Robinson+Cole is pleased to announce the addition of Patrick J. Trostle to the firm’s Bankruptcy + Reorganizations Group in the Hartford, CT office. Trostle has 30 years of experience representing clients in a wide variety of high-profile transactional matters, including bankruptcy, restructuring and litigation. Trostle joins from the New York office of a major international law firm.
“We are thrilled to be kicking-off 2024 with the expansion of our national bankruptcy practice,” said Rhonda J. Tobin, Managing Partner of Robinson+Cole. “Patrick’s vast experience, especially in the distressed debt area, will add strategic depth to our strong bankruptcy practice.” Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole is pleased to announce the election of Curtis Crowther, Katherine Fix, and Joel McNabney as Partners as well as the promotion of Trevor Bradley, Meryl Breeden, Dan Brody, and Scott Garosshen to Counsel, effective January 1, 2024. The new partners and counsel represent a range of practice areas, including bankruptcy, business litigation, government enforcement and white-collar defense, internal investigations and corporate compliance, intellectual property and technology litigation, manufacturing, insurance litigation and appellate litigation.
“We are proud to elevate and congratulate these extraordinarily talented attorneys for their well-deserved promotions,” said Rhonda J. Tobin, Managing Partner at Robinson+Cole. “These future leaders of our firm are dedicated to helping clients achieve their business goals by delivering exceptional services.” Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole is pleased to announce the significant expansion of its Affordable Housing Finance practice with the addition of six lawyers and six professional staff team members from Washington, DC-area-based firm Kearbey Pirulli & Evatt LLC. The team includes Robert Kearbey, Nicholas Pirulli and Patrick Evatt, who will all join Robinson+Cole as partners.
"Adding Rob, Nick, Patrick and their team achieves multiple objectives in our strategic plan,” said Rhonda J. Tobin, Robinson+Cole’s Managing Partner. “It builds upon one of our strongest practices, expands our presence in the Washington, DC area, creates deeper institutional relationships with our largest clients, and broadens our client base in a key practice area. We are thrilled to combine the talents of these two groups to serve our clients.” Read more in the press release.
Antitrust and Trade Regulation Team lawyer Jen Driscoll, Health Law Group lawyer Conor Duffy, and Internal Investigations and Corporate Compliance chair Ed Heath co-authored an article titled “Health Care Transactions and Civil Investigative Demands: What Third Parties Need to Know,” published in the American Health Law Association’s Health Law Weekly on January 19, 2024. The article analyzes mergers and acquisitions (M&A) trends in health care markets, the increased scrutiny transactions face from the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (collectively, the Agencies), and the Agencies’ use of civil investigate demands (CIDs) and their impact on the M&A process. “With the expected increase in health care merger activity comes the likelihood of greater investigatory scrutiny by government authorities,” they write, “Given the potentially significant implications of non-compliance or insufficient compliance, recipients of CIDs and subpoenas would do well to take those demands seriously and act promptly and comprehensively, including by engaging experienced counsel. To read the article in full, click here.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Team lawyer Jen Driscoll authored a New York Law Journal article titled, “A Tale of Two Nations: How China and the United States Confront Generative AI Challenges,” published on January 10, 2024. The article highlights the rapidly evolving industry surrounding generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) models, how governments approach legislative laws concerning GenAI, and the communications between the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC) regarding these new challenges. “Despite the differences between the United States and PRC,” writes Jen, “Initial talks focused on the role AI [plays] in military operations, but both countries have a stake in the use and impact of GenAI and deepfake technology. To that end, both nations have expressed interest in continued dialogue through direct channels of communication and joined the United National AI advisory body.” To read the article, click here.
Manufacturing Law Industry Team lawyers Megan Baroni, Abby Warren, and Jeff White co-authored an article titled, “PFAS will be increasing concern for manufacturers in year ahead,” published in the Hartford Business Journal (HBJ) on January 8, 2024, as a part of the HBJ’s 2024 economic forecast issue. The article highlights the increased scrutiny heaved on perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); improved efforts by manufacturers to engage in training, coaching, hosting town halls, and increasing dialogue on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives; and corporate compliance efforts that manufacturers are pursuing to become more proficient.. To read the article, click here.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Evan Seeman made a guest appearance on MetroHartford Alliance’s “Pulse of the Region” podcast released on January 10, 2024. In his role as a member of Camp Courant’s Board of Directors, Evan engaged in a conversation about the largest and oldest free summer day camp in the country, its history, impact on youth development, and the importance of the camp’s mission. Camp Courant was founded in 1894 by the Hartford Courant to provide an equal opportunity for children to participate in recreational and educational experiences that balance fun with enrichment, instill confidence, promote healthy lifestyle choices, and inspire big dreams for the future. To listen to the episode, click here.
