Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Alicia R. Selman was honored by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as an “Up and Coming Lawyer” during the publication’s annual Excellence in the Law event on July 22, 2020, which was hosted virtually this year. Up and Coming Lawyers are described as the rising stars of the legal community—Massachusetts attorneys who have been members of the bar for ten years or less, but who have already distinguished themselves despite their relatively junior status. Honorees were featured in a special "Excellence in the Law 2020" section published on July 17, 2020. Read more about the recognition in the press release and view Alicia's profile.
Robinson+Cole is pleased to announce the addition of James F. Lathrop as an associate in the firm’s Bankruptcy + Reorganizations Group. Mr. Lathrop concentrates his practice on bankruptcy and corporate restructuring matters. He is resident in the firm’s Wilmington office. Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole has joined the newly-established Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA), an organization that is facilitating the coordination of its member firms to best enable legal services organizations, and the LFAA, to create large-scale, coordinated pro bono projects that address systemic racism. “Robinson+Cole is proud to participate in the LFAA,” said Stephen E. Goldman, Managing Partner of Robinson & Cole LLP. “We look forward to participating in this coordinated effort to promote inclusion and challenge racial and social injustice.” Read more in the press release.
Business Litigation Group and Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Kathryn M. Rattigan was chosen as a winner of Providence Business News’ 16th annual 40 Under Forty program. Ms. Rattigan was honored in a virtual ceremony held on July 16, 2020 and profiled in a special feature published in the July 17, 2020 edition of Providence Business News. The 40 Under Forty awardees were selected based on their career success and involvement within their communities. View Kathryn's profile. Read more in the press release.
Litigation Section co-chair Rhonda J. Tobin was selected by the Hartford Business Journal for inclusion in its 2020 “Women in Business” recognition. She is among 15 honorees who demonstrate business success, confidence in themselves and their organizations, and a strong track record of professional leadership.
In lieu of a recognition event, which was canceled as a result of the current social distancing guidelines in effect, honorees were celebrated during a special two-part webinar series titled “Women in Business Leaders Power Hour Webinars: Leading, Inspiring & Motivating Through Change” hosted on June 2 and June 9. During the webinars, 2020 Women in Business honorees discussed their leadership roles as well as inspiring and motivating through change and growth. The honorees were each profiled in a special section published in the April 6, 2020 edition of the Hartford Business Journal. Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole and the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) will lead the Connecticut COVID-19 Small Business Virtual Legal Clinic as part of the nationwide program organized by Lawyers for Good Government to assist small businesses in weathering the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Providing pro bono service to our communities has been a cornerstone of our firm’s 175-year history,” said Stephen E. Goldman, Managing Partner of Robinson+Cole. “We are pleased to work with the Connecticut Bar Association and other participating law firms and in-house legal departments to help small businesses navigate the unique challenges they face during this unprecedented time.” Read more in the press release.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyers Megan E. Baroni and Jonathan H. Schaefer co-authored the article “Virginia issues first COVID-19 OSHA Standard,” published in ISHN (Industrial Safety & Hygiene News) on August 5, 2020. Originally posted on R+C’s Manufacturing Law Blog, the piece covers the Commonwealth of Virginia's recent passing of the first COVID-19 OSHA standard, which "codifies, and in some cases exceeds, guidance from OSHA and the Center for Disease Control." The article also acknowledges that "Virginia’s actions may be a signal to the many other 'state-plan' states to do the same." Read the full article.
Employee Benefits and Compensation Group member Alisha N. Sullivan and Labor and Employment Group member Emily A. Zaklukiewicz have been appointed to key roles within the Connecticut Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section (CBA-YLS) Women in the Law Committee for the 2020-2021 bar year. Effective July 2020, Emily serves as co-chair of the Committee, while Alisha steps into a new role within the Committee as Director. YLS leadership is encouraging her to mold the position, which functions to lead and guide the Women in the Law Committee co-chairs. Previously, Alisha served as co-chair of the Women in the Law Committee for both the 2017-2018 and 2019-2020 bar years and was even presented with a CBA-YLS Star of the Year Award in recognition of her leadership.
The Young Lawyers Section has as its primary goals the promotion of justice, the encouragement of public service, and the promotion of diversity and education of young lawyers and newly admitted practitioners. The Section serves a valuable social and networking role in fostering connections among young lawyers and assisting them in their transition into the legal practice in Connecticut. It includes all members of the CBA who are 37 years old or younger or who have been admitted to the Bar for less than six full bar years.
