78 Robinson+Cole lawyers were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2024. Of the 78 lawyers from across the firm’s practice groups and offices named to the list, 57 are from Connecticut. The firm continues to have the highest number of recognized lawyers in the state. Robinson+Cole also has the highest number of listed lawyers in Connecticut in the areas of environmental law and insurance law. Approximately, the top 5 percent of all practicing lawyers in the U.S. were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 30th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.
Additionally, five lawyers were named Best Lawyers® 2024 “Lawyer of the Year” in the following offices, in the noted practice areas:
Hartford, CT – Best Lawyers® 2024 “Lawyer of the Year”
Jacqueline Pennino Scheib – Trademark Law
Michael R. Enright – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
Theodore J. Tucci – Insurance Law
Boston, MA – Best Lawyers® 2024 “Lawyer of the Year”
Michael S. Giaimo – Land Use and Zoning Law
Stamford, CT – Best Lawyers® 2024 “Lawyer of the Year”
Patricia D. Weitzman – Health Care Law and Litigation-Health Care
A Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” designation is awarded to one lawyer in each of various high-profile specialties in large legal communities. These particular lawyers received the highest ratings among their peers for their abilities, professionalism, and integrity.
The fourth edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America was also released, which includes 23 Robinson+Cole lawyers. The “Ones to Watch” recognition is given to attorneys early in their careers for their outstanding professional excellence in private practice in the United States. The firm has the highest number of lawyers to receive this designation in Hartford, Connecticut. Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole announces the addition of Washington, DC-based, Sean C. Griffin as a partner in the firm’s Business Litigation Group. Griffin is a litigator who draws upon his background as a U.S. Department of Justice trial attorney to assist clients with matters that intersect with the federal government, including contract claims, False Claims Act litigation, internal investigations, and subpoena responses.
“We’re very excited to welcome Sean to Robinson+Cole,” said Rhonda J. Tobin, Robinson+Cole’s Managing Partner. “Sean is a highly regarded lawyer with complex government contracting transactional and litigation experience, and along with his privacy and data security depth he truly bolsters the firm’s extensive litigation depth. He is a terrific addition to our Washington, DC office as we continue to prioritize strategic growth in large commercial centers.” Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole announces the addition of Adam J. Petitt as a partner in the firm’s Managed Care + Employee Benefit Litigation Group. Petitt is a trial lawyer with extensive experience in managed care and particular knowledge in Medicaid and Medicare Advantage programs.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Adam to Robinson+Cole,” said Rhonda J. Tobin, Robinson+Cole’s Managing Partner. “He brings a depth of expertise and experience that will complement our growing Managed Care practice, and his presence in Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York will further enhance the breadth of services we offer to our clients. Adam joins a Managed Care litigation team that recently expanded by adding partner E. Evans Wohlforth, Jr. in New York earlier this year, as well as Ariella J. Ederi and Rita N. Nerney who recently joined our Boston office. The group, which has grown significantly over the last several years, represents managed care entities in complex matters across the US.” Read more in the press release.
Robinson+Cole Bankruptcy + Reorganizations Group co-chair Natalie D. Ramsey and member Katherine M. Fix were among the lawyers selected for recognition as part of The Legal Intelligencer’s 2023 Pennsylvania Legal Awards. The annual awards program took place on June 14, 2023, at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, and honored “those lawyers who have left an indelible mark on the legal community in Pennsylvania and beyond through their unwavering dedication to the profession.” Ramsey and Fix were also highlighted in awardee features published in The Legal Intelligencer. Read more in the press release.
Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Krista Patterson was among those selected by the New York Real Estate Journal to be featured in the publication’s “Women in Commercial Real Estate” spotlight. Published in the September 26, 2023 issue, the spotlight “recognize[s] noteworthy accomplishments and praiseworthy contributions of women currently working in New York's commercial real estate industry.” Krista describes who/what qualities inspire her and shares a project from the last year that she is most proud of. The profile also includes a quote from Real Estate + Development Group chair Matthew J. Lawlor as to why Krista should be recognized. Read the profile.
Employee Benefits + Compensation Group lawyer Virginia E. McGarrity was elected to serve as Secretary of The Connecticut Forum Board of Directors. Founded in 1992, The Connecticut Forum is a one-of-a-kind 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving Connecticut and beyond with live, unscripted panel discussions among renowned experts and celebrities. Forums are presented four times per year to audiences at The Bushnell theater in Hartford. Robinson+Cole is a proud sponsor of the 2023-24 season featuring, among others, Academy Award-nominated documentarian Ken Burns, former U.S. Representative Liz Cheney, and James Beard Award winner Chef Marcus Samuelsson. Learn more about The Connecticut Forum and its upcoming season.
