The 2014 Innovation Summit was full of inventive, enterprising entrepreneurs and Robinson+Cole lawyer Eric J. Dale had the honor of introducing the "Tech Companies to Watch" selected to participate in the summit's pitch fest. Forty select firms participated in the pitch fest, delivering a three-minute pitch to a panel of judges who picked the best and awarded cash prizes.
This was the 8th annual event presented by the Connecticut Technology Council, the Angel Investor Forum, the Crossroads Venture Group, and CURE on November 12 at the Oak Dale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. Mr. Dale is chair of the Business Transactions Group at Robinson+ Cole and president of the Cross Roads Venture Group.
Robinson+Cole received 34 first-tier metropolitan rankings in the 2015 "Best Law Firms" list from U.S. News & World Report. The firm also received three national rankings, including Tier 2 rankings for Information Technology Law and Land Use & Zoning Law and a Tier 3 ranking for Real Estate Law.
The rankings are presented in tiers, either on the national or metropolitan lists, by practice area. The 2015 national rankings cover 74 practice areas while the metropolitan rankings cover as many as 120 practice areas. Both rankings are based on surveys in which major clients and lawyers were asked to rate the law firms they consider best in their practice areas.
See the full list of Robinson+Cole's rankings in the press release here.
Robinson+Cole's Business Litigation Group was again ranked as "highly recommended" in Connecticut in the 2015 edition of Benchmark Litigation. The firm also had the most lawyers recognized as "Local Litigation Stars" in Connecticut. Wystan M. Ackerman, Bradford S. Babbitt, Joseph L. Clasen, Nuala E. Droney, Linda L. Morkan, Craig A. Raabe, Rhonda J. Tobin, Theodore J. Tucci, and James A. Wade all earned this honor. It is the first year Ms. Droney, Ms. Tobin, and Mr. Tucci earned this recognition.
Benchmark Litigation is the only publication on the market to focus exclusively on litigation in the U.S. Benchmark results are based on comprehensive interviews with litigators and their clients. Read more in the press release here.
A total of 54 Robinson+Cole attorneys were named Super Lawyers® in the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York for 2014.The Super Lawyers® designation is based on regional balloting by attorneys, third-party research, and a peer review process encompassing myriad practice areas.
In addition, 21 attorneys at the firm were recognized as "Rising Stars." Read an explanation of the Super Lawyers methodology here.
To see the recognized attorneys and their areas of practice, click here.
Robinson+Cole continues to expand its lawyer roster with the addition of five new associates across its practice areas. The lawyers join the firm's Hartford, Stamford, and New York offices and their arrival corresponds with that of Leslie J. Levinson, who, as previously announced, joined the firm as a partner and co-chair of Robinson+Cole's Transactional Health Law Group in the firm's Metro New York offices.
"The arrival of these associates strengthens Robinson+Cole's practice groups, allowing the firm to more effectively and completely serve clients throughout our reach," said Joey Lee Miranda, partner in the Environmental + Utilities Group and chair of the firm's Hiring Committee. "We are very pleased to have them on board and bring their experiences to our teams and our clients."
How can we stem the tide of the rapidly growing prison population in the U.S. and actually effect change on the individuals sent into our correctional systems? This is the question Brian E. Moran and the Malta Justice Initiative tackle in the new book The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration Has Hijacked the American Dream.
The Justice Imperative looks at the current state of Connecticut's criminal justice and correctional systems and examines whether policy and enforcement initiatives remain effective, or sustainable, in view of their staggering monetary and human cost. The book outlines 30 specific reforms for Connecticut's legislative and executive branches to consider in an effort to "right-size" Connecticut's prisons. It was supported by Robinson+Cole's pro bono program. Read more here.
Women from a wide range of professions and industries joined the Connecticut Chapter of the Turnaround Management Association (CTTMA) and the Connecticut Chapter of the International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC) for an empowering ladies' poker night. Led by experienced instructors, the event combined fundamental instruction in the game of poker with insight on how to use the principles of poker to strengthen business and negotiation skills.
Robinson+Cole lawyers Taylor A. Shea and Kristen M. Bandura served as event co-chairs for the CTTMA. Pamela K. Elkow and Kathleen Sebastian from Robinson+Cole were also in attendance, and the firm was an event sponsor. The event drew nearly 30 women, including bankers, attorneys, business analysts, accountants, marketing and
development professionals, environmental consultants, and risk management professionals. Read more and view a picture from the event here.
