The Legislative Update panel discussed the impact of the 2022 legislative session on Connecticut’s mortgage industry, including analysis of industry-related bills that passed and that died in this year’s short session. Norm, who also served as a moderator during the full-day Showcase event, is counsel to the CMBA. Robinson+Cole was pleased to sponsor the Showcase.
The Environmental Business Council (EBC) virtual event featured a presentation on “Federal Programs – U.S. Environmental Protection Agenda” by Ken Moraff, Water Division Director, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 1, and updates from the three EBC New England member states – Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island – along with Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont. Bob Melvin is a member of the Leadership Teams of the EBC New England’s Water Resources Committee as well as the EBC’s Connecticut Chapter. Robinson+Cole was pleased to sponsor the event.
Congress passed emergency legislation early in the pandemic that mandated coverage for COVID testing, but the legislation left many questions unanswered for insurers, and created opportunities for price-gouging by providers. Patrick Begos discussed some of the more noteworthy examples of “providers behaving badly,” and covered the legal issues and litigation regarding provider-payer disputes over COVID testing. He is a past chair of the DRI Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA Conference and currently serves as chair of the Strategic Planning subcommittee.
The article focuses on the issuance of notice letters and personal jurisdiction. While there are many reasons why patent holders might want to put potential infringers on notice of their rights by sending cease-and-desist letters, providing such notice could subject it to personal jurisdiction for a declaratory judgment suit in a remote and inconvenient forum. A single notice letter might not be enough to sufficiently establish minimum contacts with the forum where the letter is sent. But a letter in conjunction with emails, phone calls and/or in-person meetings that often follow a notice letter may suffice depending on the circumstances. This is especially true where the communications are substantive and discuss the validity and enforceability of a patent or threaten litigation. “Patentees must think strategically before firing off cease-and-desist letters and during follow-up correspondence or meetings, lest they ultimately find themselves defending against a declaratory judgment suit in a faraway forum.”
The four-person panel, including a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Delaware, examined current developments that may affect asset, enterprise and plan valuations. The panelists also discussed evolving market factors, the latest legal developments, and changing trends in valuation methodology. The three-day VALCON 2022 event was a three-day event offered a deep dive into distressed debt, restructuring, and valuation.
This CLE-credit program addressed the current status and market conditions that are driving the growth in modular construction, which has seen its U.S. market share more than double in the past five years to a $10B industry, and key markets and drivers for modular construction. It also addressed the benefits and challenges of this hybrid delivery process, including managing the risks and accounting for complex construction issues in drafting contracts for such projects. Fred Hedberg is a member of the Section’s Executive Committee and serves as the Section’s Legislative Liaison.
The moderated discussion at the Turnaround Management Association Network of Women-hosted event addressed the Texas Two-Step - a strategy that has been employed by companies with enormous tort liabilities to create new entities in the state of Texas and assign assets and liabilities separately in order to shield the assets, and which has come under criticism from the tort creditors and scrutiny from bankruptcy scholars and legislators - and the variety of issues it involves. Speakers addressed the JJCI/LTL bankruptcy, previous divisive merger cases - including the first of the Two-Step cases, the Bestwall/Georgia-Pacific bankruptcy - and other mass tort cases. Robinson+Cole was pleased to sponsor the TMA NOW Summit. Bankruptcy + Reorganizations co-chair, Natalie Ramsey, is a member of the TMA.
The article points out that after nearly two years of managing through the COVID-19 pandemic, employers across a number of industries, including construction, are being impacted by another significant challenge: the “Great Resignation.” This term refers to the trend of workers voluntarily resigning from their jobs en masse that began in 2021 and continues today. Facing the pressures of recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and integrating job candidates to fill vacancies and meet a company’s operational needs, employers have been forced to rethink their recruiting and hiring processes, including pre-employment screening processes. In light of operational challenges, the shifting legal landscape and the pressure to hire quickly, employers reviewing their pre-employment screening process should weigh all applicable factors before making changes. For employers with multi-state workforces, they should ensure that their pre-employment screening processes are consistent with the applicable state laws.
The VALCON 2022 meeting, held in Las Vegas, Nevada from May 10-12, was co-chaired for a second year in a row by Bankruptcy + Reorganizations Group partner, Rachel Jaffe Mauceri, who serves as a member of the VALCON Advisory Board. The annual event was a three-day gathering co-presented by the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors, offering a deep dive into distressed debt, restructuring, and valuation.