Health Law Group lawyer Danielle H. Tangorre was quoted in the article, “No Surprises Act Sparks a Slew of Court Decisions,” published in The Dark Report on September 11, 2023. The No Surprises Act requires insurers to determine the Qualifying Payment Amount (QPA) for the “same or a similar service that is delivered by a provider in the same or similar specialty” in the geographic region where the service is provided. The issue of QPA came up repeatedly in the court rulings. In August, parts of the government’s interim final rule that dealt with QPA calculation was struck down in a case brought by the Texas Medical Association. “QPA is thorny,” stated Danielle. “The government and the Texas Medical Association have taken very different approaches to interpretation of the statute regarding QPA. Part of the issue from the Texas Medical Association’s perspective—which represents the providers—is that the QPA can be an amorphous number that is hard to judge because a lot of the data used to calculate it is held only by the insurance companies.” Danielle reminded clinical lab managers and pathologists that the No Surprises Act does not apply to all diagnostic testing, which is an important delineation.
“There are discrete circumstances where laboratories are impacted by the No Surprises Act. If a lab gets referrals from a hospital or an urgent care center, then the lab needs to be following the No Surprises Act. “But if a lab gets its referrals from a doctor’s office or substance abuse facility, for example, the majority of the No Surprises Act doesn’t apply,” she added. Read the article.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Kathryn Rattigan, Immigration Group lawyer Lauren Sigg and Real Estate + Development Group lawyer Anthony Vogel were recognized as "New Leaders in the Law" as part of Law.com's 2023 New England Legal Awards on September 21, 2023, which celebrated professional excellence in law in Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The New Leader in the Law distinction spotlights lawyers under the age of 40 who have excelled in the courtroom, in client service and cultivation, in service to bar associations, and in performing pro bono work or community service in a volunteer capacity.
Construction Group chair Martin A. Onorato has been appointed to serve a two-year term as chair of the Connecticut Bar Association’s (CBA) Construction Law Section. Marty has previously served as a member of the Section’s Executive Committee in the role of Secretary and Treasurer as well as its Legislative Liaison, serving as the primary contact between the Section and the CBA's Legislative Policy and Review Committee as it pertains to relevant legislation affecting the area of construction law. The Construction Law Section aims to bring together CBA members practicing construction law to discuss current issues affecting that practice area, educate the membership on legal issues impacting these rapidly developing topics, and to foster productive relationships between the attorneys and members of the construction industry.
Business Litigation Group lawyer William J. Egan provided comments for the article, “Arbitrator Bias Confusion Pervades Bids to Vacate Awards,” published in Law360 on September 11, 2023. In two cases this summer, the Second Circuit and Eleventh Circuit courts turned away petitions to vacate arbitral awards that totaled $677 million. Both cases involved the arbitrators’ failure to disclose certain relationships that, it was argued, showed “evident partiality.” As an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association, Bill commented that "While a failure to make complete disclosures does not automatically result in the undisclosed relationship forming the basis for vacating an award, a court may still examine the arbitrator's relationships and a finding of bias may be possible." Read the article.
Real Estate Litigation and Title Insurance Team chair and Business Litigation Group member, Lawrence Heffernan was among the honorees named to the inaugural Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Hall of Fame, which is reserved for Massachusetts lawyers ages 60 and older who have been practicing for 30 years or more. Larry was recognized during an awards ceremony on September 12, 2023 in Boston, MA and profiled in a special section released the same day. Members of the Hall of Fame "are icons of the local legal community — lawyers who have made their mark in a range of practice areas. [They] reflect the range of legal excellence that Massachusetts has to offer." Read the special section.
Construction Group lawyer Joseph A. Barra was quoted in the article, “Equipment that sat ‘idle’ doesn’t reduce mechanic’s lien,” published in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly on September 9, 2023. The article examines the Appeals Court reversal of a Superior Court decision where the judge reduced the recorded $697,000 in mechanic’s liens to $180,000. Joe commented that while the decision may comply with all the technical requirements of the lien law, it misses the bigger picture. “The decision explicitly states that Chapter 93A created new substantive rights by making conduct unlawful that was not unlawful under common law or prior statutory law. If that is the case, then this court should have used its plenary authority to invalidate the lien in its entirety, as it was apparently procured under false pretenses,” Joe said. “It seems silly that in the ordinary case, a legitimate claimant who misses a lien deadline or makes a technical mistake in its lien filing can lose all lien rights under the statute, but a lien scheme that has been judicially declared to be unfair or deceptive can nevertheless survive.” Read the article.
Public Finance Group lawyer and partner in charge of Robinson+Cole’s Hartford office, Keisha Palmer was among the honorees recognized during the "100 Women of Color Gala & Awards" hosted at The Bushnell in Hartford, CT on September 8, 2023. The awards recognize the extraordinary contributions made by women of color in business, education, entrepreneurship, entertainment, government and public service and the impact they have on the lives of people in communities across Connecticut, Western Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Proceeds from the event will help enable Concerned Citizens For Humanity (501C3) to support programs and scholarships for the advancement of young women of color, as well as the promotion of healthy living for women and to support organizations that need funding for cervical and breast cancer research.
