Hartford Performs, an organization that brings visiting artists into Hartford Public Schools to teach curriculum in creative new ways, has appointed Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Charles F. Modzelewski to its Board of Directors. The mission of Hartford Performs is to connect all Hartford Public School students to quality arts experiences that advance student learning and deepen engagement in community. Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole is pleased to announce the election of seven new partners, effective January 1, 2019. The new partners are Daniel E. Bryer, Shant H. Chalian, Ian T. Clarke-Fisher, Candace M. Cunningham, Kathleen E. Dion, Jonathan R. Hausner, and Benjamin C. Jensen.
“The strength of the firm and its continuing success is directly related to the ongoing development of our lawyers,” said Stephen E. Goldman, Robinson+Cole’s Managing Partner. “I proudly congratulate each of our new partners on their well-deserved advancement and the R+C community for helping them achieve their success.” Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole lawyers and staff members participated in Junior Achievement’s “JA in a Day” program at Parkville Community School in Hartford on November 16, 2018. This was the firm's fourteenth “JA in a Day” overall and thirteenth visit to this elementary school.
A total of nine volunteers from Robinson+Cole spent roughly five hours teaching 90 first-grade students a JA-developed curriculum focused on money, needs and wants, family, and the value of hard work. Robinson+Cole partner Christine E. Bromberg, a member of the Board of Directors of JA of Southwest New England, coordinated the effort. The firm is a longtime supporter of JA. Read more and view a photo in the press release.
The Connecticut Environmental Forum (CEF), an organization that provides a forum for environmental professionals to share and exchange information and experiences on environmental matters and to learn about the latest issues regarding environmental regulation, has appointed Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Emily C. Deans to its Board of Directors. CEF was founded by a small group of environmental professionals seeking a way to acquire accurate regulatory knowledge in a timely fashion. The organization’s core mission is to educate members on the important environmental issues that affect their communities and careers. Read more in the press release.
The Connecticut Defense Lawyers Association (CDLA) presented Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Stephen O. Clancy with its Rising Star award during the organization’s fall meeting on November 12, 2018 at the Inn at Middletown. CDLA is a statewide organization of civil defense attorneys that assists members in becoming better civil defense lawyers. The CDLA Rising Star award recognizes a civil defense lawyer who is truly “one to watch” because of his or her contributions to the profession, the civil defense bar, and the community, and who shows promise of leadership in the future. Read more and view a photo in the press release.
The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) named Robinson+Cole lawyers Kelly Frye Barnett, Emily C. Deans, Kathleen E. Dion, Rachel V. Kushel, and Nicole S. Mulé and paralegal Albina Yaikbaeva to its First 100 Plus Class of 2018 during the organization’s 8th Annual Breakfast & Awards Ceremony on November 9, 2018 at the Hartford Marriott Downtown in Hartford, Connecticut.
Although both men and women have been recognized in years past, the First 100 Plus Class of 2018 was limited to women in celebration of CCADV’s 40th Anniversary and Year of the Woman. This year’s class is comprised of women who have demonstrated leadership and commitment to improving the lives of domestic violence survivors throughout Connecticut. Read more and view a photo in the press release.
Robinson+Cole was again ranked as a “highly recommended” firm in Connecticut in the 2019 edition of Benchmark Litigation. The firm also received a “recommended” ranking in the area of labor & employment.
In addition, Stephen W. Aronson received the “Labor & Employment Star – Northeast” recognition, a new distinction from the inaugural edition of Benchmark Labor & Employment, and the following Robinson+Cole lawyers earned the “Local Litigation Stars” honor: Wystan M. Ackerman, Bradford S. Babbitt, Joseph L. Clasen, Gerald P. Dwyer Jr., Linda L. Morkan, Rhonda J. Tobin, Theodore J. Tucci, and James A. Wade. Read more in the press release.
The University of Connecticut Law School Alumni Association appointed Business Litigation Group lawyer Linda L. Morkan to its Board of Directors during the law school’s Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on October 16, 2018. The Association cultivates the spirit of community and pride among those who have attended the law school and contributes to the advancement of the law school and the legal profession. Read more in the press release.
The Keney Park Sustainability Project, an organization that helps families become more self-sustainable and environmentally conscious while preserving the historic Keney Park, has appointed Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Emily C. Deans to its Board of Directors. The goal of the Project is to support the development and sustainability of community-based food systems such as farmers markets, community gardens, school based gardening, agricultural project and home gardens. Read more in the press release.
The American College of Mortgage Attorneys (ACMA) has elected Finance Group lawyer Norman H. Roos to serve as its president-elect for the 2018-2019 term. Norm was installed during the ACMA's annual meeting on October 13, 2018 in Tucson, Arizona. Formed in 1974, ACMA's membership consists of more than 400 lawyers in North America who are recognized leaders in the mortgage law industry. To be considered for membership, a qualified lawyer must be nominated by an ACMA Fellow and meet rigorous criteria. Read more in the press release.
The Hartford Business Journal recognized Labor + Employment Group lawyer Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson as a “40 Under Forty” winner during the publication’s annual event on September 27, 2018 at the Hartford Marriott Downtown. The distinction recognizes 40 outstanding young professionals in the Greater Hartford area that are excelling in their industries through their leadership roles. Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole is pleased to welcome Michael R. Orce as the firm’s Chief Operating Officer. Orce will be responsible for the overall finances and operations of the firm while providing leadership to the management team. With nearly 30 years of management experience in the legal industry, Orce will work with firm leadership to execute its strategic and operational goals. His forward-thinking and innovative approach, together with his experience in senior management positions with firms that are culturally similar to Robinson+Cole, led him to be a natural choice for the firm. Read more in the press release.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Candace M. Cunningham was among the panelists who participated in a webinar on “Title Insurance; What Coverage to Get and How to (Try to) Sustain It” on December 5, 2018. The program was part of the American Bar Association Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section’s “Mastering the Art of Commercial Real Estate Deals” webinar series, which is a comprehensive set of programs on commercial real estate. The Title Insurance session is associated with the second program in the four-part series, entitled "The Contract is Signed, Now What? Due Diligence Traps for the Unwary." The panel covered key points from opening the order for title insurance to closing and recording the real estate transaction as well as what happens after the inevitable claims arise. Candace also offered tips for the construction lender in the wake of several circuit court decisions negating title insurance coverage for mechanic’s liens, on the theory that the lender “created” the liens.
