyers and staff members participated in Junior Achievement (JA) Day at Parkville Community School in Hartford on November 16, 2017. This was the firm's thirteenth JA/R+C Day and twelfth visit to this elementary school.
A total of fourteen volunteers from the firm taught approximately 75 students in kindergarten through second grade a JA-developed curriculum focused on promoting financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and workforce readiness. Robinson+Cole partner Christine E. Bromberg, a member of the Board of Directors of JA of Southwest New England, coordinated the effort. The firm is a longtime supporter of JA. Read more and view a photo in the press release.
Robinson+Cole is pleased to announce the election of seven new partners, effective January 1, 2018. The new partners are Kendra L. Berardi, Stephen O. Clancy, Dana M. Horton, Rachel V. Kushel, Keisha S. Palmer, Timothy C. Twardowski, and George W. Watson III.
“The development and advancement of our lawyers is critical to our continuing success,” said Stephen E. Goldman, Robinson+Cole’s Managing Partner. “The advancement of these new partners is representative of the ways in which the firm continues to grow and be successful. It gives me great pleasure to congratulate our new partners, and also congratulate the R+C community for helping them achieve their success.”
Read more in the press release.
The Central Connecticut Paralegal Association (CCPA) presented Robinson+Cole with its “2017 Employer Appreciation Award” during the association’s annual Employer Appreciation Luncheon, which took place on November 16, 2017 in Hartford, CT
In presenting the award to Robinson+Cole, Larry O'Neal, CCPA president, noted the firm's ongoing support of CCPA. Mr. O'Neal further acknowledged the firm's exemplary support of its paralegals, including, in particular, the firm's commitment to its paralegals' professional development. Read more and view a photo in the press release.
Robinson+Cole is pleased to announce the promotion of eight associates to counsel, effective January 1, 2018. The new counsel are Kathleen E. Dion, Jerome L. Garciano, Sorell E. Negro, Lisa C. Riccio, Evan J. Seeman, Lauren M. Sigg, Jonathan E. Small, and Elizabeth K. Wright.
“The elevation of these lawyers further enhances some of our core practices in three of our key markets,” said Stephen E. Goldman, Robinson+Cole’s Managing Partner. “It’s my pleasure to congratulate this group on their well-deserved promotions.”
Read more in the press release.
Connecticut Legal Services (CLS), a private non-profit legal aid agency dedicated to helping low-income families and individuals meet their basic needs and be assured equal access to opportunities and justice, has appointed Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Peter R. Knight to its Board of Directors. Now in its 40th year, CLS provides comprehensive services to 58 percent of Connecticut’s poverty population living in 122 communities outside of greater Hartford and New Haven. The organization’s 47 lawyers, along with paralegals, legal assistants, and volunteers handle about 5,500 cases per year. Read more in the press release.
Real Estate Litigation Group lawyer John F. X. Peloso Jr. and Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Evan J. Seeman have been elected to affiliate membership in the Owners Counsel of America (OCA). The OCA is a business association comprised of the nation’s pre-eminent property rights and eminent domain attorneys who dedicate a substantial portion of their legal practice to the representation of private property owners. Mr. Peloso and Mr. Seeman's affiliate membership is sponsored by Dwight H. Merriam, who serves on the OCA's board of directors and is the Connecticut Member of the OCA.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Byron D. Flagg moderated the program "Water, Water (Not) Everywhere: What’s Happening to Our Water Resources" as part of the 24th annual Public Interest Environmental Conference on February 9, 2018 at the University of Florida Levin College of Law in Gainesville, Florida. Mr. Flagg opened the session by covering the difference between the legal definitions of “Groundwater” and “Surface water” under Florida law as well as Florida water supply policy. He then moderated a panel of three experts in Florida water policy who discussed various methods, technologies and policies involving water supply, and the challenges faced by local governments to meet the water demands under the pressure of constant growth as more and more people continue to move to Florida. The panel also offered insight on the potential problems local government water supply sources are facing as climate change impacts increase.
