Intellectual Property + Technology Group Chair Jacqueline Pennino Scheib has been named an IP Star in the 2019/20 edition of “IP STARS,” published by Managing Intellectual Property, one of the industry’s leading publications. Honorees are recognized as “the top practitioners in private practice who have performed exceptionally well for their clients and firms in the past year.” Ms. Scheib was highlighted for her work in the area of IP transactions as well as several Trade Mark categories, including strategy and counseling as well as litigation. IP Stars provides in-depth analysis and rankings of some 1,900 IP firms and 5,200 practitioners globally. The IP Stars were selected through a rigorous process and weighted review of information that included interviews and surveys of partners and law firms across the country. Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole (R+C) is pleased to announce the addition of John L. Cordani to the firm’s Business Litigation practice, where he will focus his practice on Intellectual Property and Information Technology litigation. Mr. Cordani joins as a partner in the Hartford, Connecticut office. Prior to joining R+C, he was with McCarter & English LLP and prior to that a partner with Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP. Read more in the press release.
The Brass City Charter School (BCCS) in Waterbury, CT has named a boardroom in its newly expanded facilities the “Robinson+Cole Boardroom” in recognition of pro bono work done on behalf of the school by Robinson+Cole.
Robinson+Cole’s work on behalf of BCCS involved helping on the acquisition and financing of the location of the two-year construction project at the school. The R+C team led by Steven L. Elbaum and David M. Panico included lawyers and paralegals in the firm’s Real Estate, Construction, and Public Finance Groups. Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole Real Estate + Development Group partner Brian R. Smith received the Bridge Family Center’s inaugural George C. Hastings Award at the Bridge’s Annual Meeting on June 4, 2019 in West Hartford, CT. The award, named for the late Robinson+Cole partner and one of the Bridge’s founding leaders, is presented to an individual who exemplifies Hastings’ strong and compassionate character and who embodies his life-long commitment to serving the underprivileged and those in need. Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole lawyer Noel B. Vales was installed as President of the Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York (FALA New York) at the organization’s 6th Anniversary dinner at Aureole Restaurant in New York City on May 30, 2019. Mr. Vales was one of nine founding attorneys of FALA New York, which was established in 2013 through a shared interest in creating a formal professional affiliation group for Filipino Americans in the legal profession. Mr. Vales is a member of Robinson+Cole’s Real Estate + Development Group and serves on the firm’s Diversity + Inclusion Committee. He is also a regional governor for the National Filipino American Bar Association. Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole (R+C) is pleased to announce the addition of Jamie L. Edmonson to the firm’s growing Bankruptcy + Reorganizations practice. She joins as partner in the Wilmington, Delaware office, from Venable LLP, where she was partner-in-charge of the office.
Edmonson joins R+C following a significant expansion of the firm’s bankruptcy practice in January when R+C welcomed five attorneys and opened new offices in Philadelphia and Wilmington. Natalie D. Ramsey, Mark A. Fink, and Davis Lee Wright, all of whom practice bankruptcy in Delaware, joined as partners, bringing their decades of experience in bankruptcy, corporate reorganization and litigation matters throughout the United States. Read more in the press release.
Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presented Robinson & Cole LLP with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. In total, Secretary Ross honored 48 U.S. companies with the President’s “E” Award, the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole was honored with the “Volunteer of the Year” distinction by the Pro Bono Partnership (the Partnership) during an event hosted by the organization in celebration of volunteer lawyers who provided free legal services to nonprofit organizations throughout Connecticut in 2018. In addition to the firm’s Hartford law department being recognized, employment litigator and counselor Stephen W. Aronson was presented with an individual “Volunteer of the Year” honor for his outstanding individual contributions. This is the first time the Partnership has had an individual honoree come from the law firm honoree. Read more in the press release.
The legal directory Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business has recognized the law firm of Robinson+Cole in twelve practice area categories that Chambers USA covers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island in its 2019 edition. In addition, seventeen lawyers were individually ranked including one that has been recognized nationwide. Read more in the press release.
The Connecticut Law Tribune honored four Robinson+Cole lawyers at the publication’s 2019 Connecticut Legal Awards “Professional Excellence” event on May 16, 2019 at the Bond Ballroom in Hartford. The awards recognize both new and seasoned lawyers who have demonstrated knowledge, skill and compassion, making their mark in the legal field and earning the trust and respect of their clients and peers alike.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Jim Wade received the Tribune’s Lifetime Achievement Award as a lawyer “who has left a lasting imprint on the legal community of Connecticut.” Bankruptcy and Reorganizations Group lawyer Patrick Birney was given the Distinguished Leader Award as one who “achieved impressive results in 2018 and demonstrated clear leadership skills that helped (him) achieve those results.”
Ben Jensen, Business Litigation, and Abby Warren, Labor and Employment, were named New Leaders in the Law. This distinction spotlights lawyers under the age of 40 who have excelled in the courtroom, in client service and cultivation, in service to bar associations, and/or in performing pro bono work or community service in a volunteer capacity. Also in attendance were Robinson+Cole lawyers Bruce Barth, Frank Coulom, Eric Daniels, Ed Heath, Keisha Palmer, Jim Ray and Rhonda Tobin. To see a photo of R+C at the event, Click Here for our LinkedIn post and feel free to like/share with your LinkedIn connections.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Michele Maresca moderated the program "Opportunity Zones: The Many Perspectives on the Land of OZ" at the 2019 New England Conference and Deal Making, which was presented by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) in Boston, MA from July 15-17, 2019. The panel discussion addressed key questions from the perspectives of a developer, real estate investor, and local municipality, including:
• What are Opportunity Zones?
• How did they come to be?
• Where are they?