Bankruptcy + Reorganizations Group co-chair Natalie Ramsey has been named to the Top 100 Restructuring Professionals list by the Global M&A Network. Over the past 10 years, the list has featured “brilliant, accomplished, and influential professionals from the restructuring, distressed M&A and insolvency communities.”
Candidates are identified through a highly competitive process that begins with the evaluation of firms and best performing or winning transactions closed in 2022 that were recognized as part of Global M&A Network's “Turnaround Atlas Awards." Selection is then narrowed to a single professional from the firm based on their experience, differentiated expertise, and transactions completed among additional attributes. Only one professional is selected from the practice group at the firm per year. Natlie was identified for the "top" designation in connection with being part of the Robinson+Cole team that won the Chapter 11 Restructuring of the Year in the “mega” category (value: above $5 billion) for serving as co-counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (UCC) in the Mallinckrodt plc, et al. chapter 11 cases.
Antitrust and Trade Regulation Team member Jen Driscoll was a guest on the Emerging Litigation Podcast episode “Manufacturing Supply Chain Investigation Risks” on August 24, 2023. Jen and host Tom Hagy discussed recent challenges to the global supply chain and manufacturing industry and their impact on the marketplace as a whole. They covered the role of the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, whether the agencies have sufficiently addressed these issues, and if there are any further measures in the works. The podcast is the audio companion to the Journal on Emerging Issues in Litigation, which published Jen’s article "Supplier Beware: DOJ & FTC Investigating Manufacturing & Supply Chain Issues," back in February. Listen to the full episode.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity chair Linn Freedman was quoted in the Modern Healthcare article “Increased cyberattacks lead to steep consequences for organizations” on August 22, 2023. In it, Linn spoke on the extensive impacts of cyber-attacks, saying, “You have to divert time and resources that you don’t have to respond to this attack as a victim, and it takes you away from the good work that these institutions are doing.”
Linn was also recently quoted in two articles published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM): “Workers Duped by HR-Related Phishing Attacks” on August 15, 2023, and “QR Code Phishing Attacks Spread” on August 28, 2023. In the first story, Linn discussed how common phishing emails have become in the workplace, especially those that pretend to come from a company’s HR department. "I have seen in practice that this is a particularly effective way to get people to click on things that they would normally not click on." The second SHRM article sources comments Linn made on the potential dangers of QR codes from her August 17 Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Insider blog “Privacy Tip,” explaining that while people have become very comfortable with scanning QR codes, “it is important to understand that just like malicious code embedded in a link or an attachment in an email or text—which we have been trained not to click on—a threat actor can embed malicious code into a QR code with the same results."
Environmental, Energy & Telecommunications Group lawyer Jonathan H. Schaefer and Labor and Employment Group lawyer Abby M. Warren co-authored the article “As the Temperature Rises, Employer Obligations Rise Too,” published in EHS Today on August 31, 2023. The article examines OSHA’s new focus on the enforcement of heat-safety violations occurring in indoor work environments, such as manufacturing and warehouse facilities. While OSHA has yet to issue a national standard for workplace heat-safety rules, just yesterday on August 30, they released a “Regulatory Framework” meant to outline potential options for the elements of a future OSHA standard. The authors suggest that after a thorough review of OSHA’s Regulatory Framework, employers could draft and implement a written heat stress prevention program or heat illness prevention plan for their worksite or facility. In addition to OSHA guidelines and standards, employers should also be aware of their obligations to address safety concerns under other existing legislation including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the National Labor Relations Act. Read the article.
Robinson+Cole is pleased to announce that it has represented Prime Number Acquisition I Corp. (PNAC) in the closing of its business combination with noco-noco Pte. Ltd. (noco-noco), a Singapore developer of decarbonization solution technologies. The transaction, valuing the post-combination combined entity at $1.35 billion, was announced on December 29, 2022, and was closed on August 25, 2023. The combined public company, noco-noco Inc. (Nasdaq: NCNC), commences trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market on Monday, August 28, 2023.
The team advising on the transaction, led by Arila E. Zhou, included Capital Market + Securities Team members Ze’-ev E. Eiger, Tiange (Tim) Chen, Yi (Tiffany) Liu and Christopher F. Homsy. The cross-disciplinary team was also supported by Business Transactions Group lawyer Eric M. Kogan, Intellectual Property + Technology Group co-chair Jacqueline Pennino Scheib, and Group member Nicole M. Diodati. Read more.