On Saturday, January 27, 2018, Karla L. Chaffee, Nadine L. Ebersole, Michelle M. Labbe, Matthew J. Lawlor, Andrew W. Monthey, and Derek Valentine, accompanied by their significant others, attended the annual John & Abigail Adams Benefit at the Museum of Fine Arts. Hosted by the Boston Bar Foundation, the event is the largest of its kind in the Boston area, with 100 percent of the proceeds funding direct grants awarded to local organizations that serve thousands of individuals and families struggling with critical issues such as homelessness, domestic violence, and various forms of injustice. View a photo from the event.
Business Transactions Group lawyer Adam Anderson was part of a panel of transaction professionals that participated in a mock negotiation on February 2, 2018 in Stamford, Connecticut for members of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and the Exit Planning Exchange (XPX). The mock negotiation was based upon a case study, and Mr. Anderson served as the seller’s counsel in the sale of a closely held business. The mock negotiation highlighted how parties address certain deal terms and issues that arise during the sale of a business.
Labor, Employment, Benefits + Immigration Group lawyer Matthew T. Miklave presented the webcast "An Overview of the New York State and City Human Rights Law" on February 9, 2018. Presented by Lawline, this CLE course included a comprehensive overview of New York State and New York City anti-discrimination statutes, including the similarities and differences between them. Mr. Miklave covered the laws’ definitions of protected classes, the availability of remedies, time limitations on bringing actions, elements of claims, and substantive and procedural defenses. Mr. Miklave also focused on recent amendments extending protections to interns, expanding protections for the disabled, victims of domestic violence, and those experiencing complications from pregnancy and childbirth.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Timothy C. Twardowski moderated a CLE program on “Navigating Boston Permitting” on February 7, 2018. Presented and hosted by the Real Estate Section of the Boston Bar Association, the program provided an overview of the history and structure of Boston zoning and offered insights for navigating the unique permitting processes of the City of Boston.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications lawyer James P. Ray moderated a session on the "Use of Court Appointed Experts and Technical Advisors in Complex Litigation" presented during the 2018 Environmental & Energy, Mass Torts and Products Liability Litigation Committees' Joint CLE Seminar on January 26, 2018 in Whistler, British Columbia. Sponsored by the American Bar Association's Section of Litigation, the panel covered the use and selection of court-appointed experts, the ways these experts work with the court and parties, and the types of cases where these appointments are typically made.
Immigration Group lawyers Joshua S. Mirer, Megan R. Naughton, and Jennifer L. Shanley authored the article “H1B Work Visas Under Attack,” published in Business New Haven E-News on January 31, 2018. In the article, Mr. Mirer, Ms. Naughton, and Ms. Shanley describe the heightened scrutiny faced by H1-B petitions from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) under President Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American Executive Order.” The article indicates that “foreign nationals can still qualify for the increasingly narrow H-1B category. To do so, the employer must understand the type of positions that qualify for an H-1B visa and describe the requirements for the position with specific, yet limited degree requirements, choose the most accurate prevailing wage category and wage level, and, present evidence that the position and the foreign national qualify for an H-1B visa.” Click here to read the article.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications lawyer Richard M. Fil was recently reelected to a two-year term on the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Society of Environmental Professionals (RISEP). Formed in 1989, RISEP is a nonprofit corporation that encourages and facilitates the development and support of the environmental services industry in Rhode Island. Members in RISEP include engineering and environmental consulting firms, industry/manufacturing businesses, academia, attorneys, government agencies, and environmental technology businesses. The organization provides a collective voice for the environmental community in identifying key regulatory issues and reforms that are important to industry and commerce. It also provides a coordinated level of technical expertise to the regulatory and legislative community for expert reviews and guidance.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Evan J. Seeman moderated a webinar entitled “Planned Communities” on January 30, 2018. Presented by the International Municipal Lawyers Association, the webinar featured an overview of the history of planned unit developments (PUDs), best practices for regulating PUDs, legal issues that may arise in the regulation of PUDs, and alternatives to PUDs.
