Managed Care + Employee Benefit Litigation Group member Jeannine Jacobson was a featured panelist at the American Bar Association's “46th Annual TIPS Mid-Winter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits - Life, Health and Disability, and ERISA: Emerging Issues and Litigation” in Austin, Texas on January 17, 2020. She took part in the moderated panel discussion, “Into the Wilderness: Recent Developments in Federal Parity Act Litigation.” Disputes regarding the application of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act to health plans have generated a significant amount of litigation in recent years. The panel discussed recent developments and trends in such litigation on an individual and class-wide basis, offering the perspectives of plaintiff’s and defense counsel regarding the application of the law generally and with respect to less-traditional treatment modalities. Robinson+Cole was a sponsor of the symposium.
Labor, Employment, Benefits + Immigration Group member Rachel Kushel was a featured panelist at the Connecticut Bar Association's Labor and Employment Law Section virtual meeting on January 16, 2020. The moderated evening program, “Is There a Future for Non-Competes? A Discussion of Recent Trends at the State and Federal Level," covered recent legislative trends that narrow the acceptable use of non-competition agreements in the employment context, as well as proposals to do away with such agreements altogether. The panel discussion was linked via video conference and was available in open Murtha Cullina LLP offices in Hartford, New Haven and Stamford, as well as the Tobin, Carberry, O’Malley, Riley & Selinger P.C. office in New London. 1.5 Connecticut CLE credits were offered.
Business Transactions Group lawyer Norm Roos moderated a panel discussion that highlighted recent legislative and regulatory updates, “The Mortgage Industry and ‘Climate Change’ – How the Changing Political, FinTech and Financial Climate Will Impact Our Industry,” at the New England Mortgage Expo 2020 in Uncasville, Connecticut on January 17, 2020. The expert legal panel addressed a range of state, regional and national developments, including: what is in store for the mortgage industry in 2020; which federal and state legislative and regulatory priorities will require particular attention in the coming year; new licensing requirements, examination and enforcement priorities; electronic closings, and other developments affecting the origination and servicing of residential mortgage loans. The two-day conference was hosted by the Connecticut Mortgage Bankers Association, The Warren Group, and American Business Media, and featured top mortgage industry professionals, a broad array of exhibitors’ and sponsors’ booths, and networking opportunities.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications lawyers Bob Melvin and Jon Schaefer participated in Environmental Business Council (EBC) New England's “RIDEM & U.S. EPA Enforcement Program & Priorities for 2020” program in Providence, Rhode Island on January 15, 2020. Bob served as program chair and Jon moderated a post-presentations discussion panel on critical enforcement issues, policies and developments occurring in Rhode Island and Region 1, which includes the six New England states as well as 10 Tribal nations.
The half-day event featured the latest updates from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 1, and other agency and industry representatives. The presentations included:
To view the available presentations from this program, please visit the EBC website.
Robinson+Cole was pleased to sponsor the program.
Natalie Ramsey, Michael Enright and Mark Fink presented on the Imerys Talc America Inc. bankruptcy cases at the HarrisMartin Talcum Powder Litigation Conference in Miami Beach, Florida on January 9, 2020. Natalie, Michael and Mark represent the Official Committee of Tort Claimants (the Committee) in the cases. The conference, attended primarily by members of the plaintiff’s bar but also by talc defendants, insurers, and others (as well as their counsel), focused on developments in the Imerys bankruptcy case generally and their representation of the Committee specifically.
Robinson+Cole's Maria Scungio presented “New IP Issues Impacting Business Transactions” as a panelist at the Practising Law Institute's program IP Issues in Business Transactions 2020 in New York City on January 6, 2020. The panel discussion, which was also available as a webinar, offered an overview of recent developments in Intellectual Property law and an analysis of their impact on transactions involving copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets. The panel also addressed how to adapt IP transactions to the evolving and expanding business and technology landscapes. Other programs offered at the two-day conference focused on IP topics that included: designing a portfolio; developing and implementing a licensing program; a review of critical license terms; licensing and bankruptcy issues; international business transactions; the nuts and bolts of due diligence; and navigating ethics issues.
Construction Group partner Joe Barra co-presented the program “Massachusetts Prompt Pay and Retainage Acts” in Wellesley, Massachusetts on December 4, 2019. The presentation focused on how recent Massachusetts legislation has impacted the way members of the Built Environment need to revise their existing contracts and reshape their construction administration responsibilities to address new traps for the unwary. The program was sponsored by the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts (AGC) and is part of the AGC’s Emerging Contractor’s Risk Toolkit series.
Employee Benefits + Compensation Group lawyer Virginia McGarrity co-presented the program "Pension Board Best Practices" at the Connecticut Public Pension Forum Fall Conference in Rocky Hill, CT on October 24, 2019.