Health Law Group lawyer Leslie J. Levinson moderated a program on “Healthcare Deal Strategies and M&A Outlook” as part of the “American Politics Disrupted” sessions presented during the Berkeley Research Group (BRG) Healthcare Leadership Conference held from December 3-5, 2018 in Washington D.C. During the program, panelists offered insight into the thinking behind the new strategies and trends in health care transactions—where the money is coming from and where it is going—from the perspectives of buyers, sellers, and investors in health care.
The firm hosted a meeting of the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) Appellate Advocacy Section in the Hartford office on November 28, 2018. The meeting featured an informal discussion with Judge Nina F. Elgo of the Connecticut Appellate Court. Judge Elgo, who is a first generation Filipino-American, was the first Asian-Pacific American appointed to the Connecticut Appellate Court in 2017. Judge Elgo led a lively discussion of the issues facing the Appellate Court, particularly problems with how attorneys prepare briefs and present oral arguments. The meeting was coordinated by Appellate Team member Thomas J. Donlon. Tom currently serves as co-chair of the CBA Appellate Advocacy Section.
Construction Group lawyer Joseph A. Barra presented a program entitled “How Will the Massachusetts Retainage Act Affect My Responsibilities on the Project?” as part of the Boston Day-Summit: Construction Institute Boston Chapter in Boston on November 30, 2018. Presented by the Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section, the full-day seminar included a mix of project case studies, technical reviews, legal issues in construction, technology and innovative planning and construction techniques, and specific construction projects and detailed challenges. During his session, Joe examined the application of the Massachusetts Retainage Act to private construction projects in Massachusetts and how the statute changes the traditional paradigm of a project’s close-out process with respect to substantial completion and retainage. Robinson+Cole was a sponsor of the summit.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Noel B. Vales was installed as Northeast Regional Governor of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) during the organization’s annual installation gala in Chicago, Illinois on November 8, 2018. According to the group’s website, NFALA is “the national voice for the Filipino American legal profession” and “advocates for justice, civil rights, and equal opportunity for the Filipino American community.” This is Noel’s second term serving in this role.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Lawrence Klein presented a program on "The Opioid Epidemic" as part of the 2018 Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium in New York on November 29, 2018. Presented by DRI (The Voice of the Defense Bar), the symposium was an educational event for insurance executives, claims professionals, and outside counsel who specialize in insurance coverage. Larry's program focused on how the opioid crisis in the United States will affect commercial general liability, errors and omissions, professional liability, and product liability coverage.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer J. Tyler Butts was among the speakers who presented during a program entitled "Adjusting a Slow-Developing Commercial Fraud Claim: Forged Documents, Doctored Photographs & 26 Tons of Dead Fish" as part of the 2018 Large Loss Conference hosted November 26-28, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. Presented by the Property & Liability Resource Bureau, the conference was attended by large loss claims adjusters and managers, supervisors, general adjusters and EGAs, complex case managers, senior claims management, and service providers who work with these claims. Tyler’s session covered:
Business Litigation Group lawyer Frank F. Coulom, Jr. was among the speakers who presented during the "Professionalism Boot Camp CLE" at Quinnipiac University School of Law in North Haven, Connecticut on November 30, 2018. Presented by the Connecticut Bar Institute of the Connecticut Bar Association, the program focused on the skills needed to practice effectively and ethically. The CLE seminar also covered launching and navigating a successful career in law.
Tax Group lawyer Ryan V. Leichsenring presented a program on "Trending Topics in State Tax" as part of the 2018 State Tax 360° conference in Plantsville, Connecticut on November 29, 2018. Presented by the Connecticut Society of CPAs, State Tax 360° is an annual event that features local leaders in state taxation discussing the latest topics and answering attendee’s questions.
Health + Benefits Litigation Team lawyer Patrick W. Begos presented a program entitled "ERISA Remedies: Key Enforcement Provisions and Scope of Equitable Relief for Benefit Claims—Statutory and Plan Provision Violations, Section 502(a)(1)(B), Relief Under 502(a)(3), Limiting Equitable Remedies" on November 27, 2018. Presented by Strafford, the live CLE webinar provided employee benefits counsel with a detailed analysis of the types of remedies available under ERISA and challenges in seeking monetary relief for benefit claims. The program covered equitable relief under Section 502(a)(3), other key enforcement provisions under ERISA, the scope of monetary relief, procedural strategies in litigation, and plan terms limiting the availability of equitable remedies.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyers Brian C. Freeman and Emilee Mooney Scott were among the speakers who presented during a program entitled "Air Permitting & Compliance and What It Might Mean to You (and Your Neighbors)," hosted at the firm’s Boston office on November 29, 2018. Presented by the Massachusetts Chemistry & Technology Alliance, the four-hour session focused on permitting and compliance issues regarding air emissions, odor, and noise, and how pollution prevention can be an effective way to achieve best available control technology (BACT) compliance. Brian and Emilee presented a session on "MassDEP Air Permitting Regulations: Key Features of the 2018 Revisions" and participated in a panel discussion at the close of the program. Brian also presented a session entitled "Ozone Depleting Substances: Is Your Facility Prepared?" View a photo from the program.
On November 17, 2018, the Bushnell Park Foundation hosted a grand opening in celebration of the new playground constructed in Hartford’s Bushnell Park. In appreciation of the firm’s generous financial support of the new playground, Managing Partner Stephen E. Goldman was among the dignitaries invited to participate in the grand opening ceremony, where both he and the firm were personally acknowledged and thanked for the firm’s meaningful contribution. In recognition of that support, Robinson+Cole’s name is proudly displayed on the playground’s entrance sign. Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Jonathan H. Schaefer was also in attendance. Jon currently serves on the Bushnell Park Foundation Board of Directors. View photos from the grand opening.
