Sorell E. Negro

Associate

  • Overview

    Biography

    Sorell Negro advises clients involved in complex real property, environmental, and product liability disputes, and she often focuses on enforcement and implementation of national and international environmental laws. She is a member of the firm’s Land Use, Real Estate + Development, Manufacturing, and Sustainability Groups.

    Environmental and Land Use Litigation

    Ms. Negro’s litigation experience spans U.S. federal and state courts and includes natural resources disputes, land use and development claims, public health claims, takings, Fair Housing Act disputes, and claims arising under state, international, and federal environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Ms. Negro also has experience defending class action lawsuits arising under environmental laws. She also provides proactive counsel to clients on how best to develop an administrative record that can withstand challenge and litigation, and she handles land use appeals pertaining to development permits.

    Global Environmental Law

    Ms. Negro focuses much of her practice on leading international teams of lawyers and consultants on projects involving enforcement and implementation of national and international environmental laws, including in the Caribbean and Africa. She advises offshore clients on land use regulations, permitting and development, sustainable development, and coastal development issues. When disputes have arisen from these projects, Ms. Negro has led teams litigating issues related to due process in the development process, protection of threatened and endangered species, adherence to development regulations and international environmental agreements, and effective mitigation of adverse environmental impacts.

    Product Liability Law

    Ms. Negro’s litigation experience also consists of defending product liability claims, including class actions. She represents manufacturers , suppliers, and distributors, including national and multi-national corporations, in defending product liability actions involving consumer products, building materials, and products involving hazardous substances.

    Development Legislation and Regulations

    Ms. Negro routinely advises on legislation, ordinances, and regulations, and proposed laws, pertaining to land use, development, natural resources, conservation, endangered species, and environmental protection and management. She also provides clients with recommendations for legislative reform and draft legislation. Ms. Negro also reviews and analyzes proposed development plans and provides counsel on compliance with development regulations and environmental laws.

    Pro Bono

    Ms. Negro initiated the firm’s ongoing pro bono project to fight wildlife crimes in Namibia, Africa, where animals such as lions, giraffes, black rhinos, and elephants have been the targets of poaching and illegal trafficking. Ms. Negro has traveled to the country and is helping Namibia's Legal Assistance Centre improve the country’s wildlife conservation laws and strengthen their enforcement.

    Prior to joining Robinson+Cole, Ms. Negro clerked for the Honorable Fernando M. Olguin of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. In 2015, Ms. Negro was named a finalist for the ABA Young Lawyers Division’s National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

      • Led an international team of lawyers in halting a significant commercial development in the Caribbean, which was unlawfully approved without following mandatory development regulations or international environmental agreements, including doing a required Environmental Impact Assessment.

      • Defended a fortune 500 company against a multi-million dollar lawsuit in federal court involving product liability claims for building materials allegedly containing hazardous substances. The case was dismissed on summary judgment prior to discovery being completed.

      • Represented an international environmental organization in successfully bringing a lawsuit for violations of state environmental laws, yielding a judgment for the client following a 4-day trial, which included an award of all attorney’s fees and costs. Successfully defended the judgment on appeal, where the judgment was affirmed in its entirety after oral argument.

      • Represents a fortune 50 company in defense of a multi-million dollar consumer product class action in federal court, resulting in the dismissal of several claims on a motion to dismiss.

      • Spearheading an international team of lawyers in reviewing Namibia’s legislative framework for wildlife crimes and providing recommendations for legislative reform to address the country’s poaching crisis, including increasing penalties, stricter regulation of protected areas and hunting licenses, and greater liability for aiding and abetting wildlife crimes. 

    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      Florida Association for Women Lawyers (2015 - present)

      American Bar Association
      Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, Fellow (2012 - 2014)
      Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, Chair of Land Use and Zoning Committee (2014 - present)
      Section of State and Local Government Law, Chair of International Law Committee (2016 - present)
      Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources; Water Resources Committee, Co-Chair (2015 - present)

      Connecticut Bar Association
      Environmental Law Section, Executive Committee (2013 - present)

      World Jurist Association
      President of U.S. Chapter

      American Bar Foundation
      Fellow (2016 - present)
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Named a finalist for the 2015 National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, presented annually by the ABA Young Lawyers Division, which recognizes professional excellence, service to the profession and the bar, service to the community, and a reputation for the advancement of legal ethics and professional responsibility.

