Robinson+Cole lawyer Nuala E. Droney has been selected to co-chair the Fair and Impartial Courts Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association. The Connecticut Bar Association established the Fair and Impartial Courts Committee to assist federal and state judges in instances where they are confronted by systemic attacks on their proper functions and to help defend them from unfair and inappropriate criticism or assault. Read more in the news release.
Robinson+Cole litigation lawyer Kathleen E. Dion has been elected to the KNOX Board of Directors. Using horticulture as a catalyst for community engagement, KNOX provides leadership and forges partnerships between residents, businesses, and the government to build stronger, greener, healthier, and more beautiful neighborhoods in Hartford. Learn more in the news release.
Robinson+Cole lawyers Alaine C. Doolan and Deborah A. Vennos have been selected to co-chair the Intellectual Property Section of the Connecticut Bar Association. The section focuses on patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition, and other technology-related areas of the law.
In the Spring of 2015, Ms. Vennos assisted the Intellectual Property Section's past chairperson, Nike Agman, with organizing a panel discussion addressing the topic of Reducing Litigation Costs in Intellectual Property Litigation, which was very well received. Robinson+Cole's Nuala E. Droney served as the moderator for the panel discussion. As the section's new co-chairs, Ms. Vennos and Ms. Doolan plan to hold another professional development program in the fall as well as similar programs twice a year moving forward. Read more in the news release.
Robinson+Cole was again recognized as having the highest number of Connecticut lawyers selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2016 (Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC). Across the firm’s practice groups and offices, 55 lawyers were named to this year’s list, including 45 in Connecticut.
Additionally, the following seven lawyers were named the Best Lawyers® 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” in Hartford, Connecticut, in the noted practice areas: Bruce B. Barth in Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law; Dennis C. Cavanaugh in Litigation – Construction; Stephen E. Goldman in Insurance Law; Joey Lee Miranda in Environmental Law; Craig A. Raabe in Litigation – Intellectual Property; Edward J. Samorajczyk, Jr., in Securities / Capital Markets Law; and William T. Sellay in Mergers and Acquisitions Law. Peter V. Lacouture was named the Best Lawyers® 2016 “Lawyer of the Year” in Energy Law in Providence, Rhode Island.
See a complete listing of all Robinson+Cole's ranked lawyers in the news release.
Robinson+Cole construction lawyer Todd R. Regan has been selected as one of the Hartford Business Journal's "40 Under Forty" for 2015. A panel of judges chose the honorees for their extraordinary leadership qualities, ongoing commitment to personal and professional development, and outstanding accomplishments that have made an impact in their various business sectors. The 2015 class of 40 Under Forty will be recognized at an awards celebration on September 30 and were profiled in a special supplement of the Hartford Business Journal on July 20. Read more in the news release.
The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts has named Robinson+Cole partner Jeffrey J. White to its Board of Overseers. Mr. White was elected to the board at The Bushnell's Annual Meeting on June 10, 2015.
Robinson+Cole is a long-standing supporter of The Bushnell, and Mr. White's appointment to the board further strengthens the firm's commitment to the performing arts center. Robinson+Cole partner Eric D. Daniels is already involved with The Bushnell as an officer and member of the Board ofTrustees. Additionally, the firm has been the title sponsor of The Bushnell Family Series for the past 15 seasons.
Finance lawyer Norman H. Roos moderated the Connecticut Mortgage Bankers Association’s (CMBA) Annual Legislative Update Seminar in New Britain, Connecticut, on August 27, 2015. The speakers were Connecticut Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez; Fritz Conway, CMBA lobbyist and principal at Gaffney, Bennett and Associates; Lawrence Garfinkel, consumer real estate partner at Hunt Leibert Jacobson; Stacey Valerio, counsel at the Connecticut Department of Banking; Rich Cortes, principal financial examiner at the Connecticut Department of Banking; and Jeremy Potter, general counsel and chief compliance officer at Norcom Mortgage. The seminar highlighted current legislative, regulatory, and litigation developments of concern to Connecticut's residential mortgage lending community. It also featured a lively discussion of the 2015 Legislative Session and insights from the new Connecticut banking commissioner as to the current state of financial services regulation. Please click here to view a PowerPoint overview of the session. Click here to see a photo.
Mr. Roos is chair of Robinson+Cole's Finance Group and counsel to the CMBA.