The Connecticut Law Tribune has recognized Robinson+Cole lawyers Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, Sorell E. Negro, Brian D. Nichols, and Keisha S. Palmer as New Leaders in the Law. They are among 60 attorneys, all under age 40, recognized in the New Leaders in the Law 2014 Yearbook and will be honored at an awards dinner on November 6 at The Bond Ballroom in downtown Hartford. The Connecticut Law Tribune received more than 300 award nominations, and honorees were selected based on examples of their legal work, pro bono efforts, and community involvement. Read more in the press release here.
Robinson+Cole has further expanded the reach of its health law practice with the addition of Leslie J. Levinson and Christopher J.Librandi to its team. Mr. Levinson has joined Robinson+Cole's Health Law Group as a partner and co-chair of the firm's Transactional Health Law Group in the firm's New York City office, and Mr. Librandi has joined the group as an associate resident in the firm's Stamford office.
From June through August, Robinson+Cole lawyers and staff headed out of the office to volunteer with 11 different nonprofit organizations based in Boston, Hartford, New York, Providence, and Stamford in the firm's second annual Summer of Service. In total, they spent more than 270 hours assisting with activities such as beautifying parks, organizing distribution centers, and serving food.
"Our Summer of Service program was very well received last year, by both our lawyers and staff and the organizations we volunteered with," said John H. Kane, chair of the firm's Diversity Committee. "The program is in keeping with our firm's history of actively giving back to the community, and it also fosters teamwork and comradery among our lawyers and staff whose work might not give them the opportunity to interact on a day-to-day basis."
Robinson+Cole recognized four lawyers for their initiative and outstanding dedication to the community at a reception, celebrating the firm’s summer legal intern program, on August 7, 2014. Managing partner John B. Lynch Jr. announced the Community Service Awards, which went to Thomas P. Cody and Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, while pro bono partner Edward J. Heath presented the firm’s Pro Bono Awards, which went to Peter R. Knight and Evan J. Seeman. Read more about the honorees and their work in the press release here.
Robinson+Cole labor and employment lawyer Matthew T. Miklave was once again recognized by LawDragon.com and Human Resources Magazine as being one of "The Nation's Top 100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys." Mr. Miklave first earned this recognition in 2010, making this the fifth consecutive year he has earned this honor. Selections are based on LawDragon's editorial research as well as by submissions from firms and other visitors to Lawdragon.com. Information about LawDragon's selection process can be read here.
Brian C. Freeman and Alexander W. Judd, environmental and utilities lawyers in the Hartford office, wrote the article "EPA Proposal Raises Concerns About Electricity Supply" for the most recent issue of the Connecticut Law Tribune, published on November 10, 2014. In the article, Mr. Freeman and Mr. Judd discuss recently proposed rules by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants to roughly 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Using the proposed rules as the most recent example, the article analyzes the impact of the EPA's actions on regional access to reliable power and the potential effects on electricity prices.
Real estate lawyer Steven L. Elbaum chaired the third annual Boys & Girls Club of Stamford's Champions of Youth Sports Breakfast at Chelsea Piers Connecticut on Tuesday, November 18, 2014. The program, with more than 300 community leaders in attendance, featured Cal Ripken Jr., who was honored for his work with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. To capture his father's legacy, Cal Ripken, along with his brother, Billy, started the foundation in 2001 after his father's death. He feels strongly about giving back to the community through youth sports development. As a result, the foundation supports the Stamford Boys & Girls Club by providing children with "programs such as Badges for Baseball, The Ripken Summer Camp in Maryland, and programs promoting healthy choices and healthy lifestyles." Children from the club participated in the event. Please click here to view a photo of Mr. Elbaum speaking at the breakfast.
Mr. Elbaum is the immediate past president of the Boys & Girls Club of Stamford's Board of Directors.
The State of Connecticut's chief procurement officer invited business litigation attorney Brett J. Boskiewicz to take part in the state's first training session for agency procurement officers, held on November 7, 2014. By statute, each state contracting agency must appoint an agency procurement officer to act as the liaison between the agency and the chief procurement officer on all matters relating to the agency's procurement activity. Over 65 agency procurement officers attended the training. Mr. Boskiewicz discussed bid protests, including Connecticut's bid protest statute and procedures and the contractor's perspective on protesting a solicitation or award.