Labor + Employment Group lawyer Ian T. Clarke-Fisher and Business Litigation Group lawyer Brian J. Wheelin were among the panelists who presented during a seminar entitled "Bulletproofing Your Deals 2018 - Lessons from the Litigation Battlefield on Commercial Contracts Clauses." The seminar was hosted by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Westchester/Southern Connecticut at the Woodway Country Club in Darien, Connecticut on November 14, 2018. The seminar provided an overview of common issues in commercial contract disputes and covered various topics, including limitations of liability, arbitration provisions, indemnification clauses, ipso facto clauses, prejudgment remedy waivers, disclaimers of warranties, survival clauses, forum selection clauses, and confidentiality provisions.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Daniel F. Sullivan presented a program entitled "A Defense Attorney’s Perspective for the Fire Investigator," as part of the 33rd Annual Arson Investigators' Seminar in Rocky Hill, Connecticut on November 16, 2018. Presented by the Connecticut Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators, the seminar was hosted for fire/arson investigators, police officers, counselors prosecuting or litigating fires, insurance – special investigation unit personnel, claims professionals, and claims legal personnel.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Rhonda J. Tobin was quoted in the article “Why Female Litigators Leave Big Law—And What Could Get Them to Stay,” published in the Connecticut Law Tribune on November 26, 2018. The article highlighted three women attorneys, who were asked about “the obstacles women in law face, the successes they've had, and what still needs to be done.” The piece described the progress that has been made over the past 30 years, efforts to be more aware of implicit bias, and the importance of sponsorship and mentorship. “While mentoring has and continues to be an important part of most law firms, Tobin said the future lies in a different type of support. ‘Sponsorship is someone who has a direct role in advocating for you when you are not in the room,’ she said. ‘It might be advocating for you to work on a big case, and it might be advocating for you to be involved in a client pitch. It could also be advocating that you assume a leadership post in the firm or, ultimately, become partner.’” Read the full article.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Kendra L. Berardi was elected to the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. (MCLE | New England™) Board of Trustees during the nonprofit corporation’s annual meeting on November 7, 2018. According to MCLE | New England’s website, the educational institution has been “the Massachusetts’ legal community’s premier provider of hands-on programs and practical reference materials for over 50 years” and offers “more than 250 programs annually, in a variety of in-person or online formats.” The Board of Trustees meets on a quarterly basis. There are also several committees of the board that meet at various times throughout the year. Kendra serves as chair of MCLE | New England’s annual Land Court Judicial Forum.
Labor + Employment Group lawyer Matthew T. Miklave presented a "2018 Legal Update" during a meeting of the Human Resources Professional Association of Nonprofit Organizations (HRPANO) in New York on November 15, 2018. The program focused on legal updates that will impact human resources, including wage and hour, website accessibility litigation, the impact of “#MeToo” on HR practices and policies, and criminal background checks.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Brian W. Blaesser made presentations at two programs during the 2018 REALTORS® Conference & Expo at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston, Massachusetts held from November 2-5, 2018. This national conference of the National Association of REALTORS® boasts 100 education sessions that offer strategies and solutions to meet the needs of real estate professionals. Brian’s first session was before the State & Local Issues Policy Committee, where he presented Realtors® with “Advocacy Tips” to “Protect the Right to Rent” when faced with government proposed short-term rental regulations. Brian also spoke at the Professional Development Session for Government Affairs Directors on “Real Estate Sign Regulations After Reed: Analysis and Strategic Guidance for Realtors®.”
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyers J. Tyler Butts, Jessica A.R. Hamilton, and Jonathan E. Small were among the speakers who presented during the 2018 Eastern Regional Adjusters Conference in Hartford, Connecticut on October 30, 2018. The conference was hosted by the Property & Liability Resource Bureau as part of the organization's Regional Adjusters Conferences, which were held in three different cities around the country. Tyler and Jessica co-presented a program on "Assignment of Benefits," while Jonathan presented on "Common Coverage Issues Arising from Catastrophes."
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Kathryn M. Rattigan presented a seminar on "Cybersecurity in the Commercial Drone Industry: Threats and Mitigation of Risk" in Newport, Rhode Island on November 14, 2018. Presented by the Pell Center, the program covered how drones can be used to collect valuable data and increase productivity, safety, and efficiency of organizations across all industries. Kathryn 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 addressed the onslaught of cybersecurity concerns and threats that should be better understood in order to allow drones to continue to operate safely in the national airspace.
Labor + Employment Group lawyer Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson presented a program on "ADA Performance & Conduct Standards," as part of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association’s (CBIA) 2018 Employment Law Conference in Farmington, Connecticut on November 15, 2018. Britt-Marie addressed the possibility of an individual’s disability being a contributing factor to performance, conduct, or safety concerns. She also covered evaluating the defensibility of performance standards, whether accommodation may be required, the process for identifying and exploring possible accommodations, and how performance standards might be impacted.
The firm hosted a meeting of the Connecticut Bar Association’s (CBA) Intellectual Property Section in the Hartford office on November 13, 2018. During the meeting, Bruce Carlson, President and CEO of the Connecticut Technology Council, gave a presentation on positive trends and activities in the state regarding technology companies and economic development resulting from their success. Intellectual Property + Technology Group lawyer James R. Nault currently serves as co-chair of the CBA's Intellectual Property Section; Alaine C. Doolan is a past chair of the Section and currently serves on its executive committee; and Jacqueline Pennino Scheib is a member of the Section's Executive Committee and serves on the board of directors of the Connecticut Technology Council. View meeting photos.
Construction Group lawyer Joseph A. Barra was one of three featured speakers during the panel discussion "Why P3 (Public/Private Partnership) is gaining popularity in Massachusetts” at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts on November 13, 2018. Presented by the New England Chapter of the Construction Management Association of America, the program focused on how a number of agencies are looking into different models, such as P3, as a means of maintaining updated infrastructure projects without having to make large investments. As an example of one such cost-effective solution, the panel examined the strategies and motivations that prompted the UMass Building Authority to pursue P3 for recent building projects on its Boston campus and the process they undertook to ensure a quality facility.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Daniel F. Sullivan presented a program on “Insurance Bad Faith ‘Setups’” on November 8, 2018. Presented by the National Business Institute (NBI), the recorded webcast offered guidance to prepare for the avoidance and countering of bad faith allegations. The program also shared insight on screening cases for bad faith potential, documenting investigations, and developing tools to deny bad faith in court.
