Halloran & Sage is pleased to announce the admission of partnership of five attorneys.
The partnership class of 2004 includes the following attorneys resident in our Hartford office: Jeffrey Gostyla, who practices in the area of Insurance Law and Kenneth Slater Jr..
"We are very pleased to welcome these talented attorneys into our partnership. These advancements reflect our continued growth and our commitment to expanding the platform for the services we offer to our increasingly diversified client base," comments William McGrath, Jr, Managing Partner of the Firm.
Halloran & Sage attorney Duncan Forsyth designed a presentation that addressed common areas of exposure to liability, both as individuals and as Firms, and Errors and Omissions Insurance Policies as they pertained to Environmental Professionals. This presentation furnished attendees with the tools that helped identify and prevent malpractice claims. During this presentation attendees:
Discussed what environmental professionals are asked to do by their clients which could expose them to liability;
Reviewed problems with the LEP program and site evaluation and auditing exercises;
Explored the "trip wires" inherent in environmental work;
Examined what existing insurance policies can and can not do for you;
Gained an understanding of what is generally contained in a typical errors and omissions policy for environmental consultants; and
Learned what items are typically included or excluded in your coverage.
A presentation that was specially prepared for the Environmental Professional's Organization of Connecticut regarding Potential Claims and Errors and Omissions Insurance Policies.
Halloran & Sage Attorney Duncan Forsyth designed a presentation that addressed common areas of exposure to liability both as individuals and as firms and Errors and Omissions Insurance Policies as they pertain to Environmental Professionals. This presentation will furnish you with the tools that will help you identify and prevent malpractice claims. During this presentation you will:
Discuss what environmental professionals are asked to do by their clients which could expose them to liability;
Review problems with the LEP program and site evaluation and auditing exercises;
Explore the "trip wires" inherent in environmental work;
Examine what existing insurance policies can and can not do for you;
Gain an understanding of what is generally contained in a typical errors and omissions policy for environmental consultants; and
Learn what items are typically included or excluded in your coverage.
J. Randolph MacPherson has joined the law firm of Halloran & Sage as a Partner in the Washington, D.C. office. He practices in the administrative and regulatory, business and commercial, construction, and commercial litigation areas.
Prior to Halloran & Sage, Randy was a partner for two other Washington, D.C. firms and served for 16 years as an attorney in the United States Army and Department of Defense. During his Government service, he represented the U.S. Government as a consumer of telecommunications services in numerous proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission and State regulatory entities and became the Chief Regulatory Counsel – Telecommunications for the Department of Defense in 1981. From 1981-1987, Randy was the primary legal advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (ASD-C3I) and to the Director of the Defense Communications Agency (now known as the Defense Information Systems Agency) on telecommunications contractual, regulatory, legislative and judicial matters, and served as legal counsel to the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC). he completed his government service in 1987 as a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service.
Randy has substantial experience in bid protests and contract appeals litigation having successfully represented clients before Federal agencies, the General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals, the General Accounting Office, the Armed Services, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Housing and Urban Development Boards of Contract Appeals and in Federal and State courts. He has counseled national and local businesses in planning for and organizing to enter government markets, including the establishment of government services divisions or separate subsidiaries.
"Randy is an attorney with an outstanding reputation, and we're honored to have him join the Firm," remarks Washington, D.C.'s Managing Partner, James Stearns. Randy is admitted to the State Bar of California, District of Columbia, District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, and United States District Court, District of Columbia. At the University of Santa Clara, he received his B.S.C. in Economics in 1969 and his J.D. in 1972. In 1976, he earned his L.L.M. from George Washington University.