• How do they work, and
• What are the issues surrounding them?
The conference provided opportunities to connect, learn and road test ideas with other professionals, gain information about the most current industry issues, and meet and make deals with colleagues and retailers doing business in the same region. Michele is part of the ICSC's State Volunteer Leadership in Connecticut and a member of the 2019 Program Planning Committee. Robinson+Cole was a member-hosted Reception sponsor.
Health Law Group lawyer, Anna Gurevich, and Business Transactions Group lawyer, Andy Monthey, led Boston office’s participation in the 2019 Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) Associates Fund Drive. Every year, associates at Boston law firms compete to raise money for GBLS. Together, Team Anna and Team Andy raised $7,765 in support of the GBLS Family Law Unit, a significant increase over last year’s contributions, and one that far exceeded this year’s campaign goal of $7,000, and the amounts raised by other prominent Boston law firms. This exceptional generosity confirms the lawyers and staff of Robinson+Cole as among the Boston region’s most generous firms. Larry Heffernan, Chair of the firm's Real Estate Litigation and Title Insurance Team, serves on the GBLS Board of Directors.
GBLS provides free civil legal aid to low-income clients in Boston and 31 surrounding cities and towns, representing individuals, families and community groups in court and before administrative agencies. While the Associates Drive specifically supports the agency’s domestic violence work, GBLS also provides representation in cases involving housing, consumer issues, immigration, employment, public benefits, health and disability, Criminal Offender Record Information, and education, as well as having a special outreach project for the elderly.
In 2018, GBLS served more than 10,000 clients. Unfortunately, over 60% of eligible clients are denied representation because of lack of funding. Donations from this drive go directly to help fund staff attorney salaries, and may allow the agency to hire additional attorneys. GBLS assists only low-income persons who cannot otherwise afford an attorney. To qualify as “low-income,” an applicant must have income at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty line, which for a family of four is $31,375 per year.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Linn Freedman was quoted extensively in the article “Providers need contingencies if the power goes out,” published in the July 9, 2019 edition of Health Data Management. The article discusses the preparedness a health care organization needs in order to anticipate, prevent, and/or respond to power blackouts. According to the article, failure to take appropriate measures can result in the loss of open data, significant lost revenue and potential major expenses for hospitals, as well as inconvenience, and a disruption in the provision of health care for patients.
Linn emphasized that much of the most vital health information is in the core electronic health record system and a host of ancillary systems, including picture archiving and medical imaging communication systems (PACS). Although an electrical blackout can be mitigated with generators that can be operational for weeks, an Internet outage poses even more concerning issues for hospitals and medical providers to provide care to patients.
“Everything is digital – all medical devices, drug monitoring systems, PACS and imaging,” she said. “If Internet service goes down for an extended time, a hospital would be devastated to not have the ability to access products and services” it uses to provide health care to patients. To view the full article, click here.
Manufacturing Law Industry Team Chair Jeff White was featured in an interview in the July 8, 2019 edition of the Hartford Business Journal. Jeff offered his thoughts on the key export countries of the firm’s clients, the impact of recent tariffs and retaliatory actions on U.S. manufacturers, and an emerging industry (and vital player in the state’s economy) to watch in the next decade. In May, Jeff and Kevin Daly traveled to Washington D.C. to accept the Presidential Award for Export Service on behalf of the firm, which was cited for “work of broad impact within the business community to further expand U.S. exports.” To read the full Hartford Business Journal story, click here.
Health Care Transactions Team co-Chair Les Levinson authored the recently published Lexis Practice Advisor article “Healthcare Financing Anti-assignment Limitations.” The practice note describes how to structure financing transactions for healthcare providers to overcome anti-assignment and collection limitations on Medicare and Medicaid receivables. To view the article, click here. It also will be published in the Fall 2019 quarterly print edition of "The Lexis Practice Advisor Journal."
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Earl W. Phillips, Jr. presented on "Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): Specific Technical Challenges, Litigation, and Solutions" at the Air & Waste Management Association’s ACE 2019 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada on June 25, 2019. The panel addressed the predominant sources and routes of exposure associated with adults and children in the general public, communities in close proximity to production areas, and occupational populations, where inhalation may be the primary driver. Methodologies to derive inhalation-based toxicity criteria to allow for screening level assessment were presented, focused on U.S. EPA- and ATSDR- (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) promulgated standards.
Focused primarily on the impact to human health, few PFAS sites have addressed ecological risk. An ecological exposure model for birds and mammals was discussed as applied to five Aqueous Film-Forming Foam-impacted sites to clarify exposure pathways and identify key receptors of concern, including site-specific modeling results and prioritization. Discussion also included soil as a key intermediary source at PFAS sites affected by the deposit of airborne emissions from PFAS manufacturing processes - based on leaching and overland transport of suspended particles - and the resulting impact to underlying groundwater. Soil represents a key reservoir with respect to ongoing sources of contamination in water. The legal landscape for these considerations is dynamic, further complicating data gaps. The panel looked at cases involving both individuals and classes of plaintiffs seeking personal injury damages and health monitoring, water companies seeking protection, as well as municipalities and State environmental and public health agencies.
R+C was pleased to assist our client Sentinel Insurance Co. Ltd., a Hartford Insurance company, in achieving a favorable decision in the New York Appellate Division, First Department, and subsequently defending that appellate outcome in the trial court. Read the article here.
Land Use Group lawyer Ted O’;Hanlan) on June 12, 2019. The hearing involved a proposal for the Town to use eminent domain to take Crescent Bluff Avenue and adjacent property claimed and retained by one of several neighbors, in order to guarantee use of the road by the other neighbors and permit public access to Long Island Sound. Following presentations for and against the proposal, the matter was referred to the RTM Administrative Committee for review, with a meeting scheduled for July 9th. To learn more, you can read news stories here and here.