Construction Group lawyer Gregory R. Faulkner presented at the Construction Institute's (CI) workshop, "Management of Legal Exposures," on January 24, 2018, in Hartford, Connecticut. The workshop is offered as part of CI's Project Management Certification program. Mr. Faulkner has presented at this workshop for the past several years, and it remains one of CI's most well-attended programs. This year, the program was structured to provide a two hour online session, followed by a two hour live presentation. Mr. Faulkner addressed how early knowledge of potential issues on a project can help mitigate any associated legal consequences and costs. In the session, the participants reviewed potential legal issues that can arise from missteps; examined case law examples that resulted from construction-related issues; and discussed the importance of considering legal hurdles before making decisions.
Boston lawyers Katherine C. Bailey, Nadine L. Ebersole, Lawrence P. Heffernan, Ashley P. Keenan, E. Christopher Kehoe, and Elizabeth K. Wright represented Robinson+Cole during the 19th Annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid on January 25, 2018. At the State House, participants urged lawmakers to protect state funding for civil legal aid. Civil legal aid programs provide vital services to protect the safety and stability of low-income individuals and families, including cases related to loss of housing, domestic abuse, access to veterans benefits, employment, elder law, and immigration. By providing lawyers and legal advice to people living at or near the federal poverty level, civil legal aid programs enhance the ability of clients to access justice and can serve as a powerful tool to combat poverty. Click here to view a photo of Robinson+Cole lawyers at the State House.
The Walk to the Hill event was sponsored by the Equal Justice Coalition, a partnership with the Boston Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, and the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation.
Labor + Employment Group lawyer Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson was quoted in an article entitled “How to Investigate Sexual Harassment Allegations,” published in the February 2018 issue of HR Magazine, the member publication for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). In the article, Ms. Cole-Johnson comments on the need to create an investigative plan before beginning interviews, gather evidence that might support or negate the complaint, and produce a timely fact-finding document or report. She also stresses the importance of weighing the evidence. “Don’t just regurgitate what the witnesses told you. That’s not the role of an investigator.” Click here to read the article available on the SHRM website.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyers Stephen O. Clancy, Rhonda J. Tobin, and Gregory P. Varga presented a program on “Preserving the Privilege—The Erosion of Protections for Confidential Communications Between In-House Attorneys, Claim Professionals, and Outside Counsel” on January 11, 2018 at the firm. Attendees were led through an interactive discussion on the intricacies of recognizing situations in which attorney-client privilege is preserved and when it may be inadvertently waived in communications between in-house counsel and insurance claims adjusters. The program was followed by an informal networking reception.
The presentation was the first in a newly launched “Insurance In-House Counsel CLE Series” that offers continuing legal education (CLE) and networking catered exclusively to in-house counsel and attorney claim professionals in the insurance industry. The next program in the series is scheduled to take place on March 29, 2018.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Laura Farach co-presented a program on “The Importance of Time and Money” during the 19th Annual Windstorm Insurance Conference held in Orlando, Florida from January 15 to January 19, 2018. The Conference was attended by approximately 1,000 insurance industry professionals and featured programs on current trends, hot topics, and recent developments in windstorm/property insurance claims. During the program, Ms. Farach spoke about undisputed and partial payments, including when and under what circumstances a policyholder is entitled to the payment of “undisputed amounts” before the final resolution of a claim. Ms. Farach also focused on the information that must be included in a sworn statement in proof of loss, its effect on an insurer’s evaluation and adjustment of a claim, and the its impact as a trigger in starting the clock on an insurer’s deadline to make undisputed payments on a claim. In addition, Ms. Farach covered the benefits of timely payments for the policyholder and the repercussions of untimely payments for the insurer, including the insurer’s bad faith exposure as a result of failing to make undisputed payments in a timely manner.