The "CAN-SPAM Act of 2003," which became effective on January 1, 2004, sets forth new federal restrictions on the use of commercial e-mail which could have significant effects on businesses that use e-mail to advertise or to communicate with customers. The Act outlines three categories of commercial e-mail, two of which are potentially relevant to our clients:
1) Commercial Electronic Mail Message ("CEMM"), defined as any e-mail message the primary purpose of which is commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service; and
2) Transactional or Relationship Message, defined as an e-mail message with the primary purpose of facilitating or confirming commercial transactions, providing warranty, product recall or safety information to consumers, providing notification regarding ongoing commercial relationships, or the delivery of goods or services such as product updates that the recipient has previously agreed to receive. The Act specifically excludes the above-described Transactional or Relationship Messages from the definition of CEMMs and, for the most part, they do not fall within the scope of the Act.
The legislation does not outlaw the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mail; rather it is focused on certain misleading tactics used by businesses that send those messages. Businesses that send unsolicited commercial e-mail must ensure that they comply with the following key provisions of the Act:
Labeling: unsolicited e-mails must be clearly identified as solicitations or advertisements.
Header information: header information is defined in the Act to mean the source, destination, and routing information attached to the e-mail and includes any information that appears in the line identifying a person initiating the message. The sending of any message, including a Transactional or Relationship Message, which contains materially false or misleading header information is prohibited. It is also unlawful for businesses to allow themselves to be promoted by third parties that they know or should have known are using such materially false or misleading header information.
Opt-out procedures: senders must provide means for consumers to decline to receive future CEMMs. Failure to comply with a consumer's request is a violation of the Act.
Subject lines: senders are prohibited from using misleading or fictitious subject lines in CEMMs in order to trick consumers into opening the message.
Sender's addresses: unsolicited CEMMs must contain sender's e-mail address and postal address.
Bulk solicitation: the use of automated means, such as "harvesting," to establish multiple e-mail accounts for the sending of unsolicited e-mail messages is also banned. Furthermore, it is a felony to transmit more than 2,500 CEMMs in a 24-hour period, 25,000 in 30 days, or 250,000 in one year.
Enforcement of the Act is assigned to the Federal Trade Commission. Violators are subject to penalties of up to $2 million as well as prison terms of up to five years for violations of the Act's felony provisions. In addition, the Act authorizes civil actions to be brought by state attorneys general on behalf of its citizens and by Internet service providers for fraud or abuse. Individual consumers do not have the right to sue.
It is also to be noted that numerous states have adopted anti-spam laws.
If you may potentially be affected by this new legislation or are concerned about the impact of state laws, please contact us.
This Alert is provided for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. This publication may be considered advertising under applicable state laws. ã 2004 Halloran & Sage February 24, 2004.
Insurance companies typically conclude disclaimer letters by inviting their insureds to submit additional information which might have a bearing on the coverage issues and the reasons for the disclaimer. Effective January 1, 2004, however, companies writing "personal risk insurance" in Connecticut can no longer simply conclude their denial letters with such language. "Personal risk insurance" is defined in Connecticut General Statutes Section 38a-366(i) to include "homeowners, tenants, private passenger nonfleet automobile, mobile manufactured home and other property and casualty insurance for personal, family or household needs except workers' compensation insurance." While the invitation to the insured to submit additional information should continue to be included in any disclaimer letter, the legislature has mandated additional language to be included in the final paragraph of all disclaimer letters regarding such insurance. Public Act 03-55, which was signed by the governor on June 3, 2003, and which becomes effective January 1, 2004, mandates that a personal risk insurer that denies a claim under a policy issued in this state shall provide the insured with written notice of the denial. The written notice of denial must include the following statement, which shall appear in the concluding paragraph of the notice in not less than 12 point type:
If you do not agree with this decision, you may contact the Division of Consumer Affairs within the Insurance Department.
The notice must also include the address and toll free telephone number for the Division of Consumer Affairs as well as the Department's Internet address. The specific address, telephone number and email address to be used in the notice are set forth below as they appear in the Insurance Department's Bulletin CL-4, dated September 3, 2003.
