For more than 160 years, Robinson+Cole has actively supported and participated in initiatives that enrich our communities. We are especially proud of our many employees who contribute their time, enthusiasm, leadership, support, and fundraising skills to numerous community and charitable activities.
Teach for America - Connecticut, part of a national corps of leaders committed to teaching in low-income schools and confronting educational inequity, has appointed Labor and Employment Group lawyer Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson to its Advisory Board. Ms. Cole-Johnson was a member of the 2004 Teach for America corps and worked as a teacher in Atlanta, Georgia, prior to attending law school. Read more in the press release.
New York School for the Deaf (NYSD) recognized Government Relations Group lawyer Andrew S. Roffe during the school’s 200th Anniversary Celebration on October 5, 2017 at the Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown, NY.
In receiving the honor, Mr. Roffe was referred to as a “loyal, dedicated, and cherished friend” of NYSD. He has served on the School’s board of trustees, and has provided pro bono counsel and advice throughout his almost 20 year relationship with the School. In addition, Mr. Roffe regularly visits with students to discuss the legislative process. Read more and view a photo in the press release.
The MetroHartford Alliance, the region’s leading business and economic development organization, has elected Business Litigation Group lawyer Eric D. Daniels to its Board of Directors. The mission of the MetroHartford Alliance is to ensure that the Hartford Region competes aggressively and successfully for jobs, capital, and talent so that it remains a premier place for all people to live, play, work, start and grow a business, and raise a family. Read more in the press release.
On September 27, nine Robinson+Cole lawyers and staff members volunteered their time to plan, purchase, prepare, and serve lunch at MANNA Community Meals (Community Meals), Hands On Hartford's soup kitchen, providing services for Hartford's homeless, working poor, and elderly populations. For the past four years, Real Estate and Development Group lawyer Candace M. Cunningham has coordinated the firm’s monthly volunteer service with Community Meals.
Read more and see photos in the press release.
The second annual George C. Hastings Community Service Award was presented to the Greater Hartford Legal Aid Foundation during Robinson+Cole’s alumni reunion on September 19, 2017 at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. The award bears the name of the firm’s former partner, George C. Hastings, who practiced at Robinson+Cole from 1957 until his retirement in 1995.
Mr. Hastings had a prolific career as a lawyer and a community leader for over 60 years. Regarding the Greater Hartford Legal Aid Foundation, Mr. Hastings became president of the organization’s board of directors in 1994 and served in that role until 1999. After that, Mr. Hastings remained active on the Greater Hartford Legal Aid Foundation’s board until 2016. He was also the founder and longtime board member of The Bridge Family Center, which received the inaugural George C. Hastings Community Service Award last year. Read more and view a photo in the press release.
Business Transactions Group lawyer Alaine C. Doolan led the effort to donate 35 backpacks filled with school supplies to the Truancy Intervention Project of Connecticut, an organization that provides legal advocates to children with attendance issues in an effort to get them back on track and in class every day, and Interval House, Connecticut’s largest domestic violence intervention and prevention agency, as part of the B.E.E. The Best program.
Ms. Doolan, who founded B.E.E. The Best in 2011 after serving as a mentor with the Truancy Intervention Project of Connecticut, organizes the annual initiative in collaboration with R+C CARES, a group of employee volunteers that facilitates community service activities for the firm. The acronym, “B.E.E.”, stands for “Backpacks for Excellence in Education” and is reflective of the program’s mission to encourage excellence in education by alleviating poor school attendance as the result of not having supplies. B.E.E. the Best supports children in grades K through 8 with backpacks that contain pencils, notebooks, binders, planners, calculators, flash drives, and more. Over the last six years, approximately 200 backpacks have been donated.
Read more and view a photo 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.
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.
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.
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.
Hartford Stage, one of the nation’s leading resident theatres, elected Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Rhonda J. Tobin to its Board of Directors during the theatre’s Annual Meeting on June 13, 2017. Hartford Stage is known for producing innovative revivals of classics and provocative new plays and musicals, including 73 world and American premieres, as well as offering a distinguished education program that reaches more than 20,000 students annually. Robinson+Cole has been a longtime supporter of Hartford Stage as a production sponsor for one of the theatre’s seasonal stage shows. Read more in the press release.
Four volunteers from Robinson+Cole participated in Junior Achievement’s (JA) first “Career Walk” in downtown Hartford on May 25, 2017. Christine E. Bromberg, Michael R. Enright, Richard Martinez II, and Sean C. Lawless shared highlights of their professional experience with nine students from Enfield High School.
The JA Career Walk gives students an opportunity to learn about different careers and get an inside look at local businesses. The program at Robinson+Cole featured a brief overview of the firm and its rich history. In addition to the practice of law, the students were introduced to some of the other professions that are integral the firm’s success such as information technology and business development and marketing. Read more and view a photo in the press release.
Members of the Environmental + Utilities Group participated in a community service project at Bushnell Park in Hartford on May 31, 2017. The group of volunteers, comprised of Alexander W. Judd, Peter R. Knight, Robert S. Melvin, Joey Lee Miranda, Earl W. Phillips Jr., James P. Ray, Jonathan H. Schaefer, and Emilee Mooney Scott, spent the afternoon working together to mulch flower beds and clean up the park’s playground area. As a thank you, the group was given a tour of the park’s Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch by Mary Zeman, manager of the Bushnell Park Foundation. The project is part of an effort by the Environmental + Utilities Group to participate in environmentally focused activities that serve the community. Click here to view photos.
Robinson+Cole lawyers Britt-Marie Cole-Johnson, Peter R. Knight, and Kathryn N. Mullin arranged to host two seniors from the Loomis Chaffee School, a co-ed independent boarding school in Windsor, CT, at the Hartford office on Thursday, May 18, 2017 as part of Alumni Shadow Day. All three lawyers are alumni of Loomis Chaffee and Ms. Cole-Johnson currently serves as a member of the school’s Head's Council. The students met with lawyers and staff representatives from the human resources, office administration, library, billing, accounting, information technology, and business development & marketing departments to get a better understanding of what it’s like to work at a law firm. In addition, the students were accompanied by Ms. Mullin on a visit to the chambers of Judge Alfred V. Covello, Senior U.S. District Judge for the District of Connecticut, and attend a sentencing hearing. Click here to view a photo.
The Junior League of Hartford (JLH) held its second-ever JLH Volunteerathon from Friday, May 5, through Saturday, May 6, 2017. For 26.2 hours straight, JLH members volunteered in shifts at various local nonprofit agencies serving the Greater Hartford community. Robinson+Cole lawyers Meaghan Mary Cooper, Emily C. Deans, and Taylor A. Shea, along with staff member Jessica Gagnon, were among the members of JLH who participated in the event.
Ms. Deans volunteered for two hours with Riverfront Recapture preparing materials for donors at its annual Big Mo’ event, two hours with Playhouse on Park organizing the prop and costume storage area, three hours with Camp Courant raking leaves and sprucing up the camp grounds, and two hours with the Capital City Education Alliance Let's Paint Program painting a principal’s office, as well as the main office, at the Burns Latino Studies Academy. In addition, Ms. Deans was the top fundraiser in the Provisional Class which is comprised of women who must complete certain requirements over the course of a year to retain active membership in JLH.
Ms. Cooper volunteered for two hours making pins for The Children’s Museum’s 90th Anniversary and preparing materials for the museum’s .90 cent day in May. She also spent two hours helping Girls on the Run Greater Hartford prepare for its Spring 5K by making tutus for the over 130 girls in the Girls on the Run program.
Ms. Shea was the volunteer shift leader for My Sisters’ Place and volunteered for two hours sorting, organizing, and stocking books in their children/resident’s reading room.
Ms. Gagnon spent two hours with the Community Farm of Simsbury (Gifts of Love) preparing their classroom and farm for the summer. She also volunteered two hours with the Capital City Education Alliance Let's Paint Program.
Hartford lawyers Alexander Judd and Jonathan Schaefer led the Robinson+Cole team in Foodshare's annual Walk Against Hunger, held on May 7, 2017. Joining the co-captains were Emily Deans, John DeBaise, Jessie Gagnon, Karen Thompson, and Lisa Vooys as well as some of their friends and family members. The Robinson+Cole team contributed $3,476 to aid in the fight against hunger through donations made by lawyers and staff. The funds raised will support Hands On Hartford and Foodshare. Click here to view photos.
The Connecticut Bar Foundation (CBF), an organization dedicated to enhancing the understanding and improvement of the law and supporting equal access to legal services, has appointed Robinson+Cole lawyer Edward J. Heath to its Board of Directors. In addition to serving on the board of directors, Mr. Heath is a Fellow of the CBF's James W. Cooper Fellows Program. Read more in the press release.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Eric D. Daniels co-hosted an event with First Lady Cathy Malloy at the Governor's Residence on April 5, 2017, to welcome Interval House's new CEO, Mary-Jane Foster, to the Hartford area. Over 100 guests, including Governor Dannel Malloy, Attorney General George Jepsen, and Robinson+Cole Managing Partner Stephen Goldman, attended the reception. Mr. Daniels is an honorary director and a founding member of Interval House's Men Make a Difference, Men Against Domestic Violence group.
Public Finance Group Lawyer Christie D. Jean recently became a member of the Urban League of Greater Hartford Young Professionals (ULGH-YP). This group comprises local talent and young professionals who support and promote the mission of ULGH-YP through social and civic engagement, specifically by promoting financial literacy and offering real-world education life skills and political education. The mission of the Urban League of Greater Hartford is to reduce economic disparities in communities through programs, services, and educational opportunities.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford has appointed Robinson+Cole lawyer Nuala E. Droney to its Board of Trustees. With eight locations throughout Greater Hartford, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford serve more than 5,000 of the region’s most needy children and teens every year, providing an array of youth development programs designed to put them on the path to great futures.
Robinson+Cole has long-standing involvement with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford. The firm conducts an annual holiday gift drive that supports the organization’s northwest site. Additionally, Robinson+Cole has offered summer internships to members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford.
Channel 3 Kids Camp, an organization committed to improving the quality of life for children, has appointed Robinson+Cole lawyer Scott N. Siedor to its Board of Directors.
The mission of Channel 3 Kids Camp is to provide fun, year-round opportunities to children of all abilities, families, and communities through educational and recreational programs that promote diversity, acceptance, and environmental appreciation. Today, Channel 3 Kids Camp serves more than 3,500 children year-round on a 150-acre campus located in Andover and Coventry.
Robinson+Cole honored Rachel Robinson, founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, with its third Giving Cup Award during a reception at The Palace Theatre in Stamford on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Mrs. Robinson is a longtime Stamford resident and philanthropist and the widow of national American icon Jackie Robinson. She has spent a lifetime giving back to her community, inspiring generations of youth, and enabling others to realize their full potential.
Accepting the award on Rachel Robinson’s behalf was her daughter, Sharon Robinson. Along with a commemorative set of Jefferson Cups, the firm presented Ms. Robinson with a check for $5,000 to support the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Over $1,300 in donations to the JRF was also collected from guest contributions made during the reception.
At the reception, Ms. Robinson spoke about the foundation’s work which supports about 250 scholars each year and has a nearly perfect graduation rate. Read more in the full release. Click here for photos from the event.
