Dana M. Horton

(she/her/hers)

Partner

  • Overview

    Biography

    Dana Horton is a trial lawyer with more than twenty years of experience representing and advising corporate and insurance company clients in complex commercial disputes, with an emphasis on property and liability insurance coverage, extra-contractual/bad faith claims, large loss property subrogation, and product liability matters. She is a member of the firm’s Insurance + Reinsurance Group.
     

    Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Litigation

    Dana has counseled and represented clients in numerous high-exposure cases involving a wide variety of insurance lines and issues, including commercial property, business income and extra expense, builder’s risk, excess and surplus lines, and homeowners and automobile coverages. She works with carriers starting at the outset of a claim, providing guidance and advice to ensure compliance with applicable state laws and regulations, and adherence to good faith claims handling practices. She has handled numerous appraisals and references, mediations, arbitrations, and trials, throughout New England at the state, federal and appellate levels. Since April 2020, she has represented clients with regard to numerous substantial claims of loss and damage, allegedly stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Dana has been honored as a 2021 Leader in the Law by Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly and recognized in Rhode Island Monthly’s Professional Excellence in Law awards in the area of Insurance since 2020. Dana has also been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Litigation - Insurance since 2016.

    Complex Commercial Litigation

    Dana has represented corporate clients in general civil litigation and complex commercial matters throughout New England. She has represented and defended hospitals and health care centers in medical malpractice matters. She has assisted corporate clients in breach of contract and related commercial actions and has assisted on complex ERISA disputes, bankruptcy matters, construction and construction defect litigation, unfair trade practices, and a wide range of other business disputes.

    Large Loss Property Subrogation, Marine and Products Liability

    Working on behalf of some of the world’s largest insurers and reinsurers, Dana has handled countless subrogation claims, including fires, explosions, water damage, roof failures, construction defects, product defects, locomotive accidents, airplane catastrophes, chimney fires, boiler failures, and motor vehicle, yacht and marina claims. She assists her client at the outset of a claim, including investigating the circumstances and causes of each incident in order to maximize recovery effectively and efficiently. She assists with the origin and cause investigation, working with national experts and consultants to determine whether subrogation potential exists and identifying potential responsible parties. Dana has successfully litigated, tried, and resolved large loss subrogation matters throughout New England.

    Arbitration and Mediation

    In addition to utilizing ADR strategies in her own practice for her clients, Dana serves as both a mediator and arbitrator in Rhode Island, through her participation in the court-annexed arbitration program, the annual Settlement Week program implemented by the Rhode Island Superior Court, and privately.

    Pro Bono

    Dana assists Perspectives Corporation, a Rhode Island entity that provides residential and vocational opportunities to individuals with disabilities, with the appointment of health care guardians. She frequently coordinates community food and holiday gift drives for the firm’s Providence, Rhode Island office through the various committees and organizations for which she volunteers her time. She is a member of the Human Rights Committee for Perspectives as well.

    Upon graduation from law school, Dana completed a one-year judicial clerkship with the State of Connecticut Superior Court. She serves as the co-chair of Robinson+Cole’s Wellbeing Committee. Dana is also the former co-chair and current member of the firm’s Women’s Committee and an active member of the firm’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, + Belonging Committee. She is a strong mentor advocate and assists with training colleagues with respect to the importance of mentoring.

     

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

        Insurance Coverage Litigation

      • Representing insurer in multiple COVID-19-related cases involving claims for business income loss and damage, which are pending in Rhode Island state court and Connecticut federal court. Plaintiffs (large, well-known, and financially strong businesses and organizations) are represented by out-of-state, aggressive counsel trying to convince a Rhode Island Superior Court judge that our client’s commercial policies cover losses allegedly sustained by the pandemic. Working with the client, its in-house legal team, and claims representatives regarding the analysis of the policy language and actual claims and supporting documents submitted by insureds, as well as with the court and our client’s national coordinating counsel.