Significantly, a failure to comply with Public Act 03-55 will subject the carrier to the penalty provisions of Connecticut General Statutes Section 38a-2, which provide for a fine of up to $7,500.00. Therefore, insurers should pay close attention to their disclaimer letters to make sure that they comply with this new law.
This Alert is provided for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. This publication may be considered advertising under applicable state laws. ã 2004 Halloran & Sage LLP
For more information regarding this Alert, please contact:
Halloran & Sage Partner Duncan Forsyth spoke at a seminar sponsored by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities discussing the "Rules to Govern By," Freedom of Information Act, ethics, and parliamentary procedures. The workshop gave advice on setting goals, policy development, building consensus, municipal finance, local legislature issues, CEO relations, constituent relations, and news media relations and websites. A question and answer session followed. The seminar was directed towards informing municipality officials such as:
Halloran & Sage Commercial Litigation Partner George Royster was recently featured in the article entitled, Few Firms See Big Boost From Sarbanes-Oxley, published in the December 15 edition of The Connecticut Law Tribune.
When asked by Connecticut Law Tribune if there are any business opportunities that will evolve from the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, George stated:
"Even in small companies, I think there are going to be a lot of shareholder derivative suits" based on the act's provisions. "People really don't understand [Sarbanes-Oxley] yet. It's kind of like OSHA [the Occupational Health and Safety Administration Act]. When OSHA was passed, no one paid attention to it for five years."
George is the Chair of the Commercial Litigation Practice Group at Halloran & Sage, resident in the Hartford, Connecticut office and has authored several articles and presented seminars to industry organizations and corporations regarding the effects of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
A workshop presented by Connecticut Conference of Municipalities
Halloran & Sage Partner Duncan Forsyth participated in an evening seminar sponsored by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities discussing the role of ethics in local government, tools for promoting ethical behavior in a municipality, model codes of ethics and to in the State of the Ethics Commission, in addition to a discussion of disclosure, conflicts of interest, recusal, common ethical problems and dilemmas, followed by a question and answer session.
This seminar was directed towards municipality officials such as:
In mid-October, the Connecticut Tech Tribune invited several leading Intellectual Property attorneys to a panel discussion on legal issues affecting Connecticut's technology firms. Halloran & Sage Commercial Litigation Partner Joseph G. Fortner, Jr.. participated in the two-hour roundtable discussion and an article featuring the highlights of the discussion appeared in the November, 2003 Connecticut Tech Tribune.
When asked by Connecticut TechTribune what are the current Intellectual Property issues for tech companies that are keeping attorneys busy, Fortner offered several thoughts. Focusing on one area, trade dress, he noted that:
"There remains a real question on the scope of trade dress (the look and feel of a product) with some of the more recent decisions from the Supreme Court. You're going to get into the tussle on functionality whether in fact those features making it reliable, safe, et cetera, are functional. Because if they're functional, then you won't get trade dress protection."
A program designed for CONNACCA, the Connecticut Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 affected corporate counsel in both private and public companies, corporate directors and officers of large privately held and public companies, and banking and loan officers. People concerned about the effects of these laws on them and their company attended this seminar presented by three seasoned professionals in the accounting, legal and engineering industries.
What Attendees Learned:
As a result of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the accounting firm of Blum Shapiro, the law firm of Halloran & Sage and the engineering firm of Innovative Safety collaborated and designed a comprehensive professional development seminar for corporate executives and officers that helped identify, confront and handle situations regarding corporate governance at an organization. During this two-hour program attendees:
Gained an understanding of the new accounting rules imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley including safety, health and environmental controls;
Addressed the basic legal strategies for dealing with the new rules;
Learned the new rules of investigation should you confront a whistleblower;
Understood the implications of the risks you may encounter; and
Explored the trends and lessons learned in the current corporate governance scandals.
Connecticut Legislation On Renewable Energy Resources
Public Act 03-135, which amends Connecticut's Electric Restructuring Law, may result in significant benefits to owners of certain facilities that generate electricity from renewable energy sources.
