Publications

The New Connecticut LLC Act

The new Connecticut Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (the “New CT LLC Act”) will be taking effect July 1, 2017. The New CT LLC Act is based on the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act adopted by the Uniform Laws Commission and replaces the Connecticut Limited Liability Company Act (the “Old Act”). The New CT LLC Act represents an attempt to modernize Connecticut’s laws with respect to limited liability companies (“LLCs”) while trying to promote uniformity with other states.As an initial matter, the New CT LLC Act does not affect any right, remedy, privilege, obligation or liability existing on or before July 1, 2017. Accor…

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Hinckley Allen Labor & Employment Alert
06/08/2017
Thomas J. Pagliarini
What to Take Away from New Secretary of Labor's Withdrawal of Obama-Era Wage and Hour Interpretations

On June 7, 2017, the newly confirmed United States Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, announced the withdrawal of two Obama-era informal interpretations that had been issued by the Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division in 2015 and 2016.The 2015 guidance concerned the misclassification of employees as independent contractors and suggested that most workers should be classified as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The 2016 guidance concerned joint employment and when companies should be considered joint employers under the FLSA and Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSAWPA).  The joint…

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A Practical Guide to Land Use Law in Rhode Island

Hinckley Allen attorneys Thomas W. Madonna, Jr. and Robin L. Main are contributing authors to MCLE's A Practical Guide to Land Use Law in Rhode Island: An Essential Guidance on Rhode Island Land Use. Read their respective chapters On Signage and Adult Uses--Chapter 9 by Tom Madonna--and Brownfields, Wetlands, and Municipal Regulations--Chapter 10 by Robin Main. A preview to each chapter is included. For the full Practice Guide to Land Use Law in Rhode Island, please visit MCLE.Thomas J. Madonna, Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP, & Robert G.

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Hinckley Allen Summer Associate Program
05/30/2017
John R. Pariseault
How I've Grown Since My First Summer at Hinckley Allen: An Alum's Reflection on the Summer Associate Program

Being a Summer Associate is an opportunity to learn, explore and ask questions about career development.  What is it like to practice law?  In what areas of the law am I interested?  Will I enjoy working at a firm?  Will that new suit fit comfortably?As an eager 2L, I was ill-equipped to do much more than legal research, but I did have a positive attitude, a willingness to work hard and a strong desire to learn.  I walked the office halls and introduced myself to people.  I sought out assignments from every practice group and I took ownership of those assignments no matter how small the impact or foreign the subject matter.  When someo…

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WCNY Radio - Capital Pressroom
05/25/2017
Michael L. Koenig
Michael Koenig on Federal Invesitgations

Michael Koenig shared what what we need to know about investigations, special prosecutors and independent counsels.

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WNPR
05/24/2017
Robert J. Anthony
Business Eye Health Care Changes with Caution [RADIO INTERVIEW]

Hinckley Allen Labor & Employment
05/10/2017
Lisa A. Zaccardelli
Recent OSHA Rules Seek to Improve Flow of Workplace Injury Data

Since its creation in 1971, the agency has helped drive serious workplace injuries down from 11 per 100 workers to only 3 per 100 in 2015; however, the rate of decline has slowed in recent years.  To continue perfecting workplace health and safety, OSHA relies on large sets of accurate information to determine the root causes of common workplace hazards, allowing it to promulgate effective injury avoidance regulations.  Some of its most recent rules aim at increasing the amount of data that flow into the agency.While all employers understand the value of safer workplaces, and most recognize the importance of reporting workplace injuries to …

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Hinckley Allen Labor & Employment Newsletter
05/09/2017
Thomas J. Pagliarini
3 Things to Know About the Seventh Circuit’s Decision to Shield Sexual Orientation Under Title VII

On April 4, 2017, in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, No. 15-1720 (7th Cir. 2017) (en banc), the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.The court held that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation constitutes impermissible discrimination on the basis of sex—one of the specifically listed categories that are protected under Title VII. The ruling departs from every previous federal appellate court ruling, some of which were by the Seventh Circuit.

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Hinckley Allen Labor & Employment Newsletter
05/09/2017
Christine E. Dieter
Rhode Island Supreme Court Rejects Individual Liability under the Fair Employment Practices Act

On March 8, 2017, the Rhode Island Supreme Court (RISC), for the first time, concluded that § 28-5-7(6) of the Rhode Island Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA), like its federal counterpart under Title VII, does not provide for individual liability of an employee of a defendant employer.The case, Mancini v. City of Providence, 155 A.3d 159 (R.I. 2017), reached the RISC as a certified question from the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. The plaintiff, Sergeant Mark Mancini of the Providence Police Department, alleged that he was denied a promotion due to disability discrimination. Mancini initiated litigation against both…

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Hinckley Allen Labor & Employment Newsletter
05/09/2017
Lisa A. Zaccardelli
How Much is a Comma Worth to You?