International Practice Group Co-chairs Kathleen M. Porter and J. Michael Wirvin contributed the “Focus on the US” portion of Expanding International Horizons, part two of Mills & Reeve LLP's Defining Gravity study. The British law firm, headquartered in London, is conducting the study “to help explain how medium sized businesses can achieve high performance in complex and uncertain times.” In the “Focus on the US” section of the report, Ms. Porter is quoted as saying that “The US is the UK’s number one export market and remains a very attractive location for UK businesses seeking to expand internationally. The diversity, population, and sheer size of the country continues to offer inbound businesses a large customer base with serious purchasing power.” Click here to read the full report.
Finance Group lawyer Norman H. Roos co-moderated “A Conversation with MBA Chairman David Motley” as part of the New England Mortgage Expo on January 12, 2018, held at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center in Uncasville, Connecticut. The session featured a discussion of the state of the mortgage banking industry with the 2018 Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). In addition, Mr. Roos served as moderator and one of five panelists who presented during the Connecticut Mortgage Bankers Association (CMBA) legislative and regulatory update session "The CMBA Presents: Keeping Up with Shifting Priorities—What Do Mortgage Lenders and Other Mortgage Industry Participants Need to be Aware of in the Coming Year—Insights from Industry Insiders as to recent developments in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island." The program covered new licensing requirements, examination and enforcement priorities, electronic notifications, electronic closings and other legislative and regulatory developments impacting the origination and servicing of residential lending in CT, MA and RI. Mr. Roos is counsel to the CMBA.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Jeannine C. Jacobson was among the panelists who spoke on "Suspicious Deaths & Suicide—Coverage, Claims, Investigation, and Litigation" during the 44th Annual TIPS Mid-Winter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits—Life, Health and Disability, and ERISA: Emerging Issues and Litigation. Presented by the Life Insurance Committee of the American Bar Association's Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), the symposium was hosted in Coral Gables, Florida from January 11 to 13, 2018. Ms. Jacobson discussed suspicious death and suicide claims, and evaluated the unique, mysterious and often complex investigations, coverage analyses, and litigation that arise from such claims.
Employee Benefits + Compensation Group lawyers Virginia E. McGarrity and Alisha N. Sullivan co-authored the article "Disaster Relief in the Workplace," published in the Fall 2017 edition of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Labor and Employment Law Newsletter. In the article, Ms. McGarrity and Ms. Sullivan cover the benefits and resources available to employees by human resource management to assist those who have been affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Click here to read the article
Transactional Health Law Group co-chair Leslie J. Levinson was quoted in a Part B News article published on January 1, 2018. The article, “2018 predictions: Providers take on risk, OCR goes after ‘juicy’ violations, MIPS habits change and more," offers predictions of what will affect physician practices in 2018. Regarding the prediction that mergers and acquisitions among medical practices will be strong in 2018, Mr. Levinson says that M&A activity should continue to be active and that some large medical organizations will spin off acquisitions that don’t prove profitable. "That trend, particularly with private equity investors, should continue in the coming year." Click here to read the article
Another Part B News article, published on the same day, recapped predictions that were made early last year. The article, “PBN's 2017 predictions: Right on QPP, CCM, fraud — and almost everything else,” indicated that Mr. Levinson's 2017 prediction came to fruition as “large players, acquiring, trading or spinning off businesses kept the sector hopping.” Click here to read the article.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Evan J. Seeman was among the presenters for the “Special Topics in Planning and the First Amendment: Signs, Adult Businesses, Religious Land Uses, and More” webinar on December 14, 2017. Presented by the Planning & Law Division of the American Planning Association (APA), the program reviewed several areas in which planners interact with the First Amendment, including in the areas of sign regulation, religious land uses, adult businesses, and social media use by local governments and public employees. Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation.
Tax Group lawyer Ryan V. Leichsenring spoke at the 2017 State Tax 360° Conference sponsored by the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, on November 29, 2017. Together with his co-presenter, Kelley Galica Peck of Cummings & Lockwood, Mr. Leichsenring's session, "Domicile, Estate, and Income Tax," addressed domicile issues for purposes of the Connecticut income, estate, and gift taxes. The session also offered insight into how to effectively change domicile and how to structure certain deferred compensation to avoid additional Connecticut taxes.