Health Law Group lawyers Conor Duffy and Michael Lisitano and Business Litigation Group lawyer Ben Jensen co-authored the article “Conn. Ruling Highlights Keys To Certificate-Of-Need Appeals” published in Law360 on August 22, 2023. Referencing a July 25, 2023 opinion issued by the Connecticut Supreme Court in High Watch Recovery Center Inc. v. Department of Public Health, the “Expert Analysis” article emphasizes the importance of “[u]nderstanding the distinction between mandatory and discretionary public hearings…for parties to CON proceedings to avoid foreclosing potential appellate rights.” The authors indicate that the ruling is “significant in that it rejects a rigid application of the statutes governing CON procedures and instead focuses on the substance of the public hearing at issue in assessing whether a matter qualifies as a contested case.” Conor, Ben and Michael provide background on the case, examine the decision and offer some key takeaways. This is the second “Expert Analysis” article on the topic of certificate-of-need (CON) that Conor and Michael have recently had published. They also co-authored “Conn. Certificate-Of-Need Law Will Bring Greater Efficiency,” with Health Law Group lawyer Erin Howard in July. Read the article.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Crystal Peralta was one of just 38 applicants selected to join the Rhode Island Foundation’s Equity Leadership Initiative (ELI) 2023/2024 Cohort. The ELI sets an intentional goal to cultivate, mentor, and seek access for individuals who identify as Black, Hispanic or Latino, Indigenous, Asian, and multiracial from across sectors to build a pipeline of leaders of color in positions of influence in Rhode Island. This one-year leadership program supports leaders of color who are working in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors. Members must demonstrate a commitment to racial equity and social justice. Crystal will participate in the program from now through August of 2024. For more information and to see the full list of 2023/2024 cohort members, click here.
Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Team chair Linn F. Freedman and member Jennifer M. Driscoll co-authored the article “COVID-19, Generative AI And The 'Lost Generation' Of Lawyers,” published in the August 2023 issue of Mealey’s Litigation Report: Cyber Tech & E-Commerce. The authors examine the impact that COVID-19 and the growing use of Generative AI (GenAI) continue to have on the legal industry. While GenAI offers efficiencies that enable attorneys to do their jobs in a cost-effective manner, there is concern about the legal risks of using GenAI and its potential to displace junior associates, who may then face a gap in legal and interpersonal skills that interferes with their advancement and client relationships. Jen and Linn suggest that senior lawyers create opportunities for junior associates to learn how to harness the power of GenAI, while developing independent critical thinking skills through more traditional training. Read the article.
Health Law Group lawyer Conor Duffy and Labor and Employment Group lawyer Abby Warren were each profiled in a special issue of the Hartford Business Journal commemorating the publication’s 2023 “40 Under Forty” winners. In addition to providing a brief bio, Conor and Abby’s profiles share their community service involvement, the biggest professional accomplishment so far in their careers, a "fun fact" about them and more. View Conor and Abby's profiles.
The Hartford Business Journal's 2023 “40 Under Forty” class showcases a diversity of up-and-coming professionals who are leading their organizations and represent the promising future of the city, region, and state. This year’s class will be recognized during a special event on September 28, 2023 at Aqua Turf Club in the Plantsville section of Southington.
Labor and Employment Group lawyer Abby Warren co-authored the article “Protecting Business Interests Amid Rise in Legislation Aimed at Restricting Noncompetes” published in the Spring 2023 issue of PE magazine, the flagship publication of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). This edition focused on Generative AI and its impact on the workforce. Warren co-authored a story with R+C alumna Kayla West, which explores a proposal by the Federal Trade Commission that would largely prohibit employers from imposing noncompete agreements on workers. According to the authors, this occurs at a time where many state and local jurisdictions have already passed or proposed legislation to ban or restrict noncompetes. The piece goes on to offer alternative options for employers, including confidentiality/nondisclosure agreements, nonsolicitation agreements, return of property agreements/device agreements, fiduciary duty notices and agreements, and reminder letters to departing employees. Read the article.
Bankruptcy + Reorganizations Group members Michael C. Barber and Katherine S. Dute co-authored the article “Cash Is Not King Anymore, Strategies for Protecting Tenant Assets in Landlord Bankruptcy,” in the July 2023 issue of the ABI Journal, the member publication of the American Bankruptcy Institute. In the context of a landlord bankruptcy, the article explores: the characterization, treatment, and priority of commercial security deposits; the role that state statutes might play in making such determinations; and strategies for mitigating risks to the recovery of such assets held by nonresidential landlords. Read the article.
Robinson+Cole’s Transactional Health Law Group Co-chair Leslie J. Levinson Was quoted in the article “Scrutiny Of Large Deals’ Continues With DOJ’s Inquiry Into Optum-Amedisys Transaction,” published in Home Health Care News (HHCN) on August 14, 2023. Following the Department of Justice’s request for additional info regarding UnitedHealth Group’s planned acquisition of Amedisys Inc., Les commented that “[T]his is a huge transaction. You’ve got a handful of public companies. LHC was acquired earlier, and I think that most practitioners and most deal people would agree that putting LHC and Amedisys under one umbrella was going to get government scrutiny.” UnitedHealth Group’s Optum completed its LHC Group acquisition in February.