The Women in the Law Committee of the Young Lawyers Section monitors the progress and works to enhance the status and opportunities available to women in the legal profession; provides women attorneys in Connecticut an opportunity to share concerns, communicate, and network with one another in a supportive forum; and promotes the participation of the CBA in substantive areas of law and legislation that present issues of particular concern to women in the profession, and to those who seek legal services.
Business Litigation Group lawyers Edward J. Heath and Kevin P. Daly authored the article “Is Your FCPA Corporate Compliance Program Up to Date? US DOJ Issues Revised Guidance” published on ACCDocket.com on July 24, 2020. Co-authored with Sasha Glassman, assistant general counsel for global materials manufacturing company Rogers Corporation, the article examines the revised guidance for how companies should structure their US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) corporate compliance policies issued by the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice on June 1, 2020. ACCDocket.com is the website for the official member publication of the Association of Corporate Counsel, ACC Docket. Read the full article.
Construction Group member Joe Barra and Labor + Employment Group member Matt Miklave co-authored the article “Designing a Return-to-Work Structure” published in PE, the flagship publication of the National Society of Professional Engineers. The “Legal Beat” article shares questions engineers need to consider when developing an effective reopening plan. To read the article, click here.
Manufacturing and aerospace supply chain lawyer Jeffrey J. White was quoted in the article “Suppliers Face Existential Decisions After COVID-19 Crisis” published in Aviation Week on July 15, 2020. The article examines the impact the Boeing 737 MAX crisis, followed by the outbreak of COVID-19, has had on the aerospace and defense manufacturing industry. "In turn, manufacturers do not expect 2019 production levels to return until 2023-25, with thousands of once-planned large commercial aircraft now effectively erased from bankable plans for much of this decade." Making the situation harder to navigate is the notion that sweeping conclusions shouldn't be made. For example, "while widebody aircraft are having issues, for instance, it does not mean every twin-aisle type is suffering equally; the Boeing 787 is expected to fare better. In narrowbodies, the larger, longer-range A320 family is expected to perform better than MAXs for at least a few years." “'This is a much more surgical approach in this downturn,' Robinson and Cole Partner Jeff White says. 'Not everyone will be impacted equally and hugely.'” View the full article.
The Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) has appointed Labor and Employment Group lawyer Natale V. Di Natale to serve as Vice Chair of its Health Law Section Council for the 2020-2021 association year. Natale has previously served on the Council and is a speaker for the MBA. The Health Law Section provides a discussion platform to improve the professional competence of attorneys dealing with health care issues through seminars and publications; strives to bring together all members interested in the practice and delivery of health care.
Class Actions Team Chair Wystan M. Ackerman was quoted in the article “6th Circuit Approves Class Action for Ky. Underpayments by State Farm” published in the Claims Journal on July 14, 2020. The article focuses on a district court ruling that was affirmed by a 6th Circuit Court of Appeals panel certifying a class of plaintiffs who may proceed with breach-of contract claims against State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Co. for including labor costs when calculating depreciation to determine a property’s actual cash value under Kentucky law. “Wystan M. Ackerman, with the Robinson & Cole law firm in Hartford, Connecticut, filed an amicus brief supporting State Farm’s position on behalf of the American Property and Casualty Insurance Association. He said state laws are not consistent on the issue of whether labor cost depreciation can be used when calculating actual cash value.” Read the full article.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Eric D. Daniels was featured in the article “Eric Daniels works to combat domestic violence” published in the July 2020 issue of Glastonbury LIFE. The Q&A profile focuses on Eric's continued involvement with Interval House, Connecticut's largest domestic violence intervention and prevention agency, including being one of the founders of the organization's Men Make A Difference, Men Against Domestic Violence group, which was recognized during Interval House's Breakfast With Champions event last fall. Eric shares what prompted him to become involved in Interval House and how the Men Make A Difference, Men Against Domestic Violence group came to fruition and the efforts it undertakes to help break the cycle of domestic violence. Read the full article.