Robinson+Cole hosted the November membership meeting of the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association (Crawford) on November 8, 2018. The meeting featured Attorney Beth Griffin, Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers-Connecticut, Inc., who presented a program entitled: ”From Unwell to Well: Maintaining Professional Integrity, Personal Health and Life Balance throughout a Successful Legal Career.” Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers is Connecticut's lawyer assistance program providing crisis intervention and referral services to the Connecticut legal community. Finance Group lawyer Christie D. Jean currently serves on the Crawford Executive Board.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Danielle Andrews Long was among the speakers that participated in a panel discussion on "Notarial Acts Done Right (and Wrong)" during the Real Estate Bar Association's (REBA) 2018 Annual Meeting & Conference in Norwood, Massachusetts on November 5, 2018. The practical skills session included a review of recent case law highlighting the unintended consequences of flawed acknowledgments and jurats, along with practical tips on fixing errors and avoiding defects. The panelists also offered an analysis of REBA-sponsored legislation to update the acknowledgement statute and bring it into closer alignment with other jurisdictions.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Jonathan H. Schaefer presented a program on "Regulatory Compliance in Action" during the 2018 ISRI Yard Management Forum in Washington, D.C. held from November 8-9, 2018. Hosted by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI), the forum was developed to provide up-to-date knowledge and training to operations and maintenance supervisors on all facets of running a scrap yard. Jon's program linked abstract regulatory requirements with real-world situations and demonstrated the reasons and purposes behind certain practices scrap yards are required to undertake.
The firm was featured in the article “How a Big Law Firm Is Linking Parental Leave, Mentorship,” published in the Connecticut Law Tribune on November 13, 2018. The piece details Robinson+Cole’s enhanced focus on mentoring, which was the overarching theme emphasized during the recent all-attorney retreat. Public Finance Group lawyer Keisha S. Palmer shared her mentoring success story during the retreat and in the article. “It’s great to have someone who is your advocate while everyone is getting to know you,” she said. In addition, Managing Partner, Stephen E. Goldman, described how the firm is going beyond the traditional mentoring model to include reverse mentoring and a new mentoring program for attorneys taking parental leave as a means of furthering retention. “’Mentoring and the retention of attorneys is intertwined, Goldman said. ‘People want to stay with us because they feel there is a path for them to succeed at Robinson & Cole.’” Read the full article.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Linn F. Freedman was profiled in the article “Becoming a Top Legal Blogger,” published in the Content Under Pressure section of Attorney At Work on November 5, 2018. The article focuses on Linn’s path to success in becoming the most well-read author on data privacy and cybersecurity on JD Supra, for the past three years, and offers best practices for other legal blog authors to take into consideration. Linn shares insight on the importance of assembling a team of authors, maintaining a blog schedule, generating content, and monitoring analytics. “We get a lot of very positive feedback from our clients. That is very satisfying to me, that clients read it and appreciate it.” Read the full article.
Employee Benefits + Compensation Group lawyer Virginia E. McGarrity presented a program on “Municipal Defined Contribution Plans: The Evolving Fiduciary Landscape,” during the Government Finance Officers Association of Connecticut (GFOA-CT) Fall 2018 Quarterly Meeting at St. Clements Castle in Portland, Connecticut on November 8, 2018. GFOA-CT is comprised of over 400 state and local government finance officers and others interested in public finance. The Association’s purpose is to promote the improvement of the methods of governmental financing in Connecticut.
Over 20 lawyers from the firm attended a Strategic Partners Networking Event hosted by Bank of America at Upward Hartford on October 24, 2018. Accountants from CohnReznick were also invited to participate in the networking event. As examples of two recent exciting investments in Hartford, the event highlighted Upward Hartford, an innovative co-working space, and Hartford Athletic, Connecticut’s new professional soccer franchise competing in the United Soccer League and set to begin play at the newly-renovated Dillon Stadium in 2019. View photos from the event.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer James P. Ray was quoted in the article “Why toxic torts are hard to litigate and win,” featured in the November 2018 issue of the ABA Journal, the flagship magazine of the American Bar Association (ABA). The article focuses on toxic torts and the reasons why successfully litigating them can be difficult. One explanation offered by the article is the Daubert standard, which governs whether an expert witness’s opinion is admissible in court. The piece indicates that “[e]xpert witnesses are vital for proving a toxic tort case—which often involves substantial science—but the Daubert standard gives the other side a way to discredit and exclude those witnesses.” “’It’s sort of my belief that these type of cases are won or lost at the Daubert stage,’ says James Ray, an environmental litigator and partner at Robinson & Cole in its Hartford, Connecticut, office and a former co-chair of the [ABA] litigation section’s Environmental & Energy Litigation Committee.” Jim goes on to share insight on how causation can also drag out toxic tort cases. Read the full article.
Finance Group lawyer Christie D. Jean was actively involved in the planning and execution of two recent events presented by the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association (“Crawford”). Serving in her capacity as chair of Crawford’s Judicial Diversity Committee, Christie coordinated the Celebration of Ascension in Hartford, Connecticut, on October 17, 2018. The event was hosted in recognition of the ascent of Crawford members in the Connecticut judiciary. This year’s honorees included Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson, Justice Raheem L. Mullins, Judge Maureen Price Boreland, Judge Donna M. Wilkerson Brillant, Judge Courtney M. Chaplin, Judge Eric D. Coleman, Judge Norma I. Sanchez-Figueroa, and Chief Family Support Magistrate Michael L. Ferguson. In addition, Christie helped organize a program entitled “How to be a Law Clerk” hosted at the University of Connecticut School of Law in Hartford, Connecticut, on October 22, 2018. The program included a panel discussion featuring current and former clerks for the Connecticut Superior Court, Connecticut Appellate Court, Connecticut Supreme Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and U.S. District Court. Christie currently serves on Crawford's Executive Board. View event photos.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Kendra L. Berardi chaired a program on the “Inner Workings of the Land Court: Registration, Surveys & Tax Liens” at the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Conference Center in Boston, Massachusetts on October 25, 2018. Kendra opened the program with a welcome and covered the key takeaways of the seminar, which provided an introduction to the inner workings of the Land Court and its many roles. Faculty included Land Court officials who explained the Court’s registration process, the role of the survey division, and the Court’s role in tax liens and foreclosures.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Linn F. Freedman was among the panelists that presented during a BankNewport LIVE program entitled “Cyber Security and Your Business — Plan-Protect-Prosper: Business Guide to Being Cyber Secure” at the Providence Marriott Downtown in Providence, Rhode Island on October 26, 2018. BankNewport LIVE is a forum for business professionals to learn and share leadership, inspiration, vision, and expertise. During the panel discussion, Linn outlined practical steps small businesses can take to address cyber risks, including mapping high risk data, obtaining a risk assessment, implementing security processes, and educating employees. She also provided an overview of what a data breach is and, in the event of a data breach, what notification is required to customers and regulatory authorities.
