The Pro Bono Partnership’s Hartford Program presented Robinson+Cole with the Partnership’s inaugural Founders’ Award during a 10th anniversary celebration hosted by the firm on September 12, 2017.
Robinson+Cole has housed the Pro Bono Partnership’s Hartford Program for 10 years. In addition to donating office space and providing access to conference rooms, office services, and IT assistance, the firm’s lawyers have continually volunteered their time to participate in the Partnership’s pro bono projects.
"Robinson+Cole truly embodies the spirit of the Founders' Award, and I'm pleased to honor the firm with our inaugural award,” said Priya Morganstern, Hartford Program Director for the Pro Bono Partnership. “Robinson+Cole understands the importance of pro bono work and the tremendous positive impact nonprofits have on our community."
View the press release.
The Jefferson B. Fordham Society of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of State and Local Government Law presented Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Dwight H. Merriam with its Lifetime Achievement Award during the Society’s 20th Awards Luncheon on August 11, 2017, held in conjunction with the ABA 2017 Annual Meeting.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented in recognition of outstanding contributions to the practice of state and local government law by an individual over an entire career, for contributions over a number of years of service. Mr. Merriam has been a member of ABA Section of State and Local Government Law for nearly 40 years and served as its chair for the 2010-2011 term. Read more in the press release.
Lawyers from Robinson+Cole’s Business Transactions Group helped close a substantial long-term investment by LeBaronBrown Industries LLC (LeBaronBrown), headquartered in New York City, New York, in Charkit Chemical Company (Charkit) headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Charkit's management team, led by its President and Founder Charlie Hinnant, will continue to manage the business. “The team at Robinson+Cole was an integral part of this transaction,” said Mr. Hinnant. “Their M&A experience continues to be a helpful resource as our company grows."
Robinson+Cole recently recognized five of its lawyers for their pro bono work, community service, mentoring, and efforts to promote an inclusive work environment.
Eric D. Daniels announced the Community Service Award, which went to Lisa M. Boyle. Wystan M. Ackerman presented the Mentor of the Year Awards, which were given to Edward J. Heath, Mitchell L. Lampert, and Sorell E. Negro. Pro bono partner Peter R. Knight presented the firm’s Pro Bono Award, which also went to Sorell E. Negro. Lastly, the Diversity and Inclusion Award was presented to John H. Kane by Nuala E. Droney.
The American Bar Association (ABA) Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section elected Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Peter V. Lacouture as chair during the section’s annual meeting on August 12, 2017, held in conjunction with the ABA 2017 Annual Meeting.
Formerly the Section of Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law (PUCAT,) the Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section is the third oldest section in the ABA and celebrates its 100th anniversary during 2017-2018 bar year. The group brings together members of the bar who represent clients in the rapidly changing legal environment in infrastructure and regulated industries including the aviation, communications, electricity, gas, oil pipeline, railroad, transportation infrastructure, and water industries.
Mr. Lacouture has served the section in a number of positions including twelve years as Editor in Chief of Recent Developments in Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Industries, a comprehensive review of developments in areas represented by the Section's committees. Read more in the press release.
Fifty-nine Robinson+Cole lawyers were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 (Copyright 2017 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC). Of the 59 lawyers from across the firm’s practice groups and offices named to the list, 49 are from Connecticut. The firm continues to have the highest number of recognized lawyers in the state.
Additionally, the following six lawyers were named the Best Lawyers® 2018 “Lawyer of the Year” in Hartford, Connecticut, in the noted practice areas: Dennis C. Cavanaugh in Litigation – Construction; Stephen E. Goldman in Insurance Law; Stuart D. Rosen in Litigation – Banking and Finance; Edward J. Samorajczyk Jr. in Securities / Capital Markets Law; William T. Sellay in Mergers and Acquisitions Law; and Theodore J. Tucci in Health Care Law.
See a complete listing of all Robinson+Cole's ranked lawyers in the press release.
Benchmark Litigation has named Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Rhonda J. Tobin one of its Top 250 Women in Litigation for 2017. In this national list published on July 31, 2017, she is one of only three female litigators chosen in the state of Connecticut. Benchmark Litigation’s Top 250 Women in Litigation recognizes the accomplishments of America’s leading female trial lawyers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Read more in the press release.