On Saturday, January 28, 2017, J. Michael Wirvin, Matthew J. Lawlor, Kendra L. Berardi, and Ashley P. Keenan, accompanied by their significant others, attended the annual John & Abigail Adams Benefit at the Museum of Fine Arts. Hosted by the Boston Bar Foundation, the event is the largest of its kind in the Boston area, with 100 percent of the proceeds funding direct grants awarded to local organizations that serve thousands of individuals and families struggling with critical issues such as homelessness, domestic violence, and various forms of injustice. Click here to view a photo from the event.
Finance lawyer Keisha S. Palmer has been appointed to the board of directors of the Connecticut Retirement Security Authority (CRSA) by House Majority Leader, Matt Ritter.
“Keisha Palmer has accepted a very challenging, very important assignment,” Rep. Ritter said. “There are fewer and fewer employer sponsored retirement plans – meaning more and more Connecticut residents are nervously looking ahead at their retirement years. Keisha and the other members of the CRSA will be working to make sure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy retirement.”
“Given the significant number of State residents without access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the Connecticut Retirement Security Program is a great way to facilitate retirement saving among this underserved segment of our population. I look forward to contributing my skillset to the betterment of my fellow citizens as a board member of the Authority,” Palmer said. Read more in the press release.
For the 13th consecutive year, Robinson+Cole spread holiday cheer to more than 170 children from the Northwest Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford by providing them with holiday gifts. Once again, the Hartford office met its goal of fulfilling every child’s “wish” thanks to the generosity of lawyers and staff. Presents ranged from dolls and action figures to sports equipment and remote controlled cars. Health Law Group members Lisa M. Boyle and Brian D. Nichols coordinated the gift drive. Click here to see photos of some of the children receiving their gifts.
Robinson+Cole lawyer Eric D. Daniels is chairing the 90th Anniversary Human Relations Award Banquet, hosted by the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), on April 20, 2017, at the Marriott Downtown in Hartford.
The annual banquet includes the presentation of awards to individuals in the community who have distinguished themselves by treating others with open-mindedness and respect, showing leadership by example, and demonstrating diligence in their fight for human rights and equality. Read more in the press release.
Business Transactions Group lawyer Joseph B. White was reappointed judge for a ninth term in the Municipal Court of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, where he has served 18 years on the bench. The Municipal Court handles zoning, housing, and traffic cases, as well as ordinance violations and misdemeanors. In addition, Mr. White was recently recognized by the ABA's Special Judicial Division for his work with the National Safety Council in implementing an online driver safety program now being used in numerous cities and towns throughout the State of Rhode Island.
Nuala E. Droney and James R. Nault have been recognized for their outstanding service as pro bono counsel by the judges of the District of Connecticut. Both lawyers were recently named runners-up for the district’s biennial Pro Bono Award. In a letter sent to each of them, Chief Judge Janet C. Hall said “Our District is very fortunate to have outstanding lawyers willing to donate their time and resources to represent those in need.” Nominations for the pro bono award are made by district and magistrate judges
Insurance Group lawyer Dana M. Horton, along with legal administrative assistant Brenda Vucci, organized the Providence office's participation in the December 2016 Spirit of Giving Holiday Drive at Children's Friend. Lawyers and staff members brightened the holidays of a single mom and her four small children by purchasing presents for all of them. In addition, they gave the family a grocery store gift card for $235. The Rhode Island Women's Bar Association sponsored the drive. Please click here to see the display of generosity in the Providence office.
Children's Friend is a nonprofit organization that serves Rhode Island children and families who face overwhelming obstacles in their lives, from poverty and language barriers to lack of education and substance abuse.
Insurance + Reinsurance and Business Litigation Group lawyer Stuart D. Rosen was elected secretary of the Board of Directors of Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters. Mr. Rosen also serves on the board's Executive Committee. As Connecticut's largest volunteer mentoring network, Nutmeg makes meaningful, professionally supported matches between adult volunteer mentors (Bigs) and children (Littles), who range from ages 6 through 18, in over 100 cities and towns across the state. Nutmeg supports children who need the most help, including those living in single-parent homes, growing up in poverty, and coping with parental incarceration. The organization develops positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people in need. This year, Nutmeg is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
The Village for Families & Children (The Village), a nonprofit that helps over 8,000 children and at-risk families throughout the Greater Hartford region each year, has appointed Robinson+Cole managing partner Stephen E. Goldman to its Board of Directors.
The mission of The Village is “to build a community of strong, healthy families who protect and nurture children.” Founded is 1809, The Village was one of the first organizations in the country to provide homes for neglected children. Today, it provides a full range of behavioral health treatment for children and youth, foster care and adoption, and community support services for children and their families in the Greater Hartford region.
Health Law Group lawyer Meaghan Mary Cooper and Business Litigation Group lawyer Nuala E. Droney co-hosted an Interval House reception on December 4, 2016, in West Hartford. Approximately 40 people attended the event, including Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor, and Robinson+Cole lawyers Keisha S. Palmer and Frank F. Coulom, and over $4,000 was raised. Interval House offers services to prevent and break the cycle of family and intimate partner abuse. Robinson+Cole provides pro bono legal services to Interval House and partners with the organization on the firm’s Domestic Violence Restraining Order Program. Ms. Cooper serves on the Interval House's Board of Directors.
The First Tee of Connecticut, a nonprofit organization that has reached out to more than 70,000 young people through the game of golf, has appointed Robinson+Cole lawyer Kenneth C. Baldwin to its Board of Directors.
The First Tee of Connecticut’s mission is to positively influence the lives of young individuals of all backgrounds throughout Connecticut by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices through golf.
Labor and Employment Group lawyer Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson has accepted an invitation to serve as a member of the Head's Council at Loomis Chaffee, her alma mater. The Head's Council is a select group of alumni and parents tasked with providing valuable input and advice on critical issues of concern for Loomis Chaffee. She will serve a two-year term. Loomis Chaffee is a renowned independent, co-educational college preparatory boarding and day school for grades 9 through 12 located in Windsor, Connecticut.
Robinson+Cole lawyers and staff members participated in Junior Achievement (JA) Day at Parkville Community School in Hartford on November 18, 2016. This was the firm's 12th JA/R+C Day and 11th visit to the elementary school. Seven volunteers from the firm taught approximately 75 students in kindergarten through second grade a JA-developed curriculum focused on promoting financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and workforce readiness. Robinson+Cole partner Christine E. Bromberg is a member of the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement of Southwest New England.
See a photo and read more in the press release.
Trust + Estates Group lawyer Jeanmarie B. Shea co-chaired the 2016 Mark Twain House & Museum 2016 Annual Gala, held at The Bushnell on November 12, 2016. The proceeds from the evening, which featured a performance by Ira Glass, host of NPR's This American Life, will benefit the educational and cultural programs and the vital preservation efforts at The Mark Twain House & Museum. Robinson+Cole was a key sponsor of this highly successful event. Ms. Shea serves as secretary of the Board of Trustees for The Mark Twain House & Museum.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Amanda E. Gordon chaired The Open Hearth's fourth annual gala on November 4, 2016. The Open Hearth is the oldest organization in Hartford providing housing and supportive services for men. Amanda is a member of The Open Hearth's Board of Directors.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Steven J. Boyajian was elected to the Barrington, Rhode Island, Town Council on November 8, 2016. In a race that included six candidates, including two incumbents, he received the most votes. Voters could choose three candidates on the ballot, with the top three vote-getters being elected to the five-member council. Mr. Boyajian will serve a four-year term.
At the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence's (CCADV) 6th Annual Breakfast & Awards Ceremony on November 4, 2016, Environmental + Utilities Group lawyer Kenneth C. Baldwin was named to the organization's First 100 Plus Class of 2016. The event recognizes male and female leaders working to improve the lives of domestic violence victims across Connecticut. Mr. Baldwin is a member of CCADV's board.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Karla L. Chaffee has been appointed to the Board of Appeals of the City of Medford, Massachusetts. She will serve a three-year term. The board, a quasi-judicial body, hears and makes decisions on matters that come before it, including special permits and variances, according to the Massachusetts General Laws and the city's bylaws.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Steven J. Boyajian has been elected to the Board of Directors of Day One, Rhode Island’s leading organization committed to reducing sexual abuse and violence and supporting those affected by it. Day One, formerly known as the Rape Crisis Center of Rhode Island, has undertaken groundbreaking initiatives to ease the psychological burdens of the criminal justice process for victims of childhood sexual abuse and has been a leader in combating the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The organization offers a 24-hour helpline, legal and law enforcement advocacy programs, counseling, professional training sessions, and prevention education.
Robinson+Cole was a sponsor of the Ninth Annual Feast from the Fields, held on September 17, 2016, in New Haven, Connecticut. This event celebrates community, sustainability, and the harvest season, and supports the mission and work of Common Ground, an organization dedicated to cultivating "habits of healthy living and sustainable environmental practice among a diverse community of children, families, and adults." Common Ground provides an environment of learning and leadership, engaging all members of the community, including elementary, middle, and high school students; the general public; and environmental practitioners. Over $77,000 was raised from this year's Feast from the Fields. The funds will help support Common Ground and its programs.
Robinson+Cole Real Estate + Development lawyer Mimi M. Lines and Construction Group lawyer Gregory R. Faulkner, along with his wife, Donna, attended the feast. Robinson+Cole represented Common Ground in the drafting and negotiation of the design and construction agreements for the construction of its new facility in New Haven.
The New Haven Chamber of Commerce's Health Care Council and Human Resources Council hosted the presentation "Flu Prevention in the Workplace: Taking care of your employees, your customers and your bottom line" on September 30, 2016. Robinson+Cole lawyer Abby M. Warren, along with Andy Tarutis of the Mary Wade Home and Deirdre Gruber and Terry Cooper of the City of New Haven's Health Department, provided employers with valuable tips and suggestions to consider in preventing, planning, and responding to seasonal flu. Click here to register.
Ms. Warren, a labor and employment lawyer in the firm's Hartford office, is chair of the New Haven Chamber of Commerce's Human Resources Council.
At a recent meeting of its partners, Robinson+Cole announced the establishment and inaugural presentation of the George C. Hastings Community Service Award. The award bears the name of the firm’s former partner, George C. Hastings, who practiced at the firm from 1957 until his retirement in 1995.
The George C. Hastings Community Service Award will be presented annually to a community service organization that has made an outstanding contribution to serving Greater Hartford. The first recipient of the award was The Bridge Family Center, a comprehensive, regional nonprofit agency that provides a broad range of services for children and families throughout the Greater Hartford area. Mr. Hastings, a founder and longtime board member of The Bridge, presented the award, on behalf of the firm, to the organization's executive director, Margaret Hann.
Read more about the award and its inaugural presentation in the press release here.
Public finance lawyer Christie D. Jean presented at the University of Connecticut School of Law's 2016 Incoming Student Orientation on August 25, 2016. Ms. Jean talked about the importance of maintaining individualism while in law school and encouraged the students to use their personal and professional voices to speak out against injustice throughout the remainder of their legal careers. She also discussed the power of individual narratives and how the use of story and truth telling transforms their collective experience and provides richer and more meaningful conversations in the classroom.
With a faculty of diverse backgrounds, specialties, and intellectual talents, the University of Connecticut School of Law offers multiple teaching styles and approaches, resulting in a rich selection of courses, including clinical instruction, skills training, and interdisciplinary work.