Robinson+Cole is once again a proud sponsor of Winterfest Hartford, an annual event hosted in Bushnell Park, this year running from November 24, 2017 to January 2, 2018. During that time period, Winterfest offers free daily ice skating, free skate rentals, and free learn to skate classes. Winterfest is hosted by the City of Hartford, the iQuilt Partnership, the Hartford Business Improvement District, and the MetroHartford Alliance. Click here to see photos of ice skaters enjoying the Winterfest rink.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Dwight H. Merriam was among the panelists who spoke during the 16th annual Alfred B. DelBello Land Use and Sustainable Development Conference at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in White Plains, New York on December 7, 2017. During the afternoon plenary session, Mr. Merriam discussed the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Murr v. Wisconsin, drones, and short-term rentals. Click here to view the resource materials and PowerPoint for the session.
Employee Benefits + Compensation Group lawyers Virginia E. McGarrity and Alisha N. Sullivan co-authored the article "Proposed Expansion of the PBGC's Missing Participant Program," published in the Fall 2017 edition of the Public Fiduciary, the official newsletter for Fiduciary Investment Advisors (FIA). FIA is an independent, employee-owned investment consulting firm that works with fiduciary clients including retirement plan sponsors, institutions, non-profit organizations, and private clients.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Karla L. Chaffee, Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Diana E. Neeves, and Business Litigation Group lawyer John F. X. Peloso Jr., presented a webinar on “Ten Easy Lessons: How Local Governments Can Successfully Defend against RLUIPA Claims” on December 11, 2017. Presented by the International Municipal Lawyers Association, the program covered RLUIPA's basic provisions. The program also included a discussion of ten lessons municipalities and their counsel should heed based on the past 10+ years of RLUIPA litigation. Ms. Chaffee, Ms. Neeves, and Mr. Peloso offered insight on proactively planning for religious uses and educating local decision makers. Click here to view the presentation.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Dana M. Horton organized the Providence office's participation in the December 2017 Spirit of Giving Holiday Drive benefiting Children's Friend. Lawyers and staff members brightened the holidays for two, single-parent families, including seven children, by purchasing presents for each family member. The Rhode Island Women's Bar Association sponsored the drive and was able to support a record number of families this year. Children's Friend is a nonprofit organization that serves Rhode Island children and families who face overwhelming obstacles in their lives, from poverty and language barriers to lack of education and substance abuse. Click here to see the display of generosity in the Providence office.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyers Daniel F. Sullivan and Gregory P. Varga presented “Insurance Bad Faith Set-Up In Connecticut,” a National Business Institute program on December 12, 2017 in East Hartford, Connecticut. Mr. Sullivan covered the origins of bad faith law in Connecticut and the nuances of the common law and statutory causes of action that have developed over the past few decades. Mr. Varga addressed the proper investigation and documentation of third-party and first-party insurance claims, and the statutory and common law rules and standards governing those functions. He also led an interactive discussion on the discoverability of material in an insurer’s claim file, including the applicability of the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine to confidential communications with in-house and outside counsel.
Robinson+Cole, as it has done for 13 consecutive years, met its goal of providing gifts to nearly 120 needy children from the Northwest Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford. Nuala E. Droney coordinated the office's drive and was aided by lawyers and staff, who bought and wrapped gifts to fulfill each child's wish. The Boys & Girls Clubs work to help Hartford youth, especially the most vulnerable, reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens by providing programs in a safe environment that nurture character, leadership, fitness, and life skills. Ms. Droney is a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford's Board of Trustees. Click here to view a photo.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Michael S. Giaimo presented a one-hour video recorded lecture on "Zoning Practice: Procedures for Obtaining Variances and Special Permits" as part of the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education’s (MCLE) Practical Lawyering Skills series, which is geared towards lawyers beginning in practice or who want to brush up in a particular area. In his presentation, Mr. Giaimo covered the process of obtaining zoning relief in Massachusetts (both legal and practical considerations), how to analyze a project to determine what zoning relief is required, how to prepare and file an application for a variance or special permit, how to prepare for and represent an applicant at a hearing, and procedures and other issues related to zoning decisions under Massachusetts law and practice.