Manufacturing and aerospace supply chain lawyer Jeffrey J. White was quoted in the article “Daily Memo: Why Skipping The Farnborough Airshow Is A Good Idea” published in Aviation Week on July 1, 2020. Farnborough is where the aviation world meets to transact business. Aviation Week writer, Michael Bruno, shares several reasons why, in addition to COVID-19 restrictions, not having an airshow this year is a good idea. One being that there are practically are no airplane orders to celebrate. Jeff noted, however, that while there is no big aviation news to celebrate, for aerospace suppliers “there [is] trust and long-term building that you are missing out on, and how do you replace it?" Jeff also noted that Farnborough is the place where supplier questions can be answered so that disputes can be avoided. “At least [at the airshow] I’m getting direct information.” Subscribers can view the article here.
Construction Group lawyer Joseph A. Barra was quoted in the article “Equitable tolling can’t salvage condo claims” published in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly on July 9, 2020. The article examines how in Saker, et al. v. Steffian Bradley Associates, the Massachusetts Appeals Court decided that the Equitable Tolling Doctrine did not toll the Unit Owners’ defective construction claims against the condominium’s general contractor and certain subcontractors. When queried as to what practice tips could be gleaned from the decision, Joe responded that perhaps the only “lifeline” the unit owners could have had was a derivative action forcing the developer-controlled association to sue the contractors before the Unit Owners took control of the Board. Read the article.
Pro Bono Chair Peter R. Knight was quoted in the article “Small businesses have COVID-19 questions, and the legal profession is working to answer them” published in the ABA Journal on June 29, 2020. The article highlights how attorneys across the country are assisting small businesses dealing with challenges that result from the COVID-19 pandemic and features the Connecticut COVID-19 Small Business Virtual Legal Clinic, launched in partnership with the Connecticut Bar Association. “As expected, restaurants, jewelers and many other small businesses have asked how to access loan and grant programs and what they can do with those funds once they are received, says Peter Knight, Robinson+Cole’s pro bono partner, who works in the Hartford office and helps distribute requests to a group of more than 50 volunteer attorneys.” Read the full article.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Evan J. Seeman has been elected to serve as the Legislative Liaison of the Connecticut Bar Association’s (CBA) Planning & Zoning Section for the 2020-2021 term. An officer role, Legislative Liaisons serve as the primary contact between their section and the CBA's Legislative Policy and Review Committee as it pertains to relevant legislation affecting their section’s practice area. Beginning in January, the Legislative Liaison reviews a daily ‘List of Bills’ received from the CBA to discern whether any of those listed bills effect the section and relays that information back to the section’s legislative committee/leadership, which may result in the section voting to take a position on specific legislation. In addition, the Legislative Liaison works with the section to propose new legislation or amendments to relevant statutes regarding planning and zoning law.
The Construction Group has been ranked #35 in the second annual The Top 50 Construction Law Firms™ list published by Construction Executive magazine on June 19, 2020. According to its website, Construction Executive (CE) is “the magazine for the business of construction.” The publication reaches more than 55,000 commercial, industrial and institutional contractors and construction-related business owners and has won more than 20 editorial awards. CE developed The Top 50 Construction Law Firms™ ranking by asking hundreds of U.S. construction law firms to complete a survey. Read more in the press release.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Stephani A. Roman was among the volunteers that participated in Greater Hartford Legal Aid’s (GHLA) October 2019 pardon clinic, which resulted in eight clients having their criminal records fully expunged by the state Board of Pardons. Stephani, whose client will now be able to pursue her career dream of being a reentry advocate said in GHLA’s newsletter, “My client is thrilled. She is a phenomenal human being despite all that she has gone through, and working with her through the pardon clinic will leave a lasting impression on my heart.” These successful pardon petitioners will be able to obtain good jobs and decent apartments that have been unavailable to them, because a background check done by employers and landlords will now come back clean. This is a life-changing moment for the clinic participants, whose pardon petitions were prepared by volunteers from The Hartford, The Travelers Companies, Shipman & Goodman, Robinson+Cole, GHLA, and the UConn School of Law. Read more about the clinic in the April/May issue of the Connecticut Bar Association’s member magazine, Connecticut Lawyer.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Michele L. Maresca was quoted in the article “Landlord: 80% to 90% of non-rent-payers are national chains” published in Chain Store Age magazine on June 4, 2020. The article delves into the frustration felt by many retail centers as a result of national retailers not paying rent amid the COVID-19 pandemic and discusses how many of the retailers are claiming that the pandemic gives them force majeure rights to hold back rent when an “act of God” closes their businesses. “My guess is that force majeure will be fought over in court,” said Michele Maresca, a real estate lawyer at Robinson+Cole in Hartford, Conn. “The issue of whether a pandemic or essential business orders qualify as force majeure has never really come up before, and it’s going to take a long time to work this out.” Read the full article.