Robinson+Cole is a proud sponsor of the American Red Cross's Rhode Island Chapter Centennial Celebration. This century-of-service milestone marks the 100-year anniversary of the Rhode Island Chapter of the Red Cross. The event takes place on Saturday, September 17, 2016, in Newport, Rhode Island, at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Robinson+Cole is delighted to be able to support the good work that the American Red Cross does in the state of Rhode Island, where we have a significant office and client presence.
The American Red Cross administers compassionate care to those in need, specifically in the areas of providing aid to victims of disasters; supporting military members, their families, and veterans; supplying about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaching skills that save lives; and providing international humanitarian aid.
Jacqueline Pennino Scheib, intellectual property and technology partner in the firm's Hartford office, serves on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Red Cross.
The New Haven Chamber of Commerce's Human Resource Council hosted a presentation on teamwork at its South Central Connecticut Regional office on September 9, 2016. "Team 'Work'" was a fast-paced and interactive session, focusing on the fundamentals of building a high-performing team. Tracy Knofla, who facilitated the event, is a sought-after speaker, author, and facilitator and the co-owner of High Impact Training.
Labor and employment lawyer Abby M. Warren is chair of the New Haven Chamber of Commerce's Human Resources Council.
Interval House, Connecticut’s largest domestic violence intervention and prevention agency, has appointed Meaghan Mary Cooper to its Board of Directors for a two-year term. Founded in 1977, Interval House has positively affected the lives of nearly 200,000 women and children who have experienced psychological and physical abuse at the hands of a domestic or intimate partner.
Read more in the full release.
The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society has appointed Robinson+Cole associate Devin M. Karas to its Board of Trustees for a three-year term. Committed to preserving and sharing West Hartford history, the local museum serves approximately 10,000 school children and thousands of visitors from around the world each year.
Read more in the full release.
Business litigation lawyer Kelly Frye Barnett and public finance lawyer Christie D. Jean led a three-part seminar at the 2016 Young Women's Leadership Corporation (YWLC) Summer Institute, a teaching and training course of study sponsored by the YWCA Hartford Region. This five-week academic program helps teenage girls develop leadership skills, prepare for college and careers, and establish an active, healthy lifestyle. Ms. Barnett and Ms. Jean’s presentations covered the following: on July 14, 2016, they taught the students about the fundamentals of effective debating; on July 21, they instructed them on the importance of mutual respect and graciously challenging one another while debating; and on August 4, they hosted a formal debate at the University of Connecticut School of Law and gave the students the opportunity to employ all the tools and strategies discussed in the prior sessions.
Ms. Barnett is a member of the YWCA Hartford Region Board of Directors. The organization works to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
Robinson+Cole was a sponsor of the 2016 Connecticut Green Circle Sustainability Awards. The winners of the awards were recognized at a presentation held at Infinity Hall in Hartford, Connecticut, on May 23, 2016. The Hartford Business Journal and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection teamed up to present the awards, which recognize businesses that take a coordinated and holistic approach to reduce their environmental impact and the resource demands of their operations and activities. Firm lawyers in attendance were Joey Lee Miranda, Brian C. Freeman, Dwight H. Merriam, and Martin A. Onorato. Please click here to view the full list of winners and finalists listed on the Hartford Business Journal's website. Click here to view photos from the event.
Environmental and utilities lawyer George W. Watson III has been elected to Grow Smart RI's Board of Directors for a three-year term. Grow Smart Rhode RI's mission is to promote equitable economic growth by advocating for compact development in revitalized urban, town, and village centers balanced with responsible stewardship of the region's natural assets. The Board of Directors are charged with helping Grow Smart RI achieve its mission.
To celebrate its 95th anniversary serving the Greater Hartford community, the Junior League of Hartford held its first-ever JLH Volunteerathon Friday, May 6, through Saturday, May 7, 2016. For 26.2 hours around the clock, JLH members volunteered in shifts at various local nonprofit agencies, helping with everything from organizing books and historical records, to painting, planting gardens, setting up events, and working directly with the clients the organizations serve. Robinson+Cole lawyers Meaghan Mary Cooper and Taylor A. Shea, and staff member Jessica Gagnon, are members of the Junior League of Hartford and participated in the event that not only served local agencies but also was a fundraiser for the JLH's community programs and projects, currently focused on Empowering Women and Girls to Overcome Obstacles.
Ms. Cooper volunteered at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore late Friday night and at HARC on Saturday morning, Ms. Shea did two shifts at My Sister's Place on Friday evening, and Ms. Gagnon volunteered at Hartford's Riverfront Recapture, HARC, and The Clothes Horse on Saturday. Other organizations benefiting from the Volunteerathon included Gifts of Love, Hartford's Camp Courant, Junior Achievement, the New Children's Museum, the John J. Driscoll United Labor Agency's Labor of Love Backpack Program, and YWCA Hartford. Click here to see pictures.
The Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA) recently announced its new board members for the 2016–2017 year. Labor and employment lawyer Sandra Marin was elected and employee benefits lawyer Virginia E. McGarrity was reelected to the association's Board of Directors. Ms. Marin served as treasurer of the CHBA board for the 2015-2016 year. Ms. McGarrity is a former CHBA president.
The CHBA's goal is to enhance the visibility of Hispanic lawyers throughout Connecticut, to facilitate communication and sharing of information and resources among its members, to mentor new attorneys and law students, and to help the public and private sectors achieve diversity in their law firms and legal departments. In addition, the CHBA assists the Hispanic community in gaining access to the courts, achieving judicial diversity, and facing social challenges.
Robinson+Cole was a supporting sponsor of Spotlight Soirée, The Palace Theatre's annual gala and largest fundraiser, in Stamford, Connecticut, on March 31, 2016. The program began with the 2016 Arts Ovation Award, presented to RFR Realty for its generous contributions to both the community of Stamford and to the arts. The featured entertainment for the evening was Ben Vereen, who performed his one-man show "Steppin' Out with Ben Vereen." Additionally, a local troupe of dancers entertained at the cocktail party and later performed an interpretive dance onstage. Proceeds from the gala benefit The Palace Theatre and its arts education programs, providing children and teens the opportunity to express themselves through music, dance, drama, and playwriting as well helping them learn life success skills.
Eric M. Kogan, chair of the Business Transactions Group, was Robinson+Cole's primary organizer for the Spotlight Soirée, which the firm sponsors every year. He, along with business litigation lawyer Thomas J. Donlon, were in attendance. Mr. Kogan is a member of the Stamford Center for the Arts' Board of Directors.
The Boys & Girls Club of Stamford (BGCS) held its annual "City Chic" gala on March 24, 2016, at The Palace Theatre Stage in Stamford, Connecticut. The event is BGCS's largest annual fundraiser. The evening featured entertainment, a silent auction, and raffles and then culminated with the presentation of awards given to companies and individuals who have provided outstanding support to BGCS and its programs. Real estate lawyer Steven L. Elbaum presented the Guardian of the Community Award to Dominic Franchella, owner of Stamford Ford Lincoln, who has hosted charitable events, purchased and delivered holiday gifts, and provided numerous other services to the families and children of the BGCS community. Please click here to see a photo of Mr. Elbaum at the podium.
The Boys & Girls Club of Stamford has provided after-school activities and development services to youth in need since 1927. Its mission is to help young people in Stamford become productive, responsible, and caring citizens. Mr. Elbaum is a member and past president of BGCS's Board of Directors.
Hartford energy and utilities lawyer Alexander W. Judd has been elected secretary of the Board of Directors of the Hartford Preservation Alliance. The Hartford Preservation Alliance is a professionally operated, volunteer-assisted 501(c)(3) organization that relies on its membership to support its programs, activities, and services. Its mission is to revitalize the historic fabric of Hartford, connect its citizens to the city's heritage, and collaborate to influence community economic development by providing historic preservation and revitalization technical assistance, education, and advocacy to those who live and work in Hartford. It envisions a thriving Hartford whose future prosperity builds on its rich heritage through its historically significant architecture, sites, and neighborhoods.
Mr. Judd has been a board member of the Hartford Preservation Alliance since 2015.
Robinson+Cole litigation lawyer Kelly Frye Barnett was elected to the Board of Directors of the YWCA Hartford Region for a two-year term at its annual meeting on January 26, 2016. As a board member, Ms. Barnett will help further the mission of the YWCA to empower women and girls, eliminate racism, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. YWCA Hartford Region is part of the world's largest and oldest multiracial women's movement and is the third oldest affiliate of the YWCA USA. Read more in the full release.
Eric D. Daniels, chair of Robinson+Cole's Products Liability Group, will chair the 2016 Greater Hartford Arts Council Campaign. In this role, he will lead the community-wide fundraising effort for the Arts Council, which supports more than 150 local arts, cultural, and heritage organizations in the capital region. The campaign counts on the support of corporations and businesses, government and private foundations, and individuals to promote and sustain the arts. Mr. Daniels is a longtime advocate for the Arts Council and serves as a member of its Board of Governors. "We’re proud to have Eric and Robinson+Cole leading the 2016 Campaign. They have long understood the importance of the arts to our region and Robinson+Cole's ongoing commitment to the United Arts Campaign is an outstanding demonstration of their corporate leadership," said Cathy Malloy, chief executive officer of the Greater Hartford Arts Council.
The Greater Hartford Arts Council promotes the power of the arts as a way to improve the cities and towns in Greater Hartford, to celebrate the cultural diversity of the region, and to educate families, making this area a vibrant place to live, work, and visit. As part of its ongoing commitment to stronger communities, Robinson+Cole has supported the United Arts Campaign for more than 30 years.
Robinson+Cole lawyer Matthew J. Guanci, Jr., has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Conference for Community and Justice's (NCCJ) Connecticut/Western Massachusetts chapter. The NCCJ is a human relations organization that promotes inclusion and acceptance by providing education and advocacy while building communities that are respectful and just for all. Through advocacy, conflict resolution, and education, it advocates understanding and respect among all races, religions, and cultures. As the first NCCJ region established in the country, the Connecticut/Western Massachusetts chapter has a strong 80-year history.
Robinson+Cole, as it has done for 12 consecutive years, met its goal of providing gifts to more than 130 needy children from the Northwest Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford. Presents ranged from dolls and kitchen sets to sports equipment and battery-operated helicopters, putting a smile on the faces of all the boys and girls. Lisa M. Boyle coordinated the firm's drive in the Hartford office. She was aided by lawyers and staff, who bought and wrapped gifts to fulfill each child's gift wish.
The Boys & Girls Clubs work to help Hartford youth, especially the most vulnerable, reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens by providing programs in a safe environment that nurture character, leadership, fitness, and life skills. Ms. Boyle is chair of Robinson+Cole's Health Law Group and a board member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford's Board of Trustees.
Katherine C. Bailey, Kendra L. Berardi, Lawrence P. Heffernan, John E. O’Brien, Jr., Kathryn M. Rattigan, and Elizabeth K. Wright represented the firm when they walked with hundreds of lawyers to the Massachusetts State House in the 17th Annual Walk to the Hill for Civil Legal Aid on January 28, 2016. At the State House, participants urged lawmakers to protect state funding for civil legal aid. Many low-income individuals need civil legal aid when they face various civil legal problems, such as loss of housing, domestic abuse, access to veterans' benefits, unemployment appeals, and wage and hour disputes. By providing lawyers and legal advice to people living at or near the federal poverty level, civil legal aid programs enhance the ability of clients to access justice and can serve as a powerful tool to combat poverty. Click here to view a photo of Robinson+Cole lawyers at the State House.