      Received the 2015 Excellence in Writing Award for the Best Cutting Edge Article in Real Property from the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section's Probate & Property magazine for her article "Land Use and Sea Level Rise: Practice Tips for Land Use Practitioners in the Wake of Changing Regulatory Schemes"

      Received the 2013 Excellence in Writing Award for the Best Cutting Edge Article in Real Property from the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section's Probate & Property magazine for her article "Looking Below the Surface: Planning for Impacts on People, Places, and Property from Natural Gas Development"

      Connecticut Law Tribune, recognized in 2014 New Leaders in the Law Yearbook

      2013 Jefferson B. Fordham Up & Comers Award from the American Bar Association's Section of State and Local Government Law

      Listed as a Rising Star in Connecticut Super Lawyers® in the area of Land Use/Zoning since 2013 (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.)

  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "Land-Use Policies and Planning in the Wake of Rising Sea Levels," published in The Commissioner, a publication of the American Planning Association (April 2017)
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      "The international lawyers taking a stand against Namibia's poaching crisis," published in The Guardian (3/22/2017)

      "Recent Developments in Regulating Fracking Activities," published in Zoning Practice (October 2016)
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      "Electric Vehicle Charging Stations—Retail Primer Update," published in Shopping Center Law & Strategy, co-authored with Brian W. Blaesser, a publication of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) (Spring 2016)
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      "Big Lessons from a Little Bird," published in Planning, a publication of the American Planning Association (February 2016)
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      "The Birds and the Bees: Recent Developments in Urban Agriculture," published in The Urban Lawyer, co-authored with Jean Terranova, Esq. (Summer 2015)
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      "Using Urban Agriculture to Grow Southern New England," published in Connecticut Planning, co-authored with Professor Laurie Beyranevand, Professor Sara Bronin, and Marie Mercurio, AICP (SNEAK 2015 Special Edition)
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      "Land Use and Sea Level Rise: Practice Tips for Land Use Practitioners in the Wake of Changing Regulatory Schemes," published in Probate & Property (July/August 2015)
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      Urban Agriculture: Policy, Law, Strategy, and Implementation, co-edited, along with Martha H. Chumbler of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt and Lawrence E. Bechler of Murphy Desmond S.C. (2015)
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      "Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act Does Have Teeth," (1/16/2014)
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      "The Thirst of Fracking: Regulating to Protect the Linchpin of the Natural Gas Boom," published in Albany Law Review (2013/2014)
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      "Preparing, Adapting, and Rebuilding: Rising Sea Levels Raise New Legal Issues," published in Probate & Property, a publication of the American Bar Association (11/12/2013)

      "Recent Developments in Coastal Adaptation to Climate Change," published in The Urban Lawyer (Fall 2013)

      "Looking Below the Surface: Planning for Impacts on People, Places, and Property from Natural Gas Development," published in Probate & Property, a publication of the American Bar Association (July/August 2013)

      "Protecting Stream Flows: Water Management Strategies from the Susquehanna River Basin Commission," published in the Water Resources Committee Newsletter of the ABA's Section of the Environment, Energy, and Resources (2/2013)

      "Man Camps, Boomtowns, and the Boom-and-Bust Cycle: Learning from Rifle, Colorado, and Williams County, North Dakota," published in Beyond the Fracking Wars, a publication of the American Bar Association (2013)

      "Retail Primer on Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: Part II," published in Retail Law Strategist, co-authored with Brian W. Blaesser (Fall 2012)
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      "You Can Take It to the Bank: The Role of Land Banking in Dealing with Distressed Properties," published in Zoning and Planning Law Report (9/2012)

      "Retail Primer on Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: Part I," published in Retail Law Strategist, co-authored with Brian W. Blaesser (Summer 2012)
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      "Land Banking: A Sharper Tool in the Distressed Property Toolkit," published in The Abstract, co-authored with Dwight H. Merriam (Spring 2012 )

      "Distinguishing Water Law from Land Use to Protect Water Quality and Navigate Rapanos," published in Environmental Claims Journal (5/21/2012)