Business Transactions Group lawyers Anna Jinhua Wang and J. Michael Wirvin along with Manufacturing Industry Team lawyer Jeffrey J. White and Tax Group lawyer Michael J. Kearney authored the “Business Structure” chapter of SelectUSA’s June 2020 Investor Guide. SelectUSA is the Department of Commerce program dedicated to facilitating and promoting high-impact business investment into the United States and has published this Investor Guide as a first-step resource for companies interested in making business investments in the U.S. Each chapter is authored by highly qualified professionals who regularly advise foreign investors. The Business Structure chapter, authored by Anna, Jeff, Mike, and Michael, offers an overview of common business structures for foreign investors. The firm has been representing international companies that wish to do business in the United States for decades. View the Guide here.
Business Transactions Group lawyer Norman H. Roos was quoted in the article “Fintechs try old bank charters as ‘everything old is new again’” published in CQ Roll Call on June 16, 2020. The article focuses on how industrial loan companies are experiencing a resurgence as the fintech industry sees their potential as a vehicle for setting up national financial institutions without all of the federal and state regulatory overlay associated with conventional bank and bank holding company structures. “’Everything old is new again,’ said Norman H. Roos, senior counsel at the Robinson+Cole law firm, in an interview. Roos has been keeping tabs on the growth of industrial bank applications to the FDIC by financial technology companies. These companies increasingly view the little-known process as a way to obtain deposit insurance and, thus, compete in the market with traditional banks.” Read the full article.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Dana M. Horton was among the lawyers recognized in Rhode Island Monthly’s 2020 Professional Excellence in Law awards. Nominated and chosen by their peers, the honorees “exemplify the leading local lawyers in their respective areas of practice, from general counsel and personal injury to civil litigation and criminal defense.” Dana is one of four lawyers, and the only woman, recognized in the Insurance practice area. View the complete list of honorees.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Denis J. O'Malley has been appointed to the Bushnell Park Foundation Board of Directors. The Foundation has served for more than thirty years as the prime advocate for the conservation and restoration of Bushnell Park, the oldest public park in the United States. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Bushnell Park is comprised of 37 green acres and is recognized for its historic artwork as well as its arboretum of over 700 trees. More than one million people visit Bushnell Park each year, including visitors to the 100 public events, the historic Carousel, and art exhibitions at the Pump House Gallery, as well as hundreds of children, city residents and Hartford business workers who walk, run, bicycle, and simply rest in the Park.
Pro Bono Chair Peter R. Knight was among the panelists that discussed the Connecticut COVID-19 Small Business Virtual Legal Clinic, spearheaded by Robinson+Cole and the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA), during the webinar “Lawyers Lending a Hand in Recovery” presented as part of the Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity (CWCSEO) Small Business Matters Series on June 12, 2020. Lightly moderated by CWCSEO Executive Director, Stephen Hernandez, the video series focuses on small businesses as the engine of growth in Connecticut. In addition to Peter, panelists included the CBA's President, President-elect, Vice President and Immediate Past President: Ndidi N. Moses, Amy Lin Meyerson, Cecil J. Thomas, and Jonathan Shapiro, along with Marie Caroline Bertrand of DayPitney and Ginny Kim, Managing Counsel of Raytheon Technologies. During the episode, the panelists talk about how the clinic was created, the disproportionate COVID-19 impact on the minority community, and the fact that small businesses, in particular, were hardest hit. The premise for the conversation was to promote visibility and interest by sharing information on the clinic with legislators, who can then pass on to their constituent communities. View the video of the webinar on the Commission’s Facebook page or on CT-N.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyers Earl W. Phillips Jr. and Jonathan H. Schaefer co-authored two articles published in the May/June 2020 issue of Scrap, the bimonthly magazine of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. The first article, “COVID-19’s Likely Impact on Business Contracts,” published in the “Of Counsel” column, highlights areas of contracts and agreements that warrant careful review as a key takeaway for business leaders from the COVID-19 pandemic. The second article, “Understanding the EPA's COVID-19-Related Enforcement Discretion,” published in the “EHS Spotlight” column, offers an overview of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Distressed Companies and Special Situations Team lawyers Patrick M. Birney and Leslie J. Levinson authored the article “Distressed Company Investing in the COVID-19 Environment” published in a Corporate Restructuring & Bankruptcy special report by the New York Law Journal on June 8, 2020. Investing in distressed entities or their debt or equity can represent attractive opportunities, but not without certain unique challenges, particularly in the post-COVID-19 era. Often these transactions occur out of court as that can be less costly and time consuming than traditional bankruptcy or other in-court processes. The article reviews the unique issues to consider in such transactions. ALM subscribers can read the full article here. If you are not a subscriber, view the article here.