Manufacturing Industry Team Chair Jeff White was quoted in the June 26, 2019 edition of The Indiana Lawyer in its article “Internet of things in manufacturing creates new data, cybersecurity questions.” The publication noted that Robinson+Cole has “one of the nation’s top manufacturing law practices.”
The story focuses on today’s “manufacturing 4.0” plants – high-tech environments that feature automated production marked by connectivity among the devices that keep a factory humming, all overseen by trained technologists who understand the workings of such complex machinery. Jeff observed that manufacturers across the country are using new technologies for multiple purposes. While automated equipment can be used in place of human labor when a skilled workforce isn’t available, Jeff also sees new technology being used to attract skilled workers to manufacturing plants. To read the full article, click here.
Business Transactions Group member Anna Jinhua Wang attended the annual SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, D.C. from June 10-12, 2019. The Investment Summit is dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States, connecting qualified foreign firms directly with U.S. economic development organizations to help facilitate business investment and job creation. It plays a vital role in attracting and facilitating international investment into the U.S. by raising awareness of the wide range of opportunities and positive business climate and facilitating vital direct connections between investors and economic development organizations.
The Investment Summit allows international investors, from start-ups to medium-sized enterprises to multinationals, to hear from high-profile CEOs, senior executives, and U.S. government leaders, who set the tone for business and investment policies and trends in the United States.
The 2019 event attracted some 2,000 attendees, including representatives from U.S. state and local governments, U.S. economic development organizations, and advisors, service providers, companies, chambers of commerce, and associations facilitating FDI into the U.S. During the Summit, Anna met with some of the delegates from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, among others.
Intellectual Property + Technology Group Chair Jackie Scheib moderated the panel discussion “International Trade: Scaling Beyond Our Borders” at ScaleUp CT! presented by the Connecticut Technology Council (Council) at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT on June 6, 2019. The Council works to connect tech companies with growth resources and advocates for a pro-tech industry policy. In our digital world, any business could become an international business, provided it has a skilled workforce, access to capital, and networking opportunities with potential customers and partners.
The panel of experienced international business experts discussed some of the key issues that businesses venturing into the increasingly complex realm of international trade must consider, including:
• the significant advantages and disadvantages of international trade;
• the role of culture in determining whether and where to expand;
• methods for expanding internationally;
• the economic implications of expanding internationally;
• navigating customs, exchange rates, and import/export laws; and
• protecting Intellectual Property Rights
The ScaleUp CT! keynote speaker was Josh Geballe, Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Administrative Services, who spoke on “Scaling Up a Digital Strategy for State Government.” Robinson+Cole was a sponsor of the event.
Tax Group lawyer Ryan Leichsenring presented a program on "Connecticut State Tax Credits & Incentives” at the Connecticut Business and Industry Association’s (CBIA) 2019 Connecticut Tax Conference on June 11, 2019 in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. With a new governor and new administration in place, and faced with recurring state budget deficits, businesses are anticipating tax changes. The CBIA’s annual tax conference discussed how the legislature’s actions during the recently completed general session and proposed changes in tax policy could impact a company’s bottom line. Ryan’s presentation focused on advising attendees on the existing statutory credit programs, what to expect in the future given recent amendments to these programs, and practical strategies to maximize state tax savings.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team member Deborah George took part in the Rhode Island Bar Association’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Providence on June 14, 2019. Deborah was part of a workshop panel that addressed “The Latest on Cyber Threats & Cyber Liability Insurance: How You Can Protect Your Law Firm and Your Clients.” The workshop was presented in three sections: first, a brief description of recent cyberattacks and general overview of data privacy and cybersecurity hot topics; second, an introduction to cyber liability insurance and the types of coverages provided; and third, a discussion of the legal and ethical issues for lawyers involving data protection and security, recent court decisions involving cyber liability insurance, and tips for lawyers about how to protect data in their firm.
Intellectual Property and Technology lawyer Jackie Scheib participated at two recent Red Cross events, the “Women Who Lead Luncheon” presented by the American Red Cross Greater New York on May 14, 2019 in New York City, and the “Humanitarian Luncheon” presented by the American Red Cross of Connecticut and Rhode Island on June 4, 2019 in Darien, CT. Savannah Guthrie, co-anchor of NBC’s Today show, was the featured guest at the “Women Who Lead Luncheon,” and was interviewed by legal analyst Ashleigh Banfield. Both events were fundraisers highlighting the organization’s Tiffany Circle, a global community of women leaders who advance the Red Cross humanitarian mission. Jackie is a Tiffany Circle member, and addressed the “Humanitarian Luncheon” audience of some 100 people. To view a photo from the “Women Who Lead Luncheon” of some of the Tiffany Circle members with Ashleigh Banfield, please click here.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Je'Quana Orr was the subject of the Alumni Profile in the UConn School of Law’s June 2019 newsletter. The story in the quarterly online publication highlights her early engagement with the law as a high school student in Hartford participating in the first Summer Mock Trial Competition at UConn, where she is remembered as an attentive and engaged student. Je’Quana credits hands-on experiences in law school and a summer internship at Robinson+Cole with preparing her for a professional career. To read the article, click here.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Group lawyer Kathryn Rattigan presented “Drones in the National Airspace: Threats and Mitigation of Risk” at the INFORM 2019 conference at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey on June 13, 2019. In her program, Kathryn discussed advances in drone technology and the related implications.