      "Navigating History: Montana and State Riverbed Ownership," published in Law360, co-authored with Evan J. Seeman and Brian R. Smith (4/2/2012)

      "A New Tool for Vacant Properties: Land-Banking," published in Municipal Lawyer (March/April 2012 )

      "Fracking Wars: Federal, State, and Local Conflicts over the Regulation of Natural Gas Activities," published in Zoning and Planning Law Report (2/2012)

      "Built Seawalls: A Protected Investment or Subordinate to the Public Trust?" published in the Ocean and Coastal Law Journal of the University of Maine School of Law (2012)

      "Water Stress in New York State: The Regional Imperative?" published in Journal of Water Law, co-authored with Keith S. Porter (2009)

    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "Desktop Pro Bono," at the Pro Bono Institute Annual Conference in Washington, DC (3/9/2017)
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      "Discussion and Screening of The Ivory Game," co-presented with Megan E. Baroni, Suzanne C. Ferguson, Peter R. Knight and Kelsey A. Cross, at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Miami, Florida (2/4/2017)
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      "Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) and Real Estate Issues Facing Manufacturers," co-presented with Robert S. Melvin, at the National Business Institute (NBI) webinar "Manufacturing Law" (12/15/2016)
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      "Urban Agriculture," co-presented with Dwight H. Merriam, webinar, sponsored by the International Municipal Lawyers Association (11/14/2016)
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      "Legal and Practical Incentives for Sustainable Development," co-presented with Dr. Deborah Brosnan, a marine scientist who focuses on environmental sustainability and is the president of Deborah Brosnan & Associates, at the 2016 GreenTrends Conference in Hollywood, Florida (10/20/2016)
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      "Urban Agriculture," at the 30th Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, a conference sponsored by the Florida Chamber Foundation (7/20/2016)
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      "Panhandling and Solicitation: Understanding the First Amendment Implications," moderated national webinar for the American Bar Association (6/14/2016)
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      "The Internet: Challenges to Peace and Freedom," at the World Jurist Association Conference in Barcelona, Spain (5/20/2016)
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      "Hot Topics in Land Use Law Lunch," co-presented with Dwight H. Merriam, at the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law's Spring Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico (4/8/2016)
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      "Reed v. Town of Gilbert," co-presented with Mark Cordes, interim dean and professor at the Northern Illinois University College of Law, at University of Florida Levin College of Law's 15th Annual Richard E. Nelson Symposium in Gainesville, Florida (2/5/2016)
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      "Fracking Redux," co-presented with Erica Levine Powers, an environmental and energy lawyer in Albany, New York, webinar for the International Municipal Lawyers Association (12/14/2015)
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      "NIMBY: Analyzing Local Laws Criminalizing Homelessness," panel moderator for session at the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law's Fall Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky (10/8/2015)
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      "Using Urban Agriculture to Grow Southern New England," moderated session at the SNEAPA 2015 Conference, held on September 24 and 25 in Hartford, Connecticut (9/25/2015)
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      "The World of Wind Development: Recent Land Use Cases and Issues," (7/22/2015)
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      "Commercial Real Estate Zoning and Land Use," webinar (5/27/2015)

      "Sea Level Rise and Property Rights: Recent Cases and Surging Issues," at the ABA's Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law's (RPTE) Spring Symposia in Washington, DC (5/1/2015)
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      "Recent Developments in Regulating Urban Agriculture," at the Land Use Hot Topics Lunch at the ABA's Section of State and Local Government Law Spring Meeting in Philadelphia (4/24/2015)
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      "Urban Agriculture and the Law," moderated this session at the American Planning Association's National Planning Conference in Seattle, Washington (4/19/2015)
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      "Lessons from the Sage Grouse: Impacts of the Endangered Species Act on Local Land Use Planning," organized and moderated a national webinar for the American Planning Association (3/31/2015)
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      "Moving Up and Moving Out: Appointments, Scholarships, and Fellowships within the ABA and the YLD," presented to the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Houston (2/5/2015)
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      "Dealing with Vacant Property," a webinar for the International Municipal Lawyers Association (6/9/2014)
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      "Legal Pickles, Planning Tools, and Case Studies in Urban Agriculture," (4/25/2014)
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      "Climate Resilience and Property Law at the Water's Edge," moderated this panel at UConn School of Law's 19th Gallivan Conference, Climate Resiliency - Envisioning a New Way Forward (4/11/2014)