Construction Group lawyer Paul S. Lopez authored the article “Massachusetts Construction Projects Reopen” published in High Profile magazine on May 27, 2020. Originally published to R+C's Construction Law Zone blog, the article covers the reopening of construction projects in Massachusetts, as announced by Governor Charlie Baker on May 18, and highlights the safety guidelines and compliance documentation requirements that contractors and owners must comply with. Read the full article.
Transactional Health Law Group co-chair Leslie J. Levinson was quoted in the article “Pandemic Slows Hospice M&A, but Resurgence Is on the Horizon” published in Hospice News on May 28, 2020. The article focuses on the 2020 hospice mergers and acquisitions market, which continued to be robust in the first quarter of 2020 but slowed in Q2 as companies shifted their attention towards responding to the COVID-19 pandemic . However, Les believes there may be a resurgence. “’There were more hospice transactions done last year than there were home health care deals, and I think that trend was continuing this year,’ said Les Levinson, partner and co-chair of the Transactional Health Law Group at Robinson+Cole.” “ There are a lot of hospice companies still around……and could be prime acquisition targets to be acquired by other players”. Read the full article.
Construction Group lawyer Virginia K. Trunkes authored the article “An Eye in the City Sky” published in Construction Business Owner magazine on May 19, 2020. As a result of COVID-19’s severe impact on some major metropolitan areas, the article covers how commercial drones, i.e., small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), generally prohibited in dense cities, would be helpful in mitigating health risks while facilitating continued development and construction. Read the full article.
In addition, Ginger authored the article “Landmarks preservation and the economy during COVID-19” published in the New York Real Estate Journal on May 19, 2020. Based on a post published on the Construction Law Zone blog, the article covers the economic of landmarks preservation during recessions, as found in the “Historic Preservation: At the Core of a Dynamic New York City” report published by the New York Landmarks Conservancy. Read the full article.
Pro Bono Committee Chair Peter R. Knight was interviewed by FOX 61 television anchor Brent Hardin on the recently launched Connecticut COVID-19 Small Business Virtual Legal Clinic spearheaded by Robinson+Cole and the Connecticut Bar Association. During the interview, featured as part of the "Brent's Got Your Back" consumer news segment, Peter discussed the purpose of the clinic, how it will assist small businesses and nonprofits, and where people can find more information. View the full segment.
In addition, Peter was quoted in the article "Big Law Is Helping Small Businesses Get Back on Their Feet During COVID-19 Health Crisis" published in the Connecticut Law Tribune on May 20, 2020. Read the full article.
Immigration Group lawyer Jennifer L. Shanley has been appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. The organization’s mission is to engage and bring together people and resources committed to the well-being of children and families in the community. United Way focuses on youth success, economic mobility, access to health and basic needs.
Transactional Health Law Group co-chair Leslie J. Levinson was quoted in the article “As COVID-19 Cases Mount, National Spotlight Turns to Hazard Pay for Front-Line Workers” published in Home Health Care News on May 14, 2020. The article focuses on the national conversation surrounding hazard pay for essential front-line workers as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. “’Absence of government support, the money will have to come from the home care companies themselves,’ Les Levinson, co-chair of the health care transactions practice at legal firm Robinson & Cole, told HHCN. ‘They’re either going to get it from their cash reserves or other sources of capital if they have lines of credit to tap.’” Read the full article.
Chief Talent Officer Catherine A. Duke was featured in LexBlog's “Women Who Wow” series on May 12, 2020. In the profile, Cathy reflects on the women she looks up to, shares what she thinks is the key for success in her role, and offers advice to women in her field. Read the full article.
Managed Care + Employee Benefit Litigation Group member Milanna Datlow authored the article “Hospital Risk Management: Issues to Consider to Minimize Exposure in Litigation,” published by DRI in the May 2020 issue of For The Defense. The article addresses lessons learned in Connecticut in relation to exposure to litigation that hospitals may face - including causes of action ranging from negligence to statutory violations of trade practice laws - which may be instructive nationwide. To read the article, please click here.