Mr. Boskiewicz advises and represents businesses in state and local government contracting matters, Freedom of Information Act issues, and administrative and regulatory disputes with the State of Connecticut.
Kathleen M. Porter, CIPP/US, privacy and data security lawyer, spoke at the 2014 Privacy XChange Forum in Scottsdale, Arizona, on November 3, 2014, along with Al Pascual, senior analyst of Security, Risk, and Fraud at Javelin Strategy & Research; Barbara Lawler, chief privacy officer of Intuit; Kelly Jackson Higgins, senior editor at Dark Reading; and Chester Wisniewski, senior security advisor at Sophos.
Their presentation, "Small Business, Big Breach: Keeping SMBs Safe, Not Sorry," discussed available tools and strategies for a small/medium business (SMB) to more safely manage sensitive data entrusted to the organization, to better vet vendors, and to properly utilize cost-saving techniques like bring your own device (BYOD) and cloud services. More than 200 attendees attended the conference from throughout the United States, Canada, and the UK, including executives from the insurance, health care, retail, and financial industry as well as privacy and data security professionals. Joseph B. White, business transactions lawyer in Robinson+Cole's Providence office, also attended this event.
Pamela K. Elkow, environmental lawyer in the Stamford office, wrote the article "Transactions Involving Bankruptcy: Avoiding the (Dis)Stress" for the Fall 2014 issue of Natural Resources & Environment, a publication of the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. As an environmental lawyer, Ms. Elkow has worked on an increasing number of bankruptcy deals, which involve last-minute requests to review Phase I site assessments or environmental indemnities or to obtain environmental liability insurance, making these deals complex in nature. In the article, Ms. Elkow discusses the challenges of bankruptcy deals and offers strategies to deal with these challenges.
Land law lawyer Sorell E. Negro was appointed to serve as the representative of the American Bar Association's Section of State and Local Government Law at the ABA Section of International Law Fall Meeting, held in Buenos Aires from October 20 to 25, 2014. As the section's representative, Ms. Negro met with leadership and members of the Section of International Law, consisting of lawyers, judges, officials, and academics from dozens of countries, and facilitated collaboration between the sections on efforts of mutual interest, including ABA resolutions, CLE programs, and rule of law initiatives.
Insurance lawyers Gregory P. Varga and Deborah A. Vennos served as panelists at the First Annual Bad Faith Litigation Strategies ExecuSummit, on November 5, 2014, at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center in Uncasville, Connecticut. Mr. Varga and Ms. Vennos spoke on "The Impacts and Dangers of Unfair Trade Practices Acts – The Need To Be Aware!" The conference was geared toward bad faith litigation–focused insurance professionals and was attended by many claims executives in the insurance industry.
Business litigation lawyer Amanda E. Gordon served as a speaker at a continuing legal education (CLE) program presented by the Young Lawyers Section of the Connecticut Bar Association on October 27, 2014. The program, entitled "Depositions 101," provided an overview on how to conduct and defend depositions in Connecticut civil practice, including how depositions complement other discovery tools, how to most effectively prepare for and take a deposition, and how to use deposition transcripts for the remainder of the action. This program is one in a series of legal practice CLEs aimed at assisting young lawyers in litigation practice skills.
Robinson+Cole lawyers Matthew T. Miklave, Katherine C. Glynn, Laura A. Torchio, and Ian T. Clarke-Fisher spoke on the ever-expanding employment laws and regulations in New York City and State on October 23, 2014. The CLE breakfast briefing, held in the firm's New York City office, explored the radically changing legal landscape resulting from these laws and specifically provided ways to address employment concerns in the City and State before they become major distractions.
Mr. Miklave, Ms. Glynn, Ms. Torchio, and Mr. Clarke-Fisher, all resident in the New York City office, provide employment litigation services and counsel clients on various employment law matters.
Employment litigation lawyer Stephen W. Aronson appeared on the radio talk show In the Workplace on October 23, 2014. Along with Peter Cappelli, Professor of Human Resources Management at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, and Daniel O'Meara, labor and employment lawyer at Montgomery McCracken, Mr. Aronson discussed social media and employment litigation. The panel fielded questions from listeners across the United States and Canada.