      • Obtained partial summary judgment in Rhode Island Superior Court with regard to multi-million dollar breach of contract COVID-19 litigation, where the court determined there was no coverage under our client’s all-risk commercial property insurance policy for the loss and damage alleged, and further specifically concluded that COVID-19 does not cause physical loss or damage to property.

      • Represented client in a matter that involved a water loss sustained at the plaintiff’s medical office and involved the application of the water loss exclusion and a detailed analysis of applicable coverage and business personal property loss. Obtained summary judgment on both the breach of contract and bad faith claims.

      • Representing client in a case that involves a claim for approximately $10m under a commercial property policy after a fire occurred at a vacant mill property in Rhode Island. Assisted the client with a review of their policy language, analysis of documentation submitted by the insured, and assisted with the preparation of a coverage analysis and partial denial.

      • Represented client in a homeowner’s policy dispute that involved the plaintiffs seeking coverage after their property took on water following torrential rains. Obtained summary judgment in our client’s favor and successfully maintained our position at the First Circuit, following the plaintiff’s appeal - later withdrawn - to reverse the lower court’s decision.

      • Represented carrier on a boat damage claim that was pending in the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Successful on summary judgment as to the plaintiff’s bad faith claim, but not as to coverage. Successfully persuaded the First Circuit on appeal that the trial court misread and misinterpreted the policy language, resulting in a reversal and vacating of the District Court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff and an order that the client’s cross-motion for summary judgment be granted and judgment entered in its favor.

      • Insurance Bad Faith Litigation

      • Representing carrier in an $18M bad faith insurance coverage matter that involves an underinsured claim stemming from a significant motor vehicle accident. This case is being closely watched, as such bad-faith insurance claims are uncommon in Rhode Island. The trial is anticipated in 2023.

      • Successfully obtained summary judgment on both breach of contract and bad faith claims in a matter involving a sophisticated pro se plaintiff seeking coverage for water damage to his property as well as damages for bad faith against the defendant. A finding determined that the loss was not covered by the policy language.

      • Represented carrier in a complex case involving an underinsured motorist/bad faith matter stemming from a serious automobile accident, with the plaintiff suing her stepfather’s carrier as well as another carrier that was both her and her mother’s insurer. Pre-trial demands were in excess of $3M, based on claims of substantial and irreversible traumatic brain injury as a result of the accident, which she alleged had affected every facet of her life. After a lengthy investigation, litigation, and coordination of a variety of medical experts, obtained a favorable decision resulting in payment of a small fraction of the plaintiff’s initial demand.

      • Represented carrier underinsured motorist/bad faith matter stemming from a Connecticut car accident in which plaintiffs claimed their client could no longer function and perform to her previous capabilities. After coordinating experts and preparing for trial, successfully mediated the case and obtained a great result for our client.

      • Represented client in a breach of contract/bad faith matter, which was recently resolved after years of litigation in the Rhode Island state court system, involving a direct-action claim brought by a general contractor, stemming from improper home construction. Briefed and argued a summary judgment motion on the coverage issues, which the court opted to decide at trial. The trial decision resulted in a favorable decision for the client, concluding that neither the property owners (by their direct action claim) nor the contractor (in his third-party claims) had stated a sufficient claim against our client. The case was ultimately dismissed after another failed attempt at an appeal.

      • Insurance Subrogation

      • Obtained a favorable settlement for Rhode Island wire mill facility and its insurance carrier in pursuing a $60-million claim against a utility company resulting from a high voltage electrical fire.

      • Resolved $1m claim for loss and damage for a carrier stemming from a fire resulting from the utility’s failure to properly maintain service and delivery connections to the insured’s high-end residence.

      • Secured jury trial verdict in Massachusetts in excess of $1m stemming from apartment complex fire due to plumber’s negligence.

      • Successfully resolved several matters for insurer client stemming from excessive damage to the northeast railway system due to negligence of third parties.