The Children’s Law Center has elected Business Litigation Group lawyer Dan A. Brody to its Board of Directors. The mission of The Children’s Law Center is to protect low income children in family court cases and to advocate for systemic changes to the adversarial system and for other policies that advance the well-being of children involved in family transitions. Read more in the press release.
Providence Business News (PBN) recognized bankruptcy lawyer Steven J. Boyajian as a “40 Under Forty” winner during the publication’s annual event on July 20, 2017 at the Aldrich Mansion in Warwick. PBN's 40 Under Forty recognizes and honors the region's brightest young leaders, innovators, and business professionals. This year’s recipients were chosen from nearly 200 applicants and selected based on career success and community involvement. Read more and view a photo in the press release.
Public Finance Group lawyer Christie D. Jean was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of The Artists Collective. The Artists Collective, serving the Greater Hartford region, is a cultural organization that provides year-round professional training in dance, music, drama, and visual and martial arts. It works to safeguard and maintain the arts and culture of the African diaspora and to expose children to a nontraditional arts education by promoting social skills training, school success, and community responsibility. Read more in the press release.
A team of lawyers from Robinson+Cole’s Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights Group are among those involved in a deal that has received four awards from the M&A Advisor, a premier global network of M&A, turnaround, and finance professionals. All of the distinctions were presented in recognition of the work Robinson+Cole performed on the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of O.W. Bunker, one of the world's largest suppliers of fuel oil to the shipping industry. Read more in the press release.
Engineering News-Record (ENR) New England, a weekly publication that provides construction news and information to industry professionals worldwide, recognized Construction Group lawyer Elizabeth K. Wright in its annual class of “Top Young Professionals” for 2017. Ms. Wright was one of just nine construction industry professionals from across New England to receive the recognition, which was given for "leadership, industry work and community service." The honorees are profiled in the July 24, 2017, edition of Engineering News-Record New England. Read more in the press release.
The Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association has inducted Health and Benefits Litigation Group lawyer Amanda Gordon Schreiber into its 2017 Class of Women's Champions, an initiative comprised of inspirational women who are committed to making the work of the Alzheimer’s Association a priority in their lives.
“I’m honored to have been selected as a Women’s Champion, joining the ranks of inspirational women who have dedicated themselves to the fight against Alzheimer’s,” said Ms. Gordon Schreiber. “I want to raise awareness of the disease and funding for its research not just for those, like my family members, that suffer from it today, but for my generation and the generations to come.” Read more in the press release.
The McGivney Community Center, an organization dedicated to fostering academic success and self-esteem in Bridgeport’s youth, elected Robinson+Cole business transactions lawyer Stephen E. Cooper to its Board of Directors on June 21, 2017. Founded nearly 25 years ago, the McGivney Community Center's goal is to nurture youth's intellectual, creative, and physical growth in order to promote success and expand their feelings of confidence, integrity, and character. Today, the McGivney Community Center serves more than 400 children on the east side of Bridgeport each year. Read more in the press release.
The Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity (LCD), an organization formed by lawyers to answer the call for diversity, has appointed Robinson+Cole lawyer John B. Lynch Jr. to its Board of Directors. The mission of the LCD is to unite the resources, energy and commitment of the State’s leading law firms, corporations, public sector entities, law schools, state and county bar associations, and affinity bar organizations in the joint mission of making Connecticut a more attractive place for attorneys of color, minorities, and women to practice law and find satisfying professional opportunities. Read more in the press release.
The Providence Business News recognized Robinson+Cole as a Best Place to Work in Rhode Island in the small employer category for the fifth consecutive year at its annual Best Places to Work event on June 21, 2017.
“We are proud to receive this designation for the fifth year in a row,” said Patricia J. Igoe, partner in charge of the Providence office. “This honor reflects our collaborative team and our commitment to delivering quality service to our clients as well as fostering a positive, rewarding office culture.”