In addition, Mr. Aronson participated in two sessions at the United States Law Firm Group's (USLFG) annual meeting in Philadelphia on October 24, 2014. He presented the Connecticut State Law Update to USLFG members. The update covered new legislation, court decisions, and other matters of interest to labor and employment practitioners. He also hosted a presentation on "Use of Social Media Evidence in Labor and Employment Cases," where the discussion focused on how social media evidence found on Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and other sites is used in employment litigation as well as the process for gathering, preserving, and showing such evidence in legal proceedings.
Finance lawyer Norman H. Roos was quoted in the article "No Risk, No Reward," published in The Commercial Record on October 23, 2014. The article addresses the current regulatory environment for lenders and how banks can become entangled in conflicting regulatory mandates such as when the requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act run up against restrictions on non-QM lending. Mr. Roos adds his views on this complicated environment. Among other things, he says that "[i]n the residential mortgage area, safety measures which formerly were addressed through internal underwriting practices and collateral requirements have now been subjected to QM and QRM [standards] which have been imposed by federal regulators." Please click here to view the full article.
Mr. Roos is chair of Robinson+Cole's Finance Group and counsel to the Connecticut Mortgage Bankers Association.
Brian E. Moran, wrote the op-ed "Are victim's rights compatible with prisoner redemption?" published in The Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time on November 7, 2014. In the piece, he addresses some of the questions he has received about the recently-published book he authored, The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration Has Hijacked the American Dream, regarding what prison reform will do for victims. The book outlines 30 specific reforms for Connecticut's legislative and executive branches to consider in an effort to "right-size" Connecticut's prisons. Mr. Moran shares his views about how he doesn't see prison advocates and victim advocates as necessarily in conflict with one another. To read the piece, click here.
Business litigation lawyer Steven J. Boyajian presented the session "Receiverships & Bankruptcy Law" at the Rhode Island Bar Association's annual Recent Developments in the Law conference on October 23, 2014, in Warwick, Rhode Island. Mr. Boyajian was one of eight presenters selected, all of whom are leading practitioners in their respective fields. The presentation updated roughly 200 attendees on developments in bankruptcy case law, rules, and practice in Rhode Island and throughout the First Circuit during the last year.
Robinson+Cole is sponsoring the 4th Annual Economic Forum featuring keynote speaker Congressman Jim A. Himes on November 25. The forum is presented by the CT Turnaround Management Association (CTTMA), the Connecticut Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG Connecticut), and the Crossroads Venture Group (CVG). The program includes two panel discussions: an economic roundtable "Is the Sky Really Falling or is the Ground Just Rising Up?" and "From Cradle to Grave & Everything In Between: A Practical Guide to Running & Funding a Business in Connecticut."
Robinson+Cole lawyers Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, Sorell E. Negro, Brian D. Nichols, and Keisha S. Palmer were among 60 attorneys, all under age 40, recognized as "New Leaders in the Law" at an awards dinner on November 6, 2014, at The Bond Ballroom in downtown Hartford. American Bar Association President James R. Silkenat was the honorary guest speaker. The Connecticut Law Tribune presented the awards and previously recognized the lawyers in its 2014 New Leaders in the Law Yearbook. Honorees were selected based on examples of their legal work, pro bono efforts, and community involvement. Robinson+Cole lawyers Lisa M. Boyle, Candice M. Cunningham, Andrew L. Kramer, and David M. Panico attended the event. To view a photo from the event, click here.
Products liability lawyer Eric D. Daniels was a featured speaker at the MetroHartford Alliance's monthly Rising Star Breakfast on October 31, 2014, at Hartford Stage. Mr. Daniels, who chairs the board of the education reform group Achieve Hartford!, spoke to 200 business and community leaders about the current state of the ongoing reform of the Hartford Public Schools. Please click here to view a picture of Mr. Daniels at the event.
Robinson+Cole lawyers Candace M. Cunningham and Emilee Mooney Scott recently published the article "Fresh Lessons About Wetlands, Permits and Appeals" in the Connecticut Law Tribune. In the article, Ms. Cunningham and Ms. Scott review the ramifications of Connecticut high court rulings on environmental, real estate, and land use law. Specifically, they cover cases involving special permits, option contracts, and guarantor obligations, among others.