Legal Administrative Assistant Lisa Torres was the organizer behind the New York office’s participation in a toy drive benefiting Safe Horizon’s Queens Child Advocacy Center. With the help of Kathleen Corbett, Soo Y. Kim, and Cara C. Vecchione, the toy drive was held from November 22, 2017 to December 11, 2017. Lawyers and staff members donated more than 30 toys and items of clothing, along with 11 Old Navy gifts cards, which will be distributed during Safe Horizon’s annual holiday party. Safe Horizon’s Child Advocacy Centers treat children who have suffered sexual abuse or severe physical abuse and their impacted family members by addressing their safety, tending to their physical injuries and emotional needs, and bringing abusers to justice. Click here to see photos from the toy drive.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Steven L. Elbaum has been elected Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the town of Trumbull, Connecticut. He will serve a five-year term. The Zoning Board of Appeals holds monthly public hearings on petitions for Special Exceptions variances from the zoning regulations and appeals from orders of any official charged with enforcement of the town's zoning regulations.
Labor + Employment lawyer Rachel V. Kushel was a co-presenter on the topic of "Labor Grievance Processing" at an American Arbitration Association program in Cromwell, Connecticut on November 30, 2017. The program offered practical skills and information on how to constructively use the grievance process to resolve disputes and questions regarding contract interpretation. Ms. Kushel shared insight on how to assess the merits of a grievance, conduct an investigation and communicate a position effectively at a grievance meeting, and implement or otherwise formalize the grievance procedure in an organization.
Legal Administrative Assistant Rebecca B. Hughes was the organizer behind the Boston office’s participation in a holiday raffle to raise funds in support of the hurricane relief effort in Puerto Rico. Lawyers and staff members helped secure prizes, put together baskets, and promote the raffle, which was hosted in the lobby during the office building’s annual holiday event on December 7, 2017. Tickets were sold to enter to win prizes such as the new iPhone X, popular children’s toys, packages for Boston Celtics and Bruins games, getaways to the Viking Hotel in Rhode Island and Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut, and much more. Winners for each prize basket were randomly drawn at the end of the event which ultimately raised about $8,000. All proceeds from the holiday raffle will be donated to Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico, a fund established as a partnership between the The Boston Foundation and the Latino Legacy Fund. Click here to view photos from the event.
Employee Benefits + Compensation Group lawyer Bruce B. Barth presented a session on the "DOL Fiduciary Rule: Risks and Opportunities for Advisors" on December 7, 2017 at the CTCPA Education Center in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. The program was part of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants’ (CTCPA) Personal Financial Planning Conference and covered the practical impacts of the DOL Fiduciary Rule as it relates to client advice and implementation of portfolios. Mr. Barth offered insight on how advisers can comply with the DOL Fiduciary Rule, the risks of non-compliance, and the potential for growing your advice practice if implemented successfully.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Dwight H. Merriam was among the speakers that presented on "The Proliferation of Short Term Rentals and Implications for Municipalities, Including Implications for Zoning Regulations" on November 29, 2017 at the CBA Law Center in New Britain, Connecticut. Presented by the Connecticut Bar Association’s (CBA) Planning & Zoning Section, the CLE seminar discussed how municipalities across the country are dealing with issues that arise from the ever expanding short term rental market. The program also addressed how land use lawyers, developers, and municipalities should handle issues pertaining to short term rentals. Mr. Merriam is a member of the CBA'sl Estate + Development Group lawyer Dwight H. Merriam was among the speakers that presented on "The Proliferation of Short Term Rentals and Implications for Municipalities, Including Implications for Zoning Regulations" on November 29, 2017 at the CBA Law Center in New Britain, Connecticut. Presented by the Connecticut Bar Association’s (CBA) Planning & Zoning Section, the CLE seminar discussed how municipalities across the country are dealing with issues that arise from the ever expanding short term rental market. The program also addressed how land use lawyers, developers, and municipalities should handle issues pertaining to short term rentals. Mr. Merriam is a member of the CBA's Planning & Zoning Sections' Executive Committee. For more information, click here to view the presentation.