During the American Bar Association's Annual Meeting in Chicago in August 2015, environmental and utilities partner Peter V. Lacouture was elected vice-chair of the Section of Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law (PUCAT). He will serve as vice-chair this year, as chair-elect the next year, and as chair of the section the year after that. Most recently, Mr. Lacouture served as secretary of the section. He has also served as chair of PUCAT's Publications Committee and has edited Recent Developments (formerly the PUCAT Annual Report) since 2005.
Established in 1917, the section is a forum for bar members interested in the rapidly changing legal environment in the communications, cable TV, Internet, electricity, gas, oil pipelines, aviation, motor carriers, railroads, and water industries.
Business litigation lawyer Linn F. Freedman was quoted in the article "Third Cir. Upholds FTC's Data Security Authority," published in Bloomberg BNA's Health Law Reporter on August 27, 2015. The article discusses the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp. In her comments, Ms. Freedman says the Third Circuit "slammed Wyndham by finding all of its arguments 'unpersuasive,'" a clear victory for the FTC in holding companies accountable when they fail to protect consumer data. Click here to view the entire article.
Ms. Freedman is chair of Robinson+Cole's Data Privacy + Security Team.
Business litigation lawyers Kathleen E. Dion and Amanda E. Gordon and insurance litigation lawyer J. Tyler Butts were elected to the Connecticut Bar Association's (CBA) Executive Committee of the Young Lawyers Section (YLS). The goals of the YLS are to promote justice, encourage public service, and promote diversity and education of young lawyers and newly admitted practitioners. The section, made up of nearly 2,400 members, organizes and sponsors continuing legal education and professional development sessions for both junior and senior members of the CBA.
All three lawyers hold leadership positions in the CBA's YLS. Ms. Dion co-chairs the Consumer Law Section, Ms. Gordon co-chairs the Health Law Section, and Mr. Butts co-chairs the Professional Responsibility Committee.
Business litigation lawyer Thomas J. Donlon of the Stamford office published his initial column in the Summer 2015 issue of the ABA Appellate Practice Journal. The column, entitled "Silly Lawyer Tricks," reports on actual cases where mistakes by appellate attorneys have resulted in bad results for the attorneys and their clients. The column, which will be a regular feature of the journal going forward, shares examples from appellate courts across the country so that readers can learn from the mistakes of others. Click here to view the article.
Mr. Donlon presently serves as co-chair of the ABA Amicus Briefs Committee and as a vice chair of the Appellate Practice Committee.
Health law and business transactions lawyer Leslie J. Levinson moderated the webinar "Home Health & Hospice M&A: Buying, Selling, and Valuing" on August 20, 2015. The session, part of the Health Care M&A Webcast Series presented by Irving Levin Associates, focused on the home health and hospice merger and acquisition (M&A) market. The topics covered who's buying what and how these deals are being financed, what reimbursement changes are coming and what's ahead for the next five years, and whether this is a good time to buy or sell, among many other topics. The panelists included Darby Anderson, chief business development and strategy officer at Addus HomeCare, Inc.; David Berman, principal at Simione Healthcare Consultants; and Dexter Braff, president of The Braff Group.
Michael S. Giaimo, land use lawyer in the Boston office, co-moderated a webinar on regulatory takings on August 10, 2011. The session, "The Takings Issue," was part of a monthly series of webinars hosted by the International Municipal Law Association (IMLA) on various current land use topics of interest. Professor Daniel Mandelker of Washington University Law School was the other moderator. The panelists were Professor John Echeverria of Vermont Law School and Hawaii lawyer Robert Thomas.
In the column "Five Questions With," published on August 12, 2015, in the Providence Business News, Robinson+Cole lawyer Linn F. Freedman was interviewed about her role as chair of the firm's Privacy and Data Security Team. She discusses how the team was formed to respond to the increasing client need for data privacy and security counseling, how this is a fast-growing area of law, how she became an expert in this area, and how the team helps clients protect their data. Click here to see the entire article and why Ms. Freedman refers to this area of practice as "the wild, wild west."
Ms. Freedman practices not only in data privacy and security law but also in complex litigation.
The ABA's Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law (RPTE) recently selected real estate and development lawyer Christie D. Jean as a Real Property Fellow. The RPTE's Fellows Program enables young lawyers to become involved in the substantive work of the RPTE while developing into future leaders. Fellows are chosen from many applications and serve a two-year term. As part of the 2015–2017 class of RPTE Fellows, Ms. Jean will work with a committee chair, who will serve as a mentor and help her experience all facets of committee membership. In addition, she will have an entrée to opportunities to write for an RPTE publication, become a section liaison to the Young Lawyers Division or local bar associations, serve on the Membership Committee, and attend important section fall leadership and spring meetings.