Robinson+Cole’s Transactional Health Law Group Co-Chair Leslie J. Levinson recently participated in a fireside chat with The DAK Group’s Melvyn Peters, Director, Healthcare Services for the firm’s Healthcare IT Quarterly Roundup Sector Spotlight: Healthcare Services & TMT, Winter 2023/2024. In reviewing 2023, Les confirmed that transactions involving healthcare information technology continued to be very active. As in many industries, artificial intelligence (AI) is a major topic of discussion and is seeing increasing investment activity. Les said, “AI is here and it’s not going away – nobody’s putting that genie back in the bottle…Maybe it’s a year or two down the road where some of those technologies are more front and center in Home Care or Hospice or Nursing, but the technology is being built out.” From what Les is seeing and hearing for 2024, he said “we think there’s a lot of deals teed up to transact mid-year and beyond…To everyone out there thinking of transacting, I’d say hire your banker and start planning, things are looking good for 2024.” Read the article.
Business Litigation Group lawyers Benjamin Daniels and Jenna Scoville, and law clerk Ileana Polanco Cavazos authored an article titled “New York District Courts Split on Whether Cryptocurrency Is a Security,” published in the New York Law Journal on January 5, 2024. Their article focuses on two cases, SEC vs. Ripple and SEC vs. Terraform, which reached opposite conclusions about whether cryptocurrency is a currency or security. While both cases focused on each platform’s marketing and investor reports, the court’s used different standards to evaluate whether the cryptocurrency in question was an investment contract or simply a currency transaction. “Companies should closely evaluate all statements made to investors about cryptocurrencies,” the authors urge, and “focus on whether they are portraying crypto assets as investments through the nature of transactions, statements to investors, or any other representations.” To read the article, click here.
Health Law Group lawyer Yelena Greenberg has been appointed by the Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) to serve as a member of its Health Law Section Council for the 2024 association year. Yelena aims to support the important work of the Health Law Section to provide a discussion platform to improve the professional competence of attorneys dealing with health care issues through seminars and publications, and to bring together all members interested in the practice and delivery of health care.
Labor and Employment Group lawyer Britt-Marie Cole-Johnson has been elected to serve on Loomis Chaffee School’s Board of Trustees. Britt-Marie was one of four newly elected trustees, totaling 28 members, guiding the overall management and governance of the school. She has served on Loomis Chaffee’s Head’s Council since 2016. Loomis Chaffee is an independent, coeducational, college preparatory school for boarding and day students in grades 9-12. Read more.
Coastal + Offshore Resources Industry Team co-chair Peter Knight and lawyers Jessica Bardi and Eden Yerby authored an article titled “Tidal Changes in U.S. Offshore Wind Development,” published in The Maritime Executive on December 7, 2023. The article covers offshore wind developments impacting the Biden administration’s renewable energy goals, including recent regional developments in Connecticut and constraints facing the offshore wind industry in the northeast. Facing obstacles has slowed development, but they provide an optimistic perspective moving forward, writing, “Despite these setbacks, state governments continue to explore OSW development and ways to alleviate some of the economic and logistical hurdles standing in the way of progress.” Read the article.
Construction Law Group lawyer Fred Hedberg has been elected Secretary of the Hartford County Bar Foundation (HCBF). Fred will serve a two-year term, ending on June 30, 2025. The Foundation serves as the charitable arm of the Hartford County Bar Association supporting the community in efforts to improve economic and social conditions throughout Hartford County. Fred has served on the HCBF’s Board of Directors since 2021.
On December 1, 2023, Christine Bromberg, Linda Morkan, Justin Hyland, and Madison Picard volunteered to teach at Parkville Elementary in Hartford on behalf of the Southwest New England Chapter of Junior Achievement (JA). They presented to nearly 20 Parkville kindergartners teaching JA-developed programs in financial literacy and entrepreneurship, including the importance of having a job and how to earn and wisely save money. This year marks R+C’s 18th consecutive year that the firm has participated at Parkville Elementary under the JA program. Christine serves on the Emeritus Board of Directors for the Chapter.
