Robinson+Cole’s Business Litigation Group welcomes Patrick W. Begos as a partner in the firm’s Stamford office. Mr. Begos has nearly 30 years of commercial and insurance litigation, arbitration, mediation and negotiation experience, representing companies and individuals in a wide array of industries.
“We are excited to welcome Pat to the firm,” said Theodore J. Tucci, chair of the firm’s Health and Benefits Litigation Group. “His addition to Robinson+Cole significantly expands our litigation depth and geographic reach in representing clients in pension and life, health, and disability benefits matters.” Read more in the full release.
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.
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.
The M&A Advisor, a premier global network of M&A, turnaround, and finance professionals, recognized Robinson+Cole with two awards during the 15th Annual M&A Advisor Awards, held at the New York Athletic Club on November 9. The first award presented to the firm was in the Restructuring Deal of the Year (Over $100MM) category, and the second award received by the firm was in the Private Equity Deal of the Year (From $10MM - $25MM) category. Accepting the awards on behalf of the firm were Patrick M. Birney and Michael R. Enright for Restructuring Deal of the Year and Stephen P. Hanson for Private Equity Deal of the Year.
Read more in the press release.
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.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Evan J. Seeman and Business Litigation Group lawyer John F. X. Peloso Jr. authored the practice note "Avoiding and Defending Against RLUIPA Claims," published in Practical Law (Thomson Reuters) on December 22, 2016. In the note, Mr. Seeman and Mr. Peloso discuss how local governments can avoid liability under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). They specifically focus on strategies that can prevent and defend against substantial burden, unreasonable limits, and equal terms claims, including using the safe harbor provision, addressing public statements, and educating government officials about the law. Please click here to view the note.
Leslie J. Levinson, co-chair of Robinson+Cole's Transactional Health Law Group, was quoted in a Part B News article published on January 2, 2017. The article, "2017 predictions: Increased cash payments, no changes to MACRA and more," discusses the potential for 2017 to be an unparalleled time for changes in health care. Regarding the prediction that practice consolidation will accelerate, Mr. Levinson says that practice acquisition was active in 2016, "particularly in the specialty practice areas with dermatology, ophthalmology and anesthesia remaining strong, along with a continuing consolidation of dental practices by practice management companies."
In August 2016, State Senator Martin Looney appointed Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Edward V. O’Hanlan as one of 30 working members of the Task Force to Increase Access to Legal Counsel in Civil Matters (Task Force), which was established by the Connecticut General Assembly in its 2016 legislative session. The Task Force, chaired by UConn Law School Dean Tim Fisher and former CBA president Bill Clendenen, worked for four months and issued its Final Report on December 15, 2016.
The Task Force’s mission was set forth in the underlying legislation to identify the consequences of the lack of competent legal counsel to assist Connecticut residents in dealing with the civil—as distinct from criminal—legal system and to make specific recommendations for action where the need for civil counsel is particularly felt. The most salient needs the Task Force identified included (a) the civil process for orders of protection against domestic violence, (b) child custody and detained removal (deportation) matters, and (c) defense of residential evictions.
Mr. O'Hanlan was a member of the Task Force subcommittee that drafted the section "Why Access to Legal Services Matters," in which studies were cited showing that the real dollar cost to society of these unmet civil counsel needs in civil process far exceeds the likely costs of effective programs of legal assistance in our courts. In addition, Mr. O’Hanlan, who participates in Robinson+Cole's pro bono effort with the Connecticut Veterans Legal Counsel, recommended language highlighting veterans' need for legal services, which is contained in the Final Report. Click here to view the Final Report in its entirety.
Robinson+Cole is the only private firm mentioned in the Task Force's Final Report for its pro bono efforts in handling issue-specific cases with Connecticut Legal Services, Greater Hartford Legal Aid, and the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
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.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Dwight H. Merriam, with Professor Daniel Mandelker of the Washington University School of Law, co-moderated the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) webinar "Disparate Impact Liability and the Fair Housing Act" on December 12, 2016. The focus of the discussion was the U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project and how it brought clarity to whether disparate impact liability exists under the Fair Housing Act. Click here to view the session’s PowerPoint and here to view the resource materials.
In addition, on December 14, Mr. Merriam moderated the IMLA webinar "Show Me the Money – Real Estate Financing." The presentation focused on the advantages of public finance in incentivizing private development with public-private partnerships. Click here to view the PowerPoint.
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
In an ongoing Connecticut Law Tribune (CLT) series, Public Finance Group lawyer Keisha S. Palmer was interviewed in "5 Questions With Robinson & Cole's Keisha Palmer on Mentoring and Switching Careers," published on December 6, 2016. In the article, Ms. Palmer talks about her practice and how she views law as a way to improve society. She answers questions on her changing careers, representing indigent clients in criminal appeals, co-founding the University of Connecticut School of Law/Robinson & Cole Summer Institute program, drafting model language for proposed amendments to the state's general statutes regarding stormwater authorities within the state, and training and mentoring new associates, paralegals and legal assistants within the firm's Public Finance Group. Click here to view her answers.