Construction Group lawyer Gregory R. Faulkner was among the speakers that presented on "Arbitrating Construction Defect Claims" during the 2nd Annual Construction Defect, Claims & Litigation Strategies ExecuSummit on December 6, 2017 at Mohegan Sun Hotel & Convention Center in Uncasville, Connecticut. Serving as a primer on arbitration, the seminar covered the contractual right to arbitrate, what disputes are most suited to arbitration, arbitration forums, procedural considerations, and more.
Intellectual Property + Technology Law Group lawyer Alaine C. Doolan moderated a CLE seminar on "Ethics and Intellectual Property: Traps, Pitfalls, and Adventures in IP Lawyering" on December 6, 2017 at the CBA Law Center in New Britain, Connecticut. The program was presented by the Connecticut Bar Association’s (CBA) Intellectual Property Section and covered legal ethics from the perspective of the intellectual property lawyer. Presented as an interactive roundtable, the seminar offered ethical scenarios and dilemmas derived from real-world events in each area of intellectual property law and a review of the relevant provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Ms. Doolan currently serves as Secretary of the CBA and is Immediate Past Chair of the CBA's Intellectual Property Section.
Health Law Group lawyer Lisa M. Boyle was presented with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Medallion in recognition of her “unusually devoted service” which “has contributed greatly in helping youth to achieve a fuller and richer life through the positive guidance and influence of the Boys & Girls Club.” The honor was given during the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford Board of Trustees Annual Meeting on October 16, 2017 at The Pond House in West Hartford, Connecticut. For nearly 20 years, Ms. Boyle served on the Board of Trustees for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, including many years in which she served as the Board Secretary. During that time, Ms. Boyle established a summer internship program at Robinson+Cole for Boys & Girls Clubs participants as well as an annual holiday gift drive at the firm benefiting the children served by the organization.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Brian W. Blaesser recently co-authored a book, entitled Reinventing Development Regulations. In the book, published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Mr. Blaesser and his co-author, Jonathan Barnett, argue that current zoning and subdivision regulations are riddled with structural deficiencies and biases that must be corrected if communities are to foster sustainable development. The authors devote a chapter to each of the following critical areas, where they argue that the modifications to the local development controls they propose can be effective in correcting most problems that these controls have created and in implementing real estate development policies that are needed today: (1) Relating Development to the Natural Environment, (2) Managing Climate Change Locally, (3) Encouraging Walking by Mixing Land Uses and Housing Types, (4) Preserving Historic Landmarks, (5) Creating More Affordable Housing and Promoting Environmental Justice, and (6) Establishing Design Principles and Standards for Public Spaces and Buildings. A seventh chapter addresses how to implement these proposed regulatory modifications while safeguarding private property interests. In his review of the book, Christopher Leinberger of the George Washington University School of Business and the Brookings Institute, observed that "[r]arely has such a comprehensive and readable book been written about how we regulate development in the United States. Technically and legally rigorous, this book examines how we invest society’s wealth in where we live, work and build." Click here to read more about Reinventing Development Regulations on the Lincoln Institute's website for new publications. Click here to view the cover of the book.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Linn F. Freedman presented a "Cybersecurity Workshop for the Water & Wastewater Industry" on November 29, 2017 at the MDC Training Center in Hartford, Connecticut. Hosted by the Connecticut Water Works Association, the workshop covered the risks presented to critical infrastructure resulting from a cyber incident, and how cybersecurity incidents can affect water and wastewater systems in a variety of ways, including interfering with the operation of equipment, making unauthorized changes to programmed instructions, changing or disabling alarms and disrupting water access and flow to customers. Ms. Freedman offered practical insights on how to protect against and reduce the risk of cybersecurity threats.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Brian R. Smith spoke at the International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure, hosted by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), in New York City on October 27, 2017. The conference, featuring lawyers, civil engineers, urban architects, policy makers, and technology leaders, showcased the latest developments and advancements in design, construction, technology, policy, and education related to sustainable infrastructure. Mr. Smith presented on "Recent Caselaw Development in Wetlands Preservation and Mitigation: Lessons for Engineers."