Ms. Cunningham is a real estate lawyer and Ms. Scott is an environmental and utilities lawyer.
On October 29, 2014, Robinson+Cole lawyers Keisha S. Palmer and Jacqueline Pennino Scheib attended the swearing in ceremony for the first members of the Hartford Public High School Law and Government Academy's Scholar Bar. The ceremony, which was presided over by former Robinson+Cole partner Honorable Alvin W. Thompson, was the culmination of a four-month program designed to introduce the high school students to careers in the legal field. This program reflects a rewarding relationship between Robinson & Cole LLP, the University of Connecticut School of Law, and Hartford Public High School. The program started with an intensive mock trial course and continued as the students wrote an extensive code of conduct for governing behavior at the high school. After taking an exhaustive five-hour bar exam, the scholars who passed and were sworn in will now operate Hartford Public High School's new Scholar Court where student infractions will be tried and judgments will be handed out. Robinson+Cole is proud of its role in this program, which helps to knit together several facets of our legal community and establishes a bright path toward the law for minorities and economically disadvantaged youth.
The American Bar Association's Section of Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law has published its annual report, Recent Developments in Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Industries – 2014, edited by environmental and utilities partner Peter V. Lacouture. Mr. Lacouture is chair of the section's Publications Committee and has edited the report since 2005. The report outlines judicial decisions, administrative rulings, and legislative actions in public utility, communications, and transportation industries through March 31, 2014, and a few major developments since that date. Each member of the section receives the 550-page volume. George W. Watson III, environmental and utilities lawyer, and Jorge Ghazal, the 2014 National Grid/Robinson+Cole summer fellow, assisted Mr. Lacouture in editing the report.
Each year in October, the American Cancer Society (ACS) sponsors Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, a nationwide network of walks and events designed to honor those who have battled breast cancer and to raise awareness on how to reduce the risk of the disease. Funds raised "help the ACS fight the disease with research, information, services, and access to mammograms for women who need them."
Members of the Robinson+Cole community rose to the challenge of walking to raise funds locally. Michele Sexton led the Hartford team of walkers; Kady Lee and Meg Bracken led the Metro New York team; Sandy Strate and Ann Ratta led the Boston team; and Brenda Vucci led the Providence team. Through everyone's support, Robinson+Cole's grand total for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign was $2,274.
Robinson+Cole was a proud sponsor of the Patriot Golf Day tournament, held at the Hop Meadow Country Club in Simsbury, Connecticut, on October 12, 2014. The tournament supports the Folds of Honor Foundation, whose mission is to provide annual educational scholarships to military families of those who have been killed or disabled while on active duty. Specifically, the foundation offers private education tuition, tutoring, and educational summer camps for children in grades K–12 and higher education tuition assistance for spouses and older children.
Robinson+Cole partner Jeffrey J. White, along with his wife, Sarah, played in the tournament. Playing with Mr. White and his wife were Bruce Gifford, senior vice president and chief actuary in Bond & Specialty Insurance at Travelers Insurance Company, and his wife, Ranee Gifford. As is tradition for the event, Mr. White's foursome included an active duty military officer. Please click here to see a photo of Mr. White, his wife, and the active duty military officer. Robinson+Cole's support of the event also included participation by business litigation partner William J. Egan.
At the American Bar Association's (ABA) Section of State & Local Government Law 2014 Fall Council Meeting on October 10, 2014, land use lawyer Dwight H. Merriam moderated the presentation "Reefer Madness: Recreational and Medical Cannabis Issues for Local Government Lawyers," held in Denver, Colorado. The session addressed the legal conundrum of the legalization of cannabis in 21 states and the District of Columbia versus federal law, which makes it illegal to cultivate, dispense, possess, and use cannabis. Panelists included Bill E. Kyriagis, commercial litigation attorney with Otten, Johnson, Robinson, Neff & Ragonetti, P.C., in Denver; Cristal T. DeHerrera, deputy city attorney for the City and County of Denver; Scott Martinez, Denver city attorney; Jeremy Németh, associate professor and chair of the Department of Planning and Design and director of the Master of Urban Design program at the University of Colorado Denver; and Eric Ross, lecturer in the Departments of Planning and Design, and Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver.