Lawyers and staff from the Providence office, along with some of their family members, formed a Robinson+Cole team to participate in the 2018 Rhode Island Walk for Epilepsy at Slater Memorial Park in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on October 28, 2018. The team raised $2,000 in support of the Epilepsy Foundation New England, a non-profit organization that serves 100,000 people in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island who have epilepsy, and their families. View a photo from the walk.
Manufacturing Industry Team lawyer Eric D. Daniels moderated the program "Beyond the Engine Backlog: Five Issues That Will Impact the Aerospace Supply Chain in the Next Five Years" as part of the Made in Connecticut: 2018 Manufacturing Summit in Trumbull, Connecticut on October 26, 2018. Presented by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) and CONNSTEP, the annual conference explored issues that will impact aerospace and defense supply chain companies in the next five years, and offered insight on how to form sustainable workforce development partnerships to ensure operations have the talent needed to succeed. View photos from the event. Robinson+Cole was a proud sponsor of the Made in Connecticut: 2018 Manufacturing Summit.
Health + Benefits Litigation Team lawyer Michael H. Bernstein served as editor-in-chief of the 2018 Cumulative Supplement to Managed Care Litigation, Second Edition. Published by Bloomberg BNA and the American Bar Association Health Law Section, the book is described as an essential reference "written specifically for practitioners who handle managed care disputes to help them rapidly focus on key issues and expertly advise their clients." Among other things, the 2018 Cumulative Supplement discusses:
Michael was also editor-in-chief of the 2017 Cumulative Supplement. View more information on the book.
The Hartford Office kicked off its annual United Way Workplace Campaign on October 23, 2018. The campaign began with a special breakfast reception featuring informational addresses by Mary-Jane Foster, President and CEO of Interval House, Connecticut’s largest domestic violence intervention and prevention agency, and Paula Gilberto, President and CEO of the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. Last year's Hartford Office campaign raised nearly $70,000 for the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. View a photo from the kickoff event.
Robinson+Cole received 36 first-tier metropolitan rankings in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” list published in U.S. News & World Report. The firm also received four national rankings: Tier 2 rankings for Land Use & Zoning Law and Real Estate Law and Tier 3 rankings for Information Technology Law and Labor Law - Management.
The rankings are presented in tiers, on both the national and metropolitan lists, by practice area. Rankings are based on surveys in which major clients and lawyers are asked to rate the law firms they consider best in their practice areas. The full methodology can be found at http://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/methodology.aspx.
View the complete list of first-tier metropolitan rankings.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyers Michele L. Maresca, Evan J. Seeman, and Brian R. Smith presented a program on “Real Estate Law for Planners” as part of the Southern New England American Planning Association (SNEAPA) 2018 Conference at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut held October 18-19, 2018. The event is an annual two-day planning conference, hosted by the Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts chapters of the American Planning Association and draws nearly 600 planners, landscape architects, architects, engineers, academics, students and others. During the program, Michele, Evan, and Brian provided planners with an understanding of real estate law and how a planner's day-to-day work relates to real estate transactions.
Intellectual Property + Technology Group lawyer Jacqueline Pennino Scheib served as the moderator for a panel discussion on talent acquisition during ScaleUP CT 2018 at the Sacred Heart University West Campus in Fairfield, Connecticut on October 30, 2018. Presented by the Connecticut Technology Council, ScaleUP CT is a half-day symposium created to educate and invigorate the leaders of Connecticut's growing companies. Jackie’s breakout session offered tips and techniques of talent acquisition experts that have identified, attracted, and retained world-class employees. Robinson+Cole was a lead sponsor of ScaleUP CT 2018. Jackie serves on the board of directors of the Connecticut Technology Council.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyers Megan E. Baroni and Peter R. Knight were among the presenters that participated in a webcast on "Preventing Wildlife Crimes in Namibia: An International Approach to Legislative Reform" on October 23, 2018. Sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of State and Local Government Law's International Law Committee, the ABA Section of International Law's Anti-Corruption Committee, and the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources' International Environmental and Resources Law Committee and Endangered Species Committee, the webcast covered the current state of wildlife poaching in Namibia, legislative reforms to improve enforcement, and next steps to address the organized criminal syndicates who foster the global wildlife products trade. The legislative reform project was undertaken in 2016–17, with contribution from the ABA State and Local Government Law Section, bringing together an international research team from the U.S., the U.K., and Namibia. Peter and Megan oversaw the team in the United States researching legislative options for bolstering enforcement efforts.
Business Litigation Group lawyers Kelly Frye Barnett and Je'Quana S. Orr and Finance Group lawyer Christie D. Jean were among the speakers that presented during the Northeast Black Law Student Association (NEBLSA) Connecticut Academic Retreat at the University of Connecticut School of Law in Hartford, Connecticut on October 6, 2018. The goal of the retreat is to equip NEBLSA members with the academic and social tools necessary for a successful legal career. Kelly’s session offered outlining and study tips, Christie’s program shared insights on case briefing, and Je'Quana was among the panelists that participated in a program on being “Black, Female, and Educated: The Struggles of Black Women in the Legal Field.”
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Linn F. Freedman was among the panelists that participated in a program entitled "Cybersecurity in the Workplace is Everyone’s Business: How to Create a Culture of Cybersecurity and Awareness within your Organization" as part of the Cybersecurity Careers and Organizational Awareness Half-day Conference on September 17, 2018 in Newport, Rhode Island. Sponsored by the Pell Center at Salve Regina University and presented in recognition of the 15th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the conference focused on the growing market for cybersecurity jobs and the need to build a culture of cybersecurity across organizations.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Brian C. Freeman presented the program “Courts, Crystal Balls and Cautions” as part of the New Source Review Workshop, hosted by the Air & Waste Management Association's New England Section, on October 11, 2018 in Robinson+Cole’s Boston, Massachusetts office. The event was attended by industry, federal and state environmental regulators, and environmental consultants, and focused on recent reforms to the Clean Air Act’s preconstruction permit program known as “New Source Review.” Brian’s presentation focused on legal challenges to these reforms and likely next moves by the EPA.