Land use lawyer Dwight H. Merriam, who serves on the Rivers Alliance of Connecticut's Board of Directors, hosted a summer barbecue for directors, members, and guests of Rivers Alliance at the North Cove Yacht Club in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, on July 24, 2015. Joining the group of 35 people was U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, who spoke about his environmental agenda. Along with Mr. Merriam, fellow directors David Radka, director of water resources at Connecticut Water Company, and Jim Creighton, environmental analyst in the Permitting and Enforcement Bureau of Water Management at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, shared in the cooking and serving. Click here to view a photo of Mr. Merriam and Senator Blumenthal.
The mission of Rivers Alliance of Connecticut is to promote sound, science-based environmental policies; to work collaboratively and in coalitions to get results; to encourage and aid local groups and persons working on water protection; and to help the public understand, value, and defend our water resources.
Intellectual property partner Jacqueline P. Scheib joined Mario Bruno, the chief executive officer of the American Red Cross, Connecticut and Rhode Island Chapters, and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy at the signing ceremony for Connecticut Senate Bill 962. This legislation amends the current requirements for subjects taught in Connecticut schools to add the teaching of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Adding CPR to the curriculum contributes to deeper understanding of the risks that can trigger a need for CPR and also places life-saving knowledge into the hands of a large portion of our society.
Ms. Scheib is a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Health law and business transactions lawyer Leslie J. Levinson was quoted in the article "5 Takeaways From FCA 60-Day Overpayment Decision," published in Law360 on August 4, 2015. In the wake of the first court decision on a False Claims Act (FCA) requirement for hospital systems to return identified overpayments from Medicare and Medicaid within 60 days, the article focuses on the importance of taking overpayments seriously and brings up questions on compliance obligations. Mr. Levinson commented on the defendant hospital's foot-dragging as well as the decision not fully explaining the term "put on notice." Click here to view the article in its entirety.
Business litigation lawyers Nuala E. Droney, Amanda E. Gordon, and Kelly A. Frye were recently successful in representing a mother and her baby in a hearing to obtain a restraining order for both individuals. The representation was part of Robinson+Cole's Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO) Program. In recognition of the growing needs of unrepresented parties in the State of Connecticut's family court system, the goal of the DVRO Program is to assist unrepresented applicants seeking restraining orders against family or household violence. The program provides unrepresented parties not only the benefit of attorney advice but also assistance in navigating the court system.
In the wake of the recent tragedy in Middletown, Connecticut, involving the murder of a baby by his father, business litigation partner Edward J. Heath co-authored with Jamey Bell, executive director of Greater Hartford Legal Aid (GHLA), the article "A Call to Action: Connecticut Lawyers Partner with Legal Aid and Area Shelters to Help Victims of Domestic Violence." Appearing in the June 2015 issue of the Connecticut Bar Association's Connecticut Lawyer, the article discusses the importance of legal advocacy in helping victims of domestic abuse obtain court-issued protection and how legal resources fall far below the need. Featured in the article is a family court pro bono project in which Robinson+Cole has been involved since 2012, where our lawyers have pursued restraining orders on behalf of victims of domestic abuse. Connecticut Legal Services, the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, GHLA, and two domestic shelters have provided training and support. In the end, the free representation enables victims to gain protection and empowerment and gives the lawyers who help them invaluable experience along with great personal and professional satisfaction. Click here to view the article.
Mr. Heath chairs Robinson+Cole's Government Investigations Practice Team. For seven years, he led the firm's Pro Bono Committee and presently serves as a board member and secretary of Greater Hartford Legal Aid.
Linn F. Freedman was featured in the July 2015 Women in the Boardroom (WIB) newsletter. In the WIB spotlight column, Ms. Freedman offers data security tips, based on the Federal Trade Commission's guidelines, on cybersecurity and data protection for businesses. The tips range from sensibly controlling access to data and applying sound security practices when developing new products to securing paper, physical media, removable media, and mobile devices. Women in the Boardroom helps women become better leaders, link with corporate boards, and prepare for board service by providing knowledge, tools, and connections. Click here to view the article.
Ms. Freedman, chair of Robinson+Cole's Privacy and Data Security Team, practices in data privacy and security law as well as in complex litigation.