The Walk to the Hill event was sponsored by the Equal Justice Coalition, the Massachusetts Bar Association, and the Boston Bar Association.
Richard M. Fil of the Environmental and Utilities Group was reelected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors for The Westerly Land Trust. The Westerly Land Trust (Trust), a not-for-profit corporation, operates throughout Westerly, Rhode Island, to conserve space and enhance community resources. Specific programs include preserving open space, rehabilitating and redeveloping established neighborhoods, and establishing education and recreation opportunities for the public. The Trust's programs and activities are directed to protecting and enhancing the environment, agriculture, and water resources as well as the community's "sense of place."
Westerly is recognized as a place with special charm and attractions, which are a source of pride to its residents and a magnet for tourists and new residents. The Trust aims to protect and strengthen that reputation.
Robinson+Cole business litigation lawyer James R. Nault has been elected to the Board of Directors of Our Shoreline Community Association (OSCA), a nonprofit organization started by the Honorable Timothy Bates, a former Robinson+Cole partner, and others in 2001. OSCA is dedicated to enhancing the independent lives of seniors in the southeast Connecticut area by offering the support and security of a retirement community in their own homes. It does this by providing free rides to doctor and other important appointments, free handyman services, social events, and other services. Social events include monthly lunches and dinners as well as visits to museums and the theater, among other events. OSCA is a member of the Village to Village Network, an association that helps and supports about 100 operating senior assistance "villages" like OSCA across the United States, with about 120 more in development.
Insurance lawyer Dana M. Horton, along with legal assistant Brenda Vucci, organized the Providence office's participation in the December 2015 Spirit of Giving Holiday Drive at Children's Friend. Lawyers and staff brightened the holidays of a three-year-old boy by donating everything on his list—and more. The Rhode Island Women's Bar Association sponsored the drive. Please click here to see the display of generosity in the Providence office.
This event, which started over 15 years ago when gift baskets were distributed to a few families, has developed into a large operation that includes selecting needy families and reviewing and approving wish lists, all made possible with a staffed agency and volunteers. Sponsors are matched with families who currently receive services from Children's Friend, a nonprofit organization that serves Rhode Island children and families who face overwhelming obstacles in their lives, from poverty and language barriers to lack of education and substance abuse.
Business litigation Lawyer Amanda E. Gordon chaired The Open Hearth's 2015 Hearth and Home Gala on November 13, 2015. Approximately 150 people attended the event, themed "Motown Downtown," which was held at The Hartford Club. Proceeds from the gala helped fund The Open Hearth in its mission to help homeless men and ex-offenders in Greater Hartford and Connecticut enhance their capacity for self-help, self-respect, and dignity to achieve their full potential as responsible citizens of the state. This is uniquely accomplished by providing a temporary residential community in a recovery and work-oriented environment.
Ms. Gordon is on the Board of Directors of The Open Hearth.
Real estate lawyer Steven L. Elbaum chaired the 2015 Champions of Youth Sports Breakfast, where the Stamford Boys & Girls Club honored Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman at its annual appeal kick-off event on November 5, 2015. Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group and past honoree, presented the award. Bobby Valentine, former professional baseball player and manager, and currently the athletic director at Sacred Heart University, was the emcee.
Mr. Elbaum is the immediate past president of the Boys & Girls Club of Stamford's Board of Directors. More than 300 business leaders attended the event, which raised $150,000. The Boys & Girls Club of Stamford provides after-school activities and development services to Stamford's youth, focusing on academic success, good character, citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. Please click here to view a photo from the breakfast.
Robinson+Cole hosted a groundbreaking training session on November 2, 2015, for more than 35 lawyers interested in representing victims of domestic violence seeking restraining orders (orders from relief from abuse) in Connecticut. The program's goal was to encourage lawyers at other firms to model their own pro bono programs after Robinson+Cole's successful Domestic Violence Restraining Order Program. The training featured presentations by the Honorable Elizabeth A. Bozzuto of the Connecticut Superior Court, the Greater Hartford Legal Aid, the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Robinson+Cole. The Connecticut Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section co-sponsored the program. Attendees included lawyers from other major law firms, in-house corporate counsel, and Judicial Branch Court Operations.
Robinson+Cole lawyers in attendance included Kelly Frye Barnett, Edward J. Heath, Eric D. Daniels, Jenna L. Veronneau, J. Tyler Butts, Jessica A. R. Hamilton, Andrew A. DePeau, Jonathan E. Small, Kathleen E. Dion, James R. Nault, Amanda E. Gordon, Catrina Cartegena Kohn, Nuala E. Droney, and Frank F. Coulom Jr.
In response to the New York Times article "Sentencing Overhaul Proposed in Senate with Bipartisan Backing," published on October 2, 2015, business litigation lawyer Brian E. Moran wrote a letter to the editor praising the efforts of the U.S. Senate to reform the outdated, illogical prison sentencing laws. The article reports on legislation unveiled by a bipartisan group that would rehabilitate the country's criminal justice system. Please click here to view the article.
In his letter, published on October 13, Mr. Moran states that passage of this bill could significantly reduce the more than 60 percent of nonviolent drug offenders serving time in our prisons. Beyond the legislation, he emphasizes the need to reinvest in drug and mental health treatments, community support and supervision, and housing options, along with remedying the obstacles that ex-offenders face when looking for jobs. Click here to view his letter.
Mr. Moran is the author of The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration Has Hijacked the American Dream.
Robinson+Cole litigation lawyer Kathleen E. Dion has been elected to the KNOX Board of Directors. Using horticulture as a catalyst for community engagement, KNOX provides leadership and forges partnerships between residents, businesses, and the government to build stronger, greener, healthier, and more beautiful neighborhoods in Hartford. Learn more in the news release.
Land use lawyer Dwight H. Merriam, who serves on the Rivers Alliance of Connecticut's Board of Directors, hosted a summer barbecue for directors, members, and guests of Rivers Alliance at the North Cove Yacht Club in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, on July 24, 2015. Joining the group of 35 people was U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, who spoke about his environmental agenda. Along with Mr. Merriam, fellow directors David Radka, director of water resources at Connecticut Water Company, and Jim Creighton, environmental analyst in the Permitting and Enforcement Bureau of Water Management at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, shared in the cooking and serving. Click here to view a photo of Mr. Merriam and Senator Blumenthal.
The mission of Rivers Alliance of Connecticut is to promote sound, science-based environmental policies; to work collaboratively and in coalitions to get results; to encourage and aid local groups and persons working on water protection; and to help the public understand, value, and defend our water resources.
Intellectual property partner Jacqueline P. Scheib joined Mario Bruno, the chief executive officer of the American Red Cross, Connecticut and Rhode Island Chapters, and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy at the signing ceremony for Connecticut Senate Bill 962. This legislation amends the current requirements for subjects taught in Connecticut schools to add the teaching of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Adding CPR to the curriculum contributes to deeper understanding of the risks that can trigger a need for CPR and also places life-saving knowledge into the hands of a large portion of our society.
Ms. Scheib is a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Employment litigation lawyer Stephen W. Aronson was honored on June 11, 2015, as an outgoing board member by the Jewish Teen Learning Connection, Inc. (JTConnect), formerly known as the Yachad Greater Hartford Jewish Community High School, Inc. Mr. Aronson had served as a board member since 2009. He co-chaired the board's governance and bylaws committees and was a member of its publicity and outreach committee. JTConnect provides high school–level programming for Jewish teens throughout Greater Hartford and beyond; serves 300 teens in a variety of classroom, social services, and other settings; and provides programming services for teens and faculty, representing 15-area synagogues.
The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts has named Robinson+Cole partner Jeffrey J. White to its Board of Overseers. Mr. White was elected to the board at The Bushnell's Annual Meeting on June 10, 2015.
Robinson+Cole is a long-standing supporter of The Bushnell, and Mr. White's appointment to the board further strengthens the firm's commitment to the performing arts center. Robinson+Cole partner Eric D. Daniels is already involved with The Bushnell as an officer and member of the Board ofTrustees. Additionally, the firm has been the title sponsor of The Bushnell Family Series for the past 15 seasons.
Land use lawyer Dwight H. Merriam, along with U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty and other elected and appointed officials, led the Memorial Day parade in Simsbury, Connecticut, on May 25, 2015. Captain Merriam, who served as a surface warfare officer for 31 years; was on active duty for 7 years, including three deployments to Vietnam; and served 24 more years in the reserves, delivered the Memorial Day address after the parade. Click here to view his prepared remarks and here to view his military biography. Congresswoman Esty and Captain Merriam also attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Simsbury Veterans Memorial. To see a photo of them at the event, please click here.
The Providence Business News has selected Robinson+Cole as the #1 Best Place to Work in Rhode Island in the small employer category for the second consecutive year. The winners were announced at a celebratory dinner on June 10, 2015, and featured in the June 15 edition of the Providence Business News.
"We are thrilled to have received this honor for the second year in a row," said Patricia J. Igoe, a partner in the Providence office. "Our team in Providence is a committed group of individuals who work together to deliver exceptional service to our clients while also fostering a congenial environment that makes going to work every day a pleasure." Read more in the news release.
Robinson+Cole was a sponsor of the Fifth Annual Big Tent Jubilee at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, held on June 4, 2015, in Hartford, Connecticut. The third biennial Stowe Prize for Writing to Advance Social Justice was presented to Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for The Atlantic. Mr. Coates "consistently and thoughtfully examines cultural, social and political issues." This prize, awarded biennially to a U.S. author whose written work has significantly affected a critical social justice issue, as Stowe did in her book Uncle Tom's Cabin, was established in 2011 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Stowe's birth. Employee benefits lawyer Virginia E. McGarrity represented the firm at the event. Among the many attendees were Governor Dannel Malloy and John Dankosky, news director of WNPR.
Ms. McGarrity is secretary of the Stowe Center's Board of Trustees and has served on the board since January 2013. Proceeds from the Big Tent Jubilee benefit the Stowe Center's education programs, which inspire civic responsibility for children and adults.
Robinson+Cole was a supporting sponsor of the Sixth Annual Palace Theatre Gala in Stamford, Connecticut on May 2, 2015. This evening of entertainment began with a display of classic cars and ended with a live performance by Jay Leno. In addition, John and Lynn DiMenna were honored for their lifetime support of the Palace Theatre and its many programs. Proceeds from the gala benefited the Palace Theatre and its arts education programs.
In attendance at the benefit were Robinson+Cole lawyers Eric M. Kogan, Eric J. Dale, Andrew L. Kramer, Brian E. Moran, Steven L. Elbaum, and Thomas J. Donlon. Mr. Kogan has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Stamford Center for the Arts for the last five years.
Real estate and development lawyer Thomas P. Cody and Joe Marfuggi co-wrote the op-ed article "What's Recaptured Riverfront Worth? $7.25 Million and Change," published in the Hartford Courant on May 21, 2015. In the article, Mr. Cody and Mr. Marfuggi discuss the importance of Riverfront Recapture and the economic impact that a revitalized riverfront has had on the region. An economic impact study recently released by the state Department of Economic and Community Development shows that in 2014 riverfront activity contributed $7.25 million to the economy and created 111 jobs. In addition, development in surrounding areas has expanded with new housing, new office and retail space, a revitalized Front Street, and a new downtown presence for UConn and Trinity college. In short, the study demonstrates that, while the riverfront is well known as a vibrant place teeming with activity, it has also become an economic catalyst for Greater Hartford.