The event offered guidance and analysis on recent white-collar crime cases and practice developments from law firm defense counsel, government prosecutors, in-house counsel, judges, and corporate professionals. Seth serves on the Conference Advisory Committee and the BBA’s White-Collar Crime Section Steering Committee. Robinson+Cole was pleased to be a sponsor of this event.
The webinar covered all aspects of cyber insurance, including why coverage is critical, what is covered under a typical policy, how to prevent and respond to a cyberattack, and the legal ramifications should a data breach occur, as well as current conditions in the cyber insurance marketplace.
The Strafford CLE webinar examined litigation around microplastics - which are now believed to exist everywhere, including in our water and food supplies, and for which the long-term effects of microplastic ingestion on human health are currently unknown. The panel discussed recent cases brought under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the potential liability associated with microplastics, what manufacturers should consider when making environmental sustainability claims, and best practices to follow. The panelists also addressed the unique circumstances under which claims have been brought by shareholders in derivative lawsuits against manufacturers, the current state of litigation and how manufacturers may mitigate risks, and what options a plaintiff may have when pursuing a claim.
The article examines the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware’s approach, in a recent hotel bankruptcy,
to while addressing the longstanding tension between the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and the Bankruptcy Code. Ultimately, the Court “permitted both arbitration – initially, on a conditional basis – and estimation, the latter ultimately only for feasibility purposes.” Read the full article here.
The webinar focused on the legal perspective of global sales channels specifically partnering with international distributors and representatives and offered best practices regarding how to negotiate international sales agreements, including developing ways for a “win-win” between companies and international partners. The session was part of Export Week 2022 programming designed to advise and educate U.S. companies about market opportunities and tradecraft skills. Robinson+Cole was presented with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service by the United States Secretary of Commerce in May 2019. Jeff White is the Manufacturing Law Industry Team Chair and a member of the Connecticut District Export Council.
The four-person panel discussed Chapter 11 ethical issues, including multiple related debtors, cases with PE shareholders and cases of closely-held corporations, identifying conflicts and strategies to deal with such situations. The three-day, in-person gathering of bankruptcy and insolvency professionals was designed to provide extensive learning and networking opportunities for the insolvency community.
As drones become increasingly commonplace, and in the absence of federal or state law or industry best practice in this emerging domain, lawmakers and policymakers are struggling with how to effectively regulate the unique privacy and cybersecurity risks posed by drone operations and the vulnerabilities they present for cyber-attacks. The authors report that until federal regulation “catches up with the technology, lawyers could move courts to mitigate the issue by arguing for strict liability for drone operators and manufacturers.” Kathryn Rattigan is a member of the Editorial Board of Advisors for the Journal on Emerging Issues in Litigation, a collaborative product from HB Litigation Conferences, Fastcase Full Court Press and Law Street Media, and the Emerging Litigation Podcast. Read the full article here.
The three-day Seminar featured 20 programs specifically designed for trial attorneys and included outstanding local and regional speakers along with top national speakers. The event featured thought leaders addressing a broad range of topics focused on improving the practice of plaintiff trial attorneys.
Cost escalation on construction projects is a real danger for all stakeholders. The panel of experienced counsel and industry experts offered practical tips on how to proactively manage construction claims and avoid common, and often costly, risks and pitfalls. Discussion topics included planning for cost-effective claims through proactive training and document management, managing risk associated with material shortages and cost escalation, and avoiding protracted dispute resolution proceedings.
As an HR leader, building and supporting an ethical and compliance-focused culture is critical. When companies do not act in an ethical or compliance-focused manner, the results can be devastating for the company, customers, and the public - as many recent scandals have demonstrated. This presentation reviewed recent scandals in which a lack of ethics and compliance led to reputational harm, loss of trust, financial loss, a toxic workplace culture, and ruined careers, among other poor outcomes. The discussion addressed how HR professionals can best drive ethics and compliance in the workplace.
The virtual presentation addressed a range of topics, including developments in Class Action Fairness Act jurisprudence; how arbitration agreements succeed or fail in preventing class action exposure; and recent trends and changes in class action settlement administration. The firm was pleased to be a sponsor of the Conference.
While marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, in the tri-state area, marijuana is lawful under certain circumstances. These laws impact employers in their recruitment, drug testing programs, employee relations, and health and safety, among other areas. The presentation reviewed the current state of the law regarding recreational and medical marijuana in the three states and included discussion about HR best practices for ensuring compliance with applicable laws.
Many states allow federal courts to certify a question to the state’s highest court when faced with a significant but unsettled question of state law, which affords the benefits of upholding principles of comity and increasing efficiency in the judicial process. However, while certification empowers those courts to provide an authoritative ruling on key state law issues, it is neither appropriate nor advantageous to seek certification in every case. In the Q&A-format article, Wystan explains the certification process, highlighting the procedure and practical considerations for parties seeking to obtain or prevent certification, and addresses the standard federal courts typically apply when considering an application to certify question to a state court, and the types of questions that are most – and least – appropriate for certification.
Presented as the second part of the Business Law Section's Middle Market and Small Business Committee, International Business Transactions Subcommittee meeting, the panel discussed a range of topics, including the impact of COVID-19 on global supply chains and current efforts to localize (or “re-shore”), acquire, transfer, and dual sourcing of critical supplies; evaluating a potential target’s supply chain challenges during the due diligence phase, including steps for mitigating issues/risks and exploiting opportunities (or value creation); potential options for buyers who identify supply chain challenges not disclosed during due diligence; and post-closing considerations, including contract review, strategic sourcing, insourcing, outsourcing, and integration. Jeff is a member of the Business Law Section's Middle Market and Small Business Committee, International Business Transactions Subcommittee.
Evan was among the presenters offering a summary of legal arguments and policy discussion regarding time limits on special permits. He also presented on the amicus brief for the Connecticut Association of Realtors.
The experienced panel of employment law practitioners examined the role of implicit bias in intentional discrimination cases, from the scope of discovery to admissibility to expert witnesses. While the foundation of many employment law claims is proof of discriminatory intent, the growing understanding of implicit bias has necessarily led to questions such as:
With the persistent spread and reoccurrence of COVID-19 and its variants, the construction industry continues to feel the effects of supply chain interruptions, acute labor shortages, and tariffs on raw material imports. Fred writes that these situations have resulted in delivery delays and increasingly-long lead times, which, combined with rising labor costs and price inflation “have led to significant increases and volatility in raw material prices over the past two years, which should be accounted for.”
Fred outlines various considerations that could prove helpful to engineers in protecting owners from unforeseen price escalations while designing and executing a successful design-bid-build project. These fundamentals include: understanding the owner’s requirements; preparing detailed plans and specifications for contractors; and determining whether the project should be undertaken in phases. He also recommends preparing requests for proposals (RFPs) that address material cost escalation and define “the form and method of payment and include a well-drafted mutual or bilateral escalation clause.” He notes that “[e]ngineers can play a crucial role in the success of a project by accounting for and allocating the risks of material price volatility in today’s uncertain economic times.”
Presented in March 2022 to the marketing department at of our client, Dymax Corporation, which is a global leader in manufacturing light-curable materials and related equipment, on the basics of trademark and copyright laws and the implications for Dymax’s team members on compliance with aspects of intellectual property law related to marketing, packaging, and labeling products.
This paper surveys new trends on the broader national security policy changes on foreign-owned Telecommunication, Media and Technology companies, platforms, applications and contents, and explores how the court decisions and administrative actions surrounding the TikTok and WeChat bans would shape future government actions in this area.
The article covers challenges facing universities and colleges around the country from growing requests by students to identify themselves by a preferred or chosen name in place of the student’s legal name. The authors suggest that having a clear and thoughtful policy in place to address preferred name usage will help avoid “ad hoc or case-by-case determinations to grant such requests for a few reasons.” Universities and colleges may want to review a number of considerations as develop their policies, including: “(1) the logistics of establishing and utilizing a preferred name, (2) matters requiring the use of a legal name, and (3) identifying instances that may warrant rejecting a student’s request to use a preferred name.”