Construction Group lawyers Gregory R. Faulkner and Dennis C. Cavanaugh have accepted fellowships with the Construction Lawyers Society of America (CLSA.) CLSA is an invitation-only construction lawyer honorary society with membership limited to 1,200 practicing Fellows from the United States and internationally. Fellows are selected and invited into Fellowship after being evaluated for effectiveness and accomplishment in construction law, along with ethical reputation. Read more in the press release.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Byron D. Flagg has been listed in the 2017 edition of Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite™ in the area of Environmental & Land Use. The list of honorees, published in the July issue of Florida Trend magazine, includes lawyers in private practice as well as government and non-profit attorneys. The 1,080 lawyers included in this year's list represents just over one percent of the active Florida Bar members who practice in Florida. Read more in the press release.
The Summer 2017 issue of the ABA’s Appellate Practice contains the latest "Silly Lawyer Tricks" column by Business Litigation Group lawyer Thomas J. Donlon. Mr. Donlon's column, published quarterly, discusses actual appellate cases where attorneys' errors have affected the outcome. It is now entering its third year, with no shortage of examples from which good lawyers can learn. The most recent article includes cases where lawyers were sanctioned for appealing a case based on a knowingly false claim, the dismissal of an appeal for failing to file a brief (after two extensions of time), and a decision in which the appellate court found the controlling contract provision itself, after both sides had been arguing the wrong provision since the trial began. Click here to view a copy of the article.
Construction Group lawyer Peter E. Strniste Jr. authored the article "Project Insurance: Builders' Risk?" published in the Summer 2017 edition of the Schimenti Construction Company's newsletter. In the article, Mr. Strniste examines how a construction project's insurance requirements are often overlooked when negotiating construction contracts, specifically in regards to builders' risk insurance. The article also explores the many nuances of builders' risk insurance, including the variations in policy forms and available coverages. Click here to view the article on page 5 of the newsletter.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Karla L. Chaffee penned the article "Getting Ready for Marijuana" for the August 2017 issue of The Commissioner, a publication of the American Planning Association. In the article, Ms. Chaffee answers questions on how communities can deal with the medical and recreational sale of marijuana, focusing on land use impacts and what municipalities are regulating. She also includes the tips that Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Dwight H. Merriam provided to Connecticut Lawyer regarding Connecticut's Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana. Mr. Merriam advises that communities wanting a voice in local regulation adopt a strong purpose and detailed findings, define everything, and cap the number of facilities. Click here to view the article.
Finance Group lawyer Norman H. Roos moderated the Connecticut Mortgage Bankers Association's (CMBA) Annual Mortgage Law Forum in New Britain, Connecticut, on September 7, 2017. The speakers included Stacey Valerio, counsel at the Connecticut Department of Banking; Rich Cortes, principal financial examiner at the Connecticut Department of Banking; Hailey Rice, general counsel and chief compliance officer at Village Mortgage; and Mike Dimech, vice president and operations manager at Norcom Mortgage. The seminar highlighted current legislative and regulatory developments of concern to Connecticut's residential mortgage lending community. It also featured a review of the 2017 Legislative Session and a preview of the 2018 session. Click here to see a photo from the event. Mr. Roos is counsel to the CMBA.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Dwight Merriam recently published an article in the Iowa Law Review. Mr. Merriam co-authored "On the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Lucas: Making or Breaking the Takings Claim," with Carol Necole Brown, a professor of law at the University of Richmond School of Law. The article discusses the U.S. Supreme Court case of Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, which established that private property owners are entitled to compensation for a taking under the Fifth Amendment Takings Clause when a government regulation "denies all economically beneficial or productive use of land." The article examines when Lucas claims have been successful and the importance of being strategic in pleading takings claims. Please click here for a link to the article.
Date Privacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Linn F. Freedman presented the session "Cybersecurity for Water Utilities: Identifying and Mitigating Risks" for the Connecticut Water Works Association (CWWA) on September 6, 2017, in Hartford, Connecticut. The program examined how water utilities are especially exposed to hackers looking for vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure and recent cybersecurity incidents involving critical infrastructure. The topics included establishing a privacy and security program, identifying risks such as ransomware and other malicious intrusions into critical infrastructure systems, testing incident response and back-up programs, recovering from attacks, and implementing good practices.