The goal of Riverfront Recapture, a nonprofit established 34 years ago, is to reconnect the community to the river. Mr. Cody is chair of Riverfront Recapture's Board of Directors. Mr. Marfuggi is president and CEO of Riverfront Recapture, and is retiring later this month.
Business litigation lawyer James R. Nault represented the firm at a National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) event, the Night of Giving Reception, held in the Hartford office of Jackson Lewis P.C. on May 5, 2015. In lieu of a registration fee, attendees at the reception, which benefited Interval House Connecticut, were asked to bring gift cards for area grocery stores, drug stores, and department stores; sheets, blankets, and comforters; and pajamas for women and children.
At the reception, which Robinson+Cole co-sponsored, Cecile Enrico, the executive director of Interval House, and Karen Jarmoc, the chief executive officer of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV), both spoke about the work their organizations do to combat domestic violence and expressed appreciation for the support they get from the firm and other contributors.
NAWL promotes the interests and progress of women lawyers and women's legal rights. Interval House works to prevent and break the cycle of family and intimate partner abuse by providing a 24-hour hotline, crisis counseling, emergency shelter, support groups, advocacy, criminal and civil court advocacy, information and referrals, community education, and a program for the children of clients.
Business litigation lawyer Brian E. Moran presented at the "Malta Justice Initiative Legislative Breakfast Forum" at the state Capitol on March 26, 2015, where he spoke about his book The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration Has Hijacked the American Dream. The forum, which focused on criminal justice reforms that the Malta Justice Initiative supports, was sponsored by Senators Martin Looney and Leonard Fasano, the top Democrat and Republican, respectively, in the state Senate. Please click here to view a video of the forum.
Additionally, Mr. Moran was the featured speaker in the second program of "Criminal Justice & Corrections System in Connecticut: A Two-Part Series," sponsored by the Justice & Law Club of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut, on April 1, 2015. Mr. Moran talked about his book The Justice Imperative and Connecticut's criminal justice system. In the first program, presented on March 31, 2015, two formerly incarcerated women who were featured in Wally Lamb's book Couldn't Keep It to Myself: Testimonies from Our Imprisoned Sisters shared their stories before, during, and after spending time in prison.
Mr. Moran also spoke on April 10, 2015, at a colloquium on criminal justice reform hosted by Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. The program included John Santa, a member of Connecticut's Sentencing Commission, and two ex-offenders. Click here to view a photo from the event.
Megan R. Naughton, co-chair of Robinson+Cole’s Immigration Group, has joined Connecticut’s Statewide Legal Services (SLS) Board of Directors. SLS empowers low-income people in Connecticut to obtain justice by providing tools and information to address their civil legal needs. The nonprofit legal aid advice and referral center, available by phone to low-income people throughout Connecticut, helps clients solve their legal problems for free. Read more in the news release.
Robinson+Cole recognized its commitment to diversity, education, and community at a private reception prior to the Hartford Stage performance of The Pianist of Willesden Lane on April 7, 2015. Robinson+Cole, a longtime supporter of Hartford Stage, was a production sponsor for The Pianist of Willesden Lane.
During the reception, Managing Partner John B. Lynch Jr. presented a check for $2,500 to Rie Poirier-Campbell, executive director of Hartford Performs. The donation will help support Hartford Performs in its mission to provide quality arts education programs to Hartford Public School students through arts integration, in-school arts instruction, and out-of-school arts programming. Robinson+Cole construction lawyer Lisa B. Andrzejewski is a member of the Board of Directors of Hartford Performs. Read more in the news release.
The Hartford Preservation Alliance (HPA) has elected Robinson+Cole lawyer Alexander W. Judd to its board of directors. The mission of HPA is to revitalize the historic fabric of Hartford, connect its citizens to the city's heritage, and collaborate to impact community economic development.
Mr. Judd is a member of Robinson+Cole's Environmental and Utilities Group, representing clients in the areas of energy, utilities, and telecommunications law. While attending the University of Connecticut School of Law, he received the CALI Award for Excellence for Renewable Energy and Green Building, International Environmental Law, Land Use, and Historic Preservation Law and Public Policy.
Connecticut Senate Minority Leader Leonard Fasano has reappointed Robinson+Cole lawyer Patrick M. Birney to the Connecticut Lottery Corporation's (CLC) Board of Directors, and the board unanimously elected him vice chair at its most recent board meeting. Mr. Birney has been a member of the CLC Board of Directors since October 2007 and previously served as chair of its Finance Committee. Read more in the press release here.
Robinson+Cole partner Brian E. Moran received the Bridgeport Reentry Collaborative's Urdang-Torres Community Impact Award on March 27, 2015, at the Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Connecticut, for his book The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration Has Hijacked the American Dream. This award honors a person, agency, or advocate who has worked tirelessly to promote the betterment of those reentering society from incarceration. Please click here to view a photo from the event.
In The Justice Imperative, Mr. Moran and the Malta Justice Initiative tackle the problem of the rapidly growing prison population in the United States. The book outlines 30 specific reforms for Connecticut's legislative and executive branches to consider that look to less costly, more effective, and more humane alternatives. In an editorial published on March 2, 2015, the Connecticut Law Tribune endorsed the reforms presented by The Justice Imperative, stating that "[n]ot everyone in prison deserves to be there. Not all offenders are dangerous, and the longer they remain in prison, the less likely they are to successfully re-enter society after paying their debt."
Also, in connection with The Justice Imperative, Mr. Moran was part of a panel discussion on Focus on Connecticut, a News 12 Connecticut program that aired on February 7, 2015. He, along attorney Philip Russell and Redding Police Chief Doug Fuchs, were interviewed by host Tom Appleby. Please click here to view the broadcast.
Robinson+Cole was a Silver Sponsor of the Downtown Hartford YMCA's Mission in Motion Cycle-a-Thon. Irina Sirovskaya, a paralegal in the Hartford office, was the firm organizer for this annual fundraiser, held on March 21, 2015, in the XL Center Atrium. Mission in Motion is an indoor cycling event made up of teams that ride a total of four hours to raise money in support of the Downtown Y annual campaign. It supports many causes, such as Read to Succeed, Livestrong, the Footlights performing arts and education program, and other innovative life-changing programs. These programs are available to youth, families, and adults, regardless of their ability to pay.
Many Robinson+Cole employees contributed to the effort, including everyone who paid $5 to wear jeans on two Fridays in March and those who paid $10 for a vintage R+C sports bag. Ms. Sirovskaya assembled two bike teams, Livestrong YMCA and Livestrong R+C. Ms. Gizzi, the captain of the R+C Livestrong Cycling Team, and her family set their wheels in motion by cycling the whole four hours.
Thanks to all who supported the cause in one way or another. Your participation made it possible for the firm to raise a total of $1,025. Way to go, team Robinson+Cole!
Robinson+Cole construction lawyer Lisa B. Andrzejewski has been elected to the Board of Directors of Hartford Performs. Hartford Performs is a collaborative network of Hartford Public Schools, arts providers, community organizations, funders, and other supporters working together to deliver quality arts education programs to Hartford Public School students. As of the 2014-2015 school year, Hartford Performs supports arts integration programming for students in 28 Hartford public elementary schools. Read more in the press release.
The Boys & Girls Club of Stamford honored real estate lawyer Steven L. Elbaum and Robinson+Cole at its largest annual fundraiser, City Chic, on March 12, 2015, at The Palace Theatre in Stamford, Connecticut.
Robert Hartt, Stamford Boys & Girls Club's board president, presented the "Corporate Partnership Award" to Mr. Elbaum and Robinson+Cole. In presenting the award, Mr. Hartt said "Steve has served on our Executive Committee for the past ten years, including being our board president for two years. Not only does he help us by applying his business acumen, but he also exhibits a passion for our kids that is palpable and contagious. Steve has also provided us with volunteer lawyers to help us with many of our legal needs." Robinson+Cole was recognized as a generous supporter of the Boys & Girls Club fundraising efforts. Together, Mr. Elbaum and the firm helped thousands of underserved Stamford children gain access to a safe, nurturing environment in which to learn and grow. Please click here to see a photo from the event.
The City Chic event, with 80 sponsors and advertisers, raised $275,000 in net profit for the Boys & Girls Club.
Robinson+Cole event coordinator Michele A. Sexton was a finalist for Best Campaign Coordinator at the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut's Best of Awards, held at the Hartford Marriott Downtown on February 20, 2015. Nearly 400 people from Hartford-area workplaces came out to celebrate and support the event, which honors workplaces in central and northeastern Connecticut for their dedication and outstanding performance in the United Way Campaign as well as throughout the year. The Best of Awards places considerable emphasis on meaningful, lasting changes in the community. Please click here to view a photo of Ms. Sexton at the awards ceremony, along with her colleagues who supported her.
Robinson+Cole lawyer Eric D. Daniels is co-chairing Interval House's third Breakfast with Champions scheduled for April 2, 2015. The event, taking place at The Riverview in Simsbury, is honoring Dr. William A. Petit Jr. of the Petit Family Foundation for his work with Interval House as a member of Men Make a Difference, Men Against Domestic Violence. The event will benefit Interval House in its mission to end domestic violence. Read more in the press release here.
The blizzard did not stop over 500 lawyers from trudging through the snow in the annual Walk to the Hill for Legal Aid on January 29, 2015. The lawyers represent bar associations from across Massachusetts in support of the Equal Justice Coalition, the sponsor of the Walk to the Hill. Participating from the Boston office of Robinson+Cole were co-captains Carla M. Moynihan, Kendra L. Berardi, and Elizabeth K. Wright, along with Larry P. Heffernan and John E. O’Brien Jr. Civil legal aid is the last resort for low-income people when they face critical civil legal problems, such as loss of housing, domestic violence, access to veterans' benefits, unemployment appeals, and wage and hour disputes. By providing lawyers and legal advice to people living at or near the federal poverty level, civil legal aid programs enhance their clients' ability to access justice and can serve as a powerful tool to combat poverty. The Walk to the Hill means literally walking up Beacon Street to the Capitol on Beacon Hill to urge state representatives and senators to preserve funding for legal aid programs.
Robinson+Cole lawyer Brian E. Moran was interviewed by the Legal Broadcasting Network's (LBN) Scott Drake on January 16, 2015. During the program, Mr. Moran explained his views on America's prison population, emphasizing its cost to taxpayers, its failure to rehabilitate prisoners, and its general ineffectiveness. His views come directly from his book The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration Has Hijacked the American Dream, published in 2014. To view the broadcast, please click here.
Mr. Moran is a business litigation partner in the Stamford office.
Charles E. Janson, real estate lawyer in the Stamford office, spoke to approximately 180 benefactors and friends of the Dahesh Museum of Art on January 20, 2015, to celebrate its 20th anniversary and new location. In his comments, Mr. Janson told the story of the museum's journey from opening to the public with its first exhibition in 1995 to recently finding a permanent exhibition space after being "homeless" and a "museum without walls" for 7 years. The museum, which showcases academic European and American art from the 19th and 20th centuries, is now housed in a 7000-square-foot townhouse at 178 E. 64th St. on the Upper East Side in New York City. A brownstone with its original façade intact and restored, the building features two Louis XV marble fireplaces, 12-foot ceilings, and a rear patio of Italian stone. Please click here to read the coverage of the museum's new residence in the ArtsBeat blog of the New York Times.
