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News2018-05-22T11:14:23-04:00

Important Workers’ Compensation Decision Rendered by the R.I. Supreme Court

On November 5, 2020, the Rhode Island Supreme Court reexamined the Exclusivity Provision of the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act in Selby v. Baird.

The plaintiff suffered a serious injury while working as a foreman for a tree removal crew. He brought a workers’ compensation claim against Mulch-N-More and was awarded benefits. He then filed a separate negligence claim in Superior Court against Mike’s Professional Tree Service.

The Supreme Court held that the plaintiff was an employee of Mike’s Professional Tree Services, citing its dominion and operational control over the plaintiff. The fact that another company served an administrative function in providing the plaintiff with his paycheck and workers’ compensation benefits did not change that fact. Thus, the Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court’s ruling in granting summary judgment and denied the negligence claim.

This case was on point with prior holdings. Even so, the Court’s latest decision may allow for a more expansive application of the Exclusive Remedy Doctrine in future tort actions.

If you have any questions whatsoever regarding this or any other workers’ compensation matter, please do not hesitate to contact either Sarah Wheeler (swheeler@hcc-law.com) or Peter Garvey (pgarvey@hcc-law.com).

A thorough explanation of the Court’s decision can be found in the Client Alert here.

November 23rd, 2020|

Business Journal Interviews Paul Callaghan on Law Firms’ Response to the Pandemic

Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney partner Paul S. Callaghan was recently interviewed by the Providence Business News on the ways in which law firms were responding to the challenges of the pandemic.

The newspaper reported that despite all the difficulties and hardships in recent months, some law firms have weathered the pandemic fairly well. For example, Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney has not had to lay off anyone. In fact, the firm hired two new attorneys within the last eight months. As a large firm with offices in Boston and Hartford, Connecticut, Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney had already invested in state-of-the-art technology to ease the transition to working remotely.

In the interview, Paul also said, “Obviously, we have adhered to all of Governor Gina Raimondo’s mandates with the wearing of masks, the taking of everyone’s temperature, and other safety measures such as deep cleanings throughout the office. In addition, we gradually brought back employees into the office in accordance with the Governor’s mandates.”

As for the measures that will be here to stay after the pandemic, Paul offered the following assessment. “Many of the changes regarding remote depositions, court appearances, and meetings are most probably here to stay, at least in the short term and maybe permanently,” he said. “How well law firms can adapt to these changes and challenges will underscore the agility and resourcefulness of legal teams in meeting the future needs of clients.”

“The pandemic has taught all of us to have an even greater appreciation for the dedication of our lawyers, staff, and clientele and their devotion to their families,” he concluded.

November 17th, 2020|

HCC Again Named a Tier 1 Law Firm by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recently released their “Best Law Firms” selections for the State of Rhode Island.

Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney once again received a Tier 1 law firm ranking for Personal Injury – Defendants and Product Liability – Defendants.

This marks the eighth consecutive year that Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney has achieved this Tier 1 designation in these practice areas from U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers®.

The rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer reviews from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms.

Firms selected for the 2021 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence because of consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

“This distinction by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers highlights the depth of our experience and the extent of our legal talent at Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney. We are delighted and honored to be recognized by our clients and colleagues in this manner following such a rigorous evaluation process by this prestigious arbiter of excellence within the legal industry.” said Managing Partner James A. Ruggieri.

The 2021 rankings are based on the highest attorney and law firm participation on record.

November 5th, 2020|

Super Lawyers® Recognizes Eight HCC Attorneys

Super Lawyers has named eight attorneys from Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney as 2020 Super Lawyers and 2020 Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars. Super Lawyers is the national rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Only five percent of the lawyers in Rhode Island receive the Super Lawyer designation in any single year. No more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in each state obtain the designation of a Rising Star yearly.

2020 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 – General, Professional Liability, Insurance Coverage, General Litigation, Business Litigation.)

Thomas R. Bender (Appellate, Pre-Trial and Post-Trial Litigation, Constitutional Law.)

2020 Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars

J. David Freel (General Litigation, Civil Litigation, Insurance Coverage, Construction Litigation, Professional Liability, Personal Injury – General. Recognized for six consecutive years.)

Kristina I. Hultman (Civil Litigation. Recognized for six consecutive years.)

Brian W. Haynes (General Litigation, Personal Injury – General, Insurance Coverage, Alternative Dispute Resolution.)

Kurt A. Rocha (Civil Litigation, Insurance Coverage, Class Action/Mass Torts.)

October 13th, 2020|

HCC Welcomes Two Additional Attorneys

Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney is pleased to announce that Attorneys Sydney R. Kirsch and Tyler J. Pare have joined the firm.

Sydney Kirsch practices in HCC’s Workers’ Compensation and Litigation Departments. She is admitted in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. She was previously employed with a regional law firm, practicing workers’ compensation law. Earlier, she worked in the litigation department at a general practice firm.

She attended Roger Williams University School of Law, graduating cum laude. Her bachelor’s degree, cum laude, is from Fitchburg State University. While in law school, she served as an Assistant Editor for the Roger Williams University Law Review.

Tyler Pare is an attorney in the Litigation Department at HCC. He is admitted to practice before the state courts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Before joining the firm, he served as a law clerk to Associate Justice Francis X. Flaherty of the R.I. Supreme Court, where he conducted extensive legal research for various civil and criminal cases. In the process, he also prepared memoranda and draft opinions for the justice on important pending matters.

Tyler graduated summa cum laude from Roger Williams School of Law, where he was also a member of the law review. During that time, he interned at the R.I. Supreme Court, R.I. Family Court, and the Office of the R.I. Attorney General. His B.A. degree was awarded magna cum laude from Saint Anselm College, during which time he also studied at King’s College London.

September 23rd, 2020|