      • Represented international pharmaceutical company in significant chemical explosion action, which resulted in severe personal injuries to several employees and millions in property damage to its facility, and negotiated successful settlement after several years of litigating and coordinating litigation with the consolidated personal injury actions.

      • Obtained a favorable settlement in a product liability claim involving a challenge to failure of an alarm system.

      • Successfully mediated and resolved a large yacht fire loss for a national carrier after litigation with the marina and electrical contractor.

      • Currently representing national carrier with regard to multi-million dollar property loss in the wake of a catastrophic airplane crash.

      • Assisted in defending a subrogation action brought relative to a retaining wall and ramp collapse at an old mill that was in the process of being rehabilitated. The issue on summary judgment turned on several key issues, including what coverage was in place at the time of the loss, which took priority, and which controlled, as well as the intent of the insured. Prevailed on the summary judgment motion.

      • Serves as coordinating national counsel for a large product manufacturer, assessing claims, handling demands, requesting information, responding to inquiries and warranty claims, and supervising nationwide litigation.

      • Successfully resolved a complex underinsured motorist/bad faith claim brought by the executor of a decedent killed while riding a motorcycle when suddenly and without warning, debris fell off another vehicle (never identified) and onto the road, causing the decedent to sustain severe trauma and ultimately death.

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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      National Association of Subrogation Professionals

      Defense Research Institute

      American Bar Association
      Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee

      Rhode Island Bar Association
      Executive Committee (2019 - present)
      Secretary (2023 - present)
      House of Delegates (2009 - present)
      Superior Court Bench/Bar Committee (2006 - present)
      Chair, Superior Court Bench/Bar Committee (2016 - 2019)
      Federal Court Bench/Bar Committee
      Leadership Academy Task Force (2024)
      Federal Court Local Advisory Council (2022 - present)
      Annual Meeting Planning Committee 2009-2011 (2021 - present)
      Chair, Annual Meeting Planning Committee (2021 - 2022)

      Rhode Island Bar Foundation
      Fellow (2017 - present)

      Rhode Island Women's Bar Association

      Defense Counsel of Rhode Island

      Connecticut Bar Association

      New London County Bar Association
      Board of Directors (2010 - 2014)
      President (2013 - 2014)

      Massachusetts Bar Association

      New Hampshire Bar Association

      Vermont Bar Association

      Maine State Bar Association

      Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Recognized as a 2021 Leader in the Law by Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly

      Recognized in Rhode Island Monthly’s Professional Excellence in Law awards in the area of Insurance from 2020 to 2023.

      Providence Business Journal, 2010 "40 Under Forty"

      Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Litigation-Insurance since 2016, in the areas of Insurance Law and Personal Injury Litigation-Defendant since 2022, and in the area of Mediation for 2023. 

      Robinson+Cole Mentor of the Year Award Recipient, 2021

      Robinson+Cole Community Service Award Recipient, 2023

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      American Heart Association
      Go Red for Women

      Perspectives Corporation
      Member, Human Rights Committee

      Town of Westerly, Rhode Island
      Member and Chairwoman, Board of Assessment Review

      Hopkinton and Westerly Recreation Youth Basketball
      Former Coach

      Ocean Community YMCA
      Certified Spinning Instructor (2016 - present)

      Springbrook Elementary School
      PTO Member and Former President

      Westerly High School
      Sports Boosters Association (2022 - present)

      Westerly Middle School
      Current PTO President
  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      A Practical Guide to Discovery and Depositions in Rhode Island, 2nd edition 2019, published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Inc. (MCLE). She edited/updated Chapter 25 entitled "Electronic Discovery" in this publication. (3/4/2022)
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      A Practical Guide to Discovery and Depositions in Rhode Island, 2nd edition 2019, published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Inc. (MCLE). She edited/updated Chapter 23 entitled “Discovery from Out-of-State and Foreign Nonparty Witnesses” in this publication. (3/4/2022)
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      "Discovery from Out of State and Foreign Nonparty Witnesses," published in A Practical Guide to Discovery and Depositions in Rhode Island, 2019 by MCLE New England (8/12/2019)
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      "Tips For A Successful Subrogation Practice," published in ABA Young Lawyers Division, TIPS Quarterly Web Publication (2009)