Intellectual Property + Technology Group lawyer Jacqueline Pennino Scheib chaired the 2018 Women Who Care Luncheon at the Hartford Golf Club in West Hartford, Connecticut on October 24, 2018. Presented by the American Red Cross, Connecticut Chapter, the luncheon raised awareness and support for the American Red Cross mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. The luncheon touched on various aspects of the Red Cross services including support of members of the military and their families, blood collection, processing and distribution, health and safety education and training and home fire safety and response initiatives. The keynote speaker, Winnie Romeril, focused on national and international disaster relief efforts. Jackie serves on the board of directors of the American Red Cross, Connecticut Chapter.
Health Law Group lawyer Brian D. Nichols was profiled in the American Bar Association (ABA) Health Law Section’s “Feature Friday,” published in Section News on October 18, 2018. The premise of the weekly series is to get section members better acquainted with section leaders. Brian currently serves as Chair of the Health Law Section’s Business & Transactions Interest Group and is Co-Chair of the Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference. Read the “Feature Friday."
For the sixth consecutive year, Business Litigation Group lawyer Steven J. Boyajian presented a session on "Receiverships & Bankruptcy Law" during the Rhode Island Bar Association's (RIBA) annual Recent Developments in the Law CLE seminar on October 19, 2018 in Warwick, Rhode Island. The full-day program provides attendees with an update on rules changes, legal trends, and new legislation in seven key areas of the law from a designated faculty member. Steve’s session provided an update to approximately 200 attendees on developments in bankruptcy and receivership case law, rules, and practice in Rhode Island and throughout the First Circuit during the last year.
Benefits lawyer Bruce B. Barth was among the speakers that presented a breakout session on “Municipal Defined Contribution Plans” during the Fiduciary Investment Advisors (FIA) 2018 Annual Conference held from September 20-21, 2018 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut. FIA is an independent, employee-owned investment consulting firm that works with fiduciary clients including retirement plan sponsors, institutional investment pools, non-profit organizations and private clients.
Business Litigation Group lawyers Kelly Frye Barnett, Dan A. Brody, Eric D. Daniels, Christopher J. Hug, and Je'Quana S. Orr; Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyers Peter R. Knight and Robert S. Melvin; and Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyers Charles F. Modzelewski and Denis J. O'Malley all attended the 2018 Breakfast With Champions on October 17, 2018 at the Riverview in Simsbury, Connecticut. Presented by Interval House, Connecticut's largest domestic violence intervention and prevention agency, the annual awareness-raising event recognizes extraordinary men and women who work in the cause against domestic violence. This year, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen was presented with the 6th Annual Breakfast with Champions Award for his longtime dedication as a private citizen and public official to end domestic violence. View a photo from the event.
Construction Group lawyer Dennis C. Cavanaugh was among the panelists that participated in a program on the "Construction Contracts Drafting Initiative: Construction Manager at Risk- Comments to AIA A133-2009" as part of the 83rd Annual IMLA Conference held from September 17-21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. Presented by the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA), the panel focused on the association's Construction Contracts Drafting Initiative: Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR), which is a building delivery method that requires a commitment by a construction manager to deliver the project within a guaranteed maximum price. This delivery method is especially helpful for small municipalities facing complex projects and, if done properly, can be extremely effective. The session provided IMLA members with a forum to engage in substantive discussions regarding effective terms and conditions in construction contracts for public projects utilizing CMAR.
Construction Group lawyer Martin A. Onorato served as a guest lecturer for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) class studying real estate investment and portfolio management at the University of Connecticut’s School of Business in Stamford, Connecticut on October 4, 2018. The lecture provided an overview of construction law issues and how they can impact key real estate evaluation and investment strategies.
Labor + Employment Group lawyers Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson and Abby M. Warren co-presented the program "No Ghosting Allowed: Perfecting the Art of Effective Communications with Employees During Investigations," as part of the 2018 Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) Annual Conference held October 11-13, 2018 in Burlingame, California. The session explored the human resources and employee relations side of strong employee communications during an investigation as well as the legal issues and associated risks involved. Britt-Marie and Abby covered the types of communications that are typically made and how such communications can be tailored based on the workplace and the investigation, the balance that must be achieved between transparency and confidentiality during an investigation, how to handle employee questions and concerns, and techniques for handling leaks and communications crises in the workplace.
A total of 51 Robinson+Cole attorneys were named Super Lawyers® in the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island for 2018. In addition, 32 attorneys at the firm were recognized as “Rising Stars.” The Super Lawyers designation is based on regional balloting by attorneys, third-party research, and a peer review process encompassing myriad practice areas. An explanation of the Super Lawyers methodology can be found here. View the list of recognized attorneys and their areas of practice.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Brian C. Freeman presented a program on “UST Regulations for Gas Stations,” during the 2018 Southern New England Energy Conference held September 24-25, 2018 in Newport, Rhode Island. The fifth annual conference for petroleum marketers and industry vendors is organized by the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, the Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association, the Oilheat Institute of Rhode Island; and sponsored by the New England Fuel Institute. Brian’s program offered an overview of federal underground storage tank (UST) regulations, with a focus on changes this year, and covered testing and inspection requirements and a number of areas of flexibility permitted as states implement these regulations. The session also offered insight on state-specific implementation of new rules.
Health Law Group lawyer Conor O. Duffy was quoted in the article “Massachusetts Physician Guilty in HIPAA Case,” published in Renal & Urology News on October 9, 2018. The article focuses on the potential implications for improper disclosure by citing the recent sentencing of Dr. Rita Luthra, a gynecologist who treated women in a low-income area of Springfield, Massachusetts, to one year of probation for violating HIPAA laws and obstructing an investigation into a federal health care probe. “Prosecutors appear to utilize criminal charges under HIPAA in part as a fall back or as leverage against a provider, because proving HIPAA violations can be easier than proving the existence of an illegal kickback arrangement,” Conor said. “The Massachusetts case is notable in that the government ended up dropping its kickback allegations but nonetheless prosecuted the physician for a HIPAA violation.” Read the full article.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Wystan M. Ackerman was among the panelists that presented during a program on the “Judicial Scrutiny of Class Action Settlements: New Standards and Ensuring Timely Release of Attorney's Fees” on October 9, 2018. Presented by Strafford, the CLE webinar focused on recent trends in class action settlements at the preliminary approval, final approval, and new post-final approval stage. Panelists covered this new trend and offered insight on how judges are intervening to ensure that class action settlements are paid out in a fair and timely manner.