Kathryn also was part of the panel “Surviving a Data Breach.” The panel discussion included experts in the fields of privacy, data security, public relations and reputation management, and addressed critical and sensitive issues such as:
• protecting your company from a data breach
• the reporting/notification requirements for different industries
• how to work with the FBI
• evidence preservation and maintaining logs for internal use and law enforcement
• handling requests from regulators, credit monitoring companies, and others
• managing your reputation internally and externally, and
• moving past a data breach.
The conference was a two-day Information Management event hosted by ARMA New Jersey, which offered sessions focused on Records and Information Management & Information Governance (IG) practices, Privacy, Security & Risk issues, and Strategy & Communications, as well as other trending IG updates to cutting-edge technology impacting the way we work.
Jim Ray and Emilee Mooney Scott spoke on technical and legal challenges and litigation associated with PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) at the Connecticut Business & Industry Association’s (CBIA) 2019 Energy & Environment Conference in Cromwell, CT on June 13, 2019. Jim discussed "What Are the Health, Environmental, and Litigation Challenges of PFAS?" Emilee presented on "How Are the Technical, Regulatory, and Legal Challenges of PFAS Being Addressed?" Both panels also included scientists from GZA GeoEnvironmental, an engineering and science consulting firm. The keynote speaker for the conference was Katie Dykes, Commissioner of the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Robinson+Cole was a sponsor of the event.
Litigation Section Co-Chair Rhonda Tobin presented to some 250 insurance professionals at the Defense Research Institute’s “Insurance Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability” seminar in Washington, D.C. on June 5, 2019. Rhonda presented with Naomi Kinderman, Assistant Vice President Claims, Senior Counsel at firm client W.R. Berkley Corporation, headquartered in Greenwich, CT. Their topic was “Fear of Trials: An In-House Perspective on the Vanishing Jury Trial and Outside Counsel’s Perspective on How to Manage a Bad Faith Case.” Representing the viewpoints of both in-house and outside counsel, they examined the growing perception that insurers are afraid to try cases and shared their perspectives on how to identify and defend those cases that can be won at trial.
Members of the Hartford office’s Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group participated in the Keney Park Sustainability Project in Hartford, CT on the afternoon of June 6, 2019. The community service team - including Keney Park Sustainability Project Board member Emily Deans, Brian Freeman, Bob Melvin, Jim Ray, Jon Schaefer, Emilee Mooney Scott, and UConn legal extern James Zimmer - assisted with weeding and planting cucumbers and zucchini.
The goals of the Project include:
The vision of the Project is “to create the next generation of healthy, productive and environmentally conscious citizens” by providing hands-on training, on-site demonstrations, outreach and community collaborations that help families become more self-sustainable and environmentally aware. At 693 acres, Keney Park is the largest park within the Hartford city system. It was a gift from the investor and wholesale grocer, Henry Keney in 1894, and was designed by the architectural firm led by the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted, the great American landscape artist who designed Central Park in New York City.
Health Law Group and Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team member Conor Duffy has been invited to join the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation (ABF). Fellows comprise a global honorary society of attorneys, judges, law faculty and legal scholars whose careers “have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession and to the welfare of their communities.” They are recommended by their peers and elected by the Board of the ABF. The prestigious invitation was extended in recognition of Conor’s contributions that support “the ABF’s groundbreaking research on the role and impact of law, lawyers and the legal process on society,” which help in the advancement of justice.
We congratulate Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team Chair Linn Freedman on winning one of LexBlog's three inaugural "Reader's Choice Awards" for the month of May. Her post, "FBI Flash: Ryuk Ransomware Continues to Attack U.S. Businesses," which detailed a ransomware attack that has hit more than 100 U.S. companies since August 2018, was one of the most popular on the website.
In recognizing Linn's work as one of the Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team’s most prolific bloggers, LexBlog wrote, "Authoring some of the most widely read content on LexBlog is no small feat; our network of 22,000 legal bloggers (and growing) brings in about 200 blog posts daily, adding up to almost 6000 new posts every month... The criteria is simple; the bloggers who authored the most trafficked blog posts during the specified month will receive the award. Their blog page on LexBlog will also receive an official emblem that will link to the winning post." You can read about Linn's selection here, and visit Robinson+Cole's Data Privacy + Security "Insider" blog here.
Business Transactions lawyer Kathleen Porter spoke at the 20th Annual Practicing Law Institute's (PLI) Privacy and Data Security Law Conference in Chicago on June 4, 2019. She presented the program "Vendor Management: Ensuring Compliance with Privacy and Cybersecurity Requirements," which discussed a range of issues, including evaluating vendors from a privacy and security perspective, privacy and security provisions in vendor contracts, and developing a compliant vendor management program. Kathleen has been an invited presenter on this general topic at the Chicago PLI Conference since 2013.
The 2019 conference was focused on the critical issues of information privacy, cybersecurity and data protection that are increasingly faced by businesses. As the Internet and other information technologies have prompted the development of powerful tools for the collection, use, processing, storage, and disposal of personal information, a wide range of compliance risk and liability issues have emerged. Legislators, regulators and the courts are rapidly developing new law and compliance obligations to address the privacy and security implications of our expanding information economy and its evolving risks. This annual conference addressed these developments, with the goal of keeping attorneys and other privacy professionals informed and up-to-date in this complex and dynamic area of laws and regulations.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team Chair Linn Freedman presented the program “Recent Cybersecurity Risks and Tips to Mitigate Them” at the annual meeting of the Greater Boston Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners on May 30, 2019. The theme of the all-day meeting and training was “Fraud in Many Forms.” Attendees also heard presentations on the subjects of "Stolen Identity Refund Fraud" from Ryan Talbot, a Special Agent of the Internal Revenue Service; "Business Email Compromise" offered by Josh Hatter, of the Financial Crimes Section of the U.S. Secret Service; "Healthcare Fraud-A Public Perspective" given by Toby Unger, Chief of the Medicaid Fraud Division, Office of the Attorney General, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and "Healthcare Fraud-A Private Perspective" from Joshua Orr, Associate General Counsel and Director of Fraud Prevention and Recovery for Tufts Health Plans.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team Chair Linn Freedman spoke at the 2nd annual New England Litigation Technology Professional's "Connect 2019," in Boston, MA on May 30, 2019. The one-day conference brought together industry experts and leaders from within the litigation and technology communities. Linn was featured on the "Privacy Panel," which offered practical insights covering the latest trends and developments in data privacy and technology. Other topics of panel discussion included "Trends in AI and Future Lawyering," "Proportionality in eDiscovery – From Mobile Devices to TAR" and "Anti-Money Laundering – New Battlegrounds for Due Diligence and Enforcement." The Honorable F. Dennis Saylor IV, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts, was the event’s keynote speaker.
