At its annual Breakfast With Champions event, Interval House, Connecticut’s largest domestic violence intervention and prevention agency, honored the members of the organization’s Men Make A Difference, Men Against Domestic Violence group, whose membership includes Robinson+Cole lawyer Eric D. Daniels, one of the founding members of the group. The celebration, which is held in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, took place on October 17, 2019 in Simsbury, Connecticut. View a photo and read more in the press release.
A total of 52 Robinson+Cole attorneys were named to Super Lawyers® lists in the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island for 2019. In addition, 32 attorneys at the firm were recognized as “Rising Stars.”
The following lawyers were named to the Top 50: 2019 Connecticut Super Lawyers list: Denis C. Cavanaugh, Gregory R. Faulkner, Linda L. Morkan, Todd R. Regan, and Jeffrey J. White. Linda also appears on the Top 25: 2019 Women Connecticut Super Lawyers list.
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. Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole has signed the American Bar Association (ABA) Well-Being Pledge, a campaign dedicated to improving the substance use and mental health landscape of the legal profession. Organized by the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession, the Pledge is designed to address the profession’s troubling rates of alcohol and other substance-use disorders, as well as mental health issues. Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole has signed on to participate in the Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule 3.0, a year-long certification process developed to increase the representation of diverse lawyers in leadership positions by broadening the pool of women, lawyers of color, lawyers with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ lawyers who are considered for significant governance roles, partner promotions, lateral partner and senior associate hiring and inclusion in business development initiatives. Read more in the press release.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Benjamin C. Jensen was selected by the Hartford Business Journal for inclusion in its 2019 “40 Under Forty” class. Ben was honored during a special event at East Hartford’s Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field on September 26, 2019. The Hartford Business Journal's 2019 “40 Under Forty” class showcases a diversity of up-and-coming professionals who are leading their organizations in sectors that include the legal, technology, insurance, real estate, banking and nonprofit arenas, and from organizations both small and large. They represent the promising future of the city, region, and state, and were selected from among more than 175 nominees. 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.
The following Robinson+Cole lawyers earned the “Local Litigation Stars” honor: Wystan M. Ackerman, Bradford S. Babbitt, Patrick W. Begos, Joseph L. Clasen, Gerald P. Dwyer Jr., Edward J. Heath, Linda L. Morkan, Rhonda J. Tobin, Theodore J. Tucci, and James A. Wade. This past August, Ms. Tobin was also named one of Benchmark Litigation‘s Top 250 Women in Litigation for 2019 for the fifth consecutive year. She was also the only female litigator chosen in the state of Connecticut for 2019. In addition, Stephen W. Aronson received the “Labor & Employment Star – Northeast” recognition from the second edition of Benchmark Labor & Employment. Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole Pro Bono Committee Chair Peter R. Knight was recognized by Lawyers for Children America (LFCA) for providing pro bono legal services to Connecticut children who are victims of abuse and neglect during the organization’s honor and awards event in Hartford, Connecticut on September 23, 2019. Peter has been an LFCA volunteer for more than twenty years and, in that time, has represented dozens of children of all ages, throughout the State in matters involving the Department of Children and Families in Connecticut Juvenile Court. Read more and view a photo in the press release.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group Chair Kenneth C. Baldwin has been elected to the board of directors of SCG Legal, an international network of leading law firms. Ken will serve a three-year term ending in 2022. Robinson+Cole is a founding member of SCG Legal, an association of more than 140 independent law firms with nearly 12,000 lawyers serving businesses in all 50 U.S. state capital cities and in capital cities and major commercial centers around the world. Read more in the press release.
Health Law Group lawyer Melissa (Lisa) Thompson has been appointed by the Boston Bar Association (BBA) to serve as co-chair of its Health Law Section for a two year term beginning September 2019. With nearly 13,000 members representing private practice, corporations, government agencies, legal aid organizations, the courts, and law schools, the BBA’s mission is to advance the highest standards of excellence for the legal profession, facilitate access to justice, foster a diverse and inclusive professional community, and serve the community at large. Read more in the press release.
Finance Team lawyer Norman H. Roos has been elected president of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys (ACMA) for the 2019-2020 term. Norm was installed during the ACMA Annual Meeting on September 7, 2019 in Monterey, California. Also in attendance were Real Estate + Development Group lawyers Candace M. Cunningham and Amanda S. Eckhoff. Candace was appointed co-chair of the ACMA Title Insurance Committee. She also served as the moderator and a panelist for a program titled "The New (and Improved?) ALTA Title Policies: Are You Ready for Them?" Mandy was installed as an ACMA Fellow. Read more and view a photo in the press release.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team Chair Linn F. Freedman provided comment to Providence Business News and Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly on recent ransomware attacks and GDPR compliance. In the Providence Business News article published on October 4, 2019, “Hackers targeting municipalities, states” Linn acknowledges that municipalities are in an “especially vulnerable space” for ransomware attacks. “’They just don’t have the appropriate resources,’ using money instead on technology that will provide defensive measures in hopes hackers will be caught before they get to employees,” she said. Read the article.