Robinson+Cole moved up six positions to receive the #98 ranking among Am Law 200 law firms, the nation’s 200 highest-grossing firms, for pro bono work done in 2017. Half of each firm’s pro bono score was determined based on the average number of pro bono hours per lawyer in 2017, with the other half attributed to the percentage of lawyers who performed more than 20 hours of pro bono work in the same year. Robinson+Cole received a score of 34.9 with the average number of pro bono hours per lawyer coming in at 34.5 and 35.3 percent of lawyers performing 20+ hours of pro bono work. View the complete list.
Labor + Employment Group lawyers Ian T. Clarke-Fisher and Matthew T. Miklave presented the webcast "U.S. Labor and Employment Implications of International Business Transactions (Update)." Presented by Lawline, this CLE course provided an overview of labor and employment implications in international business transactions. The program described common scenarios in which these issues might arise and included an overview of the application of U.S. laws abroad, international legal considerations, common defense, and practical considerations to keep in mind when handling these matters.
Construction Group lawyer Martin A. Onorato presented a program on “Trends in Lease and Ground Lease Construction Obligations” as part of the Association of University Real Estate Officials (AUREO) Annual Conference held from September 23-26, 2018 at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Marty's presentation focused on contracting trends and pitfalls in work letters governing the design and construction of real estate leased to or by colleges and universities, from alternate funding and delivery models to risk management techniques, which institutions are using to keep the lights on and stay competitive.
Manufacturing Industry Team lawyer Jeffrey J. White participated in a CERCONOMY podcast with Jason Giulietti, Vice President of Business Recruitment for the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC), on “Setting up a Successful Manufacturing Operation in Connecticut.” Jeff offers insight on why Connecticut is a great location for setting up a manufacturing business and what factors go into successfully establishing a location for international businesses to manufacture in Connecticut. CERCONOMY is a podcast of the CERC that shares the latest information and trends related to research-based data, municipal economic development, real estate, international business recruitment, marketing, and resources for current – and potential – businesses in Connecticut. Listen to the podcast.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Kathryn M. Rattigan presented a live broadcast on "Drone Law: An Overview of FAA Regulations and Privacy and Cybersecurity Considerations" on September 28, 2018. Hosted by LawPracticeCLE, the live webinar focused on how drones can collect valuable data and increase productivity, safety, and efficiency across all industries. Kathryn also covered the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 107 regulations, waivers, the FAA “DroneZone” and the FAA’s LAANC portal, enforcement at both the state and federal level, voluntary best privacy and security practices, and compliance with these regulations and practices.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Wystan M. Ackerman was among the speakers that presented during a program on “Personal Jurisdiction After Bristol-Myers Squibb: Unresolved Issues, Shifting Plaintiff Strategies” on September 26, 2018. Presented by Strafford, the CLE webinar covered the issue of personal jurisdiction over corporate defendants in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2017 Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Ct. and BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell rulings. The program reviewed the progression of the Court’s prior decisions on corporate jurisdiction, lower court decisions issued since the BMS/BNSF rulings, and key unresolved legal issues in the year following the BMS decision.
Immigration Group lawyers Joshua S. Mirer and Jennifer L. Shanley co-authored the article “U.S. Employers: Is Your Foreign National Employee Internationally Recognized as an Outstanding Researcher? Let’s Find Out — Qualifications for an EB-1B Outstanding Researcher green card case,” published in the October 2018 issue of Worldwide ERC®’s Mobility magazine, the leading publication for the global workforce mobility industry. The article covers the qualifications for an EB-1B Outstanding Researcher green card case, case assessment and best practices for a successful EB-1B Outstanding Researcher green card case, tips for a successful petition, and presenting a winning case. Read the full article.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Matthew J. Lawlor moderated two programs during the 2018 YIMBYtown conference held September 20-23, 2018 at Roxbury Community College in Roxbury, Massachusetts. YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) is a pro-development grassroots movement and YIMBYtown 2018 was the third annual national YIMBY gathering for community organizers, political leaders, educators, and everyday people to identify problems, create solutions, and share resources on the issues that impact housing on the local, state, and national levels. YIMBYtown 2018’s goal was to advance a model of organizing that builds bridges to new allies, promotes racial diversity and equity, and wins housing campaigns. Matt’s first session was a discussion on “How Can the Federal Government Encourage Housing Development?” The program examined how the federal government can play a role in encouraging the type of development that will create vibrant and walkable communities across the country for people of all income levels. He also facilitated a discussion on “YIMBY as a political movement,” which focused on developing a movement-wide strategy on increasing YIMBY influence in electoral politics.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyers Richard M. Fil and James P. Ray were among the speakers that presented during a panel discussion on “The Antea Appeal and What it Means for You,” as part of the Southern New England Energy Conference held September 24-25, 2018 in Newport, Rhode Island. During the afternoon breakout session, Rich and Jim covered the pending appeal they brought of a Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) declaratory ruling interpreting provisions of Connecticut’s Remediation Standard Regulations and Licensed Environmental Professionals Regulations. They offered insight on the far-reaching implications the ruling could have on the petroleum industry in Connecticut, which could lead to added uncertainty, added costs, and delay in getting sites cleaned up. The appeal is currently on hold, as the court remanded the matter back to DEEP, ordering DEEP to consider additional information submitted by the petitioner.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Stephen O. Clancy has been appointed chair of the Property Insurance Law Committee (PILC) of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) for the 2018 to 2019 term. The PILC focuses on key legal and practical issues that the insurance industry and the insurance consumer encounter in first-party property insurance. Steve has previously served as chair-elect and vice chair of the Committee. He regularly presents at various meetings and events and serves as the liaison between the PILC and the ABA’s various publications.