Health Law Group lawyers Lisa Thompson and Pamela Del Negro spoke at a lunchtime webinar on September 7, 2017, covering the oversight of HIPAA business associates. Specifically, they discussed how to assess whether a vendor is a business associate when roles are unclear, pre-contract strategies to identify and assess potential HIPAA risks, contracting approaches to address privacy and security risk concerns, and vendor monitoring for compliance.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Diana Neeves recently authored an article entitled, "Take-Home Toxins Expand Duty of Care," published by the American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s Environmental & Energy Litigation Committee. The article discusses the recent Schwartz v. Accuratus Corp. decision issued by the U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania. The court held that a ceramics manufacturer, Accuratus Corporation, could be liable under New Jersey law for chemical exposure injuries to a woman who was both the girlfriend of one of its employees and the roommate of another employee. The woman allegedly suffers from chronic beryllium disease, which she believes was caused by exposure to beryllium brought to her home on her boyfriend and roommate’s clothing and shoes. According to the article, the case represents an expansion of an employer’s duty for secondhand exposure beyond a traditionally defined household, effectively opening the door to a new class of plaintiffs. Please click here for a link to the article.
Labor and Employment Group lawyers Matthew Miklave and Sandra Marin Lautier recently gave a presentation on labor, employment, and civil rights issues facing government officials. The two lawyers spoke at the Northeastern Tax Collectors and Treasurers Association’s 29th annual conference in Narragansett, Rhode Island on August 28, 2017. About 75 officials from around the region attended the two hour presentation entitled "Public Sector Employment, Labor, and Civil Rights Issues." The presentation covered management and employee relations; civil rights, anti-discrimination, and anti-retaliation provisions; the Family and Medical Leave Act; progressive discipline; and evaluating employee performance.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer James Ray recently published the article, "Paxil Case: Daubert Analysis Excludes Medical Causation Expert." The article appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of Expert Witnesses, a publication of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation. The article discusses a case, K.E. v. Glaxosmithkline, in which a plaintiff alleged the anti-depression drug Paxil caused birth defects. The article covers how a judge in the U.S. District Court in Connecticut excluded the plaintiff’s medical causation expert on Daubert grounds after finding insufficient evidence of the plaintiff’s exposure to the drug, which was necessary to support the expert’s opinion on specific causation. After granting the motion to exclude the expert, the court granted summary judgment to the defendant, holding that the plaintiff could not proceed without expert causation testimony. Please click here for a link to the article.
Manufacturing Industry Group lawyer Joanne J. Rapuano, who focuses her practice on international trade compliance, spoke to the Business Development Team of the Aerospace Components Manufacturers (ACM) on August 18, 2017, in Hartford, Connecticut. ACM is a nonprofit regional network of independent Connecticut and southwestern Massachusetts-based aerospace companies. She provided an overview of export controls and discussed the importance of screening customers and classifying the hardware/parts and technology that are subject to both the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). In addition, she examined the export issues that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) encounter and how those issues drive information required from the supply chain. Approximately 60 members attended the program.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Evan J. Seeman authored a chapter in the book Local Government, Land Use, and the First Amendment: Protecting Free Speech and Expression, published in August 2017 by the ABA's State and Local Government Law Section. In the chapter, "Regulating Religious Land Uses under the First Amendment: A Practical Approach for Local Governments," Mr. Seeman focuses on religious land use disputes brought under the First Amendment's Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses (the Religion Clauses), specifically analyzing the types of claims that governments may face under the Religion Clauses and the differences between claims under the Free Exercise Clause and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). Mr. Seeman also offers practice tips on how governments can avoid such claims at the outset and, if unsuccessful, can defend against such claims. To find out more about the book, click here.
Business Transactions Group lawyer J. Michael Wirvin presented the interactive workshop "U.S. Private Stock Purchase Transactions – Topics and Trends" at The European Connection – Corporate Meeting, held in Cambridge, United Kingdom, on June 21, 2017. The program offered a review and discussion of a standard U.S. stock purchase agreement for a private, midmarket transaction. The audience included corporate and business lawyers from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, who provided comments and feedback on differences and similarities between the provisions of the U.S. agreement, such as representations and warranties, indemnities, choice of law, etc., and how those would be generally negotiated and drafted in their respective home jurisdictions.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Michele L. Maresca has been appointed as the private sector chair to the International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC) P3 Committee in Connecticut. Her role will be to help build positive relationships between the public and private sectors by developing educational programs that highlight the positive economic effect of the retail industry on communities. The P3 Committee's educational programs also provide a forum for developers, retailers, brokers, lenders, and local government officials to network, initiate dialogue, and discuss development issues and mutually desired retail projects.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Dwight H. Merriam authored an article for the August 2017 issue of Zoning Practice, a publication of the American Planning Association. In the article "Meeting and Beating the Challenge of Off-Campus Student Housing," Mr. Merriam scrutinizes the consequences of off-campus student housing by focusing on the demand for housing, the economic imperative, the state of the law, proven techniques to address the issues, the definition of family, and other related topics.