Les surmised, “It’s possible that something could go adversely, but I think most would say it’s too early to make that prediction.” It’s also possible that this process could continue past this current request from the DOJ. “If they’re not satisfied with the responses, or they feel that there was a violation that needs to be addressed, they could continue to request additional information, or they could move to block the transaction. I think we’re probably a ways away from that being the case.”
Ultimately, Levinson believes that industry stakeholders can expect to see continued oversight of large home-based care transactions. “There aren’t that many large potential transactions that are coming down the pike,” Les said. “As the DOJ continues with the steps that it’s been taking with most of these transactions, I don’t think anyone will be surprised if there’s continued scrutiny of large deals.” Read the article.
Labor and Employment Group lawyer Abby M. Warren co-authored the article, “Know the Risks and Rewards of Employer-Sponsored Summer Activities,” published in the Hartford Business Journal, August 7, 2023. Co-authored with R+C alumna Sapna Jain, the article points out that regardless of the kind of activity, “the goal is the same – to provide a fun, safe, and inclusive experience. In addition, the goal is to limit possible legal risks associated with such activities. To that end, there are a number of questions that employers should be asking in order to limit these risks,” including “What should we do?, Will alcohol be served?, What policies apply?, How do we set the tone?” The authors suggest that “employers who are planning summer gatherings consult competent counsel to ensure the proper safeguards are in place to mitigate potential legal risks”…and ensure that employees will remember the event for all the right reasons. Read the article.
Coastal + Offshore Resources Industry Team lawyer Jess Bardi was presented with the 2023 EBC Ascending Leader Award as part of the Environmental Business Council of New England's EBC 27th Annual Summer Garden Party on August 3, 2023 in Boston, MA. The award recognizes young professionals in the energy and environmental sectors demonstrating exceptional leadership and industry involvement early in their careers. Jess serves on the EBC’s Ocean and Coastal Resources Committee and was recently selected to serve on the Ascending Professionals Committee Leadership Team. The mission of the Committee is to identify issues of concern to young (and new) environmental professionals, such as career and professional skills development, understanding existing and developing legislation and regulations, and networking. R+C was pleased to sponsor the 2023 Summer Garden Party. Learn more about the award.
On July 27, 2023, Robinson+Cole recognized 18 lawyers and staff members for their pro bono work, mentoring, community service and efforts to promote a healthy, diverse and inclusive work environment as part of the firm's annual awards.
The Pro Bono Award is presented by the firm’s Pro Bono Committee and honors individuals for their outstanding commitment to Robinson+Cole’s pro bono initiative. This year’s honorees were Dan Brody, Amanda Phillips, Land Use Analyst Chris Schaut and Philadelphia Office Coordinator Maranda Kenny.
The Robinson+Cole Mentor of the Year Award recognizes outstanding guidance, support, and encouragement of fellow lawyers and staff in their pursuit of professional growth. This year’s award was presented to Arial Zhou, Peter Meggers, Jessica Bardi and Finance Accounting Specialist Lauren Moore.
In addition, Dana Horton, Trevor Bradley, IT Support Analyst Jason Cap and Immigration Paralegal Alexandra Collins were all recognized with the Community Service Award for their continued volunteerism.
The 2023 Robinson+Cole's Diversity and Inclusion Awardees included John Mutchler, Mallori Thompson and Senior Attorney Career Development Manager Drew Collins, who were honored for their ongoing dedication and support of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
As a result of the high level of engagement in activities as the firm, the Wellbeing Award was established with Kathryn Rattigan, Business Litigation Paralegal Michelle Finnegan and Benefits Manager Julianna Shuter receiving the inaugural recognition.
Government Enforcement and White-Collar Defense Team co-chair Seth B. Orkand and Business Litigation Group member Sabrina M. Galli co-authored the article, “Recent Litigation Provides Guidance as Schools Await New Title IX Regulations,” published in the July 27, 2023 Summer issue of the Boston Bar Journal. While revisions to Title IX regulations are expected from the Biden administration this October, Title IX cases have continued in federal court. Approximately fourteen Title IX cases have been filed in the District of Massachusetts since this publication’s last update in 2020 and the First Circuit has decided approximately seven of them. The attorneys explain that while Title IX guidance and regulations continue to fluctuate, there are two theories a plaintiff may assert: selective enforcement and erroneous outcome. Regardless of which theory a plaintiff pursues, both require showing and proving a gender bias. While numerous cases have been dismissed on the basis of Title IX claims, a number have proceeded on claims of breach of contract, highlighted in the attorneys’ discussion of Doe v. Stonehill College and Doe v. Williams College. The attorneys conclude that while schools await October revisions to Title IX regulations, courts “can be expected to require schools to follow their procedures, provide respondents the opportunity to appropriately review or respond to evidence, and avoid undue influence by staff who are not decision makers in the Title IX processes.” Read the article.
