A Time for Giving
Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney has continued a longstanding tradition of seasonal gratitude. This year, HCC was proud to partner with Woonsocket Adopt-A-Family to help kids in need.
The mission of this valuable program is to provide holiday presents and other items for children in families struggling financially. Through a thorough intake process, the agency identifies parents in surrounding communities who need assistance in giving their children toys, books, and warm winter clothes.
Participating sponsors also address each child’s wish list. These donors provide children with all these holiday toys, not just a few. In this way, each child’s wish is fulfilled.
By providing holiday gifts to kids and taking some of the financial stress off parents, it is hoped that many area families will now be able to enjoy a wonderful Christmas morning.
Thanks to all who contributed, including a ‘shout out’ to Attorney Meagan M. Bellamy and her family for their special contributions, in making this year’s sponsorship a success.
If you or your organization would like to be a participating sponsor of the Woonsocket Adopt-A-Family, learn more here: woonsocketadoptafamily.com.
HCC Again Named a Tier 1 Law Firm in Multiple Practice Areas by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”
U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® have just released their “Best Law Firms” selections for the State of Rhode Island.
Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney again received Tier 1 law firm rankings for Personal Injury/Defendants and Product Liability/Defendants. This marks the tenth consecutive year that Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney has achieved Tier 1 designations for these practice areas from U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms.”
Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney was also named a Tier I law firm in the area of Litigation/Insurance for the firm’s professional excellence in representing the industry and its policyholders.
Finally, Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney was recognized for the firm’s quality of practice in Employment Law/Management and for defending class action lawsuits in multidistrict litigation.
For the first time, U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” published the remarks of clients that were collected during the assessment process. Here are a few representative comments:
“Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney handles 5-10 premises liability/personal injury matters for our company annually, both in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. They are efficient, highly knowledgeable and have produced strong results,” according to an in-house counsel for a leading retailer.
“Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney is a very responsive, knowledgeable, and professional law firm. I highly recommend their services,” said the liability claim director at a multinational transportation company.
Rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes client and lawyer evaluations, peer reviews from leading attorneys in their field, and an examination of additional information provided by law firms.
Firms selected as 2023 “Best Law Firms” are recognized for professional excellence because of consistently impressive ratings. Achieving a tiered designation, especially a Tier 1 ranking, signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.
Super Lawyers® Recognizes Numerous HCC Attorneys
Multiple attorneys at Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney have recently received impressive peer-reviewed recognitions from Super Lawyers. Only 5% of the practicing lawyers in Rhode Island are named Super Lawyers in any single year. No more than 2.5% of the lawyers in each state obtain the designation of a Rising Star yearly.
2022 Super Lawyers
James A. Ruggieri (Personal Injury – Products, Insurance Coverage, General Litigation, Employment Litigation.)
Paul S. Callaghan (Construction Litigation, Insurance Coverage, Civil Litigation, Transportation, Maritime.)
Peter E. Garvey (Personal Injury – Defense, Professional Liability, Insurance Coverage, General Litigation, Business Litigation.)
Melissa M. Horne – (Business Litigation)
2022 Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars
Brian W. Haynes (General Litigation, Personal Injury – General, Insurance Coverage, Alternative Dispute Resolution.)
Meagan M. Bellamy (Personal Injury – Defense)
Trucking Industry Prevails in Ending Truck Tolls on Rhode Island Highways
James A. Ruggieri of Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney served as co-counsel with Washington, D.C.- based Mayer Brown in defeating Rhode Island’s controversial practice of imposing highway tolls on tractor trailers.
In a 91-page opinion, U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith for the District of Rhode Island held that the “RhodeWorks” tolling program violated the Commerce Clause of the U. S. Constitution and ruled that the State was permanently enjoined from further tolling under the law.
In 2015, Rhode Island instituted RhodeWorks, the first and only of its kind in the United States – to toll only large commercial trucks at various bridge locations along the State’s major corridors. The purpose of this plan was to fund the construction and repairs of bridges within the State.
Five tolls were located on the I-95 corridor, three on the I-295 beltway around Providence, one on I-195 to Southeastern Massachusetts, and three on U.S. Route 6 or Rhode Island Route 146.
Judge Smith observed that this plan had the obvious appeal of raising tens of millions of needed dollars from tractor trailers while leaving residents largely unaffected.
The trucking industry, represented by the American Trucking Associations, Inc., and two companies, M&M Transport Services, Inc. and Cumberland Farms, Inc., filed suit in 2018 to block the RhodeWorks tolls. Complex litigation ensued before the U.S. District Court and the First Circuit Court of Appeals.
In May and June of 2022, Judge Smith conducted a twelve-day bench trial featuring numerous national experts in transportation economics and highway engineering.
Judge Smith held that RhodeWorks had failed to fairly apportion its tolls among bridge users – based on a fair approximation of their use of the bridges; was enacted with a discriminatory purpose; and was discriminatory in its effect. As such, “the statute’s tolling regime is unconstitutional under the dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution,” he concluded.
Judge William Smith’s complete opinion can be found here.
The Best Lawyers in America® Honors Multiple HCC Attorneys; James A. Ruggieri Named “Lawyer of the Year” in Two Separate Categories
Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney, LLP is pleased to announce that several attorneys from the firm were recently recognized in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.
First and foremost, James Ruggieri was named “Lawyer of the Year” in two separate categories: Product Liability Litigation – Defendants and Employment Law – Management. The “Lawyer of the Year” honor goes to the attorney who has received the highest overall peer feedback for his or her area of specialty; and only one attorney is recognized in each specialty and location each year.
In addition, Paul Callaghan, Stephen Cooney, and Gerald DeMaria, were also named in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© as well. The Best Lawyers in America® is very selective and only features the top 6% of private practicing attorneys in the United States. These prestigious recognitions represent noteworthy accomplishments as well.
In Rhode Island, Paul Callaghan was recognized for Litigation – Insurance. Stephen Cooney was named for defending Mass Tort Class Actions, Product Liability – Defendants, and Litigation – Insurance. Gerald DeMaria was also recognized for Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants.
Finally, The Best Lawyers in America® also honors attorneys for their accomplishments and professional excellence early in their careers. The “One to Watch” selected from HCC was Adrianna Hughes.
James Ruggieri, Paul Callaghan, and Stephen Cooney are partners with the firm. Gerald DeMaria is Of Counsel. Adrianna Hughes joined Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney as a litigation attorney from another regional litigation firm in 2017.
The Best Lawyers in America® is considered one of the leading peer-reviewed resources for choosing the finest legal talent. The selection process begins when lawyers are nominated for consideration. Those individuals who receive high peer reviews undergo an additional validation process.
Only then can these attorneys be recognized by Best Lawyers. Recognition in The Best Lawyers in America® is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred upon lawyers by their peers.