    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "Fire Debris Analysis: Science and Litigation in the Ashes," as part of the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Annual Conference (11/6/2023)
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      "Beyond Our Borders: Service of Out-Of-State Subpoenas and Depositions in RI State and Federal Court," during the 2019 Rhode Island Bar Association Annual Meeting in Providence (6/14/2019)

      "A Defense Attorney's Perspective for the Fire Investigator," co-presented with Daniel F. Sullivan, as part of the Connecticut Fire Academy’s 24th Annual Advanced Fire Investigation School program in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. (5/1/2019)
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      "Success at a Law Firm and Becoming Partner," as part of the Rhode Island Women's Bar Association Success in the World of Law CLE Series (6/26/2018)
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      "Discovery of Electronic Materials Comes to Superior Court," presented during the 2018 Rhode Island Bar Association Annual Meeting (6/21/2018)
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      "Digesting the Law of Food Allergies," moderator for this session at the Rhode Island Bar Association Annual Meeting (6/17/2016)
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      "The Future Is Not What It Used to Be—E-Discovery Tips and Traps," co-presented with Superior Court Justice Brian Stern and Paul Kessimian, Esq., at the Rhode Island Bar Association's Annual Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island (6/18/2015)
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      "Asking the Right Financial Questions during Discovery," at Rhode Island Bar Association Annual Meeting, co-presented with Jean Lehman (6/14/2012)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • August 3, 2023

        Robinson+Cole Presents 2023 Awards for Outstanding Contributions

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      • June 6, 2023

        Providence Lawyers Ascend to Leadership Roles/Receive Recognitions During 2023 RI Bar Foundation and Association Annual Meetings

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      • May 30, 2023

        Steve Boyajian and Dana Horton Receive 2023 Rhode Island Monthly Professional Excellence in Law Awards

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      • April 6, 2023

        Robinson+Cole Named "Business of the Year" by the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT

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      • July 12, 2022

        Dana Horton Reappointed to Rhode Island Bar Association Leadership Positions

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      • June 27, 2022

        Providence Lawyers Receive Distinctions During Rhode Island Bar Foundation and Association Annual Meetings

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      • May 27, 2022

        Steve Boyajian and Dana Horton Receive 2022 Rhode Island Monthly Professional Excellence in Law Awards

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      • February 17, 2022

        Rhode Island Bar Association Spotlights Dana Horton in Diversity & Inclusion Newsletter

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      • July 30, 2021

        Robinson+Cole Presents Annual Awards for Outstanding Contributions

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      • July 8, 2021

        Steve Boyajian and Dana Horton Reappointed to Rhode Island Bar Association Leadership Positions

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      • June 3, 2021

        Steve Boyajian and Dana Horton Receive Rhode Island Monthly Professional Excellence in Law Awards

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      • April 6, 2021

        Dana Horton and Kathryn Rattigan Profiled in Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly Excellence in the Law 2021 Special Section

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      • June 17, 2020

        Dana Horton Receives Rhode Island Monthly Professional Excellence in Law Award

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      • August 22, 2019

        Dana Horton Authors Chapter in Rhode Island Discovery and Depositions Guide

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      • May 2, 2019

        Dan Sullivan and Dana Horton Present at Connecticut Fire Academy

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      • December 27, 2018

        Providence Office Continues its “Spirit of Giving” by Participating in Annual Holiday Food Drive

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      • December 19, 2018

        Providence Office Demonstrates the “Spirit of Giving” by Supporting Annual Holiday Drive

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      • August 20, 2018

        52 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019

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      • July 12, 2018

        Dana Horton Shares Insights on the Path to Partnership During Rhode Island Women’s Bar Association Program