Robinson+Cole, in representing the Dahesh Museum, closed on the purchase of the new property on January 6, 2015. Mr. Janson has represented the museum since its formation in the late 1980s and has served as a trustee on its Board of Trustees for nearly 10 years.
Business litigation partner Brian E. Moran, author of The Justice Imperative: How Hyperincarceration Has Hijacked the American Dream, was the featured guest on the show "Rethinking hyperincarceration: a better way to handle non-violent criminals," a segment on the WESU radio program Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith. Airing on December 16, 2014, Mr. Moran discussed problems connected to our bloated correctional system, and, as laid out in the book, practical solutions on how to cut the prison population in half over the next five years. To listen to the episode, please click here.
Maria Johnson produces and hosts Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith. Program discussions focus on progressive issues of faith as well as offer occasional book panels and religious news coverage.
Brian E. Moran's recently published book, The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration Has Hijacked the American Dream, received an honorable mention in Kam Williams's Top Ten Black Books of 2014 List. In the book, Mr. Moran examines the current condition of Connecticut's criminal justice and correctional systems, examining the monetary and human cost of the state's policy and enforcement scheme. He outlines 30 specific prison reforms, which look to less costly, more effective, and more humane alternatives, for Connecticut's legislative and executive branches to consider.
Mr. Moran is a business litigation partner resident in Robinson+Cole's Stamford office. Mr. Williams is a film and book critic whose syndicated column appears in over 100 newspapers and blogs around the country.
Business and intellectual property lawyer Kathleen M. Porter and real estate lawyer Carla M. Moynihan participated in the WomenUp – Local Women of Influence awards breakfast in Boston on December 11, 2014. The event profiled 22 Boston-area women of influence, visionary entrepreneurs who are making a mark in Boston's economic environment. Before the audience of more than 500 women professionals and entrepreneurs, Ms. Porter and Ms. Moynihan provided an overview of Robinson+Cole and then introduced four of the honorees. Boston lawyers Amanda S. Eckhoff, Caitlin M. Healey, Elizabeth W. Kaloyanides, Katherine C. Bailey, Misha K. Daha, Matthew J. Lawlor, and J. Michael Wirvin also attended the event, together with clients and friends of the firm.
WomenUp.org's mission is "to increase women's role in the global economy by providing leadership training, mentorship, and support to girls and women through every stage of their lives and careers."
Through the efforts of insurance lawyer Dana M. Horton, Robinson+Cole's Providence office participated in the Spirit of Giving Holiday Drive at Children's Friend. Lawyers and staff brightened the holidays of a five-year-old girl by donating four full boxes of clothing, outerwear, shoes, and toys. The Rhode Island Women's Bar Association sponsored the drive.
This event, which started over 15 years ago when gift baskets were distributed to a small number families, has developed into a large operation that includes selecting needy families and reviewing and approving wish lists, all made possible with a staffed agency and volunteers. Sponsors are matched with families who currently receive services from Children's Friend, a nonprofit organization that has been serving Rhode Island children and families who face overwhelming obstacles in their lives, from poverty and language barriers to lack of education and substance abuse.
Robinson+Cole presented NFL football legend George Martin of the New York Giants with its inaugural Giving Cup Award at a reception at The Avon Theatre in Stamford, Connecticut, on Monday, December 8, 2014. The firm honored Mr. Martin for his work in support of 9/11 first responders and their ongoing medical needs.
Along with a commemorative award, Robinson+Cole presented Mr. Martin with a check for $2,500 to support the efforts of his nonprofit organization, Journey for 9/11. Robinson+Cole also invited first responders from the local area to attend the reception as honored guests, recognizing them for their selfless service. About 100 people, including representatives from VOICES of September 11th, local first responders, local survivors, clients and friends of the firm, and Robinson+Cole lawyers, attended the private event.
Robinson+Cole lawyer Eric D. Daniels is chairing Hartford Hospital's signature fundraiser, the Black & Red, scheduled for January 24, 2015. The event will take place at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts and proceeds will benefit the Trauma Center at Hartford Hospital, the region's only Level 1 Trauma Center. This year's event features entertainment by The Blues Brothers Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi. Tickets for the Black & Red are on sale now. Read more in the press release here.
Robinson+Cole attorneys and staff members participated in Junior Achievement (JA) Day at Parkville Community School in Hartford, Connecticut, on November 21, 2014. This was the firm's 10th JA/R+C Day and our 9th visit to Parkville Community. A total of 10 volunteers taught kindergarten through second grade students a JA-developed curriculum focused on promoting financial literacy and developing good life skills. Volunteers Gabriela Arias, Diana D'Angelo, Sandra Marin, and Nicole Najam used compelling stories, along with hands-on activities, to demonstrate the concepts of helping, working, earning, and saving to two classes of kindergarteners. Our first grade volunteers, Alaine Doolan, Kelly Frye, Nancy Ransom, and Jonathan Schaefer, instructed two classrooms of students on the role people play in the local economy and engaged students with activities about needs, wants, jobs, tools and skills, and interdependence. Christine Bromberg and James Nault taught a second grade class about our community, exploring the interdependent roles of workers in a community, the work they perform, and how communities work.
JA/R+C Day is an annual volunteer opportunity supporting the overall mission of JA to make students financially responsible, prepared for the workforce, and entrepreneurially savvy. The JA program provides a powerful learning experience for young people for the following two reasons:
All together, Robinson+Cole volunteers taught these valuable lessons in five classrooms, reaching over 100 students!
The Providence office raised nearly $13,000 in its 2014–15 United Way of Rhode Island workplace campaign, with 100 percent participation by attorneys and staff. Legal administrative assistant Brenda Vucci, who provided support as the campaign coordinator, was key in making this happen. Thanks to everyone who participated!
The United Way works annually with employers and more than a million volunteers to advance its workplace campaign, raising funds to "advance the common good and create opportunities for a better life for all."
Real estate lawyer Steven L. Elbaum chaired the third annual Boys & Girls Club of Stamford's Champions of Youth Sports Breakfast at Chelsea Piers Connecticut on Tuesday, November 18, 2014. The program, with more than 300 community leaders in attendance, featured Cal Ripken Jr., who was honored for his work with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. To capture his father's legacy, Cal Ripken, along with his brother, Billy, started the foundation in 2001 after his father's death. He feels strongly about giving back to the community through youth sports development. As a result, the foundation supports the Stamford Boys & Girls Club by providing children with "programs such as Badges for Baseball, The Ripken Summer Camp in Maryland, and programs promoting healthy choices and healthy lifestyles." Children from the club participated in the event. Please click here to view a photo of Mr. Elbaum speaking at the breakfast.
Mr. Elbaum is the immediate past president of the Boys & Girls Club of Stamford's Board of Directors.
Products liability lawyer Eric D. Daniels was a featured speaker at the MetroHartford Alliance's monthly Rising Star Breakfast on October 31, 2014, at Hartford Stage. Mr. Daniels, who chairs the board of the education reform group Achieve Hartford!, spoke to 200 business and community leaders about the current state of the ongoing reform of the Hartford Public Schools. Please click here to view a picture of Mr. Daniels at the event.
On October 29, 2014, Robinson+Cole lawyers Keisha S. Palmer and Jacqueline Pennino Scheib attended the swearing in ceremony for the first members of the Hartford Public High School Law and Government Academy's Scholar Bar. The ceremony, which was presided over by former Robinson+Cole partner Honorable Alvin W. Thompson, was the culmination of a four-month program designed to introduce the high school students to careers in the legal field. This program reflects a rewarding relationship between Robinson & Cole LLP, the University of Connecticut School of Law, and Hartford Public High School. The program started with an intensive mock trial course and continued as the students wrote an extensive code of conduct for governing behavior at the high school. After taking an exhaustive five-hour bar exam, the scholars who passed and were sworn in will now operate Hartford Public High School's new Scholar Court where student infractions will be tried and judgments will be handed out. Robinson+Cole is proud of its role in this program, which helps to knit together several facets of our legal community and establishes a bright path toward the law for minorities and economically disadvantaged youth.
Each year in October, the American Cancer Society (ACS) sponsors Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, a nationwide network of walks and events designed to honor those who have battled breast cancer and to raise awareness on how to reduce the risk of the disease. Funds raised "help the ACS fight the disease with research, information, services, and access to mammograms for women who need them."
Members of the Robinson+Cole community rose to the challenge of walking to raise funds locally. Michele Sexton led the Hartford team of walkers; Kady Lee and Meg Bracken led the Metro New York team; Sandy Strate and Ann Ratta led the Boston team; and Brenda Vucci led the Providence team. Through everyone's support, Robinson+Cole's grand total for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign was $2,274.
Robinson+Cole was a proud sponsor of the Patriot Golf Day tournament, held at the Hop Meadow Country Club in Simsbury, Connecticut, on October 12, 2014. The tournament supports the Folds of Honor Foundation, whose mission is to provide annual educational scholarships to military families of those who have been killed or disabled while on active duty. Specifically, the foundation offers private education tuition, tutoring, and educational summer camps for children in grades K–12 and higher education tuition assistance for spouses and older children.
Robinson+Cole partner Jeffrey J. White, along with his wife, Sarah, played in the tournament. Playing with Mr. White and his wife were Bruce Gifford, senior vice president and chief actuary in Bond & Specialty Insurance at Travelers Insurance Company, and his wife, Ranee Gifford. As is tradition for the event, Mr. White's foursome included an active duty military officer. Please click here to see a photo of Mr. White, his wife, and the active duty military officer. Robinson+Cole's support of the event also included participation by business litigation partner William J. Egan.
Theodore J. Tucci of the Business Litigation Group and Dwight H. Merriam of the Land Use Group presented awards at the Connecticut Law Tribune's Annual Legal Departments of the Year dinner in New Haven on October 15, 2014. This event recognizes the region's top in-house departments. This year, the honorees were named in the areas of Management of In-House Counsel, Management of Outside Counsel, Pro Bono, Diversity, Community Outreach, and Lifetime Achievement.
Mr. Tucci presented the Pro Bono Award to the legal services department of United Heathcare. Mr. Merriam presented the Community Outreach Award to the legal services department of the Connecticut Educational Association. Also in attendance were Robinson+Cole lawyers Stephen E. Cooper, Martin A. Onorato, and Gregory R. Faulkner.
Robinson+Cole was a sponsor of the Seventh Annual Feast from the Fields, held on September 27, 2014, in New Haven, Connecticut. This event celebrates community, sustainability, and the harvest season and supports the mission and work of Common Ground, an organization dedicated to cultivating "habits of healthy living and sustainable environmental practice among a diverse community of children, families, and adults." Common Ground provides an environment of learning and leadership, engaging all members of the community, including elementary, middle, and high school students; the general public; and environmental practitioners. The funds raised from this year's Feast from the Fields, a total of $41,300, will help support Common Ground and its programs.
R+C real estate lawyer Mimi M. Lines attended the feast. Robinson+Cole represented Common Ground in the drafting and negotiation of the design and construction agreements for the construction of its new facility in New Haven.