      "Local Government Perspectives on "Fracking: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly?" co-moderated this webinar with Daniel Mandelker for the International Municipal Lawyers Association (2/10/2014)

      "The Regulation of Fracking," Guest Lecturer at Quinnipiac Law School for Professor Jeffrey Meyer's Environmental Law Class (10/31/2013)

      "Fractured Communities: Hydraulic Fracturing and the Law in New York State," at Albany Law Review symposium panel (9/24/2013)

      "Ethical Rules and Considerations for Planners, Plan Commissioners, and Lawyers," co-presenter for APA ethics webinar (9/4/2013)

      "New Takings Issues: Regulating Shale Development and Coastal Adaptation to Climate Change," presented as part of CLE panel discussion on hot topics in land use and environmental law at the ABA's Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota (5/17/2013)

      "Land Banking 101: A National Perspective," Organizer and panel Moderator for national CLE teleconference for the ABA's Real Property Trust and Estate Law Section (3/27/2013)

      "Beyond the Fracking Wars," at a CLE panel at the 2013 ABA Midyear Meeting in Dallas, Texas (2/7/2013)

      "Planning for Shale Development: Booms, Busts, and Beyond," organized and moderated this national webinar for the American Planning Association (10/26/2012)

      "Marcellus Shale Development: Planning for Environmental, Community, and Economic Impacts," moderated this session at the American Planning Association's New York Metro Chapter Annual Meeting in New York City (10/19/2012)

      "Land Banking: An Opportunity for Southern New England?" co-moderated this panel with Evan Seeman, which was presented at the Southern New England American Planning Association Conference (9/21/2012)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • July 6, 2017

        Robinson+Cole's Namibia Pro Bono Project Featured in ABA Journal

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      • April 4, 2017

        Sorell Negro Presents at Pro Bono Institute Annual Conference, Writes Article for Guardian

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      • March 17, 2017

        Sorell Negro Participates in UN Sustainable Development Symposium

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      • January 17, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Participate in NBI Manufacturing Law Webinar

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      • December 22, 2016

        Sorell Negro Elected President of the U.S. Chapter of the World Jurist Association

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      • December 15, 2016

        Robinson+Cole's Namibia Pro Bono Project Featured in CLT

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      • November 17, 2016

        Sorell Negro and Dwight Merriam Participate in IMLA Urban Agriculture Webinar

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      • October 31, 2016

        Sorell Negro Presents at 2016 GreenTrends Conference

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      • October 11, 2016

        Sorell Negro Publishes Article on Developments in the Regulation of Fracking Activities

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      • July 26, 2016

        Sorell E. Negro Presents at Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School in Orlando

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      • June 2, 2016

        Sorell Negro Presents at World Jurist Association Conference in Barcelona

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      • May 17, 2016

        Real Estate Development Lawyers Co-Author Article on Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

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      • April 25, 2016

        Land Use Lawyers Speak at ABA State and Local Government Law 2016 Spring Meeting

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      • March 8, 2016

        Sorell Negro Writes Legal Lessons Article for APA’s Planning Magazine

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      • February 11, 2016

        Sorell Negro Presents at University of Florida Levin College of Law’s Nelson Symposium

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      • December 21, 2015

        Sorell Negro Receives Excellence in Writing Award

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      • December 18, 2015

        Dwight Merriam and Sorell Negro Present on Fracking and Land Use Issues

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      • October 14, 2015

        Sorell Negro Moderates ABA Panel on Local Homelessness Laws

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      • September 30, 2015

        Land Use Lawyers Present at SNEAPA 2015 Conference

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      • September 29, 2015

        Sorell Negro Co-authors Article for Special Edition of Connecticut Planning

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      • July 21, 2015

        Sorell Negro Writes Article for ABA's Probate & Property

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      • June 9, 2015

        Sorell Negro Participates in Zoning and Land Use Webinar

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      • May 21, 2015

        RED Lawyers Participate in RPTE Spring Symposia

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      • May 15, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Is a Sponsor of APA National Planning Conference