Please click here to view presentation materials.
In addition, on October 14, 2014, Mr. Merriam co-moderated with Daniel Mandelker, professor of law at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri, the International Municipal Lawyers Association webinar "Implementing Fair Housing: What It Means to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing." The panelists were Tim Smyth, attorney at Relman, Dane & Colfax, PLLC, in Washington, DC, and Daniel Lauber, AICP, attorney at Planning Communications in River Forest, Illinois.
Theodore J. Tucci of the Business Litigation Group and Dwight H. Merriam of the Land Use Group presented awards at the Connecticut Law Tribune's Annual Legal Departments of the Year dinner in New Haven on October 15, 2014. This event recognizes the region's top in-house departments. This year, the honorees were named in the areas of Management of In-House Counsel, Management of Outside Counsel, Pro Bono, Diversity, Community Outreach, and Lifetime Achievement.
Mr. Tucci presented the Pro Bono Award to the legal services department of United Heathcare. Mr. Merriam presented the Community Outreach Award to the legal services department of the Connecticut Educational Association. Also in attendance were Robinson+Cole lawyers Stephen E. Cooper, Martin A. Onorato, and Gregory R. Faulkner.
Energy and utilities lawyer Joey Lee Miranda participated in What's the Deal 2014 21st Century Business Energy Conference on October 8, 2014, sponsored by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) and the Connecticut Power and Energy Society (CPES). Held in Cromwell, Connecticut, the conference featured experts in energy technology, infrastructure, politics, and regulatory issues. Ms. Miranda moderated the session "Developments in Energy Infrastructure," which included panelists Heather Hunt, Executive Director of New England States Committee on Electricity; Bryan T. Garcia, President and CEO of Connecticut Green Bank; Kevin R. Hennessy, Director of Federal, State & Local Affairs for New England, Dominion Resources, Inc.; and James G. Daly, Vice President of Energy Supply, Northeast Utilities.
In addition, Ms. Miranda co-authored a chapter in the annual publication Recent Developments in Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Industries (August 2014), an ABA publication of the Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law Section. In the chapter "Renewable Energy," she, along with Emily C. Deans, wrote the Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont portions of the Survey of State Renewable Portfolio Standards.
Patrick M. Birney wrote the article "Revisiting Presumption Against Extraterritoriality in Avoidance Actions" for the most recent issue of the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal (ABI Journal). In the article, Mr. Birney considers the extraterritorial application of federal statutory law and explores the presumption against extraterritoriality. Using the decision in SIPC v. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC as an example, he concludes by examining how the presumption against extraterritoriality applies in the context of avoidance proceedings under the Bankruptcy Code. Please click here to view the article.
Mr. Birney, a finance and business litigation partner in the Hartford office, serves as a contributing editor of the ABI Journal.
On October 6, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear petitions requesting review of lower court rulings that struck down same-sex marriage bans in five states. In response, Law360 asked lawyers to explain the implications of the decision. One of them, employee benefits lawyer Virginia E. McGarrity, shared her view on the topic. Please click here to find out what she had to say.
The Supreme Court's refusal to hear the petitions ultimately makes gay marriage legal in Indiana, Wisconsin, Utah, Virginia, and Oklahoma.
Super Lawyers® has named land use lawyer Dwight H. Merriam and appellate lawyer Linda L. Morkan to its 2014 list of the Top 50 Connecticut Super Lawyers and its list of the Top 100 New England Super Lawyers. The Top Lists feature selected Super Lawyers attorneys with the most total points earned during the Super Lawyers selection process. The selection process can be viewed here. (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.)
Robinson+Cole was a sponsor of the Seventh Annual Feast from the Fields, held on September 27, 2014, in New Haven, Connecticut. This event celebrates community, sustainability, and the harvest season and supports the mission and work of Common Ground, an organization dedicated to cultivating "habits of healthy living and sustainable environmental practice among a diverse community of children, families, and adults." Common Ground provides an environment of learning and leadership, engaging all members of the community, including elementary, middle, and high school students; the general public; and environmental practitioners. The funds raised from this year's Feast from the Fields, a total of $41,300, will help support Common Ground and its programs.