Business Litigation Group lawyers Patrick W. Begos and Gregory J. Bennici co-wrote the article "The Probate Exception to Federal Jurisdiction," published in the August 2017 issue of For the Defense, the member magazine for DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar. The article focuses on how understanding the "probate exception," it's history, and the split among the circuits about whether it applies in cases for which federal question jurisdiction exists can aid in explaining to a judge why it should not apply to ERISA claims. Mr. Begos and Mr. Bennici also discuss the important distinguishing factors to be cognizant of when contemplating what effect the probate exception might have on any particular claim. Click here to view the entire article.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Dana M. Horton has been reappointed chair of the Rhode Island Bar Association's (RIBA) Superior Court Bench/Bar Committee for the 2017 to 2018 term, marking her fourth term in this position. The Superior Court Bench/Bar Committee works with both practitioners and Superior Court justices to improve practices and procedures with respect to the court's administration of justice. As a part of this committee, Ms. Horton has participated in and chaired task forces that have proposed amendments to the Rhode Island Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure regarding e-discovery and expert witness discovery. As chair of the committee, Ms. Horton also serves as a liaison to the RIBA's Technology Committee Task Force with respect to the state court electronic filing system.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Michele L. Maresca presented at the New England Conference & Deal Making event, sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), in the session "Dollars and $ense: Practical Insights to Solving Recurring & Emerging Shopping Center Issues and Improving Your Bottom Line," held in Boston on July 19, 2017. Ms. Maresca, along with her fellow panelists, spoke about the transformation of shopping centers. In particular, she explored two emerging elements of the retail real estate industry: first, the importance of understanding and quantifying occupancy costs in tenant rent negotiations and shopping center operations in today's changing marketplace, and second, issues and situations in repurposing and redevelopment in the rapidly evolving area of shopping centers.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Dwight H. Merriam presented at the Thirteenth Annual Judicial Symposium in Chicago on July 15, 2017. The symposium, whose theme was Judging Emerging Issues in the Twenty-First Century, was sponsored by the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence (NFJE). About 200 state appellate judges from across the country were in attendance. In the program "Land Use Issues in the 21st Century," Mr. Merriam and his fellow panelists delved into the limitations on the sovereign power of eminent domain under the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment and, in particular, discussed inverse condemnation; exactions; energy-related takings, such as pipeline easements and wind generation fields; regulatory takings; and the future of economic development and judicial takings. Click here to view the PowerPoint for the program.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Richard M. Fil has been reappointed chair of the Rhode Island Bar Association's (RIBA) Environmental and Energy Law Committee for the 2017 to 2018 term. The committee studies and makes recommendations on practices and procedures of environmental and energy law; specifically, it works to improve this area of law, keeps the bar up-to-date in these practice areas, maintains a resource network for practitioners, and makes important policy issue recommendations.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Linn F. Freedman was a speaker for the program "Setting Cyber Priorities: The Most Important Questions about Cybersecurity" at the 26th Annual CICPAC (Construction Industry CPAs/Consultants Association) Conference on July 21, 2017. Held in Chicago, Illinois, the session covered these areas: (1) who is behind cyber-attacks and whom they target, (2) the kind of information targeted in a company’s system, (3) the disruptiveness of a cyber-attack, (4) how cyber-attacks happen and what can be done to reduce the risk, and (5) the 10 most important questions to ask your IT and HR Departments. CICPAC is a national association of accounting firms that serve over 11,000 construction companies throughout the United States.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Linn F. Freedman spoke to members of the fuel industry about managing cybersecurity risks at the New England Fuel Institute’s 2017 EXPO. Freedman presented, “Risk Management: Is My Company and Customer Data Secure?” on June 14, 2017 in Worcester, Massachusetts. The presentation covered how organizations can map and protect their high risk data. Freedman walked those in attendance through implementing a data privacy and security program, compliance with state and federal laws, and recent risks to data including malware and ransomware attacks. The association represents wholesale and retail distributors of liquid heating fuels, and its annual conference attracts industry members from throughout New England.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Dwight H. Merriam, along with Professor Daniel Mandelker of Washington University School of Law, co-moderated the webinar "Land Use Agricultural Land Preservation" on July 10, 2017. The guest speaker was Professor John Kellar of Kansas State University. Sponsored by the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA), the program focused on agricultural land use law in terms of farmland preservation, specifically on how regulation can preserve the food supply for future generations. Click here to view the PowerPoint. Click here to view the program outline.