Business Litigation Group lawyer Sean Griffin was honored with the 2023 FDCC Diversity Award during The Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel’s (FDCC) Annual Meeting on July 26, 2023 in Colorado Springs, CO. The recognition is presented annually on behalf of the entire Federation to a deserving member whose efforts during the year embody the spirit of the organization's Diversity Statement and to expanding the mandate of inclusiveness within the profession.
In addition, Sean was among that panelists that presented the program "How to Effectively Communicate After a Cyber Attack When the Attack Hits Your Law Firm and/or Client Section: Data Breach." Cybercrime is forever evolving and on the rise. For organizations around the globe, cyberattacks are no longer an “if” but a “when.” The program offered tips for avoiding a cyberattack, powering through an attack, and managing communications after one has occurred. Sean is a Senior Director on FDCC's Board of Directors, is Chair if its Data, Breach, Privacy, and Cyber Insurance Section and is also Vice-Chair of the Commercial Litigation Section.
Health Law Group member Conor O. Duffy and Government Enforcement and White-Collar Defense Team co-chair Seth B. Orkand co-authored the article, “Your belief matters: U.S. Supreme Court decision affirms subjective knowledge standard for False Claims Act determinations,” published in Medical Economics on July 19, 2023. The authors encourage primary care physicians and other clinicians to review their False Claims Act (FCA) compliance policies in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision, which concluded that a party’s subjective belief as to whether an FCA violation occurred is an important factor in determining liability. In what was the highest-profile FCA case in many years, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion rejecting a pair of decisions that had adopted an “objective” standard for assessing potential FCA malfeasance in the context of pharmacy drug discount programs. Establishing a new precedent, this opinion could have a far-reaching impact affecting cases involving primary care physicians, hospitals, health care systems, and other providers who bill federal health care programs. The authors remind clinicians and health care organizations that their own beliefs about the propriety of billing practices or particular claims could later be relied upon as evidence of knowledge or intent. Read the article.
International Team member Ben Daniels was guest on the on the Emerging Litigation Podcast episode “Clearing the Hurdles in International Discovery with Ben Daniels” posted on July 25, 2023. Ben and host Tom Hagy discuss nations’ various rules and traditions governing discovery. “Navigating these complexities requires specialized tools, a thorough understanding of how they do things from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and how to get your case over hurdles not seen in the U.S.” The podcast is the audio companion to the Journal on Emerging Issues in Litigation. Listen to the full episode.
Business Transactions Group lawyer and partner in charge of the New York office Anna Wang has been named to the inaugural Lawyers of Color (LoC) Wonderful Women list, which recognizes dynamic women attorneys working in law firms, companies, and government agencies across the U.S. who show promise in their careers and demonstrate a strong commitment to advancing diversity in the legal profession. In addition, Construction Group lawyer Choity Khan and Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer Stephani Roman have been named to LoC’s Hot List 2023, which recognizes early- to mid-career attorneys excelling in the legal profession. All three lawyers will be profiled in the publication’s annual Hot List 2023 issue later this year. Honorees for both designations were chosen through a two-pronged process that included months of nomination and legal publication review by a selection committee to identify quality candidates. Editorial selections were also made based on research of attorneys who had noteworthy accomplishments, with special attention to candidates who were active in diversity pipeline initiatives. LoC is a nonprofit devoted to promoting diversity in the legal profession and advancing democracy and equality in marginalized communities.
Labor Relations Group chair Natale V. DiNatale has been re-appointed by the Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) to serve as Chair of its Health Law Section Council for the 2023-2024 association year. Natale led the Council as chair for 2022-2023, and previously served in the role of Vice Chair for 2021-2022 and 2020-2021. He is also a speaker for the MBA. The Health Law Section provides a discussion platform to improve the professional competence of attorneys dealing with health care issues through seminars and publications; strives to bring together all members interested in the practice and delivery of health care.
Members of Robinson+Cole’s Bankruptcy + Reorganizations Group were recognized for their work on the Mallinckrodt plc restructuring during Global M&A Network's 15th Annual Turnaround Atlas Awards hosted in New York City on July 19, 2023 as part of the organization’s Restructuring & Distressed Investing Forum. The annual event honors the achievements of legendary leaders, outstanding firms and best-value creating transactions from the restructuring, distressed investing and insolvency industry. Robinson+Cole won the Chapter 11 Restructuring of the Year in the “mega” category (value: above $5 billion).
Robinson+Cole serves as co-counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (UCC) in the Mallinckrodt plc, et al. chapter 11 cases. Mallinckrodt is a global enterprise that operates two separate businesses – a Specialty Brands business and a Specialty Generics business. The Specialty Brands business manufactures INOmax and Acthar Gel, while the Specialty Generics business is the only U.S. producer of acetaminophen and various opioids. Litigation against the company on multiple fronts, including opioid-related litigation, left the company to seek to restructure its businesses, which led to the chapter 11 filing on October 12, 2020. Through the bankruptcy, the Debtors were able to de-lever their capital structure by more than $1 billion. A disclosure statement for the plan of reorganization was approved by the Bankruptcy Court for solicitation on June 17, 2021, with the hearing on confirmation of the Debtors’ plan held on September 21, 2021. On February 3, 2022 the Bankruptcy Court issued a written ruling confirming the Chapter 11 plan and on March 2, 2022 the Bankruptcy Court entered a Confirmation Order confirming the Fourth Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization. Further, on April 27, 2022 the Irish High Court made an Order pursuant to Section 541(3) of the Companies Act of Ireland confirming the Scheme of Arrangement proposed by the Examiner between Mallinckrodt plc, its creditors and members, which is based on and consistent in all respects with the Fourth Amended Plan.