The Connecticut Law Tribune has recognized Robinson+Cole lawyers Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, Sorell E. Negro, Brian D. Nichols, and Keisha S. Palmer as New Leaders in the Law. They are among 60 attorneys, all under age 40, recognized in the New Leaders in the Law 2014 Yearbook and will be honored at an awards dinner on November 6 at The Bond Ballroom in downtown Hartford. The Connecticut Law Tribune received more than 300 award nominations, and honorees were selected based on examples of their legal work, pro bono efforts, and community involvement. Read more in the press release here.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy has appointed environmental lawyer Pamela K. Elkow to the Port Authority Working Group, established under legislation that created the Connecticut Port Authority (CPA). The CPA is a quasi-public agency whose task will be to promote and improve the state's three deepwater ports—New London, New Haven, and Bridgeport. The CPA is to begin its work on October 1, 2015. In the meantime, the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) will develop a detailed plan for instituting the agency. The role of the Port Authority Working Group is to make recommendations to the DECD as to the CPA's authority and duties.
From June through August, Robinson+Cole lawyers and staff headed out of the office to volunteer with 11 different nonprofit organizations based in Boston, Hartford, New York, Providence, and Stamford in the firm's second annual Summer of Service. In total, they spent more than 270 hours assisting with activities such as beautifying parks, organizing distribution centers, and serving food.
"Our Summer of Service program was very well received last year, by both our lawyers and staff and the organizations we volunteered with," said John H. Kane, chair of the firm's Diversity Committee. "The program is in keeping with our firm's history of actively giving back to the community, and it also fosters teamwork and comradery among our lawyers and staff whose work might not give them the opportunity to interact on a day-to-day basis."
Land use partner Edward V. O'Hanlan has been asked to serve on the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center's (CVLC) Board of Directors, effective September 18, 2014. This new leadership role, combined with Mr. O'Hanlan's experience as a Navy veteran and civil trial lawyer, reflects the deep commitment of Robinson+Cole to CVLC's valuable mission to provide legal services to veterans across Connecticut. R+C lawyers frequently handle cases referred by CVLC to help veterans recovering from homelessness and mental illness overcome the legal barriers to housing, health care, employment, and service-connected benefits.
Land use partner Michael S. Giaimo has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Friends of Minuteman National Park. The mission of this nonprofit organization is to preserve the birthplace of the American Revolution and to inspire visitors to learn the causes, events, and continuing impact of the Revolutionary War and its principles of liberty and democracy. Like other nonprofit groups that partner with various national parks throughout the country, the Friends organization focuses on improving education and the visitor experience at the park, preserving and restoring the park's cultural landscapes and historic structures, and supporting and advocating for the park and its mission. R+C partner Dwight H. Merriam's ancestral home, the 300-plus-year-old Meriam House, is located along the Battle Road Trail and was recently restored with funding from the Friends of Minuteman National Park.
Robinson+Cole recognized four lawyers for their initiative and outstanding dedication to the community at a reception, celebrating the firm’s summer legal intern program, on August 7, 2014. Managing partner John B. Lynch Jr. announced the Community Service Awards, which went to Thomas P. Cody and Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, while pro bono partner Edward J. Heath presented the firm’s Pro Bono Awards, which went to Peter R. Knight and Evan J. Seeman. Read more about the honorees and their work in the press release here.
In five short years, Robinson+Cole has turned a small office into a thriving force in the Providence business community. Since the firm opened its office at One Financial Plaza in April 2009, the team of lawyers has doubled, and all of them are deeply connected to the community.
"From the beginning, being part of the thread of the Providence community, working with other business, civic, and community leaders, was important to us. But beyond those working relationships, it was also important for us to give back and support the local community," said Patricia J. Igoe, a partner in the firm's Providence office. "Supporting the local arts community is part of that focus, and all of the new artwork we have purchased since opening has been from local artists."
Bradford S. Babbitt, chair of the Business Litigation Group, has been elected to the Board of Directors of Church Home of Hartford Incorporated (CHHI), a charity affiliated with the Episcopal Church in Connecticut that was formed in 1876 to provide shelter for the aged and infirm. Today, CHHI owns and operates Seabury Retirement Community, providing unparalleled housing and health care services to 340 residents on 66 acres in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Seabury set the standard for an active retirement community when it was built in 1992 and has continued to achieve that standard as it has expanded to include assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory care services.
Energy and utilities lawyer Joey Lee Miranda has been elected treasurer of the Board of Directors of Lawyers for Children America. A Connecticut-based nonprofit, the organization provides pro bono legal representation to protect the rights of children who are victims of abuse, abandonment, and neglect. Its goals include implementing services to help children who are victims of abuse and neglect, improving the child welfare system, and increasing public awareness of youth and violence issues.
Ms. Miranda has been a board member of Lawyers for Children America since 2012.
Congratulations to our Providence office on being selected the number one best place to work in the small business category of the "Best Places to Work in Rhode Island" by the Providence Business News. A celebratory dinner was held on June 12, 2014, to announce the winners, who were featured in the June 16 edition of the Providence Business News. Best Places to Work is a statewide survey and awards program that honors the best places for Rhode Island employment. The winners are selected through a two-part process. The first part considers the workplace policies, practices, and demographics of each nominated company. The second part involves an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determine the top companies and the final ranking.
The Providence office is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. Since its opening in April 2009, the team of lawyers has doubled, and the staff has expanded to accommodate their needs. With a deep community connection, the office is committed to mentoring, pro bono work, community service, and diversity. The firm was profiled in the Providence Business News under the heading of "Partners, staff on equal footing at Robinson & Cole." Please click here to view the article.
As part of its R+C Connect Series, Robinson+Cole's Boston office hosted a cocktail reception on May 22, 2014, as an opportunity for clients and friends of the firm who work in the real estate development field to network with one another. Featured guest, Heather Campisano, chief of staff of the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), briefed the group on city projects, including the renewal of East Boston's waterfront and the Seaport/Innovation District. Capturing the spirit of real estate development, the event was held at Petit Robert Central in Downtown Crossing, an area of Boston that has seen substantial new development in the past few years. About 60 clients and friends of the firm attended the reception, including commercial real estate developers, engineers, city planners, designers, consultants, bankers, and members of the Department of Transportation and the BRA.
Over 20 Robinson+Cole lawyers attended the event. Click here to view photos of lawyers J. Michael Wirvin, Carla M. Moynihan, Karla L. Chaffee, and William J. Egan enjoying the festivities.
Robinson+Cole served as gift sponsor at the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut's 26th Annual Golf Tournament. Held at the Great Neck Country Club in Waterford, Connecticut, on June 2, 2014, the event drew many local business and company leaders, some from the largest companies in the area. In addition, the firm was featured at a display table throughout the day. Land use lawyers Edward V. O’Hanlan and John P. Casey and litigation lawyer James R. Nault played in the tournament, with legal administrative assistant Duffy Bartlett and marketing coordinator Michelle Mattera providing support. Please click here to view the Robinson+Cole team.
In local sites around the country, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) sponsored the 17 Annual Celebrate America Fifth Grade Creative Writing Contest, whose 2014 theme was "Why I Am Glad America Is a Nation of Immigrants." The contest encourages fifth graders to submit written works (essays, poems, and stories) that reflect the theme. Serving as contest coordinator in Connecticut, immigration lawyer Lauren M. Sigg organized the efforts of AILA members to give presentations in several Connecticut fifth grade classrooms, coordinated contest submissions across the state, and organized the evaluations of the submissions. At Duffy Elementary in West Hartford, immigration lawyer Megan R. Naughton discussed the role that immigration has played in shaping our society. Charlie Krajc, a student from Duffy, won Connecticut's first place prize. His essay underscored the hope and bravery of immigrants coming to the United States. Although Charlie did not win the national contest, he and the other Connecticut finalists received gift certificates and were invited to attend and participate in a naturalization ceremony in Hartford on June 6, 2014.
Please click here to view the West Hartford News article on the contest.
Employee benefits lawyer Virginia E. McGarrity has been elected as secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. Author of the antislavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe helped change our country's impression of the divisive issue of slavery. Her life has served as an example of how one person can make a significant difference. The Stowe Center "preserves and interprets Stowe's Hartford home and the Center's historic collections, promotes vibrant discussion of her life and work, and inspires commitment to social justice and positive change."
Ms. McGarrity has been a member of the Stowe Center's Board of Trustees since January 2013.
Kevin M. Lenehan, litigation director at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, recently presented Robinson+Cole with a replica of a Sikorsky helicopter for sponsoring the third annual Home Run for Heroes Bluefish Baseball Game, held on July 13, 2013, at Bridgeport's Bluefish Stadium. The event, held in conjunction with Sikorsky's Veterans Appreciation Weekend, recognizes and raises funds for those who served our country, producing significant donations to national and local veteran's charities. Honored as a Gold Sponsor, the firm, along with various Connecticut businesses, raised over $48,000 for local veterans organizations last year. Through the proceeds from Home Run for Heroes, Sikorsky supports Harkness House/Columbus House, which offers a safe living environment for homeless veterans and helps them to reintegrate into society; the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, which assists veterans recovering from homelessness and mental illness in surmounting legal obstacles to housing, health care, and income; and the Connecticut Fallen Heroes Foundation, which has dedicated itself to always remembering, posthumously, fallen heroes each year since 2004.
Please click here to view the photo of Mr. Lenehan presenting the helicopter to Robinson+Cole lawyers Edward V. O'Hanlan, Craig A. Raabe, Robert S. Melvin, Earl W. Phillips Jr., and John B. Lynch Jr.
Business and intellectual property lawyer Kathleen M. Porter was recognized for her volunteer work with the Marathon Assistance Project at the Boston Bar Association (BBA) Law Day Dinner, held on May 12, 2014. Paul T. Dacier, president of the BBA, presented awards to 70 volunteer lawyers for assisting victims and small businesses affected the Boston Marathon bombings.
Through the Marathon Assistance Project, BBA members volunteered to aid individuals with claims and employment issues, among other things. At the Law Day Dinner, the BBA reflected "on the critical efforts made by our volunteer lawyers in the wake of the bombing...helping Back Bay businesses get back on their feet...." Please click here to view the photo of the award recipients.
Real estate and development partner Thomas P. Cody was recently reelected to a fourth term as chair of the Board of Directors of Riverfront Recapture, Inc., a nonprofit organization that has helped restore public access to the Connecticut River. For over 30 years, Riverfront Recapture has led the development of riverfront parks, walkways, and docks in Hartford and East Hartford. It also produces hundreds of public events and programs along the riverfront, including cultural festivals, dragon boat races, fireworks displays, concerts, youth fishing events, a community rowing program for youth and adult groups, and the annual Head of the Riverfront Rowing Regatta. Over 800,000 visitors enjoyed the riverfront parks last year. A recent Hartford Courant editorial noted that "Hartford's most significant quality-of-life improvement in the last three decades is its reconnection with the Connecticut River. The city was blocked from the river by the construction of I-91 in the 1960s, and some kids grew up unaware that they lived in a river city. Now youngsters and adults row, fish, bike, jog, cruise, listen to music, and otherwise enjoy this great natural asset."
The annual Greater Hartford Arts Council's (GHAC) Workplace Campaign was held in Robinson+Cole's Hartford office from May 5 to May 9, 2014. As part of the campaign, employees participated in a variety of activities, from celebrating Cinco de Mayo and making jewelry to touring Hartford Stage and enjoying the island music of Calypso Caliente during the Friday Night Social. Coming in at $6,900, the total amount raised for the GHAC exceeded the goal of $6,000.