Environmental lawyers Brian C. Freeman and Megan E. Baroni co-wrote the article "Sediment Update: A Summary of the Procedural Status of a Collection of Sites." The article appears in the Summer 2015 issue of Environmental Litigation, a newsletter of the ABA's Section of Litigation. Along with Mark Myers and Drew Pearsall, lawyers from the Seattle, Washington, office of Williams Kastner, Mr. Freeman and Ms. Baroni outline the procedural status of key sediment sites around the country: the Duwamish River, south of Seattle; Portland Harbor, in Portland, Oregon; the Passaic River, in New Jersey; the Woonasquatucket River, as part of the Centredale Manor Restoration Project in North Providence, Rhode Island; and Newtown Creek, the border between Brooklyn and Queens. The authors conclude that sediment sites are among the most complex and costly sites on the National Priorities List. To find out more, click here to view the article.
The Connecticut Bar Association's (CBA) Young Lawyers Section (YLS) presented business litigation lawyer Amanda E. Gordon with its Leadership Award for the 2014-2015 bar year. Every year the award goes to individuals who demonstrate exemplary leadership as a member of the Executive Committee of the CBA-YLS. Ms. Gordon was awarded for the initiative she took in designing and planning meaningful programming over the bar year.
The goals of the YLS are to promote justice, encourage public service, and promote diversity and education of young lawyers and newly admitted practitioners. The section, made up of 1,200 members, organizes and sponsors continuing legal education and professional development sessions for both junior and senior members of the CBA.
Intellectual property and technology partner Kathleen M. Porter spoke at the Practising Law Institute's (PLI) Sixteenth Annual Institute on Privacy and Data Security Law in Chicago on July 14, 2015. For the third year, Ms. Porter and her co-panelist, Rebecca Eisner of Mayer Brown LLP, spoke to the 100-plus attendees on "Cybersecurity and Privacy in Deals: Managing Cyber Risk in M&A, Outsourcing, Cloud and other Commercial Deals." They discussed tips for selecting vendors, negotiating privacy and data security issues in commercial contracts and in M&A transactions, and the increasing importance of auditing and managing the cybersecurity and privacy practices of vendors and business partners.
Dana M. Horton presented on topics involving e-discovery at the Rhode Island Bar Association's (RIBA) Annual Meeting, held on June 18, 2015. Entitled "The Future Is Not What It Used to Be—E-Discovery Tips and Traps," Ms. Horton, along with Superior Court Justice Brian Stern and Paul Kessimian, Esq., spoke to a group of approximately 200 Rhode Island lawyers. The presentation and discussion focused on identifying e-discovery issues from the outset of a claim or potential cause of action and using best practices in dealing with e-discovery issues during the course of any claim or lawsuit.
Ms. Horton, insurance litigation lawyer in Robinson+Cole's Providence office, is a member of the firm's E-Discovery Team.
Sorell E. Negro wrote the article "Land Use and Sea Level Rise: Practice Tips for Land Use Practitioners in the Wake of Changing Regulatory Schemes," which appears in the July/August 2015 issue of Probate & Property, a publication of the American Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law (RPTE). In the article, Ms. Negro discusses recent changes in state and local regulatory schemes in response to sea level rise, some of which have significantly affected land use practices and real estate development in certain jurisdictions or have the potential to do so. This article provides practice tips for land use practitioners for understanding, and working with, these regulatory trends affecting development in coastal areas. Click here to view the article.
Ms. Negro, land use lawyer in the Robinson+Cole's Miami office, chairs RPTE's Land Use and Zoning Committee.
Dwight H. Merriam, land use lawyer in Robinson+Cole's Hartford office, authored the article "Eminent Domain for Underwater Mortgages: Already on the Way to the Bottom of the Sea of Bad Ideas," published in the Spring 2015 issue of The Fee Simple, the journal of the Virginia State Bar's (VSB) Real Property Section. The article discusses the foreclosure crisis and how so many homeowners became victims of bad lending practices and a deep economic recession. Many are stuck in their homes, which are underwater with a value far below what was owed on them. Mr. Merriam explores the question: Can eminent domain bail out underwater mortgages? To learn more, click here to view the article.*
*Copyright © 2015. The FEE SIMPLE and Dwight H. Merriam. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. This material is taken from volume XXXVI, number 1 of the FEE SIMPLE, pp. 20–27 (Spring 2015). The FEE SIMPLE is published by the Real Property Section of the Virginia State Bar and is available for purchase from the Virginia State Bar, Eighth & Main Building, 707 East Main St., Suite 1500, Richmond, VA 23219-2800, (804) 775-0500, www.vsb.org.