Health Law Group and Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Conor Duffy co-presented the program “Physician Compensation Arrangements: Rules, Risks and Reviews” at the New England Healthcare Internal Auditors (NEHIA) 2019 Audit & Compliance Conference in Groton, Connecticut on December 6, 2019. Conor presented alongside Kyle Yermalovich, Manager of Corporate Compliance & Internal Audit at Robinson+Cole client, Southcoast Health. NEHIA is a healthcare-specific internal auditing organization comprising representatives from throughout New England, and works diligently to create a strong community of healthcare professionals in New England.
Conor and Kyle presented at NEHIA’s primary educational conference, which features presenters from healthcare compliance, privacy, security, and internal auditing to one setting. The audience included representatives from Southcoast Health, as well as other hospitals and health systems from the region.
Transactional Health Law Group co-chair Les Levinson was a panelist for the moderated discussion "Will the 2020 Election Impact Healthcare M&A?" at the BRG Healthcare Leadership Conference 2019 in Washington, D.C. from December 4-6, 2019. The panel considered how political uncertainty could be a factor stifling activity in the healthcare sector ahead of next fall’s elections. As concerns about such uncertainty possibly sinking healthcare deals threaten to surpass concerns over investor confidence and data privacy, the panel discussed what should investors do and provided perspective on what is important in policy trends and the impact those trends may have on providers and financial markets.
The Berkeley Research Group’s annual December conference affords an opportunity for healthcare leaders to discuss the most pressing issues facing the industry. It is designed specifically for senior executives from healthcare organizations, financial institutions, private equity firms, and law firms, as well as policy experts, offering attendees a platform upon which to both evaluate the year prior and work together to prepare for what lies ahead. This year’s program examined a number of key areas, including the cutting edge of healthcare investments; what could happen to healthcare legislation after the 2020 election; Medicaid’s growing role in behavioral health; the cross-section of cybersecurity and healthcare; innovations in Medicare advantage; private equity investing in autism; and the state of the U.S. capital markets. Robinson+Cole was pleased to be an event sponsor.
Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications lawyer Peter R. Knight spoke on “Advances in Climate Change Litigation” in an American Bar Association (ABA) Roundtable on November 20, 2019. The discussion was presented by the ABA Section of Litigation’s Environmental & Energy Litigation Committee. Peter was joined in the presentation by Chris Kilian, Director of Strategic Litigation for the Conservation Law Foundation. While cases seeking to hold large-scale emitters of greenhouse gases directly responsible for their emissions make their way through the appellate courts, a number of indirect climate cases continue to advance through the trial courts. Cases involving claims against large waterfront terminal owners alleging failure to address climate impacts at their facilities, and claims against major greenhouse gas emitters alleging failure to adequately disclose climate impacts in their public disclosures, may signify more practical trends in climate litigation.
Health Law Group lawyer Melissa (Lisa Thompson) participated in the moderated panel discussion "Hot Topics in Cannabis Law," where she focused on Food and Drug Administration and state regulation of CBD (cannabidiol) and hemp - including their use in prescription drugs, food and beverages - at the 2019 Cannabis Law Conference in Boston, MA on November 21, 2019. The conference, hosted by the Boston Bar Association, provided in-depth guidance and information on how to advise clients and navigate the industry’s complex regulatory landscape. The program offered panel discussions and keynote speakers, including practitioners, regulators, and business and community leaders, who discussed key legal and business developments. Other topics at the conference included tax considerations, banking, IP issues, cannabis basics, and capital-raising and business maturation, as well as a regulatory roundtable focused on compliance and risk management.
The Boston Bar Association (BBA) hosted the program “Speed Networking with Real Estate Lawyers” at its Boston office on November 18, 2019. The event provided an opportunity for young lawyers and law students interested in real estate law to meet guest practitioners in small groups to learn about their career paths and legal opportunities available in Boston's real estate landscape. Real Estate + Development Group member Alicia Selman, who was recently appointed Chair of the New Lawyers Liaison Committee for the Real Estate Section of the BBA, co--moderated the panel of speakers at the event. As guest speakers at the speed networking event, which rotated groups every 15 minutes, Real Estate + Development Group members Matt Lawlor and Tim Twardowski discussed their career paths and other relevant topics, including what they like most about their work, what they would like to have known about being a real estate attorney before they started, and any job search or career advice they might offer to younger associates or law students.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group Chair Gerald “Kip” Dwyer co-presented the webinar ”Investigating Unique Property Damage Claims” on November 22, 2019, as part of Envista Forensics’ 2019 Webinar Series. The course is designed to provide insurance adjusters and claims professionals useful insight into handling unusual, and thankfully rare, property damage claims. The webinar presentation placed specific focus on dealing with different types of complex losses; common factors associated with the cause(s) of damage and applicable coverages, exclusions, sub-limitations, and other conditions and terms; organization of the common claims handling approach for these unique property damage losses; and the identification of key relevant documentation/data that can aid in determining the cause and extent of damage and liability when mitigating these types of unique property damage claims.