The Board of Governors of the World Jurist Association (WJA) has elected Sorell E. Negro president of its U.S. Chapter. The WJA, formed in 1963, is an international organization that focuses on the administration of international law and has special consultative status to the U.N. Economic and Social Council. Members include sitting and retired chief justices, judges, government officials, lawyers, and other professionals from over 140 countries. The WJA has national presidents in 85 countries, and the Board of Governors represents every continent and aspect of the legal profession. Ms. Negro is the first woman lawyer to serve as president of the U.S. Chapter.
Richard M. Borden, Data Privacy + Security Team lawyer, along with Tyler Polk of Fiduciary Investment Advisors and Ryan Rodrique of Wolf & Company, co-presented the webinar "Data Security & the Role of the Retirement Fiduciary" on December 15, 2016. With cybercrime an ongoing threat, they focused on how retirement plan fiduciaries need to understand their role in protecting retirement plan funds and data, and, in turn, safeguarding the personal data of their plan participants.
In a December 16 webinar focusing on vendors, Mr. Borden and his co-panelist, Chip Block of Evolver, presented "Peeling Back the Layers of the Cyber Regulation." In light of the New York Department of Financial Services 2017 Proposed Cyber Regulation, they examined (1) how it addresses vendors, (2) the minimum level of compliance for every vendor, (3) the consequences of a critical vendor not meeting minimum standards, (4) how to perform a cyber evaluation for each vendor, and (5) who pays for the vendors' evaluation.
The ABA's Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section (formerly the Section of Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law) has published Recent Developments in Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Industries – 2016, edited by Environmental + Utilities Group lawyer Peter V. Lacouture. Mr. Lacouture is chair of the section's Annual Report Committee and has edited the volume since 2005. Recent Developments includes reports from the section's industry and practice committees that summarize judicial decisions, administrative rulings, and legislative actions in public utility, communications, and transportation industries through March 31, 2016, and a few major developments since that date. Each member of the section receives the 450-page volume. George W. Watson III, counsel in the Environmental + Utilities Group, and Leonel Gonzalez and Quinterrion Waits, the 2016 National Grid/Robinson+Cole summer fellows, assisted Mr. Lacouture in editing the book.
Construction Group lawyer Peter E. Strniste published an article, "Recipe for Successfully Navigating Project Financing Difficulties," for the Winter 2016 issue of CONNstruction magazine. CONNstruction is a quarterly publication of the Connecticut Construction Industries Association, which focuses on the Connecticut commercial and construction industry and is distributed to over 5,000 subscribers. Mr. Strniste's article highlights the warning signs for project-related bankruptcies. He also discusses strategies for protecting the project from bankruptcies and best practices for project completion following a bankruptcy. Click here to read the article.
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.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Dwight H. Merriam was among the panelists who spoke at the 15th annual Alfred B. DelBello Land Use and Sustainable Development Conference at the Land Use Law Center at Pace Law School on December 8, 2016. Mr. Merriam and his co-presenters, Donald Elliott, director of Clarion Associates; John Nolon, professor at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University; and Michael Wolf, professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, spoke about recent high court cases challenging local zoning officials in the session "Case Law Update: Recent Challenges to Zoning." They specifically addressed the challenges, including the legality of mandatory affordable housing requirements, the vulnerability of existing zoning to discrimination challenges under the Fair Housing Act, shifting judicial standards for determining what is a regulatory taking, and new standards for regulating signs. Click here to view the PowerPoint for the session
In the article "Robinson & Cole Project Fights Poaching in Africa," published on December 8, 2016, the Connecticut Law Tribune (CLT) features the firm's unique project to assist Namibia's Legal Assistance Centre in improving the country's wildlife conservation laws and strengthening their enforcement. The Robinson+Cole team, comprising land use and environmental lawyers, is headed by Sorell E. Negro and includes Peter R. Knight, the firm's pro bono partner; Megan E. Baroni; Kelsey A. Cross; Emily C. Deans; and Diana E. Neeves. Click here to view the article.
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.
Leslie J. Levinson, co-chair of the firm's Transactional Health Law Team, moderated the inaugural Berkeley Research Group (BRG) Healthcare Leadership Conference, held in Washington, DC, on December 12, 2016. The session, "Featured Deals of 2016," addressed the new breed of transactions in the fast-changing healthcare continuum. Additionally, it described the strategy and thinking behind the most noteworthy deals of the year. In attendance were senior management and policy experts from healthcare organizations (providers and payers) as well as senior executives from various supplier organizations (financial institutions, private equity firms, and law firms).