Health law lawyer Theodore J. Tucci and business litigation lawyer Amanda E. Gordon authored a chapter in the recently published book Misrepresentation in the Life, Health, and Disability Insurance Application Process: A National Survey, Second Edition (2015). In the chapter, Mr. Tucci and Ms. Gordon review rulings on Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) matters by the U.S. District Court for the Second Circuit.
Published by the American Bar Association, the book provides life, health, and disability insurance practitioners with a national survey of each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the federal circuits regarding misrepresentations in applications and applicable case law interpreting relevant statutes and developing common law regarding misrepresentations. In addition, the publication addresses the evolving issues related to misrepresentations in the context of ERISA. Click here for more details about the book.
Employment litigation lawyer Stephen W. Aronson was honored on June 11, 2015, as an outgoing board member by the Jewish Teen Learning Connection, Inc. (JTConnect), formerly known as the Yachad Greater Hartford Jewish Community High School, Inc. Mr. Aronson had served as a board member since 2009. He co-chaired the board's governance and bylaws committees and was a member of its publicity and outreach committee. JTConnect provides high school–level programming for Jewish teens throughout Greater Hartford and beyond; serves 300 teens in a variety of classroom, social services, and other settings; and provides programming services for teens and faculty, representing 15-area synagogues.
Andrea Donovan Napp recently gave a presentation at Allied World in Farmington, Connecticut, about strategies for limiting overproduction of electronically stored information, commonly referred to as "data dumps," in discovery. The session, "Rule 26(f): Tips &Techniques to Avoid Being the Victim of a Data Dump," focused on offensive discovery strategies and how to use the Rule 26(f) conference as a tool to limit and organize the amount of data received from opposing parties in discovery. Her presentation was part of an ongoing series of specialized e-discovery training being offered by Allied.
Ms. Napp, business litigation lawyer in Robinson+Cole's Hartford office, chairs the firm's E-Discovery Team and Information Governance Team.
Boston land use lawyer Karla L. Chaffee moderated the panel discussion "Who's Renting Next Door? Airbnb, Similar Services and How Municipalities Are Choosing to Respond" at the American Planning Association's Northeast Planning Conference, held June 25-26, 2015, in Saratoga Springs, New York. Panelists Cathy Lizotte, senior assistant corporation counsel for the City of Boston; George Proakis, AICP, director of planning for Somerville, Massachusetts; and Erich Eiselt, assistant general counsel of the International Municipal Lawyers Association reviewed regulatory approaches to short-term rentals across the nation and how both Boston and Somerville have considered addressing such uses. With the growing popularity of web-based rental platforms like Airbnb, short-term rental regulation is a hot topic in many communities nationwide. The presentation's PowerPoint is available here.
Richard M. Fil, a partner in Robinson+Cole's Environmental + Utilities Group, has been selected to chair the Rhode Island Bar Association's (RIBA) Environmental and Energy Law Committee. The committee studies and makes recommendations on practices and procedures of environmental and energy law; specifically, it works to improve this area of law, keeps the bar up-to-date in these practice areas, maintains a resource network for practitioners, and makes important policy issue recommendations.
Mr. Fil works in both the firm's Providence and Hartford offices, primarily focusing on the environmental aspects of the voluntary investigation, remediation, and redevelopment of contaminated properties. He also counsels clients on federal and state enforcement actions and litigation involving these sites.
Dwight H. Merriam of the Land Use Group was one of 31 participants selected for Study Space VIII, a week-long series of meetings, site visits, and lectures at the University of Warsaw, which took place from June 15-19, 2015. Organized by the Georgia State University School of Law, the program, "Phoenix Cities: Urban Recovery and Resilience in the Wake of Conflict, Crisis and Disaster" used Warsaw, Poland, as a case study to explore the city's reconstruction in the post-World War II era. Participants included academics and government officials from the United States, Spain, Germany, South Africa, France, Turkey, and Hong Kong. Mr. Merriam was the sole private practice lawyer. The group met with the mayor and one of the four vice mayors of the city, as well as other leading Warsaw officials and professors from the University of Warsaw, to critique the rebuilding of the city, which was 80 percent destroyed in World War II, and the current planning process that is challenged by continued growth, sprawl, and traffic in the metropolitan area.
Stephen W. Aronson, employment litigation lawyer in the Hartford office, participated in a panel discussion during a University of Connecticut School of Law class on employment litigation on April 15, 2015, to talk about the "real-life" practice of law. Adjunct faculty members Robyn Sondak, senior counsel at Travelers, and Jonathan Harris, partner at Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP, invited Mr. Aronson and two other panelists to discuss with the law students best practices, time management, civility, and building relationships.