Health Law Group lawyer Pamela Del Negro has been appointed to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Health & Life Sciences Law, a publication of the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA). The board, consisting of law professors, in-house counsel, and lawyers in private practice, formulates goals and activities for the upcoming year, identifies for lawyers critical topics on health and life sciences law, and reviews articles for publication. The AHLA is the nation's largest, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) educational organization devoted to legal issues in the health care field. Ms. Del Negro's appointment is for a one-year term, beginning July 1, 2017.
Environmental + Utilities Group lawyer Brian Freeman wrote the article “Time to Toss it Out? The ‘Once In, Always In’ Policy for ‘Major Source’ Hazardous Air Pollutant Standards,” in the July 2017 edition of the Environmental Law Reporter. In the article, Mr. Freeman discusses how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recent call for regulatory reform suggestions provides an opportunity to end EPA’s policy for defining a major source of hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. Under the policy, if a facility’s potential to emit hazardous air pollutants ever exceeded “major source” thresholds, the facility must comply with regulations for “major sources” permanently, even if the facility later reduces its potential emissions below trigger levels. The article questions the legal and practical soundness of this approach, and discusses how ending the policy would avoid compliance burdens and unwarranted penalties, and incentivize emission reductions. Click here to view the article.
Robinson+Cole's international pro bono project is featured in the article "American attorneys partner to save endangered African wildlife," published in the July 2017 issue of the ABA Journal. Megan E. Baroni, Kelsey A. Cross, Emily C. Deans, Byron D. Flagg, Peter R. Knight, Diana E. Neeves, Sorell E. Negro, and Alec Rubenstein have all contributed to this project. The purpose of their work is to assist the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) in Namibia by reviewing the country's legislative framework and providing recommendations for strengthening its wildlife crimes legislation and enforcement. Ms. Negro will return to Namibia on July 15 to present the team's research and findings at a workshop with the LAC, government officials, prosecutors, and other stakeholders. Click here to see the article.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Dwight H. Merriam authored the article "Your Launch Pad for Drone Regulations" for the June 2017 issue of Planning, the magazine of the American Planning Association. In the article, he addresses civil rights and privacy as well as the dos and don’ts in building regulations at the local level. Click here to view the article.
In addition, Mr. Merriam was a keynote speaker at the County Counselors Association of Kansas's Continuing Legal Education Seminar and Midyear Meeting on Friday, June 23, 2017, in Salina, Kansas. He presented on "The Growing Crop of Agricultural Accessory Uses: What You Can and Can’t Do" and "Game of Drones: What Are the Legal, Public Policy and Civil Rights Issues?" Click here to see his PowerPoint. This event was designed for county counselors, county attorneys, and other municipal law practitioners.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Steven J. Boyajian was appointed by the judges of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island to a three-year term on the court's Board of Bar Admissions. The six-member board is responsible for directing the court's federal bar admission program in conjunction with the district's federal judges. In his role as a member of the board, Mr. Boyajian will lecture annually on bankruptcy, with the district's bankruptcy judge, to all lawyers seeking admission to the federal bar in Rhode Island.