The Boston Bar Association (BBA) hosted the program “Speed Networking with Real Estate Lawyers” at its Boston office on November 18, 2019. The event provided an opportunity for young lawyers and law students interested in real estate law to meet guest practitioners in small groups to learn about their career paths and legal opportunities available in Boston's real estate landscape. Real Estate + Development Group member Alicia Selman, who was recently appointed Chair of the New Lawyers Liaison Committee for the Real Estate Section of the BBA, co--moderated the panel of speakers at the event. Real Estate + Development Group members Matt Lawlor and Tim Twardowski were guest speakers at the event.
Brian Flaherty, Jerome Garciano and Michael Kearney, members of Robinson+Cole’s Opportunity Zone and Impact Investment Practice Team, shared their insights on the latest round of proposed IRS regulations and key lessons learned from recent Opportunity Zone investment deals closed by Robinson+Cole in the program “Opportunity Zone Update - Understand its Benefits and Complexities,” the final From Soil to Solar: Land Law Development Forum in a webinar on November 13, followed by an in-person presentation on November 14, 2019.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created Opportunity Zones to spur economic development and job creation in certain economically distressed communities by offering tax incentives for private capital investment in real estate and businesses located in those communities. Investors and real estate developers looking to take advantage of these valuable tax benefits offered by the Opportunity Zone program need to understand its rules and complexities.
Construction Law Group Chair Greg Faulkner co-presented the program “Management of Legal Exposures” at the Construction Institute (CI) in Hartford, CT on October 28, 2019. The workshop featured Greg and claims analyst Eric Schatz, Vice President of Arcadis, and showed participants how early knowledge of potential issues can help mitigate any associated legal consequences and costs and lead to a successful project. It was offered as part of CI's Project Management Certification program. Greg has presented at this workshop for the past several years, and it remains one of CI's most well-attended programs. The program was structured to provide a two-hour online session, followed by a two-hour live presentation. The workshop reviewed potential legal issues that can arise from missteps; examined case law examples that resulted from construction-related issues; and discussed the importance of considering legal hurdles before making decisions.
Business Litigation Group Counsel Kevin Daly co-presented a webinar entitled “Pursuing or Challenging Rule 23(b)(3) Class Certification: Lessons From In re Hyundai” on October 30, 2019. The Strafford Webinars program was co-presented with two other class action practitioners. Kevin and the other panelists discussed the Ninth Circuit Court’s recent class certification decision in In re Hyundai & Kia Fuel Econ. Litig., the likely implications of the decision on the litigation and settlement of nationwide class actions, and recent applications of the decision in district courts.
Emerging Companies and Venture Capital Chair Stephen E. Cooper presented "Term Sheets," the penultimate program in TechXel Stamford’s 12-part Venture Expert Series in Stamford, CT on November 20, 2019. TechXel Stamford is a first enterprise accelerator that utilizes Series A standards to create fully-aligned funding documents to help prepare start-up ventures for first funding. The evening program featured remarks from Steve outlining and discussing early-stage company equity and convertible note term sheets. A Q&A session and networking opportunities followed Steve’s 30-minute presentation.
With the recent passage of Connecticut’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Act and the expanded FMLA, employers have been asking questions about these new laws. The two-hour presentation at Robinson+Cole's Hartford office featured speaker Heidi Lane, Director, Legal Division at the Connecticut Department of Labor, who brought her years of experience in the Department and offered insights to a discussion of these significant changes, what employers need to know, and how best to prepare for implementation. In addition to Heidi’s perspective and those of other experienced management-side labor and employment attorneys, including Labor, Employment, Benefits + Immigration Group members Natale Di Natale and Alex Friedman, attendees were afforded an opportunity to have their questions answered.
Bankruptcy + Reorganizations Group counsel Steve Boyajian spoke on Receiverships & Bankruptcy Law as part of the moderated “Recent Developments in the Law 2019” seminar presented by the Rhode Island Bar Association in Warwick, RI on November 8, 2019. The one-day program offered an update on rules changes, legal trends, and new legislation in seven key areas of the law. Steve’s presentation provided attendees a summary of recent changes in bankruptcy and receivership law and practice in Rhode Island and throughout the First Circuit.
Labor and Employment Group Partner Britt-Marie Cole-Johnson presented the webinar "The ADA and Workplace Accommodations" for the Clear Law Institute on October 31, 2019. With Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance failures both commonplace and costly, the presentation discussed how to manage ADA accommodations requests, improve compliance efforts, and avoid legal pitfalls. Some key topics included complying with the interactive process mandate, employee rights under the ADA, how to initiate and implement the interactive process, and what exactly is considered a reasonable accommodation. Recent case law and lessons learned were specifically highlighted to illustrate the discussion. To learn more about the Clear Law Institute, click here.