Landlaw Section co-chair Michael Giaimo was designated as a Top Lawyer 2023 by Boston magazine. In its third year, the list was issued in the December 2023 edition of the magazine and included 981 of the “best lawyers in the region,” as chosen by their peers. The feature serves as a valuable resource for readers looking to find the best and most widely recognized lawyers in the Greater Boston area for their excellence in legal work. Lawyers were invited to nominate up to three of their peers in a select number of law specialty categories. Learn more and view the list.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team chair Linn F. Freedman was quoted in the article “Massive Consolidated Lawsuit Blazes Trail for Hacking Litigation,” published in Bloomberg Law on December 7, 2023. With the consolidation of more than 240 federal cases, hundreds of attorneys are preparing to litigate the largest software breach of the year that could establish a roadmap for how lawyers and judges handle such consolidated class actions in the future. Dozens of businesses are defending claims that they’re responsible for the exposure of customer Social Security numbers and other private information that was stored on Progress Software Corp.'s MOVEit file transfer software, which was breached by Russian cybercriminals in May. Hackers obtained data from more than 2,600 organizations, including US government agencies and major companies like IBM Corp. The class actions have been consolidated into one proceeding at the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
“The consolidation reduces the risk of different courts publishing conflicting rulings on the same questions. That consistency will be helpful to attorneys, because data-breach case law is all over the place,” Linn said. “So few data-breach cases are consolidated in the kinds of numbers involved in this MDL that counsel may examine how attorneys managed tracks and other consolidation complexities in areas of law like toxic tort cases filed over asbestos exposure, where plaintiffs can number in the tens of thousands,” Freedman commented. Read the article.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity chair Linn Freedman was quoted in a Newsday article titled “Northwell faces over 20 lawsuits after patient data compromised,” published on December 8, 2023. Linn highlights issues data breach cases face stating, “It's very hard for plaintiffs to be able to say this credit card was opened because of this data breach, when in many instances, peoples’ data has not just been compromised in one data breach.” The article continues, providing context on Northwell’s compromised data and the fact courts are not requiring an exact causal connection for liability. Read the article, here.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team chair Linn Freedman will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the 2023 Tech10 and Next Tech Generation Awards presented by Rhode Island Monthly and the Tech10 Advisory Group on December 6, 2023. The awards highlight individuals in the information technology field whose career contributions vastly improved the way people live and work in southern New England. Linn was featured with the other award recipients in the December issue of Rhode Island Monthly.
Public Finance Group lawyer and Hartford office partner-in-charge Keisha Palmer attended The Bond Buyer’s 2023 Deal of the Year Awards presented in New York City on December 5, 2023 where firm client, the State of Connecticut, was presented with the magazine’s Deal of the Year for Innovative Financing award for the “CT Baby Bonds” program. The program substituted an existing bond reserve fund with surety policy, providing multi-year funding assurance, fully funding the CT Baby Bonds trust up front, while maintaining its commitment to existing bondholders. The CT Baby Bonds was designed to combat systemic poverty by directly investing in children at birth. Keisha and David Panico, Public Finance Group chair, serve as co-tax counsel to the State of Connecticut. Read more about the awards.
The Roffe Group of Robinson+Cole, headed by Andrew Roffe, a Robinson+Cole partner since 2002, has been named #26 in City & State New York’s 2023 Power List of the Top Lobbyists in New York State. The Roffe Group was formally added to Robinson+Cole in January 2022 after collaborating with the firm for nearly two decades, as a testament to Robinson+Cole’s commitment to expanding its footprint in New York State government and regulatory representation, adding depth to the New York government affairs practice and strengthening a key area of historical focus. Rounding out the Government Relations Group are Managing Director, Christine Rutigliano; Patrick Zlogar, Director of Government Relations; Alexandra Moore, Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs; Caley Taratus, Director of Legislative Affairs; and Allison Sheedy, Office Administrator.
Robinson+Cole is among 90 law firms in the US, UK, and Canada to collaborate with the Diversity Lab in an effort to continue building a culture of inclusion for people with disabilities by implementing one or more of the actions listed on the recently launched Disability Inclusion Commitments. Announced on December 5, 2023, the list is comprised of 10 actions that law firms, legal departments, and other organizations can take to increase inclusion and equitable access to opportunities for disabled individuals in the legal profession. The Disability Inclusion Commitments aim to increase the focus on this important underrepresented group of talent. Read more.
Hartford lawyers J. Tyler Butts, Jason DePatie, Edward Heath, and Rachel Kushel were among the lawyers named to the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut's 2023 Pro Bono Honor Roll. The recognition highlights their accepted appointments and devotion in rendering pro bono legal services to unrepresented litigants in civil cases in the state of Connecticut who could otherwise not afford it. View the Pro Bono Honor Roll.
Artificial Intelligence Team partner Sean C. Griffin was featured in an episode of The Cyber Queens Live Podcast. In their lively and fast moving discussion, Sean shared insight about his business litigation background and about the unexpected challenge in passing cybersecurity certification tests. Sean identified artificial intelligence (AI) and ChatGPT among the hottest cyber issues today, warning against it being used too frequently in legal writing because it’s a “stochastic parrot;” basically “a word prediction machine….that will give you words that come after other words that sound good. It’s not actually writing, it’s guessing.” When asked who or which agency will eventually oversee AI, Sean explained that “what’s going to eventually happen is the industry will say we need some regulations here. Because we’re getting sued willy nilly...Companies hate being sued 50 different times in 50 different states.” He said there’s a push right now for a federal law regarding data breach, as an example. “We’ll just have one standard that we can follow and if we break the law we get sued in federal court…It would be good to have one standard across the country.” Sean said that in his presentations on AI he counsels to “insert a human early into the process…so that they can catch things that a human will catch” but that a computer simply can’t. “Your recourse is to not rely too much on AI for things it just can’t do.” Watch the podcast.