Presented in two parts to Food'NBev, a virtual accelerator for emerging food and beverage brands based in the Northeast. Part one focused on packaging and labeling concerns, including use of natural, organic, Made-in-the-U.S., and environmental claims as well as deceptive advertising and an overview of the agencies and departments that monitor and enforce the applicable laws. Part two of the presentation (in April 2022) included an overview of intellectual property basics and legal concerns for employing certain marketing tactics, including endorsements, electronic marketing communications, sweepstakes and contests.
The program provided an update on SEC reporting requirements, guidance, and enforcement efforts related to ESG (environmental, social, and governance); offered perspectives from public and private corporations regarding the development of ESG-related programs; shared data and analytics trends to evaluate corporate ESG profiles; and covered litigation risks associated with greenwashing and ESG-related claims. Robinson+Cole was pleased to be a sponsor of the event.
The panel of accomplished women shared their experiences in breaking through the proverbial “glass ceiling.” They offered their perspectives and insights from different areas of the turnaround industry, such as how they were able to advance themselves and excel in their careers and what that success means both professionally and personally. Robinson+Cole was pleased to be a sponsor of the event.
The article offers a brief overview of the Bankruptcy Code sections related to property of the estate and exemptions, and presents a primer on litigation funding agreements. Patrick and Annecca also analyze the decision of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York in In re Reviss, in which the Court forewarns litigation-settlement financiers that their security interest in settlement proceeds could be in peril when the proceeds are not yet attached and a Chapter 7 debtor attempts to exempt the same proceeds from property of the debtor’s bankruptcy estate.
This webinar discussed how in recent years, legislators have renewed their focus on pay equity and efforts to close and prevent wage gaps based on gender, race, ethnicity, and other characteristics. This trend has resulted in a wave of new legislation requiring pay transparency, with several states and cities enacting laws that require employers to disclose wage ranges.
The presentation focused on the impact of information overload, the continuation of the convergence of disciplines, and the strategies for process automation in each of these disciplines. The four-day Legalweek New York 2022 event brought together legal professionals to network with peers, dive deeper into their professional development, explore topics and strategies tailored to their specific role, and gain insights and actionable tools to tackle the fast-evolving legal landscape and help legal leaders restructure, rebuild and reinvigorate today’s law firms.
The event was focused on the effects on climate change.
The event offered high-level breakdowns of key issues related to the fair use of copyright in a number of areas, including NFTs (non-fungible tokens), social media, fine art, and software. The four-factor test and sub-factors for fair use are a difficult standard to assess, understand, and apply. The panel of experienced presenters walked attendees through various types of work and explained how fair use has interacted with each. The presentation featured a review of copyright fair use standards; a lightning round discussion of fair use issues related to NFTs and social media; the definition and application of “transformative use;” and an in-depth examination of the application of fair use in software cases.
The Digest presents summaries of recent federal and state court decisions addressing issues at the intersection of planning and law, with takeaway lessons to assist planners and land use attorneys in their practice. Evan’s article takes a close look at Tillman v. Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Shelton, 341 Conn. 117 (2021). The case considered whether the Connecticut Zoning Enabling Act authorizes municipalities to permit planned development district (PDDs). A PDD is a zoning tool that is generally used to permit a mix of uses and dimensional elements that may not otherwise be allowed in a standard zoning district. The Supreme Court upheld the use of PDDs as flexible zoning techniques. Evan is the immediate Past Chair of the Planning & Law Division.
The Alliance for Justice's Bolder Advocacy project was designed to provide everything you need to know in order to engage confidently in the advocacy space. Advocacy can be a powerful tool to increase impact and further your mission. But many funders have questions about what they can, and cannot, do when it comes to advocacy.
Not sure how to make the case for funding advocacy? Uncertain whether you can fund grantees that lobby? Wondering whether your public or private foundation can speak out on a particular issue? The Alliance for Justice's Bolder Advocacy project was designed to provide everything you need to know in order to engage confidently in the advocacy space. This training answered these questions and more! Presenters provided expert guidance on what funders need to know from both the state and federal level, offering a clear understanding of the kind of advocacy activities foundations can safely engage in and best practices for grantmaking to give grantees the most flexibility under the law for their advocacy efforts.
The webinar focused on how smart devices have expanded to now include everything from security cameras and doorbells to thermostats and air quality monitors. The presentation also discussed the latest smart technology and devices; how to protect your clients, your practice and your privacy; and important ethics, rules and considerations regarding the use of smart devices in the practice of law.