R+C real estate lawyer Mimi M. Lines attended the feast. Robinson+Cole represented Common Ground in the drafting and negotiation of the design and construction agreements for the construction of its new facility in New Haven.
Andrea Donovan Napp, business litigation lawyer in the Hartford office, authored the chapter "Pre-Suit Investigations" in the book Business Torts: A Practical Guide to Litigation, a publication of ABA Book Publishing. The book, released on April 7, 2014, provides step-by-step guidance on how to litigate business torts cases. Ms. Napp's chapter discusses the importance of pre-suit investigations in business torts cases and provides strategies for proactively gathering information about the facts and legal issues at play to best position a case for a favorable resolution.
In addition, Ms. Napp has been appointed an editor of the Business Torts & Unfair Competition Journal, a publication of the ABA's Section of Litigation. In this role, she will be responsible for publishing a quarterly newsletter concerning topics of interest to litigators practicing in business torts and unfair competition.
Land use lawyer Dwight H. Merriam participated in the Annual Conference of the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 13-14, 2014. He chaired the discussion on land use at the breakfast roundtables and participated in the all-day Institute of Local Government Lawyers, where he spoke on land use law. Mr. Merriam covered the planning process, common zoning issues, constitutional issues, and much more. Click here to see his presentation and here to see his resource materials.
Finance lawyer Norman H. Roos moderated a regulatory panel presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys (ACMA) on September 19, 2014, in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. The session, "Federal Bank Regulatory Developments Affecting Commercial Real Estate Lending," examined new federal capital and liquidity requirements, how regional and money center banks will respond to them, and how these new regulations will affect commercial mortgage lending decisions. Along with Mr. Roos, the other speakers included Michael Flynn of Flagstar Bank, FSB; Julius Loeser of Winston & Strawn LLP; Sylvia O'Neill of Bank of America, N.A.; and Michael O'Neill of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Click here to view the session handout.
Mr. Roos is chair of Robinson+Cole's Finance Group and the former Connecticut state chair and member of the ACMA's Board of Regents.
Land use lawyer Sorell E. Negro has been appointed as the CLE coordinator for the ABA's Section of State and Local Government Law for the 2014–2015 bar year. In this role, she will coordinate all CLE programs by the section's 13 committees, including webinars and in-person CLE programs at the section's meetings. Ms. Negro will also continue as co-chair of the section's Young Lawyers Committee, which she co-founded in 2013 with Michael Kamprath, assistant general counsel at the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority in Tampa, Florida. The Young Lawyers Committee currently has approximately 1,700 members.
Health law lawyer Theodore J. Tucci and business litigation lawyer Andrea Donovan Napp presented the webinar "E-discovery: Risk Management for Health Care Providers and Business Associates" on September 17, 2014. Their audience comprised over 100 brokers and health care insureds of a firm client. Mr. Tucci and Ms. Napp covered the emerging legal liability risks faced by hospitals and health care systems faced with requests for broad electronic discovery of patient health and medical information. In addition, they offered risk management strategies designed to mitigate those risks.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy has appointed environmental lawyer Pamela K. Elkow to the Port Authority Working Group, established under legislation that created the Connecticut Port Authority (CPA). The CPA is a quasi-public agency whose task will be to promote and improve the state's three deepwater ports—New London, New Haven, and Bridgeport. The CPA is to begin its work on October 1, 2015. In the meantime, the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) will develop a detailed plan for instituting the agency. The role of the Port Authority Working Group is to make recommendations to the DECD as to the CPA's authority and duties.
Construction lawyer Joseph A. Barra served as a panelist at a program sponsored by the New England Chapter of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) on September 16, 2014. The session, entitled "Overview of Resiliency and Massachusetts Implementation Plans," addressed the need in Massachusetts to emphasize resiliency in design and construction and to modify the Commonwealth's infrastructure in order to cope with the challenges of climate change. Mr. Barra, along with the other panelists from the Massachusetts Port Authority and UMASS Memorial Hospital, spoke about the progress that has been made so far and the challenges that lie ahead.
Environmental and utilities lawyer Emilee Mooney Scott has been appointed to chair the Special Committee on Young Lawyers of the ABA's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) for the 2014–2015 year. In this position, Ms. Scott will work to increase young lawyer membership in SEER and to help young lawyers find participation opportunities within the section. Last year she was the committee's vice chair for education.