By way of background, Connecticut's Electric Restructuring Law (enacted in 1998 as P.A. 98-28) designated certain generators of electricity utilizing renewable energy sources as "Class I" and "Class II" energy sources.1 P.A. 98-28 required competitive suppliers of retail electricity to include certain percentages of Class I and Class II energy in their electric supply portfolios. These "Portfolio Standards" were first imposed on July 1, 2001 and escalated annually after that date. These provisions were intended to create demand for electricity generated by Class I and Class II energy sources, thereby encouraging further development and construction of facilities utilizing such energy sources. However, because the overwhelming majority of Connecticut's end-user electric customers have continued to purchase electricity under so-called "Standard Offers" (and because the Standard Offers are exempt from the Portfolio Standards), to date there has been little demand in Connecticut for electricity from Class I and Class II energy sources. Thus, further development of such sources of electricity has not been encouraged to any significant extent to date as a result of P.A. 98-28. This state of affairs is about to change.
P.A. 03-135 made three significant changes to the Portfolio Standards requirements. First,
"energy derived from . . . ocean thermal power, wave or tidal power, low–emission advanced renewable energy conversion technologies, [and] a run–of–the–river hydropower facility provided such facility has a generating capacity of not more than five megawatts, does not cause an appreciable change in the river flow, and began operation after the effective date of this section. . ."
are now included in the category of Class I renewable energy sources.2 Second, the Portfolio Standards have been amended to require, on and after July 1, 2004, a relatively greater percentage of Class I energy sources (as compared to Class II energy sources) in electric supply portfolios. Third (and perhaps most significantly), electric utilities supplying Standard Offer service will be required, as of January 1, 2004, to comply with the Portfolio Standards. The combined effect of these changes will likely be a significant increase in the value of electricity derived from Class I energy sources.
This Alert is provided for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. This publication may be considered advertising under applicable state laws. ã 2003 Halloran & Sage.
1 "Class I renewable energy sources" included "solar power, wind power, a fuel cell, methane gas from landfills, or a biomass facility. . . ." "Class II renewable energy sources" included "energy from a trash-to-energy facility, or a biomass facility that does not meet the criteria for a class I renewable energy source or a hydropower facility. . . ." Conn. Gen. Stat § 16-1(a)(26) and (27).
2 The effective date of this section of P.A. 03-135 was July 1, 2003.
Several national experts will testify on behalf of South Lyme Property Owners' claim that the Town of Old Lyme seasonal restriction does not benefit the environment. A trial date has not yet been scheduled, but may occur later this year.
Mark Gross, Ph.D., P.E., a Professor at the University of Arkansas, Department of Engineering and a widely-published expert on the functioning of septic and sewer systems, is expected to testify that the Town of Old Lyme did not have an adequate basis to conclude that an imposition of a restriction against the off-season use of homes in the Old Lyme beach communities would benefit the environment. In fact, he is expected to testify that the restriction could actually reduce the effectiveness of the septic systems in treating wastewater during summer months. Professor Gross is also expected to testify that, under the existing public health code, municipal sewer systems or community treatment systems are the only methods to significantly reduce pollution resulting from residential use of properties along Long Island Sound. Old Lyme is one of only four communities in Connecticut along Long Island Sound that provides no sewer services to beach communities.
Mary Clark, a Senior Project Scientist with Stone Environmental, Inc. of Montpelier, Vermont, is also expected to testify. She and her firm have assisted communities across the United States in managing wastewater in areas of concern, including Malibu, California, and the Boston Harbor. Although her firm specializes in seeking alternatives to traditional sewer systems, Ms. Clark is expected to testify that a sewer treatment of wastewater generated in the beach communities is the only effective way to reduce pollution to Long Island Sound.