In a webinar sponsored by the American Planning Association Massachusetts Chapter (APA-MA) on December 7, 2016, Dwight H. Merriam of the Real Estate + Development Group co-presented on "Ethics and the Digital World." The discussion focused on ethical considerations in the digital world in terms of the effects of smart cities, social media, and online data and tools in the area of planning and provided insight on the issues of privacy, access, application, and the nature of information and how it is shared. Presenting with Mr. Merriam were David Fields of Nelson\Nygaard; Julie Tapendorf of Ancel Glink Diamond Bush DiCianni & Krafthefer; and Jerry Weitz of Jerry Weitz & Associates. Approximately 500 people participated in the webinar. Click here to view the PowerPoint for the session.
Construction lawyer Gregory R. Faulkner took part in a panel discussion at the 31st Construction SuperConference in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 7, 2016. In the program, "Leveraging the In-house and Outside Counsel Relationship," the panelists offered strategies to drive down the cost of using outside counsel, to build collaboration between in-house counsel and junior outside counsel, and to implement alternative fee arrangements. Mr. Faulkner's co-presenters were Brian Rice of RailWorks Corporation and Joshua Strub and John Margie of Glaholt LLP. Click here to see a photo of the panelists.
Leslie J. Levinson and Brian D. Nichols participated in the webinar "Bundled Payment Programs Post Election—What the C-suite Needs to Know" on December 8, 2016. They joined Dave Terry of Archway Health to provide an update on important developments in the bundled payment programs, in particular what they mean following the recent election. Nearly 130 attendees participated in this session. Mr. Levinson is a partner and co-chair of Robinson+Cole's Transactional Health Law Group, and Mr. Nichols is a partner and a member of the firm's Health Law Group.
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.
Tax Group lawyer Ryan V. Leichsenring spoke at the 2016 State Tax 360° Conference, whose theme was Brave New World – Taxation in the Virtual Economy, held by the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, on November 29, 2016. Designed for accountants, consultants, lawyers, and other tax professionals, this program offered the latest tax information relevant for businesses whose activities, both traditional operations and their digital footprint, extend into and beyond Connecticut's boundaries. Together with his co-presenter, Jennifer Jensen of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mr. Leichsenring's session, "Virtual Economy – Ready or Not," critiqued the recent expansion of state laws imposing enhanced sales and use tax collection and notification requirements on out-of-state businesses, federal initiatives to conform to these state laws, ongoing litigation, and best practices to conform with Connecticut statutory and administrative guidance.
Members of Robinson+Cole's Environmental + Utilities Group, senior environmental analyst Todd R. Berman and environmental lawyers Emilee Mooney Scott and Brian C. Freeman, presented the webinar "Environmental and Compliance Trends for 2017: Practical Strategies for Staying Ahead of Regulatory Changes" on November 30, 2016. In response to a new political alignment, implementation of existing rules, and emerging compliance concepts and regulatory tools, the session addressed new and changing responsibilities for environmental professionals in the upcoming year. The speakers discussed environmental regulatory trends to expect for 2017 and how to prepare for them. Among issues covered were new regulatory changes for 2017 concerning the Toxic Substances Control Act, emerging contaminants, greenhouse gases, land use and climate change, new refrigerant regulations, and an expected expansion of the Accidental Release Prevention (CAA § 112(r)) program.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Steven J. Boyajian is featured in the Providence Business News in the Q&A article “Boyajian named legal Rising Star,” published on November 25, 2016. In the interview, Mr. Boyajian talks about what inspired him to pursue a law career, what is the makeup of a good lawyer, why he chose business bankruptcy law, and what are the greatest challenges in doing business in Rhode Island. To read the full article, please click here.
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.
Leslie J. Levinson, co-chair of the firm's Transactional Health Law Team, spoke on "What’s Driving Healthcare Private Equity Deal Flow?" at the Privcap Game Change: Healthcare 2016 conference on November 17 in New York City. He and his co-presenters, John McKernan of The Riverside Company and Adam Dolder of Great Point Partners, addressed the primary trends for private equity transactions. They focused on the sellers and their motivations, the hottest subsectors, and the investment plays that are driving interest from private equity. Click here to view a photo of Mr. Levinson at the conference.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Edmund P. Daley was a speaker at the program "Evidence: New Cases and Courtroom Issues," which was sponsored by the Social Law Library in Boston on November 17, 2016. Mr. Daley and his co-presenters, all members of the Supreme Judicial Court Advisory Committee on Massachusetts Evidence Law, presented and analyzed a selection of the most important evidence-related cases from 2016. They focused specifically on recent developments in evidentiary privileges, peremptory challenges, and hearsay considerations involved with digital evidence.
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.