Health Law Group member Lisa Thompson was a featured speaker at the Boston Bar Association’s inaugural Health Care Conference in Boston, MA on May 30, 2019. Lisa spoke as a panelist on the program “Data Sharing Across the Health Care Industry.” She also participated as a member of the conference’s Advisory Committee.
The event covered a variety of legal trends and developments affecting health care providers and institutions, payers, insurers, physicians, and medical groups, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, offering programs that included “Innovations in Health Care,” “Drug Pricing,” “Health Care Enforcement: What’s On the Horizon?” and the “Right to Try and Expanded Access to Investigational Drugs.” The full day of education and networking brought together firm experts, in-house counsel, regulators and policy leaders, and healthcare specialists – practitioners with the skills to help guide clients through the legal and regulatory changes they may face, as well as the industry knowledge to seize opportunities for growth and collaboration that can drive further improvement in the health care system.
Employee Benefits + Compensation Group lawyer Virginia McGarrity authored the article “ACA Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate,” published as a Practice Note in Lexis Practice Advisor® on March 19, 2019. The article describes the shared responsibility rules for so-called applicable large employers (ALE) implemented by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Commonly referred to as the employer mandate or pay-or-play provisions of the ACA, the rules were designed to promote employers’ traditional role in providing access to health insurance for their employees despite rising health care costs, and to complement the ACA’s individual mandate, which requires individuals to obtain health coverage or pay an excise tax. And while tax reform legislation enacted in November 2017 effectively repeals the individual mandate as of 2019, the employer shared responsibility rules remain intact. Click here to read the full article.
Intellectual Property + Technology Group Chair Jackie Scheib presented at BioCT's "Legal & Tax Considerations for Life Sciences Companies Licensing Technology" event in New Haven, CT on May 30, 2019. Her presentation addressed a variety of topics, including:
• Models for capturing revenue, negotiating for flexibility (or restrictions) in licenses, provisions to control for success as well as failure including bankruptcy, dispute resolution, and failure to commercialize, and mechanisms for controlling risk and containing liability.
The program also included remarks from representatives of CohnReznick LLP who spoke about revenue recognition considerations in licensing transactions and the new revenue standard applicable to collaborative licenses of IP. The presentation was capped by Sean Cassidy, CFO of the Bio-pharma company Arvinas, Inc. He discussed its partnerships with two well-known pharmaceuticals/biotechs and negotiations for multi-year, strategic license agreements and research collaborations. The event was sponsored by Robinson+Cole and CohnReznick.
Britt-Marie Cole-Johnson, Rachel Kushel, Natale Di Natale, and Abby Warren hosted the Association of Workplace Investigators’ (AWI) New England Local Circle meeting at Robinson+Cole’s Boston office on May 23, 2019. The meeting featured a lively roundtable discussion on the topics of Investigative Reports and Findings, and offered networking opportunities.
AWI is an international professional membership association for attorneys, human resource professionals, private investigators and others who conduct, manage, or have a professional interest in workplace investigations, with a membership of more than 1,000 professionals. The organization is dedicated to promoting and enhancing the quality of impartial workplace investigations, as well as offering training and education programs. Britt-Marie is a co-convener of the New England Local Circle and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for AWI.
Jim Ray gave a webinar presentation on May 22 to public- and private-sector environmental professionals on litigation involving claims of health risks and environmental harm from the PFAS family of chemical compounds (per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances). The webinar, “PFAS: It’s Not Just a Groundwater Issue,” was presented by the New England Section of the Air & Waste Management Association. PFAS chemicals are found in Teflon coatings, water-proof fabrics, fire-fighting foams, food packaging, and a broad array of other products and applications. Jim was joined on the panel by technical leads at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and the multi-national consulting firm TRC Environmental.
Robinson+Cole received the Presidential Award for Export Service - the only law firm recognized among 48 awardees from across the U.S. Jeff White and Kevin Daly accepted the award on behalf of the firm presented by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Gilbert B. Kaplan at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on May 23, 2019. The "E" Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.
In a congratulatory letter to the firm, Secretary Ross said “Robinson+Cole has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The "E" Awards Committee was very impressed with Robinson+Cole's work of broad impact within the business community to further expand U.S. exports. Your company's case studies demonstrating measurable export growth achieved by its clients were also particularly notable. Robinson+Cole's achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs.” The firm was honored to have R+C alumna, Joanne Rapuano, Chief Compliance Officer, North America for Embraer Executive Aircraft, Inc. join us at the ceremony. Jeff, Kevin and Joanne also met with U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal while in D.C. yesterday. Please see photos posted to R+C’s LinkedIn.