Formed in 1971, the GHAC supports more than 150 arts, heritage, and cultural organizations in central Connecticut. It provides "grants, programs, and services designed to leverage the arts to strengthen communities, drive the economy, and improve the quality of life of 1.2 million residents."
The American Red Cross Connecticut Chapter has elected Jacqueline Pennino Scheib, chair of Robinson+Cole's Intellectual Property and Technology Law Group, to its Board of Directors.
The American Red Cross helps Connecticut residents prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. It serves more than 3.5 million Connecticut residents in 168 towns in Hartford, Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, Tolland, and Windham counties, plus Fishers Island, New York, with services provided by a small paid staff and a corps of more than 3,000 volunteers. Read more here.
The New London County Bar Association (NLCBA) held its annual Law Day Luncheon on Friday, May 2, 2014. Insurance lawyer Dana M. Horton, NLCBA president, convened the event, which was followed by opening remarks by the Honorable Thomas Bishop. Ms. Horton presented the Liberty Bell Award to Congressman Joe Courtney, who was also the keynote speaker. The Law Day theme for 2014 was "American Democracy and the Rule of Law – Why Every Vote Counts." The luncheon, well attended by members of the bar and judiciary, was held at The Spa at Norwich Inn.
Insurance litigation lawyers J. Tyler Butts and Dominic Spinelli helped ninth and tenth grade students from Hartford Public High School's Law and Government Academy prepare for and present a simulated trial. The program, held on May 1, 2014, was part of the federal judiciary's celebration of Law Day. Mr. Butts and Mr. Spinelli coached the students about the key elements of trial, including opening and closing statements and the questioning of witnesses. The trial was presided over by Senior District Court Judge Dominic J. Squatrito and featured closing remarks from professor Richard Wilson from the University of Connecticut School of Law. Law Day was first celebrated in 1958 to provide an opportunity to reflect on the role of law in the foundation of the country and to recognize its importance for society.
Robinson+Cole was a sponsor of the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association's 2014 Annual Dinner on May 1, 2014. Firm lawyers Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, Joey Lee Miranda, Keisha S. Palmer, David M. Panico, Jonathan H. Schaefer, and Evan J. Seeman attended the event, along with Marnie Rubin and incoming first-year associates Christie Jean and Kelly Frye. The George W. Crawford Black Bar Association works to enhance the role of black attorneys in the state, to establish lines of communication and affiliate with local and national organizations within the legal profession, and to focus on legal issues that affect members of the black community.
The Hartford Federal Credit Union elected public finance lawyer Keisha S. Palmer to its board of directors on April 23, 2014, for a three-year term. This is Ms. Palmer's second term on the board.
The Hartford Federal Credit Union, a community-chartered credit union, was established in 1961 and serves Hartford, Middlesex, and Tolland counties. A nonprofit financial cooperative, it is owned by its members and governed by a volunteer board of directors elected from its membership.
Robinson+Cole marked the five-year anniversary of opening its Providence office with a cocktail reception on April 3, 2014. Approximately 85 people attended the event. Along with Robinson+Cole lawyers and staff from the Providence, Boston, and Hartford offices, clients and friends of the firm from a variety of industries gathered to commemorate the milestone. The celebration provided an opportunity for the firm to showcase its newly expanded office space and the new additions to its art collection—all pieces created by local Rhode Island artists.
Congratulations to all lawyers and staff in the Providence office!
Over 1,400 members of the Greater Hartford community gathered for YWCA Hartford Region's 19th annual In the Company of Women Luncheon at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford on April 8, 2014, to support YWCA's mission to eliminate racism and empower women. Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson, labor and employment lawyer, and Julie A. Trowbridge-Dillman, senior vice president of Operations & E-Business, The Travelers Companies, Inc., served as event co-chairs. Along with Ms. Cole-Johnson, R+C lawyers Alice E. DeTora, Edward J. Samorajczyk, Virginia E. McGarrity, and Susan N. Masters attended the event. Camryn Manheim, an acclaimed actress and social activist known for her Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning role on The Practice as defense attorney Ellenor Frutt, was the keynote speaker. A vocal advocate for human rights and the empowerment of women, Ms. Manheim spoke about living life generously and her experience defying the beauty myth and casting stereotypes in Hollywood.
R+C is a proud sponsor of YWCA's In the Company of Women Luncheon. Proceeds from the luncheon will help fund YWCA programs and services that improve lives of women and children in the Greater Hartford region, including child care, supportive and transitional housing, teen leadership development, racial justice awareness, economic empowerment, and financial literacy.
Foodshare has elected Robinson+Cole lawyer Gerald P. Dwyer Jr. (Kip) to its Board of Directors. Foodshare is the region’s food bank and its goal is to end hunger, that is, to make sure enough food is available to support people who fall on hard times. In 2013, Foodshare distributed food for 12 million meals—that’s 40,000 meals a day—but that huge amount covered only one-third of the need in our area. Beyond distributing food, Foodshare works to mobilize individuals and organizations, recognizing the only way this balance can happen, and keep happening, is if the entire community gets involved in the effort.
“Kip has a real passion for Foodshare’s work and a thorough understanding of the systemic issues we need to address if we are to get at the root of hunger. He will undoubtedly bring a wealth of knowledge to our organization,” said Gloria McAdam, president and CEO of Foodshare.
Read more in the full press release here.
More than 1,000 women from across the region gathered at Bryant University to attend the 17th annual Women's Summit on March 14, 2014. This year's program centered on the theme of "Be the CEO of your life." Keynote speakers included Viola Davis, award-winning actor; Carley Roney, co-founder of The Knot; and Carey Lohrenz, first female U.S. Navy fighter pilot.
Patricia J. Igoe, Candace M. Cunningham, Kathleen M. Porter, Dana M. Horton, Carla M. Moynihan, Nicole Campbell, and select female clients of the firm attended the event. Robinson+Cole is an annual sponsor of the Women's Summit.
Steven L. Elbaum, real estate lawyer in the Stamford office, nominated two prominent lawyers who were honored at the Westfair's Women of Accomplishment 2013 event in White Plains, New York, on April 3, 2014. The women are Jennifer Hart, vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Tata Global Beverages, and Marla Persky, former senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Boehringer Ingelheim. In 2013, the two collaborated to form the Women General Counsel Group, dedicated to providing professional support to women lawyers employed by many of our region's most recognized corporate brands. The honorees were selected by the Fairfield County Business Journal and the Westchester County Business Journal for making outstanding contributions in business as well as in their communities. Mr. Elbaum represented R+C at the event.
Robinson & Cole's Providence office was a sponsor of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless's (RICH) annual awards luncheon, held on March 24, 2014, in Warwick, Rhode Island. Representing the firm were Providence lawyers Patricia J. Igoe, Peter V. Lacouture, and George W. Watson. The event provided an opportunity for RICH members to celebrate their achievements, honor their community heroes, and show their commitment to ending homelessness in Rhode Island. The mission of RICH is to "promote and preserve the dignity and quality of life for men, women, and children by pursuing comprehensive and cooperative solutions to the problems of housing and homelessness."
The Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) has elected Robinson & Cole lawyer Andrea Donovan Napp to its Board of Directors. The foundation's 40+ events draw over 70,000 participants annually. Since 1994, HMF has injected over $100 million into the Hartford area andfacilitated more than $5 million in fundraising for dozens of community charities.
“Andrea Donovan Napp is a great fit for our Board of Directors, she provides valuable perspective as a passionate runner as well as through her professional experience,” said Beth Shluger, founder and Executive Director of the Hartford Marathon Foundation. “We’re pleased to have her join the Board as HMF continues to experience growth and increases positive impact on communities across the state.”
The highest honor United Way bestows upon a volunteer is its Community Service Award. Robinson & Cole’s Eric D. Daniels received this honor at the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut’s annual meeting on March 25, 2014.
“We’re honored to count ourselves among those who have benefitted from Eric’s time and talent,” said Susan Dunn, president and CEO of United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut. “When he commits to something, he commits fully. He doesn’t just lend his name.”
Among the many organizations and causes to which Mr. Daniels has committed his time and skills are Achieve Hartford!, HARC, Hartford Hospital, Interval House, New Horizons, and The Bushnell. He has also served on the Board of Directors of The iQuilt Plan, a community revitalization initiative for Hartford, since his appointment in 2011 by Governor Dannel Malloy. With United Way, he has been involved in various capacities over the years, including as chair of the professional services division of the United Way Campaign in 2007 and 2008, and as chair of the 2012 Community Campaign. Currently, he is co-chair of the Tocqueville Society of leadership donors.
Robinson+Cole once again participated in National Wear Red Day on February 7, 2014, to help raise funds to fight cardiovascular disease, the number one killer of women. By making a donation of five dollars or more and wearing a piece of red clothing or an accessory—a red pin, a red tie, or red socks—those who took part could also wear jeans that day.
The American Heart Association launched Go Red for Women in 2003 to save lives and to raise awareness of heart disease in women, which is no longer "an old man's disease." Leading this effort for the firm was Nancy Munroe, IT services coordinator in the Stamford Office. Brenda Fishman in New York, Jennifer O'Brien in Providence, Linda Riddell in Boston, and Michele Sexton in Hartford also helped with the effort in their respective offices. With offices throughout the firm participating, a total of $980 was collected for the American Heart Association. Please click here to see R&C office photos from the event.
Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center Foundation has named Robinson & Cole lawyer Jeffrey J. White a Corporator. Saint Francis Foundation operates exclusively to advance the charitable, scientific, and educational purposes of the hospital through relationship building, community visibility, and fundraising.
Robinson+Cole, which had firm branding on all pre-event publicity, was one of three sponsors of the event and the only law firm. The district chair recognized and thanked the firm for its participation.
The mission of The Connecticut Forum is "to encourage the free and active exchange of ideas in Forums that inform, challenge, entertain, inspire and build bridges among all people and organizations in our community."
The ACC wanted to host an event that stood apart from the typical CLE-focused activities and allowed its members an opportunity to meet and network with one another. Approximately 35 members of the ACC joined Robinson+Cole for an evening of networking, hors d'oeuvres, and wine. The firm gave 12 prize winners an R+C-labeled bottle of wine featuring the Chrysler East Building, the new location for the New York City office.
To view photos from the event, click here.
Mr. Lynch currently serves on the Board of Governors of Hartford Stage.
Ms. Cunningham is the former president of CREW CT, the Connecticut Chapter of CREW Network, a national organization for women in commercial real estate.
Ms. Palmer currently serves on Crawford's Board of Directors.
The Estate Planning and Probate Group received notable mention in the listing, which appeared in the magazine's 10th Anniversary Issue this May.
Robinson+Cole was a sponsor of the Annual National Conference for Community Justice (NCCJ) Dinner on April 24, 2013. Hartford lawyers John B. Lynch Jr., David M. Panico, Dwight H. Merriam, and Jonathan H. Schaefer attended the event. James P. Ray currently serves on the Board of Directors of the NCCJ, Connecticut/Western Massachusetts Chapter.
The NCCJ works to take a stand against bias, bigotry, and racism in America. Through advocacy, conflict resolution, and education, this human relations organization advocates understanding and respect among all races, religions, and cultures.
Tax lawyer Marianne Kane has served as vice chair of City Year Boston's Legal Community Committee for the past two years.
For further information about the campaign and the R+C Stamford team, click here.
To view a photo from the event, click here.