A recent federal court decision pivots on a missing comma, and rarely has the lack of such a small amount of ink been so costly for a defendant. In O'Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy, the First Circuit Court of Appeals was called upon to interpret a Maine labor law. The court found that due to poor punctuation, the statute's meaning was unclear, triggering the application of a rule that laws be interpreted broadly to further their objectives, and thereby ensuring a defeat for the northeastern dairy company.The type of comma under question is known as an Oxford comma or a serial comma, and it is considered optional in legal writing. In a series of wor…

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New Hampshire Business Review
03/28/2017
Ronald D. Ciotti
The Benefits and Risks of Integrated Project Delivery

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
03/13/2017
Robert G. Petix, Jr.
Claire N. Carrabba
Hinckley Allen Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Newsletter
03/09/2017
Donna M. Niles
Tracy A. Vitols
Did You Know Small Employers Now Have a Useful Tool to Help Offset the Cost of Health Insurance?

The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) made it unlawful for employers to offer a pre-tax stipend to be used for health insurance costs.  With the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, and adoption of the “Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement” (“QSEHRA”) this is no longer the case.  Qualified small employers now have a useful tool to help their employees pay for the cost of health insurance.A QSEHRA is a new type of Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) which provides for employer-funded benefits that can only be used to pay for medical care expenses of eligible employees and their covered family members after the…

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Hinckley Allen Construction & Public Contracts Alert
03/08/2017
Christopher W. Morog
Robert T. Ferguson, Jr.
False Claims Act Liability: Deviation from Project Specifications

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (“AGO”) closed out February 2017 by announcing substantial False Claims Act penalties against two contractors.   In addition to damages and civil penalties, the AGO barred the contractors from bidding on public projects in Massachusetts for 5 years and barred the contractors from accepting any public contracts for 1 year.March has started much like February ended.  On March 1, 2017, the AGO filed an “Assurance of Discontinuance” in Suffolk County Superior Court closing out a False Claims Act investigation of another Massachusetts contractor.  Much like a settlement agreement, the Assur…

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Trusts & Estates 2017 Tax Update

This article summarizes federal and state wealth transfer and income tax laws that could affect your estate planning and discusses strategies for tailoring your estate plan to maximize tax savings.Federal Estate and Gift Tax. The current federal estate, gift, and generation skipping transfer (GST) exemption amounts are adjusted each year for inflation. For 2017, the federal exemption amount is $5.49 million.State-Level Estate Tax. On the state level, we have not seen significant shifts in estate tax laws, although beginning in 2015, Rhode Island raised its estate tax exemption amount to $1.5 million, to be adjusted yearly for inflation.*New Y…

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Hinckley Allen Retail Real Estate Newsletter
03/01/2017
Ronald D. Ciotti
Understanding the Benefits and Risks to Owners and Developers Using Integrated Project Delivery and Other Collaborative Delivery Methods

Imagine your design team working seamlessly with your construction team through the design and construction phases of your project. Imagine minimizing or eliminating changes to the project budget and schedule.  Imagine no finger pointing amongst the design and construction teams when problems arise. Instead, imagine everyone working collaboratively to address problems quickly and efficiently while the project remains on track. A dream?  No, a growing reality.  Are you interested?An increasing number of private construction projects throughout the country are utilizing collaborative project delivery methods, such as Design Assist or some fo…

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Hinckley Allen Retail Real Estate Newsletter
03/01/2017
Jennifer V. Doran
Weighing the Benefits of Terminating a Lease Before Bankruptcy

Prominent retailers, including Sports Authority and Eastern Mountain Sports, filed for bankruptcy in 2016. Other retailers likely will follow in 2017.  This article examines the benefits a landlord may realize by terminating a lease before a tenant files for bankruptcy.Once a tenant files for bankruptcy, a landlord cannot terminate a lease without approval of the Bankruptcy Court, and the Court is unlikely to grant such relief if the tenant continues to pay rent while determining its reorganization plan.  If, however, a landlord has cause to terminate a lease before the tenant files for bankruptcy, the landlord can recover the premises, ret…

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Hinckley Allen Retail Real Estate Newsletter
03/01/2017
Peggy A. Pappas
WARNING: High Volatility Commercial Real Estate (HVCRE) Ahead

High Volatility Commercial Real Estate (HVCRE) has been an increasingly popular and relevant topic in commercial real estate since the rule was set forth on January 1, 2015 (“Effective Date”) under the Basel III international banking standards. Existing loans as of the Effective Date are not “grandfathered” in, and are still subject to the HVCRE capital requirements imposed on banks. However, banks have differed in the interpretation and application of the HVCRE rules in regards to when the HVCRE capital requirements are triggered. Professionals in commercial real estate should carefully consider how HVCRE rules will impact their clie…

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