Tax Group lawyer Ryan V. Leichsenring was a speaker at the 2017 University of Connecticut Income Tax School for Practitioners in Cromwell, Connecticut, on November 15, 2017. The two-day program on federal and state taxes was geared toward accountants, consultants, lawyers, enrolled agents, and all other professionals who prepare taxes. In his session, "A Practitioner’s Perspective on Connecticut Taxes," Mr. Leichsenring spoke to an audience of about 150 CPAs, covering hot topics in Connecticut taxes, including legislation, planning items, and controversies seen in private practice.
Employee Benefits + Compensation Group lawyer Alisha N. Sullivan was among the panelists in the discussion "Struggles Women in Law Face and How Men Can Be Allies," at the Quinnipiac University School of Law in Hamden, Connecticut, on November 15, 2017. The program discussed the challenges women face with negotiation, equal pay, and sexism and how men can be allies.
Labor + Employment Group lawyer Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson spoke at the National Business Institute’s (NBI) seminar Applying HR Law to Everyday Issues – An Interactive Workshop in New Haven, Connecticut, on November 8. 2017. The program, an interactive series of workshops, examined real-world solutions to thought-provoking HR scenarios to help attendees develop commonsense approaches to everyday HR situations. Ms. Cole-Johnson presented three workshops. The first one, "Essential Handbook Must-Haves and Updates," discussed including the latest legal updates in handbooks, maintaining at-will relationships, eliminating contradictory policies, and avoiding vague and inconsistent policies. The second one, "Managing FMLA and ADA Leave: A Collaborative Exercise," explored the legal essentials of FMLA and ADA leave, along with the possible scenarios involving intermittent leave headaches, reasonable accommodation or undue hardship, and leave and substance abuse. The third one, "New Hires: Ensuring Legally Sound Practices," highlighted job description essentials, how to conduct background checks, how to use social media in the hiring process, when/how to use noncompete agreements, and onboarding and orientation best practices.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyers presented at HarrisMartin's Hurricanes Irma & Maria Conference in Miami Beach, Florida, on November 14, 2017. Managing Partner Stephen E. Goldman was co-chair of the event. Gregory P. Varga provided a forecast of the unique insurance coverage and loss measurement issues that are anticipated to arise from business interruption claims filed in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Jonathan E. Small spoke on "Flood, Wind, and Concurrent Causation" and "Unique Insurance and Class Action Litigation Following Irma and Maria." Laura Farach led panel discussions on complex code upgrade coverage issues and litigation involving allegations of unfair claim settlement practices.
Construction Group lawyer Gregory R. Faulkner was a panelist at the largest building industry event in the Northeast, ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX) 2017, which took place in Boston, Massachusetts, on November 9, 2017. The session, "Great Expectations: What Clients Really Want, Need, & Value," delved into the evolving world of clients, architects, and construction delivery. The goal of the interactive discussion was to improve design and construction professionals’ understanding of project success, improve all parties’ understanding of what design and construction teams need to be efficient and productive, address the practical reality of better owner agreements, and identify best practices for design/construction teams.
Construction Group lawyer Dennis C. Cavanaugh presented at the one-day program on Construction Insurance in Washington, DC, on November 3, 2017. The American Bar Association's (ABA) Forum on Construction Law event focused on the key insurance and surety bond products available to transfer risk and on issues concerning the relationship between those insurance products and contract provisions and performance obligations. The faculty consisted of leading lawyers and insurance specialists. Mr. Cavanaugh spoke on performance bonds and subcontractor default insurance as risk management tools.