Keisha Palmer attended the 16th Annual Latinas and Power Symposium at the invitation of Hartford City Treasurer, Adam Cloud, and Assistant City Treasurer, Carmen Sierra, held in Hartford, CT on May 16, 2019. Ms. Sierra received the Community Service award for her many years of service to the Latina community and the community in general. Former Robinson & Cole partner, Stanford "Sandy" Cloud, Jr., received the Honorary Latina Award for his consistent support throughout the years for the Latina community. Welcoming remarks were made by Connecticut State Treasurer Shawn Wooden and Sara Bronin, on behalf of her husband, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.
Brian Freeman and Emilee Mooney Scott were featured speakers at the recent half-day meeting of the Massachusetts Chemistry & Technology Alliance in Westfield, MA. Robinson+Cole was a sponsor of the event, titled “Air Permitting & Compliance: What to Know, What to Do, What Not to Do.” Brian presented “Case Studies: Taking the Air Pollution Control Program from the Theoretical to the Practical,” and moderated a panel discussion on “Regulation, Permitting, Compliance & Enforcement.” Emilee presented a program on compliance audits and self-disclosure. The meeting also offered remarks from representatives of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, as well as Tighe & Bond, an engineering and environmental consulting company, and Trinity Consultants, an environmental health and safety solutions firm.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Group lawyer Kathryn Rattigan presented the program "Cybersecurity in the Commercial Drone Industry: Threats and Mitigation of Risk," hosted by the Boston Bar Association on May 23, 2019. As drones extend further into areas of modern life, from package delivery to commercial surveillance, the law is straining to keep pace with technological advancements.
During the brown bag seminar, Kathryn discussed how drones can be used to collect valuable data and increase the productivity, safety, and efficiency of organizations across many industries. She also provided an overview of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 107 regulations, waivers, the FAA “DroneZone,” and the FAA’s LAANC portal. In addition, she spoke about the onslaught of cybersecurity concerns and threats that must be better understood in order to allow drones to continue to operate safely in the national airspace.
Several members of Robinson+Cole's Appellate Practice Group recently contributed to the Connecticut Bar Association's (CBA) Appellate Advocacy Institute, an intensive two-day CLE program aimed at sharpening practitioner's appellate advocacy skills. Linda Morkan and Denis O'Malley, joined by Jeff Babbin of Wiggin & Dana, sat on a panel entitled "The Road to Appellate Review: How and When Your Case Can Get a Second (or Third) Look." Linda and Denis discussed drafting effective petitions for certification to the Connecticut Supreme Court - Linda drawing on her extensive experience as an appellate practitioner in Connecticut and Denis drawing on his recent experience as a clerk for the Court. Thomas Donlon, who serve as co-chair of the CBA's Appellate Advocacy Section, helped plan the Appellate Advocacy Institute. Jeff White also served as a faculty member at the Institute.
Earlier this month, Peter Lacouture and Brenda Vucci were honored at the United Way of Rhode Island’s "Campaign Leaders Thank You Luncheon" held at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The luncheon celebrated contributions and success in the 2018-2019 United Way campaign and recognized the top fundraisers among small, mid-size, and major companies in Rhode Island. Brenda and Peter were honored by the organization as “Change Makers,” defined as “dedicated Campaign Leaders and Committee members who inspire their colleagues to change lives and strengthen our community.” Kathryn Rattigan and Brenda attended the luncheon on behalf of Robinson+Cole.
Jackie Scheib, Maria Scungio and Alaine Doolan attended the International Trademark Association's Annual Meeting in Boston from May 18-22, 2019. The meeting highlighted a number of trending topics that are transforming the global IP landscape for the law, brand management and trademark protection, including "A Year of the EU GDPR and Access to WHOIS Data: Impact and Outlook for Brand Enforcement” and “Brexit: The Implications for Trademarks in the United Kingdom and the European Union." In addition to the general sessions, Jackie, Maria and Alaine hosted and attended a number of networking events, and held meetings with clients and law firms they work with from around the world.
Robinson+Cole was a sponsor of the International Space Trade Summit in Hartford, CT on May 19-21, 2019, presented by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Kevin Daly was a panelist during the session “Export Compliance – An Industry Perspective: OEM & Supply Chain Perspectives on Meeting the Technological Challenges of Space.” Jeff White served as chair of the steering committee for the compliance track of programs. Ed Heath spoke on a panel focused on “Government Contracting and Related Compliance Strategies,” which covered topics including anti-bribery laws (such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act), government contracting, and cybersecurity requirements.
The Summit focused on aerospace and defense, advanced manufacturing and IT companies from the "5 Eyes" alliance countries - U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.K. - bringing those capabilities and the countries’ high-tech supply chains into the global space sector conversation. Current and future capabilities required to be in the sector as well as available opportunities were discussed, and companies were introduced to the space agencies, original equipment manufacturers, and supply chain subject matter experts in the 5 Eyes countries, allowing the firms to gain a better understanding of their respective space sectors. Check out news and photos from the conference on LinkedIn.
Jackie Scheib, Nathaniel Arden, Anna Wang, David Gilboa and Michelle Mattera attended the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s “Laugh for Life: New York” event in New York City on May 7, 2019. Robinson+Cole is proud to support the Foundation's goal of finding a cure for multiple myeloma in our lifetime as a “Friends of Laugh” event sponsor. To help achieve that ambitious pursuit, the patient-founded MMRF collects, interprets and activates patient data as well as information from the realms of science and technology, directing it into cancer research and related programs.