The Team advising the UCC includes Natalie Ramsey, Jamie Edmonson, Patrick Birney, Michael Enright, Rachel Jaffe Mauceri, Laurie Krepto, Ryan Messina, Annecca Smith, along with Business Litigation Group Members John Cordani and Curtis Crowther. Learn more about the Turnaround Atlas Awards.
In addition to the award, Jamie was among the panelists that presented the "Distressed M&A: Deals and Steals" as part Restructuring & Distressed Investing 15th Annual Forum, which discussed acquiring assets under Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings – from valuations, challenge of due diligence, and financing.
Robinson+Cole is among 55 U.S.-based law firms named to Bloomberg Law's third annual Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Framework, a listing of law firms that meet or exceed an established threshold of diversity measured across areas such as recruitment and retention, leadership and talent pipelines, and business strategy—as determined by a panel of experts from industry, academia, and the legal industry. The DEI Framework is described as a "groundbreaking program designed to recognize law firms’ commitment to DEI through a rigorous, quantitative methodology." For more information, click here.
Robinson+Cole served as legal counsel to Medacist, a pioneer in drug diversion monitoring, in its acquisition by Thoma Bravo, a leading software investment firm in a strategic growth investment in Bluesight, the Medication Intelligence™ Company, which closed July 17, 2023. The investment is expected to further enhance Bluesight's drug diversion prevention and continue to grow Bluesight's inventory management and spend optimization offerings. Bluesight's acquisition of Medacist combines two innovators in drug diversion analytics and medication management solutions that together will serve more than 2,000 hospitals across North America. The complex deal was led by Transactional Health Law Group co-chair Les Levinson and supported by a cross-disciplinary team of R+C lawyers, including Adam Anderson, Jackie Scheib, Michael Kearney, Virginia McGarrity, Natale DiNatale, Ben Jensen, Chris Homsy, Jon Cabot and Nicole Diodati. For more information, view the press release.
Labor Relations Group Chair Natale V. DiNatale authored the article, “OSHA May Seek Rule Change That Opens the Door to Union Organizers,” published in the Q3 issue of Trade & Industry Development, which was published online in July. In the article, Natale discusses OSHA’s “Fairfax Memo,” a policy the agency maintained between 2013 and 2017, which required employers of non-union facilities to allow OSHA inspectors to be accompanied by union representatives. The policy was withdrawn in 2017 following a legal challenge. In the fall of 2022, OSHA issued a notice suggesting a return to the Fairfax Memo through the promulgation of an agency regulation, which was expected in May 2023. Natale cautions that while employers await OSHA’s new rule on this topic, it remains important to be prepared to handle the arrival of an OSHA inspector, which is typically unannounced, regardless of the other parties who may be involved. Employers would be wise to prepare in advance by predesignating the company representative; establishing who will take part in the inspection and clearly stating the scope and purpose of the inspection; ensuring consistent and lawful communications with employees; and providing supervisor training so that they understand how to communicate with employees about unions. The takeaway Natale offers is that it’s important for employers to gather internal stakeholders (HR, legal, compliance, senior management) to set priorities, identify risks and develop an action plan before an issue arises. Read the article.
Coastal + Offshore Resources Team co-chair John Casey has been selected to join the Environmental Business Council of New England’s (EBC) Ocean and Coastal Resources Committee Leadership Team. The mission of the EBC Ocean and Coastal Resources Committee is to identify and address ocean and coastal resource issues and opportunities that are of concern and interest to EBC members and their clients. The EBC, a nonprofit organization, was established in 1990 by environmental and energy company executives who began meeting on a regular basis to exchange ideas and share experiences.
On July 10, 2023, Robinson+Cole client, WinnDevelopment, broke ground on an $85 million project to transform a nationally recognized historic structure, the old Landers, Frary and Clark manufacturing complex in New Britain, CT, into a 154-unit apartment community for affordable housing and workforce households.
A cross-disciplinary team of R+C lawyers and professionals helped Winn navigate the acquisition, tax credit syndication, debt financing and environmental issues that accompany the redevelopment of a historic factory building. The team included Michele Maresca as lead attorney with support from Deirdre Robinson, Emilee Mooney Scott, Bomopregha Julius, Austin Provost, Madeleine Laffitte, Christopher Schaut and Vee Kaur.