Construction Group lawyers Jonathan R. Hausner and Elizabeth K. Wright co-wrote the article "Drones Take Flight in the Construction Industry," published in the Summer 2017 issue of Surety Bond Quarterly. The article addresses both the benefits and potential risks of using a drone on a construction project from the perspective of construction counsel who regularly advise owners, construction managers and general contractors, trade contractors, and sureties. Mr. Hausner and Ms. Wright discuss what a drone is and how it can help get projects completed on time and on budget. The piece concludes by offering insight on identifying and allocating the risk that arises from its use. Click here to view the entire article.
Health Law and Business Transactions Group lawyer Leslie J. Levinson participated in and moderated a webinar entitled "Private Equity Investing in Health Care: Midyear Update" as part of a panel of health care industry professionals on June 27, 2017. Co-panelists were Slava Girzhel, a managing director at KeyBanc Capital Markets; John Pouchine, a principal at Pouchine Cook Capital Management, a midmarket private equity firm; and Eb LeMaster, a managing director at Ponder &Co., an investment bank catering to the hospital community. The presentation provided a succinct midyear update of private equity investing across the health care spectrum, along with insight into trends and the outlook for 2017.
Environmental + Utilities Group lawyer Alexander W. Judd has been appointed to the Nominating Committee of the ABA's Section of State and Local Government Law. The Nominating Committee is charged with submitting names of nominees for section officers and council for the 2017 to 2018 association year.
Employee Benefits and Compensation lawyer Bruce B. Barth presented at the Fiduciary Investment Advisors (FIA) 2017 Client Conference in Newport, Rhode Island, on June 23. He was a member of a panel on "Keeping Your Defined Contribution Plan Afloat in a Sea of Litigation," which focused on the impact and implications of the Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule, general fiduciary duties of plan sponsors and administrative committees, and current pending litigation involving 401(k) and 403(b) plans.
Business Litigation Group Lawyer James Nault recently discussed the significance of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in a presentation to colleagues. Mr. Nault gave the presentation, “TC Heartland: Restricting Venue in Patent Infringement Actions - The Demise of the Eastern District of Texas??" to the Connecticut Bar Association's Intellectual Property Section and Appellate Advocacy Section, at a meeting in Hartford on June 20. Mr. Nault discussed details about the oral arguments, which he attended. He is a former colleague and friend of the victorious counsel of record for TC Heartland, Attorney Jim Dabney of Hughes Hubbard in New York. Mr. Nault played key excerpts of the oral argument and provided insights for patent, appellate, and general litigators, as well as insights from his post-argument discussion with Attorney Dabney. Mr. Nault presented the parties’ and amicis’ arguments and what the Court found persuasive and what it didn’t. Finally, he discussed the latest on whether the Eastern District of Texas is likely to recede as the patent litigation venue of choice and whether Connecticut is likely to see an increase in patent litigation cases, or whether there are factors involved that may militate against that result.
Robinson+Cole lawyers Timothy Twardowski and George Watson each wrote a chapter for the recently released book, A Practical Guide to Land Use Law in Rhode Island. Twardowski, a member of the firm’s Land Use and Real Estate and Development Groups, authored a chapter called “Eminent Domain and Regulatory Takings,” while Watson, a member of the Environmental + Utilities Group, wrote, “Presenting a Case for Zoning Relief and Litigating a Zoning Case on Appeal.” The 11-chapter book, penned by 14 Rhode Island-based lawyers and published by MCLE New England, is designed to serve as a practical guide to the complex challenges of land use law in Rhode Island for state practitioners. It covers topics like comprehensive planning, zoning, subdivision review, eminent domain, First Amendment protection, and environmental regulation, including coastal zone provisions affecting land use.
Conor O. Duffy, Edward V. O'Hanlan, and James P. Ray participated in THE RIDE For Our Vets, held on June 17, 2017 at Point72 in Stamford. Presented by the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC,) the annual charity bike ride attracts approximately 100 cyclists. The Robinson+Cole lawyers raised about $1,400 in support of CVLC's efforts to help veterans recovering from homelessness and mental illness overcome legal barriers to housing, healthcare, and income. Unimin Corporation Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Richard Solazzo, also joined Mr. Duffy, Mr. O'Hanlan, and Mr. Ray on the 50 mile route. Mr. O'Hanlan serves on the CVLC Board of Directors. Click here to view a photo.