Virginia McGarrity and Lauren Sigg attended the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford on May 14, 2019. Virginia was honored by the Board of Trustees for her years of service to the Stowe Center. She retired from the Board after fulfilling two three-year terms, serving as Secretary during the second term. At the Annual Meeting, the Board of Trustees welcomed new board members, elected new officers, and honored funders and volunteers. The Stowe Center is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the Hartford home of Harriet Beecher Stowe – known worldwide as the author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” - promoting discussion of her life and work, and inspiring continued pursuit and commitment to social justice and positive change.
Ed Heath and Jeff White were among the participants at the Chief Executives Group’s 2019 Smart Manufacturing Summit in Dallas Texas on May 14 and 15, 2019. The meeting was designed for executives from mid-market companies, who shared best practices, principles and processes and heard insights from manufacturing pioneers and global powerhouses alike—with a focus on the complicated realities of today’s global manufacturing environment.
Robinson+Cole was a sponsor of the Summit and participated in an interactive Peer-to-Peer Roundtable, “Global Growth Without Friction,” during which Ed and Jeff discussed the legal regulations and problems manufacturing CEOs may need to navigate while growing their business internationally. The roundtable highlighted the essential considerations for global growth and showed how to begin developing ways of working internationally that can dramatically reduce friction and become a true competitive advantage. As the influence of economic uncertainty and disruptive technologies spreads into every industry, CEOs of manufacturing companies must plan smarter and work harder to capture opportunity. Expanding into new global markets is a key element of any growth strategy, but entering new international supply chains, developing relationships with foreign partners, and selling to new customers often triggers complex, daunting legal hurdles.
Lisa Thompson participated in a panel presentation titled “The Complexities of International & Domestic Life Sciences Disputes,” sponsored by the American Arbitration Association (AAA), on May 1, 2019 in Philadelphia, PA. The presentation was part of a half-day conference focused on topics related to the arbitration of pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device disputes, which was organized by the AAA and its global division, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution .
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team Chair, Linn Freedman, was among the panelists who presented during the ISACA New England and Rhode Island “SheLeadsTech” Conference at Stonehill College on April 22, 2019. The conference featured the panel discussion “Building Gender Balance in Information Technology and Cyber Security for a Better Future,” and afforded an opportunity for professionals to engage with information technology and cybersecurity industry leaders who presented on current topics in their respective fields. The panel discussed ways to break down barriers between the genders in information technology and how to support women with careers in cybersecurity.
Linn’s co-panelists included Leslie Owens, Executive Director of the MIT Center for Information Systems Research; Sandy Silk, Director of IT Security Education and consulting at Harvard University; V. Susan Peediyakkal, Cyber Threat Intelligence Program Lead Consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton; and Kim Dickerson, Managing Director, Risk & Compliance with Protiviti.
Alisha Sullivan organized and moderated the CLE program “Hot Topics in Employment: Discrimination & Harassment,” presented by the Connecticut Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section. She is a member of the Section's Executive Committee. Abby Warren served as a panelist for the program, which examined the history of civil rights in the employment context, the evolution of law in Connecticut based on shifts in society’s general thought, and how sexual harassment and discrimination looks different in the #MeToo era. The panel also discussed counseling employers on dealing with implicit bias and micro-aggressions in the workplace; how Connecticut has been seen as a leader with respect to workplace protections for LGBTQ individuals; how employers are handling claims of discrimination relating to the medical use of marijuana; and different ways employers can limit the risks presented by the electronic communications of employees and supervisors.
Business Transactions Group lawyers Eric Kogan and Les Levinson presented a lunchtime webinar, “Getting Your Business Ready for a Sale Transaction” on May 15, 2019. Joined by Martin Magida, Managing Director, Berkery Noyes, the panel of industry professionals discussed key issues facing businesses as they contemplate and prepare for a sale transaction, including identifying transaction resources, preparing early stage documentation, maximizing value, and managing risks. In today's fast-paced business world, preparedness is as critical to the success of a deal as execution. The panel addressed questions such as how to determine if an organization has the resources it needs to move forward and how to identify and avoid pitfalls along the way.
Kathryn Rattigan presented a webinar on "Data Privacy and Security in the Cannabis Industry" hosted by myLawCLE and the Federal Bar Association on May 7, 2019. There are currently 33 states that allow some form of medical marijuana and 10 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have legalized recreational use. This has created a multitude of business opportunities, but it has also raised questions and created uncertainties for businesses. Beyond the regulatory requirements, businesses must consider the data privacy and security risks to their business as well. It is not only important for companies in the cannabis industry to keep up with the changing legislative landscape, but also with the cyber-threats that can pose a substantial risk to both their businesses and their customers. The two-hour broadcast covered:
• The current landscape for medical and recreational use of marijuana across the country;
• The types of sensitive—and protected—information that companies in the cannabis industry collect and possess;
• Recent and continued risks and threats to data; and
• Tips for protecting and securing the data collected by these businesses.
Managed Care and Employee Benefit Litigation lawyers Greg Bennici and Pat Begos co-authored the Connecticut chapter in the recently published 2019 Defense Research Institute’s (DRI) Rescission Compendium. The Compendium, which surveys the law on insurance policy rescission in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 10 provinces in Canada, is a comprehensive resource for insurance carriers, claim professionals, defense and coverage counsel, and the judiciary. Offering both an historical and current perspective on the law of rescission in Connecticut, the chapter Pat and Greg authored provides a roadmap for how to successfully analyze rescission challenges under Connecticut law. Publication in the Compendium highlights their standing as thought leaders in this area of the law. To view the chapter, click HERE.
Labor, Employment, Benefits + Immigration Group lawyer Britt-Marie Cole-Johnson served as a presenting faculty member at the 2019 Chicago Area Training Institute for Workplace Investigators in St. Charles, Illinois. The Institute, sponsored by the Association of Workplace Investigators, Inc. (AWI), was held from April 29-May 3, 2019.