Additionally, Linn was interviewed for the Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly article “Companies lagging in GDPR compliance, survey finds” published on October 10, 2019. The story focused on a recent survey of more than 1,200 organizations in the U.S., Europe, China and Japan which found that an average of one out of four companies in each country reported having a “low degree of confidence in their readiness to respond to a data breach covered by GDPR.” Although General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect May 25, 2018, Linn says “’myths’ about the reach of GDPR have confused company decision-makers in making a commitment to compliance with the EU regulation.” “I’ve been finding that some companies assume that GDPR doesn’t apply to them, so they don’t even check if they have to comply,” she said. Read the article.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyers Earl W. Phillips Jr. and Jonathan H. Schaefer co-authored the article “Don't Let a Nuisance Claim Become a Nuisance,” published in the September/October 2019 issue of Scrap, the bimonthly magazine of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. The article covers what a nuisance is, how to avoid nuisance claims, and handling a nuisance claim in a non-adversarial manner.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Linn Freedman was quoted in the article “Smaller Medical Providers Get Burned by Ransomware“ published in The Wall Street Journal on October 6, 2019. The article covers the increase in ransomware attacks on doctors, dentists and community hospitals around the U.S., causing some to turn away patients and others to shut down permanently. "Some small health-care organizations don’t have the money to bounce back from a cyberattack,“ said Linn. Read the article.
Business Litigation Group lawyer John F. X. Peloso Jr. and Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Evan J. Seeman co-authored the article “Avoiding and Defending Against RLUIPA Claims” published in the “Government Practice” special issue of Practical Law’s The Journal. The feature article explains how municipalities can effectively avoid and defend against RLUIPA claims. In particular, it provides an overview of regulation of religious land use, examines claims made against municipalities under RLUIPA, describes RLUIPA’s safe harbor provision, and offers guidance on counseling municipal officials on RLUIPA’s requirements. View the full article. © 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyers Megan E. Baroni and Jonathan H. Schaefer co-authored the article “OSHA approves new respirator fit testing protocols,” published by Industrial Safety & Hygiene News on October 2, 2019. The piece focuses on the recent final rule issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which approves two additional quantitative fit testing protocols for inclusion in appendix A of the Respiratory Protection Standard. “Both protocols are variations of the original OSHA-approved ambient aerosol [condensation nuclei counter] CNC protocol, but have fewer test exercises, shorter exercise duration, and a more streamlined sampling sequence.” Read the full article.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Denis J. O’Malley authored the article “The Southern District Finds Unambiguous Policy Language Controls NYU’s Superstorm Sandy Claim,” published in the October issue of Insurance & Risk Management, a quarterly newsletter from the Society of Financial Service Professionals. The article, republished from Robinson+Cole’s Property Insurance Coverage Insights blog, covers the March 2019 decision from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granting an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a case arising from Superstorm Sandy based on unambiguous policy language providing a significantly lower limit of liability for losses resulting from flood damage. “The decision demonstrates how unambiguous policy language may literally make a billion dollar difference in coverage.” Read the full article.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer James P. Ray was quoted in the article “Limited Legal Impact Predicted From Court’s OK of PFAS Case” published by Bloomberg Environment on October 2, 2019. The article covers a recent decision from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio denying motions to dismiss filed by 3M Co., DowDuPont, and other manufacturers of PFAS-containing fire-fighting foam to which the plaintiff, a former firefighter, was exposed. While the plaintiff’s claims survived the motions to dismiss, the bigger issue still to be decided is whether the case will be certified as a class action, given the broad definition of the proposed class, including anybody in the United States “with detectable levels of PFAS materials in their blood serum.” “Parts of the decision will be relevant, but I don’t know that I would characterize them as so significant as to have huge implications in the other cases,” said Jim. Read the full article.
Intellectual Property + Technology Group lawyer Maria A. Scungio was quoted in the article “‘Never rest’: strategies for handling trademark fair use” published by Managing IP on September 17, 2019. The article covers the panel discussion titled “Describe your best defense: trade mark infringement or not?” presented during the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (known as AIPPI) World Congress in London. Ms. Scungio was among the panelists who shared case studies and strategies for brand owners when faced with a claim of fair use as a defense, and for asserting the defense persuasively. During the program, she talked about the “factors that the court considers,” which include whether products have been competing with each other, how pervasive the presence of the respective products is in the market and how long each product has been available. Read the full article.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyers Megan E. Baroni and Jonathan H. Schaefer co-authored the article “Falling Down on the Job: OSHA Violations Carry Tremendous Costs,” published by Construction Executive on September 5, 2019. The piece focuses on the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s (OSHA) fall protection standard for construction, the most cited OSHA violation in the country, which in some recent years, has accounted for more than one-third of workplace deaths. The article covers fall protection requirements, including training; recent notable citations; multi-employer worksite policy; and offers standard fall protection tips. Read the full article.
Construction Law Group lawyer Virginia K. Trunkes was among those selected by the New York Real Estate Journal to be featured in the publication’s annual “Women in Real Estate” spotlight, which recognizes the achievements of women engaged in specialized real estate industries. In the Q&A spotlight, Ginger discusses her favorite motivational quote, one of her biggest accomplishments in the last 12 months, and the podcasts and books she recommends to women. Read the full article.
Transactional Health Law Group co-chair Leslie J. Levinson was quoted in the article “Well Care Health CEO: We’re Pushing the Envelope of Care Innovation” published in Home Health Care News on September 12, 2019. The article uses Well Care Health as an example of how “a number of previously one-dimensional companies have evolved into ‘one-stop shops,’ or integrated businesses that offer an array of complementary services” in order to stay "competitive in today’s post-acute care landscape." “For somebody who’s been in the space a long time, this trend is very interesting,” said Les. “Twenty or so years ago, you had one-stop-shop models that people were trying to promote, pitching to managed care companies. But the market just wasn’t quite in tune enough to make that succeed.” Read the full article.