When Deirdre joined R+C in 2021, she brought with her, her long-time client, WinnCompanies, an award-winning national developer and manager of affordable, mixed-income and market rate apartment communities with a strong history of leveraging Federal and State tax credits to enable redevelopment of otherwise challenged properties.
This adaptive reuse project will convert four buildings into 79 one-bedroom, 59 two-bedroom and 16 three-bedroom apartments geared toward young professionals, middle-income households and fixed-income seniors. The historic exterior of the brick buildings will be preserved, while the interior space is adapted into apartments for households earning 30, 50, 60 and 80 percent of Area Median Income
Financing for this project includes numerous sources of debt and equity, including federal LIHTC equity and, with the help of Eversource, State historic tax credit equity. Bank of America provided taxable construction financing and CHFA provided a long-term tax-exempt bond loan. Other sources of debt came from the Connecticut Department of Housing, HUD, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and the City of New Britain.
For nearly 60 years, James A. Wade was a legendary figure at Robinson+Cole and within the legal and business communities. Those who had the good fortune to know Jim personally and work with him know that this is a tremendous loss for all of us.
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Health Law Group lawyers Conor O. Duffy, Michael G. Lisitano and Erin C. Howard co-authored the “Expert Analysis” article, “Conn. Certificate-Of-Need Law Will Bring Greater Efficiency,” published in Law360 on July 6, 2023. The article summarizes legislation signed by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont on June 27, 2023, Public Act 23-171, “An Act Protecting Patients and Prohibiting Unnecessary Health Care Costs” (“the Act”). The Act, a result of collaboration between the Governor, Legislature, Connecticut Hospital Association and other stakeholders, reflects state efforts to streamline the potentially lengthy Certificate-of- Need (CON) process, and impose more exacting deadlines on the Office of Health Strategy (OHS) in certain circumstances, while also expanding OHS’s ability to investigate and penalize noncompliance with CON laws and CON agreed settlements, and to address complicated health care issues raised in CONs.
Among numerous updates, the Act implements changes to public notice requirements, imposes new process deadlines on OHS, newly allows OHS to utilize expert consultations when considering certain applications, expands OHS authority to investigate and imposes penalties for non-compliance with CON requirements, and clarifies certain longstanding CON applicability requirements. Read the article.
Insurance + Reinsurance Group lawyer William M. Daley, Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group lawyer Leticia C. Pimentel and Data Priavacy + Cybersecurity Team lawyer Kathryn M. Rattigan were recognized as “Rising Stars” in the Rhode Island Super Lawyers® list for 2023. The Super Lawyers® designation is based on regional balloting by attorneys, third-party research, and a peer review process encompassing myriad practice areas. An explanation of the Super Lawyers methodology can be found here.
Robinson+Cole was ranked #17 in the “2024 Best Law Firms to Work For” category as part of Vault’s Law Firm Quality of Life Rankings. The rankings are derived from Vault’s Annual Associate Survey in which more than 20,000 associates anonymously rated and commented on various aspects of their work lives. Robinson+Cole climbed eight spots up the Best Law Firms to Work For list, which highlights the top 50 law firms surveyed. Robinson+Cole has achieved a top 25 listing in the past three editions of the rankings.
In addition to ranking #17 in the 2024 Best Law Firms to Work For category, Robinson+Cole received top 10 recognitions in the following categories: Firm Culture, Integration of Laterals & Clerks, Technology & Innovation, Transparency, and Wellness. The firm also ranked #10 in Vault’s “2024 Best Law Firms For Diversity,” which includes a #6 ranking in Diversity for Women.
Robinson+Cole’s Capital Markets + Securities Team (the Team) was pleased to represent Bukit Jalil Global Acquisition 1 Ltd. (Bukit Jalil), a special purpose acquisition corporation incorporated in the Cayman Islands, in its recent initial public offering. On June 30, 2023, Bukit Jalil completed its $57.5 million IPO of 5,750,000 units at $10 per unit (including units sold upon the full exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option). The units began trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the ticker symbol “BUJAU” on June 28, 2023. The Team advising on the offering was led by Team Chair, Arila Zhou, and included Yang Xu and Zhe (Emmett) Tan. Read more.
Environmental, Energy & Telecommunications Group lawyer Jon Schaefer provided comments for the article “Be Prepared for OSHA’s Medical Mismanagement Claims,” published by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) on June 26, 2023. The article points out that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently issued medical mismanagement claims in an effort to prove violations of the general duty clause of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act. While infrequent, medical mismanagement claims are typically used to address ergonomic and repetitive motion injuries in the workplace. Jon commented that OSHA “has shown an increasing interest in ergonomics in the workplace, mostly in the context of warehouse, poultry and other similar workplaces.” Jon also pointed out that OSHA has taken issue with employers restricting what information is provided to onsite medical professionals about employee injuries, as well as onsite medical professionals working outside their scope of practice. Read the article.