AWI established the Training Institute to promote and enhance the specialized knowledge and skills required of investigators to successfully conduct the critical function of impartial workplace investigations. The four-day accredited course included 10 hours of small group sessions, followed by a day of assessments. Students who passed the test received a certificate indicating mastery of the materials and are permitted to place the designation ‘AWI-CH’ after their name. Britt-Marie taught the Ethics Module and also conducted a Mock Investigation and Report Writing Exercise. She is a part-time faculty member for AWI.
Dan Sullivan and Dana Horton presented “A Defense Attorney’s Perspective for the Fire Investigator” as part of the Connecticut Fire Academy’s 24th Annual Advanced Fire Investigation School on May 1, 2019. The Connecticut Fire Academy, located in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, is a training facility operated under the guidance and administration of the Connecticut Commission on Fire Prevention and Control. The Advanced Fire Investigation School is a multi-week program sponsored by the Connecticut State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit in cooperation with the Connecticut Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators. The School focuses on various aspects of fire investigation and litigation associated with those investigations. Dan and Dana presented to a large class of state and local fire marshals and shared their experience with the cross-examination of experts, discussed various grounds on which expert opinions are challenged, and offered advice for preparation and testimony in a fire case.
Robinson+Cole hosted the U.S. Dept. of Commerce presentation "Aerospace and Defense Industrial Buying Trends: How Does It Impact Your Business?" at the firm’s Hartford office on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Thomas Publishing Company CEO and President, Tony Uphoff, was the featured guest speaker. He shared proprietary data on sourcing trends nationally, in Connecticut, and for the aerospace/defense sector. 2019 buying habits, the dynamics presented by today’s multi-generational workforce, and the digital transformation happening in industrial sales, marketing, and supply chain management also were topics of discussion. Jeff White, leader of Robinson+Cole's Manufacturing Industry Team, offered opening remarks to the manufacturing and aerospace leaders in attendance.
As the number of women practicing law continues to grow, firms are striving to accommodate women attorneys who want to both practice and have a family. The New York Law Journal reported recently that a number of young female attorneys intent on pursuing their careers are becoming more interested in freezing their eggs, in order to have more time to focus on advancement toward partnership. In this article from the CT Law Tribune on April 24, 2019, Connecticut attorneys identified flexibility as being an integral element in developing supportive policies.
Partner Rachel Kushel, a mother of two and co-vice chair of the firm’s women’s committee, said that while she hasn’t heard from female colleagues about freezing their eggs, she agrees that supportiveness and flexibility are important at the management level to ensure all lawyers are free to raise families. “We just revamped our parental leave policy to provide even greater support to our attorneys who are embarking on family planning issues, and we have family leave mentors. One of the tenets of the new program is flexibility. We wanted a program that works for individuals and families,” Kushel said.
Kushel explained that Robinson+Cole has broadened its parental leave policy, opening it up to both child-bearing and non-birthing parents, regardless of gender. She said, “I think there is less perception that it’s only a women’s issue. It’s a family issue that’s applicable to both genders.” Kushel said that results in firms like R+C expanding their family leave policies to women and men across the board, in traditional and same-sex couples. And, that the firm’s policies are constantly evolving.
“Our parental leave policy can be used intermittently by both parents, regardless of gender, and families can be adaptive,” continued Kushel. “We have embraced all of those issues, recognizing that no one policy fits all, so we have really increased the flexibility in how to best support families.”
Health Law Group lawyer Les Levinson was among the panelists who presented during the webinar “Home Health & Hospice: The Future of Healthcare Delivery” on April 25, 2019. Presented by Irving Levin Associates, the webinar covered the rising costs and continuing preference for home health care and hospice companies. With the elderly population growing at a much faster rate than the increase in the number of caregivers, there is a question as to whether the home care business can grow as fast as people expect it to. Despite some of these concerns, demand for home healthcare and hospice companies continues to grow, as investors believe it will be part of the solution to containing costs and providing continuity of care to patients.
The topics the webinar addressed included: how active has the acquisition market been in the past few years; what are buyers paying, and how the multiples change depending on size; who the sellers are, and whether now is the time to sell; if labor pressures are squeezing profits enough to dampen investors’ appetite; and whether it makes sense for hospitals to get into, or continue in, the home care business.
Adam Anderson, Nathaniel Arden and Alaine Doolan facilitated the workshop “Contracts 101: Drafting and Negotiating Tips and Strategies” in Hartford, Connecticut on April 24, 2019. The event was sponsored by the MIT Enterprise Forum Connecticut. On any given day, a company might need to write, sign or negotiate a number of different contract types. “Contracts 101” presented the basics on the elements of an agreement and contract negotiation and offered critical tips and best practices to help save money and head off problems in both the short and long term. The workshop was the first in a series that will address legal, finance, strategy, operations, and marketing issues for startup founders. Robinson+Cole is a sponsor of the Connecticut Chapter of MIT Enterprise Forum.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Jim Wade presented on “The Art of Jury Selection” at Robinson+Cole’s Hartford office on April 23, 2019. The program was sponsored by the Hartford County Bar Association's Criminal Law Committee. During the presentation, Jim used his half-century of trial experience to show how to navigate Connecticut's unique individual voir dire process. He discussed jury selection techniques, what rules he uses in voir dire, and when he breaks those rules. The program featured a demonstration of voir dire questioning by interviewing "jurors" on a mock case, showing how to tailor questioning to specific case facts. Attendees learned the tricks of the trade in getting to know potential jurors (and how they'll vote!) in the limited time they have in state court. This program was equally applicable to civil and criminal practitioners, and to both new and vastly experienced attorneys looking for a voir dire edge.