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      • July 5, 2018

        Dana Horton Presents on Discovery of Electronic Materials During 2018 RIBA Annual Meeting

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      • June 4, 2018

        Dana Horton Reappointed Chair of RIBA's Superior Court Bench/Bar Committee

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      • March 19, 2018

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Support Annual Bryant University Women’s Summit®

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      • December 20, 2017

        Providence Office Demonstrates the “Spirit of Giving” by Supporting Annual Toy Drive

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      • August 14, 2017

        Dana Horton Reappointed Chair of RIBA's Superior Court Bench/Bar Committee

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      • March 23, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Attend Women's Summit at Bryant University

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      • December 16, 2016

        Providence Office Participates in the Children’s Friend Annual Holiday Drive

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      • July 21, 2016

        Dana Horton Reappointed Chair of RIBA's Superior Court Bench/Bar Committee for Third Term

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      • June 28, 2016

        Dana Horton Discusses How Educational Institutions Can Deal with the Rising Prevalence of Food Allergies

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      • May 11, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Women Lawyers Listed in Best Lawyers Spring Business Edition

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      • March 30, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Attend Women's Summit at Bryant University

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      • December 17, 2015

        Providence Office Participates in Spirit of Giving Drive

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      • December 3, 2015

        Dana Horton Appointed to U.S. District Court LRRC Committee

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      • October 9, 2015

        Dana Horton Quoted in Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly Article

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      • July 22, 2015

        Dana Horton Presents on E-Discovery at RIBA Annual Meeting

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      • December 17, 2014

        Providence Office Participates in Spirit of Giving Drive

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      • July 3, 2014

        Providence Lawyer Selected to Chair Rhode Island Bar Association Committee

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      • May 20, 2014

        Dana Horton Presides Over NLCBA Law Day Luncheon

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      • April 23, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Women Attend Summit at Bryant University

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      • January 16, 2014

        Dana Horton Leads Food Drive to Benefit Charities

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      • June 26, 2013

        Providence Lawyers Elected to Rhode Island Bar Association's House of Delegates

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      • June 14, 2013

        Providence Lawyer Sworn In as NLCBA President

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      • March 28, 2013

        Providence Lawyer Chairs NLCBA's Winter Event

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      • January 2, 2013

        Providence Office Continues Donating to Defense Counsel of Rhode Island Food Drive

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      • July 3, 2012

        Associate Dana Horton Delivers Presentation on Financial Questions During Discovery

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      • January 2, 2012

        Providence Office Continues Donating to Defense Counsel of Rhode Island Food Drive

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      • March 22, 2011

        Litigation Associate Chairs Portrait Unveiling Ceremony for Superior Court Judges

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      • June 16, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Attorney to Serve Fourth Term on New London Bar Association Board

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      • April 26, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Subrogation Attorneys are Featured Speakers at National Association of Subrogation Professionals Seminar

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      • February 16, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Attorney Appointed to Human Rights Committee for Perspectives Corporation

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      • August 18, 2009

        Robinson & Cole Attorneys Appointed to Rhode Island Bar Association Federal Court Bench/Bar Committee

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      R+C News Releases

      • August 17, 2023

        78 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2024

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      • August 18, 2022

        74 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2023

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      • August 19, 2021

        65 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022

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      • April 13, 2021

        Dana Horton and Kathryn Rattigan Selected for Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly 2021 Excellence in the Law Recognitions

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      • August 20, 2020

        61 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021

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      • August 15, 2019

        57 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020

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      • December 11, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Elects New Partners

      • August 15, 2017

        Fifty-Nine Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018

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      • August 15, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017

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      • August 18, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Lawyer Count in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016

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      • December 11, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Elects Four New Partners and Promotes Six Counsel

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      • August 12, 2010

        Providence Business News Names Dana Horton As “40 Under Forty” Recipient

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