Construction Group lawyers Gregory R. Faulkner and Martin A. Onorato presented on “Troubleshooting a Troubled Construction Project” during the 2018 Higher Education Real Estate Lawyers Conference on September 27, 2018 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The presentation explored best practices, from both a legal and project management perspective, in mitigating losses and managing expectations yet, preserving rights when construction projects go bad.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Eric D. Daniels is featured in a new public service announcement (PSA) airing on Fox 61 (WTIC-TV) throughout the month of October in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness month. Eric serves as an honorary director for Interval House, Connecticut’s largest domestic violence intervention and prevention agency, and he is a founding member of the agency’s Men Make A Difference, Men Against Domestic Violence™ group. View the PSA.
Information Governance, Risk & Compliance Manager James A. Merrifield and Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Kathryn M. Rattigan both gave keynote presentations during the 2018 Information Governance Conference (InfoGovCon) hosted from September 25-28, 2018 in Providence, Rhode Island. Presented by the Information Coalition, Kathryn delivered the opening keynote presentation on “Cybersecurity & the Commercial Drone Industry: Threats and Mitigation of Risk." The program covered how drones can collect valuable data and increase productivity, safety, and efficiency across all industries. Jim provided a welcome address during the Information Coalition Leadership Development Summit and was among the panelists that presented during a leadership development keynote panel with summit attendees. In addition, he participated in the “Conference Recap Closing Session with the Information Coalition Team.” Jim is the Vice President of the Information Coalition.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyers Earl W. Phillips Jr. and Jonathan H. Schaefer, and Labor + Employment Group lawyer Abby M. Warren authored the article “Use Caution When Testing Physical Abilities,” published in the September/October 2018 issue of Scrap, the bimonthly magazine of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. The article focuses on the use of physical ability tests (PATs) in the scrap industry which, are used to ensure that employees can perform the job’s essential functions. The piece goes on to cover two recent settlements with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that demonstrate the potential exposure unlawful PATs can cause. Earl, Jon, and Abby encourage companies using PATs to consider other practical alternatives in order to avoid federal law violation. “If you decide PATs are necessary, regular re-evaluation and validation, including legal review by competent counsel, could reduce your risk of a discrimination claim or lawsuit.” Read the full article.
Class Action Team lawyer Wystan M. Ackerman was quoted in the article “Hyundai Fuel Economy Case Puts Nationwide Class Suits in Peril,” published in the class actions section of Bloomberg Law’s Big Law Business on September 26, 2018. The article covers a September 27, 2018 argument being heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. “At issue is a split three-judge panel ruling of the Ninth Circuit that rejected the Hyundai settlement Jan. 23, holding that a nationwide class of car owners shouldn’t have been certified for settlement purposes because of varying state consumer laws.” “Nationwide class actions are on the line if [the court] rejects a settlement among Hyundai Motor America, Kia Motor America Inc., and car owners over allegedly false statements about some cars’ fuel efficiencies.” Wystan commented that parties will have to do significantly more work at the trial court level if the full court rules as the panel did. "Class actions may have to be restructured, he said, and the parties may have to do more research and submit more court filings, which raises costs." Read the full article.
Health Law Group lawyer Melissa (Lisa) Thompson was among the faculty presenting during a program on “Health Care Provider-Payor Dispute Resolution—Techniques and Strategies” on September 25, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. Co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association (MassBar) Dispute Resolution Section and Health Law Section, the program offered insight on the nuances of dispute resolution in recoupment, reimbursement and other payor-provider disputes. The session covered the importance of provider agreements as well as the policies, procedures and other documents incorporated by reference into those agreements, and considerations in selecting mediators and arbitrators for health care disputes.
The Connecticut Bar Association has appointed Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Emily C. Deans treasurer of its Energy, Public Utility and Communications Law Section for the 2018-2019 Bar year. The Section aims to (1) promote communication among members of the Bar involved in public utility law; (2) promote an exchange of ideas relating to the practice of utility law; (3) provide a mechanism for education of the Bar and the public on utility matters; and (4) seek opportunities to improve the public utility regulatory process.
Transactional Health Law Group co-Chair Leslie J. Levinson was a panelist on the webinar “Specialty Medical Groups: Why Dermatology, Anesthesiology, and Others Are Hot M&A Targets” presented on September 13, 2018. Levinson, who is also a member of the firm’s Health Law and Business Transaction Groups, was joined in the 90-minute moderated discussion of opportunities and challenges of acquiring specialty practices in 2018 by Andrew Colbert, Managing Director at Ziegler and Jeff Swearingen, Managing Director at Edgemont Capital Partners. As specialty physician groups have become a favorite - and highly profitable - target of private equity investors, practices such as orthopedics, ophthalmology, dentistry and dermatology are finding ways to enhance profitability within demographics-driven niche markets. The panel discussed questions including “Who really runs the practice after the sale?,” “Which specialties are reimbursed at the highest levels?” and “How hard is it to build a regional platform?”
Robinson+Cole was featured in the article “Federal Judge Rules Against Norwalk's Request to Dismiss Suit Seeking Halfway House in Community,” published in the Connecticut Law Tribune on September 14, 2018. The article covers the firm’s victory in Firetree, Ltd. v. Norwalk (D. Conn., 2018) in which U.S. District Judge Michael Shea of the District of Connecticut “struck down virtually every claim the city brought forward in its effort to dismiss the lawsuit.” Firetree Ltd., which operates halfway houses in Pennsylvania and New York, claimed the city’s denial of certain permits was discriminatory against the disabled. Firetree is represented by Real Estate + Development Group lawyers Thomas P. Cody and Evan J. Seeman, and Business Litigation Group lawyers Frank F. Coulom Jr. and Kevin P. Daly. Read the full article.
Insurance + Reinsurance and Appellate Groups member Jessica Hamilton was among the speakers during the 2018 Central Regional Adjusters Conference held on September 12-13, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa. The conference was hosted by the Property & Liability Resource Bureau as one of its three Regional Adjusters Conferences around the country. Hamilton, who is also a member of the firm’s Litigation Section as well as its Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team, presented a program on “Assignment of Benefits.” The program:
• Reviewed recent trends with building contractors soliciting assignment of benefits with personal lines and commercial lines claims;
• Described assignment of benefits strategies employed by public adjusters, attorneys, and real estate purchasers;
• Evaluated what the law in various jurisdictions says about rules governing assignment of benefits; and
• Analyzed adjusting strategies adjusters might consider when faced with various forms of assignment of benefits.