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      • May 1, 2015

        Hartford Lawyers Present at ABA Section of State and Local Government Law Spring Meeting

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      • April 24, 2015

        Sorell Negro Attends Seneca Women Global Leadership Forum

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      • April 9, 2015

        Sorell Negro Moderates Webinar on ESA Implications for Local Land Use Planning

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      • March 31, 2015

        Hartford Lawyer Co-Edits Book on Latest Developments in Urban Agriculture

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      • February 12, 2015

        Sorell Negro Speaks to Young Lawyers at ABA Midyear Meeting

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      • November 24, 2014

        Sorell Negro Represents Section of State and local Government Law at ABA International Law Meeting

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      • November 18, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Honored as “New Leaders in the Law” at Celebration Dinner

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      • September 26, 2014

        Sorell Negro Appointed CLE Coordinator of ABA's State and Local Government Law Section

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      • August 14, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Host Networking Event at 2014 ABA Annual Meeting

      • July 1, 2014

        Land Use Lawyers Participate in IMLA Webinar

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      • June 24, 2014

        Hartford Lawyer Writes Article for Albany Law Review

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      • May 15, 2014

        Sorell Negro Moderates Panels on Climate Resilience, Land Use

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      • March 27, 2014

        Sorell Negro Writes about Climate Change Impacts, Receives Award

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      • March 14, 2014

        Hartford Lawyer Speaks to the ABA's YLD about Leadership

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      • January 23, 2014

        Sorell Negro Publishes Article in ABA's Probate & Property

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      • December 31, 2013

        Hartford Lawyers Participate in National Teleconference on Government Law

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      • December 13, 2013

        Hartford Lawyers Participate in APA Webinar on Ethical Rules

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      • December 2, 2013

        Sorell Negro Authors Chapter for ABA Book

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      • October 15, 2013

        Sorell Negro Participates in Panel, Publishes Article on Regulation of Natural Gas Activities

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      • September 17, 2013

        Sorell Negro Elected to Executive Committee of the CBA's Environmental Law Section

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      • June 24, 2013

        Sorell Negro Presents to the ABA's Young Lawyers Division Spring Conference

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      • May 21, 2013

        Land Use Lawyer Organizes and Moderates Land Banking Teleconference

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      • April 11, 2013

        Ocean and Coastal Law Journal Publishes Article by Sorell Negro

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      • March 29, 2013

        Land Use Lawyer Pens Article for ABA Newsletter

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      • March 12, 2013

        Sorell Negro Presents at CLE Panel on Fracking Wars

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      • January 3, 2013

        Sorell Negro Writes Article on Land Banking for Zoning and Planning Law Report

      • December 5, 2012

        Earl Phillips and Sorell Negro Discuss Shale Development for American Planning Association Webinar

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      • November 13, 2012

        Sorell Negro Moderates Panel Discussion at American Planning Association New York Metro Chapter Annual Meeting

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      • September 18, 2012

        Land Use Lawyers Speaking at 2012 Southern New England American Planning Association Conference

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      • August 2, 2012

        Sorell Negro Earns American Bar Association Fellowship

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      • July 16, 2012

        LandLaw Attorneys Co-Author Article on Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

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      • June 19, 2012

        Land Use Lawyers Write About the Popularity of Land Banking and the Clean Water Act

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      • March 5, 2012

        LandLaw Lawyer Writes Fracking Article Published in the Zoning and Planning Law Report

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      R+C News Releases

      • October 25, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Take Part in International Pro Bono Project to Combat Wildlife Crimes in Namibia

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      • October 18, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • March 8, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Lawyer Finalist for American Bar Association Outstanding Young Lawyer Award

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      • February 1, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Forms Sustainability Cross-Practice Team

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      • October 19, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • October 17, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers

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      • October 2, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Named “New Leaders in the Law”

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      • August 27, 2013

        American Bar Association Recognizes Sorell Negro with Jefferson B. Fordham Society’s Up & Comers Award

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      • September 5, 2012

        Real Estate Attorneys Selected for Leadership Positions in the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section of the American Bar Association

      • November 7, 2011

        Robinson & Cole Adds a LandLaw Associate in Hartford

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