In addition, Ms. Scott has been selected to participate in the ABA's Leadership Development Program (LDP) for 2014–2015. The LDP supports members of SEER in broadening current leadership roles and preparing for future ones. The focus of the program is for participants to increase awareness of the section's operations and available leadership opportunities.
Land use lawyer Dwight H. Merriam's edited the book At the Cutting Edge 2014: Land Use Law from "The Urban Lawyer," recently published by the ABA's State and Local Government Law Section. The target audience of the book includes practitioners, planning professionals, and students. Mr. Merriam's edited collection of articles written by others and previously published in The Urban Lawyer addresses relevant 2014 issues such as the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District implications, neoliberal hegemony, and eminent domain in public use, among others. To learn more about the book, please click here.
Land use partner Edward V. O'Hanlan has been asked to serve as a director of the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC), effective September 18, 2014. This new leadership role, combined with Mr. O'Hanlan's experience as a Navy veteran and civil trial lawyer, reflects the deep commitment of Robinson+Cole to CVLC's valuable mission to provide legal services to veterans across Connecticut. R+C lawyers frequently handle cases referred by CVLC to help veterans recovering from homelessness and mental illness overcome the legal barriers to housing, health care, employment, and service-connected benefits.
Land use partner Michael S. Giaimo has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Friends of Minuteman National Park. The mission of this nonprofit organization is to preserve the birthplace of the American Revolution and to inspire visitors to learn the causes, events, and continuing impact of the Revolutionary War and its principles of liberty and democracy. Like other nonprofit groups that partner with various national parks throughout the country, the Friends organization focuses on improving education and the visitor experience at the park, preserving and restoring the park's cultural landscapes and historic structures, and supporting and advocating for the park and its mission. R+C partner Dwight H. Merriam's ancestral home, the 300-plus-year-old Meriam House, is located along the Battle Road Trail and was recently restored with funding from the Friends of Minuteman National Park.
Stamford business litigation lawyer Thomas J. Donlon has been appointed co-chair of the Amicus Curiae Briefs Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation. The committee reviews all requests that the Section of Litigation file amicus briefs in any litigation in federal and state courts across the country. It also coordinates the preparation of briefs after filing is authorized. Last year, the committee was responsible for overseeing more than a dozen amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court alone. Mr. Donlon previously served as co-chair of the Appellate Practice Committee. He authored an article in the Summer 2014 issue of the Appellate Practice Journal on an appellate advocacy program that the committee presented to the Section of Litigation Annual Conference last spring.
Labor and employment partner Matthew T. Miklave presented the program "An Overview of the New York State and City Human Rights Law" on August 22, 2014. In this online CLE webinar, Mr. Miklave examines the New York Human Rights Law that prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, credit, places of public accommodations, and nonsectarian educational institutions. He explains similarities and differences between the state (NYSHRL) and city (NYCHRL) versions of the law in terms of protected classes, remedies, statutes of limitations, and defenses as well as delves into substantive rights under the laws, including a hostile work environment, disability discrimination, and retaliation. The session is now available through Lawline.com for On Demand viewing.
Mr. Miklave represents employers and management in all areas of civil rights, employment relations, and traditional labor law, focusing on federal and state antidiscrimination, noncompete and restrictive covenants, labor, wage and hour, and family leave statutes, among others.
Finance lawyer Norman H. Roos moderated the Connecticut Mortgage Bankers Association (CMBA) Legislative Update Seminar, held in New Britain, Connecticut, on August 20, 2014. Speakers included Fritz Conway, CMBA lobbyist and principal with Gaffney, Bennett and Associates; Philip DeFronzo, president of Norcom Mortgage; Richard Leibert, founding partner at Hunt Leibert Jacobson; Stacey Valerio, staff attorney at the Connecticut Department of Banking; and Jeremy Potter, general counsel and chief compliance attorney at Norcom Mortgage. The seminar showcased current legislative, regulatory, and litigation developments of concern to Connecticut's mortgage lending community, and also featured a lively discussion of industry initiatives with implications for residential mortgage lenders and homeowners alike.
Mr. Roos is chair of Robinson+Cole's Finance Group and counsel to the CMBA.