Health Law Group member Melissa (Lisa) Thompson presented the program "Dispute Resolution in Managed Care and 'Breaking News' on the Just-Released CMS Stark Law and OIG Anti-kickback Proposed Rules - Implications for Managed Care" at the National Institute for Healthcare Leadership (NIHCL) Payor & Market Strategy Forum in Phoenix, Arizona on October 18, 2019. The presentation addressed dispute resolution in managed care, from contract drafting and negotiation through the resolution of the disputes. Lisa also summarized and provided insight into the just-announced proposed regulations from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG), which are intended to encourage care coordination and value-based care. As an experienced arbitrator and mediator, Lisa provided real-world perspective on the topics.
The piece focuses on the various approaches taken towards regulating modular construction, “the process by which buildings are made of individual sections (modules) constructed in an offsite facility and later assembled at the project site.”
Melissa (Lisa) Thompson moderated the panel discussion “The Complexities of International & Domestic Life Sciences Disputes,” organized by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and its international division, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR), on October 2, 2019 at Robinson+Cole's Boston office. Lisa also served as Program Chair for the half-day conference, which focused on topics related to the arbitration of pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device disputes. The program featured experienced arbitration practitioners, including members of the AAA-ICDR's Life Sciences panel of arbitrators.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Jessica A.R. Hamilton co-presented the program "Aggressive Contractors and Assignment of Benefits Challenges" at the Property and Liability Resource Bureau's (PLRB) Eastern Regional Adjusters Conference held in Concord, North Carolina from October 22-23, 2019. The presentation was designed to:
• describe the relationships among insurer, insured, and service providers involved in property restoration following losses;
• review recent trends with building contractors soliciting assignment of benefits with personal and commercial lines property claims;
• evaluate adjuster strategies to confront aggressive maneuvers by contractors and service providers; and
• review the laws in various jurisdictions that govern the assignment of benefits.
The PLRB Conference included discussions on property and casualty claim insurance topics that provide current information on critical issues. It was geared for front-line adjusters, supervisors, and managers from some 100 regionally-focused service providers in a wide array of fields and disciplines. Jessica previously presented this program at the PLRB Central Regional Adjusters Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 10-11, 2019. Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer J. Tyler Butts assisted with the creation of the program.
Real Estate + Development Group member Jerome Garciano presented the program “Inclusive Opportunity Zone Investments for Community Development" at the Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) 2019 conference hosted at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture from October 22-25, 2019. With billions of dollars expected to flow into Opportunity Zones, a critical question is: Who will benefit? Capturing the attention of the U.S. impact investing community over the past two years, Opportunity Zones offer the promise of unlocking transformative capital for low-income communities, but also pose the risk of incentivizing extractive, potentially harmful development.
Jerome’s workshop offered a technical overview of the Opportunity Zone program, including the frameworks and collaborations intended to embed impact investing to address social and environmental challenges. The discussion explored how the program could intersect with inclusive impact investment, and described various initiatives, looking at workforce housing, grassroots social enterprise incubation, and community economic development through locally-owned, qualified opportunity zone businesses. Approximately 60 people attended his presentation.
SOCAP19 hosted more than 150 sessions featuring some 500 speakers from across sectors, issue areas and geographies. Since its founding in 2008, Social Capital Markets has convened more the 30,000 impact investors, social entrepreneurs and innovative cross-sector practitioners in support of its mission to foster the intersection of money and meaning, and increase the flow of capital toward social good.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team member Kathryn Rattigan presented the program "DNA Databases: Powerful and Personal Information - Thinking Through the Privacy Implications and Consequences of Sharing your Genetic Data with Third Parties" at ARMA InfoCon 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee on October 22, 2019. Genetic testing companies can provide consumers with an unprecedented level of access to their personal information as they seek to learn about their ancestral origins, their health predispositions, and whether they are a carrier for certain inherited conditions.
Kathryn’s presentation explored the collection of sensitive data, such as DNA data, and the questions consumers need to consider and risks they must weigh before disclosing that information. She discussed how genetic testing companies might use and disclose DNA data, and how this information can be shared for research, public databases, insurance purposes, and law enforcement or regulatory authority use. The presentation also addressed marketing and analytics, consumers’ rights to access, delete or amend the data collected about them, and the privacy policies of some of the major genetics testing companies, including Helix, Ancestry, and 23andMe.
The three-day ARMA program offered information professionals a broad range of educational sessions, workshops, solutions expos, and networking opportunities to help benefit their careers, empower their organizations and advance the profession.
The article covers how climate change is “rapidly becoming a lightning rod of legal exposure for the design community” and explores the impact this phenomenon is having on the way engineers practice as well as the standards by which they are judged.