These experts are expected to testify in a case filed in 1999 and pending in the Federal District Court. The case was filed by an association of hundreds of property owners in the beach communities of Old Lyme known as the South Lyme Property Owners Association, Inc. to challenge the 1995 Regulations adopted by the Town of Old Lyme that prohibit the off-season use of residential homes located on lots less than 10,000 square feet. A large number of homes existing in the beach communities in Old Lyme are on properties less than 10,000 square feet.
In the fall of 2000 and 2002, the United States District Court imposed an injunction barring the Town of Old Lyme from issuing further seasonal notices after ruling that the procedure utilized by the Town of Old Lyme was unconstitutional. During that hearing, representatives of the Town of Old Lyme suggested the seasonal limitation was adopted primarily to protect Long Island Sound from pollution. Following that hearing, the property owners added an additional claim in their lawsuit seeking the court to determine, under the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act, that municipal or community owned treatment system to treat wastewater is the only effective way to significantly reduce pollution to Long Island Sound and to order action by the Town to implement such a system.
The property owners have also been working with the state legislature regarding a bill proposed to authorize municipal water pollution control authorities to propose a plan to enable alternative technologies to be utilized to treat wastewater. Under the current public health code, alternative technologies to traditional septic designs used in other states such as Rhode Island are not authorized in Connecticut. They worked with legislators to seek the elimination of language inserted in the proposed bill that would authorize water pollution control authorities to bar off-season use of residential properties. Such a restriction is unrelated to the use of alternative technologies and, in the view of the South Lyme Property Owners Association and its experts, would not serve to benefit Long Island Sound.
Halloran & Sage Environmental Law & Land Use Attorney Kenneth Slater Jr., serves as the legal counsel for the South Lyme Property Owners Association and Halloran & Sage Government Affairs serves as the Association's lobbying team.
Governor Rowland had indicated that he will sign the measure which bans smoking in restaurants beginning October 1 of this year.
Effective on April 1, 2004, bars will be required to prohibit smoking. Private and fraternal clubs are exempt from the law. Businesses employing more than 5 persons must be "smoke-free" or must provide segregated smoking areas for their workers.
Gary Hale, senior lobbyist at Halloran & Sage Government Affairs, praised the tireless efforts of Bill Malitsky, who spearheaded the lobbying effort for the American Cancer Society, a Firm client: "This was Bill's victory. He successfully negotiated with the Speaker's office and advocates from groups outside the Cancer Society, some of whom were pushing a lobbying strategy that was doomed to fail. His mediation skills during some very tense and difficult points in the process saved the bill's chances this year. We are very proud of what he accomplished behind the scenes and believe that he is the unsung hero behind the smoking ban."
Halloran & Sage Government Affairs is affiliated with the law firm Halloran & Sage. The lobbying team provides legislative and administrative lobbying, coordination of state agency, municipal, federal and interstate contacts, public policy development and strategic plans to navigate issues through administrative and legislative channels to clients at the federal and municipal levels of government throughout Connecticut and in Washington, D.C. It is the only Connecticut lobbying company with an office in Washington, D.C.
On Thursday, December 4, Halloran & Sage Business and Commercial Law Partner Henry Beck, Jr. participated in the official deed transfer of a circa 1870 chapel to the Town of Columbia. Henry coordinated the gift to the Town on a pro-bono basis for the Columbia Congregational Church.
The historic structure was used by the church for worship services when originally built. Later it was used as a Sunday school and for youth groups until the 1970s. Since the 1980s, the chapel has served the local community for art shows and book fairs. The Town will continue to maintain it as part of its picturesque town green and to use it for similar secular activities.
Allen Gary Palmer has been assisting the Connecticut Bar Association, Family Law Section in the launch of an innovative series of continuing legal education programs designed to offer section members timely information on key Connecticut Supreme Court legal decisions. The new program, Case Flash, is a video program presented in an engaging, easy to follow talk show format. The concept is to bring short, timely CLE programs directly to each member's computer.
The following are the most recent programs offered by the CBA: