Team BMD helps raise funds for the Newtown Collaborative Recovery Fund in the 2017 Sandy Hook 5k
Team BMD once again participated in the annual Sandy Hook 5K which was held on April 1, 2017 to raise money for the Newtown Collaborative Recovery Fund. The Fund helps pay the out of pocket mental health expenses for those who have been most impacted by the 12-14-12 tragedy. This year, more than $68,000 was generated through this event. A percentage of the proceeds will go directly to the chosen nonprofit organizations of the 26 families who lost loved ones.
Ryan Driscoll was this year’s team leader. Eric Barba, Dave DeGrasse, and John Khalil represented BMD and ran for the cause along with 1,300 other participants. Special congratulations to John Khalil who came in second in his age group with a time of 21:39!
The Newtown Bee published two articles about the race, please read below.
For more information, visit the event website at http://5krunforshf.org/ .
Fairfield University Alums Robert Berchem and Bryan LeClerc facilitate purchase of state-of-the-art wheelchair for Dean’s List Student
Attorneys Robert Berchem (left) and Bryan LeClerc (right) present Meg Moore with her new wheelchair
Twenty-year-old Fairfield University sophomore Meg Moore was born with cerebral palsy, but that hasn’t stopped her from being a leader on the Fairfield University campus. Meg is a straight-A Dean’s List student, participates in the varsity pep band, is a campus ministry lector, and a member of the university’s literary club. She recently founded the Yes-You-Can Club to provide support for cancer patients and disabled people throughout Fairfield County. And, despite her disability, she never loses her positive attitude and amazing smile.
Meg’s seven-year-old wheelchair, which she had outgrown, was literally held together with duct tape and bungee cords. Learning of her need for a new chair and a fundraising effort by campus public safety officers, Attorneys Robert Berchem and Bryan LeClerc took charge to make Meg’s dream become a reality. They represented the Moore family pro-bono, negotiated with the manufacturer and vendor to obtain a deeply discounted price, and secured substantial contributions from several donors. The new state-of-the-art chair allows Meg to both remain pain-free throughout her busy day, as well as rise to a standing position to better participate in her classes. The chair, which retails for $60,000, and is blue tooth compatible, has headlights, and travels up to 7.5 miles per hour.
"This is truly a heartwarming story about how a community joined together to help a student in need," said Bryan LeClerc, a 1984 graduate of Fairfield University. "When Bob and I learned of the on-campus fundraising efforts, we were compelled to get involved and use our skills and contacts to make Meg’s dream become a reality’" LeClerc added.
On Friday, March 31, the Fairfield University community witnessed a motorcade of six police vehicles from the Town of Fairfield Police and University Public Safety Departments surprise Meg with the new chair. More than 100 students, faculty and staff were present on a rainy day to cheer the arrival.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Meg, who is unable to speak, typed a message on her speech-generating device, saying that she was totally unsuspecting and incredibly grateful. "After spending over a year fighting for this wheelchair, it is such a relief to be able to sit and stand in a chair that fits and is actually comfortable," Meg posted on her Facebook page. "I smiled, I laughed, I cried … feeling everything under the sun," she added.
"Our 40 attorneys are deeply committed to giving back to the communities we serve, not only monetarily but through personal efforts" said Robert Berchem, founder and senior partner at the statewide law firm Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. "As a proud alumnus of Fairfield University, Meg’s story touched my heart and I was very proud to be able to help her cause," Berchem added.
City of Bridgeport, represented by BMD Attorney Bryan LeClerc, prevails in zoning cease and desist order
O&G East End facility. Photo Ned Gerard CT Post.
Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, flanked by neighborhood activists and elected officials, hailed Superior Court Judge Dale Radcliffe’s order for O&G Industries to "immediately cease and desist from the use and maintenance of a recycling, concrete crushing, storage and stockpiling facility at 1225 Seaview Avenue" in the East End. O&G’s blighted plant covers more than five acres of waterfront property.
Click here to read the article published on March 17, 2017 in www.OnlyInBridgeport.com :
Ira Bloom and Mario Coppola Speak at Conference for Land Use Officials
Attorneys Ira Bloom and Mario Coppola spoke on March 25 to a group of 350 municipal land use officials at a seminar held at Wesleyan University sponsored by the Connecticut Bar Association Planning and Zoning Section. Attorney Coppola, the current Section chair, moderated the all-day session, offering commentary on a variety of land use topics. Attorney Bloom, speaking at this event for the eighth time, discussed the affordable housing statute, Section 8-30g of the General Statutes, from a municipal perspective.The event attracts planners, enforcement officials, and commission members from throughout the state.
Attorneys Eric Barba and John Khalil Present IEP and 504 Plan Legal Workshop for the National Business Institute
The National Business Institute is offering a full-day workshop for educators, school administrators, psychologists, counselors and legal professionals on June 6, 2017 at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale. Participants will learn how to correctly determine Special Education eligibility, create legally compliant paper trails, and write airtight IEPs and 504 plans.
Attorneys Eric Barba and John Khalil have written and will present sessions titled "IDEA or Section 504? Determining Eligibility Under Both Laws" and "Developing and Implementing 504 Plans: Ensuring a Level Playing Field."
IEPs and 504 plans are essential tools to ensure positive learning outcomes for many students. They also have the potential to cause legal issues for schools if they aren't properly planned and carried out. This program provides a comprehensive overview of legal liabilities in IEPs and 504 plans.
Click here to learn more or to register for the workshop. This program qualifies for up to 6.0 hours towards annual CLE requirements in Connecticut.
Attorney Rolan Joni Young Smith Awarded the Prestigious Rev. Edwin R. Edmonds Humanitarian Award
Carroll E. Brown (back to camera) hugs Rolan Joni Young Smith, Senior Partner at Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C., upon being awarded the Rev. Dr. E.R. Edmonds Humanitarian Award at the Carroll E. Brown Scholarships & Community Awards Dinner held at Fantasia in North Haven Feb. 25, 2017. Arnold Gold-New Haven Register.
By Anna Bisaro, New Haven Register, February 25, 2017
It was a night to celebrate the "unsung heroes" of the community. That’s what Carroll Brown called the award winners, scholarship recipients, and honorees at the West Haven Black Coalition’s 31st annual Carroll E. Brown Scholarship & Community Awards dinner.
Paula N. Anthony Participates in "Women in Leadership: Activating the Next Generation of Women Executives" at Google’s NY Headquarters
Senior Counsel Paula N. Anthony, a member of Pace University’s Women in Business Alumnae Council, recently attended a networking event and panel discussion that addressed the unique challenges and opportunities that young female leaders face, and what they can do to ensure that the glass ceiling is shattered. Attorney Anthony graduated from Pace University with a B.A , magna cum laude, in 1986. As a Council member, she serves as a career mentor for Pace students and promotes networking opportunities with female alumni in major corporations and businesses throughout the greater New York metropolitan area.
Ryan P. Driscoll Named Partner
Leadership at Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. recently elevated Ryan P. Driscoll to Partner of the firm. Attorney Driscoll regularly represents private businesses, municipalities and insurance companies in general litigation matters with a focus on defense of civil rights claims, business disputes, Dram Shop actions, premises liability actions and workers’ compensation matters. He has successfully handled such matters in federal and state court and before the Workers’ Compensation Commission, Compensation Review Board and Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.
Attorney Driscoll is very active in the community; he is the Treasurer of the Monroe Conservation Commission and serves as a Leader on Loan with the United Way, raising money for various area charities. Mr. Driscoll is also a Little League coach in the town of Monroe.
Christopher Sugar Serves on Middletown BOE Policy Committee
Attorney Christopher Sugar was recently appointed to the Policy Committee of the Middletown Board of Education.
BMD Staff Donate Gifts for Local Families
On Friday, December 16, representatives from Alpha Community Services YMCA picked up holiday gifts donated by BMD staff members for 127 children and 60 adults. The firm effort was organized by Attorneys Carolyn Dugas and John Khalil (pictured left). Thanks to all who participated for your incredible generosity!
Westport BMD Presents Donation
Westport Attorneys Ira Bloom and Gail Kelly present the firm’s annual donation to Jeff Wieser, President of Homes with Hope, a charitable organization offering supportive housing to the homeless. The photo was taken in front of the location for Project Return, one of Homes with Hope’s programs. Project Return offers housing for young women aged 18-24. BMD has made a donation to Homes with Hope for several years.
Board of Selectmen select Ira Bloom as Town Counsel for Wilton
At a special meeting of the Board of Selectmen held on December 6, 2016, Ira Bloom was named as Town Counsel for Wilton, Connecticut. Bloom's appointment was the culmination of a formal year-long review process by a legal search committee.
Ira Bloom is a Senior Partner with Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. and the Managing Director of the firm's Westport Office. He has represented the towns of Westport and New Canaan as Town Attorney for many years, and also serves as counsel to the towns of Easton and Madison.
"I am very pleased with this appointment and I Iook forward to working with the Wilton First Selectman, the Board of Selectmen, and all of the town officials," stated Bloom.
Attorney Bloom is a member and former president of the Connecticut Bar Association Planning and Zoning Executive Committee, and a member of the association's House of Delegates. He is also a former member of the Connecticut Association of Municipal Attorneys, a member of the Connecticut chapter of the American Planners Association, and a James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation.
Marsha Moses Presents at CTETL Symposium on Student Data Privacy
Marsha Belman Moses recently participated in a Data Privacy Symposium titled, "Creating a Trusted Learning Environment," which was held at Foxwoods Conference Center on December 1, 2016. The program was presented by the Connecticut Education Technology Leaders Association (CTETL), a Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) State Chapter.
Representatives from approximately 90 school districts learned about the issues and legalities surrounding student data privacy and what steps their schools and districts can start taking to ensure they are prepared for the rapidly changing requirements for protecting student data.
The purpose of the State Chapter is to empower all Connecticut K-12 Technology leaders with the goal of increasing leadership capacity through CETL Certification and professional advancement opportunities through CoSN. CTETL is a non-profit membership organization, comprised of educational technology professionals throughout school districts in the state.
Attorney Michelle Laubin Presents Workshop on Social Emotional Learning at 2016 CABE/CAPSS Convention
Michelle C. Laubin, Senior Partner at Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. and Typhanie Jackson, Director of Pupil Services and Special Education for New Haven Public Schools, presented a workshop titled, "Race: It Does Matter ... Practical Strategies to Improve School Climate Through Social Emotional Learning" at the 2016 CABE/CAPSS Convention held on November 18-19 at the Mystic Marriott in Groton, Connecticut. This interactive workshop examined the legal history of racial integration of our schools from Brown v. Board of Education to Sheff v. O'Neill, moving from there to answer the question "What's next?" In an increasingly diverse setting, prevailing wisdom holds that teachers, staff and students need to be equipped with so-called "cultural competencies" to help each individual in the equation approach others with empathy and understanding. This workshop explored "cultural competencies" and how we go about developing them in students and adults. Utilizing a social emotional learning (SEL) framework, schools can improve student outcomes while being culturally responsive.
Rebecca Goldberg receives Milli Award from Westfair Communications
(Rebecca Goldberg is pictured above in red jacket, 4th from left)
Westchester and Fairfield counties’ young professionals who are making an impact in their jobs and in their communities were recognized at Westfair Communications’ second annual Milli Awards held on November 15 at the Surf Club in New Rochelle, NY. Congratulations to BMD's Attorney Rebecca Goldberg!
Westport Lawyers' Lunch
Christopher Sugar Judges ABA Negotiation Competition at UConn Law School
Attorney Christopher was a volunteer judge at the American Bar Association Negotiation Competition at UConn Law School on November 7-8, 2016. The event welcomed competitors from law schools in the Northeastern US and Eastern Canada. The competition simulated legal negotiations in which participants negotiated opposing interests in a series of legal problems. Judges and lawyers provided constructive feedback and evaluated participants based upon legal analysis, poise, creativity, communication and negotiating skill. The competition provided a unique opportunity for participants to develop practical skills that will enable them to become proficient attorneys. The winning team advanced to the ABA National Negotiation Final Competition.
Walter Camp Football Foundation Toy Drive Generates Hundreds Of Gifts For The Yale-New Haven Hospital Auxiliary Toy Closets Program
More than 600 guests attended fundraiser and tailgate party held before the first night game in the 103 year history of college football at historic Yale Bowl
Pictured (L-R) are Eugune Doris, Athletics Director at Fairfield University, Reverend Jeffrey von Arx, former President of Fairfield University, and Robert L. Berchem of the law firm with the Walter Camp and Heisman Trophies
The annual Walter Camp Day at the Bowl was held on Friday, October 21 when the Yale University Bulldogs hosted the University of Pennsylvania Quakers in the first night game ever held in the 103-year history of historic Yale Bowl. The game was televised live on NBC Sports. Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. sponsored the pre-game event for the eighth consecutive year to support the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF) and the Yale-New Haven Hospital Auxiliary Toy Closets Program. Fans, friends and firm clients were asked to bring a new unwrapped toy to support the cause, and in return, received a free general admission ticket to the game. Attorneys and clients of the law firm donated hundreds of toys again this year, bringing the total-to-date to more than 2,500 gifts for children who are patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Additionally, guests had the opportunity to have their photo taken with the Walter Camp Player of the Year Trophy and the Heisman Trophy won by Yale football player Clinton Frank in 1937. The Walter Camp Player of the Year Award is given annually to the collegiate American football Player of the Year as decided by the NCAA Division I-A head coaches; Walter Camp played college football at Yale College from 1876 to 1882 and is known as the "Father of American Football". The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in college football in the United States whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.
"The Walter Camp Football Foundation is very appreciative of Berchem, Moses & Devlin’s generous support over several years," said Robert Kauffman, WCFF President. "Each year the WCFF Toy Drive sponsored by Berchem, Moses & Devlin has grown exponentially, becoming one of the largest annual toy drives for Yale-New Haven Hospital Auxiliary’s Toy Closets program, which provides good cheer for so many hospitalized children," Kauffman added.
The Yale-New Haven Hospital Auxiliary’s Toy Closets program was developed to provide new, age-appropriate and educational toys to pediatric patients at the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. Founded in 1993 by Ann Nyberg, WTNH News Channel 8 anchorwoman, the Toy Closets help insure that pediatric patients come away from their hospitalization with a pleasant memory. In addition, the toys serve as gifts for special occasions such as birthdays and holiday celebrations for hospitalized children. Toys, gifts and financial contributions are needed throughout the year. The success of the Toy Closets program is directly related to community involvement, such as Walter Camp Day at the Bowl. The Auxiliary encourages schools, organizations and businesses to make the program the recipient of their community-minded efforts.
About the Walter Camp Football Foundation: Walter Camp, "The Father of American football," first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.
Floyd Dugas Presents "Different Perspectives on Pension Negotiations" at CPPF Conference
The Connecticut Public Pension Forum held their 2016 Fall Conference on October 26th at the Tradition Golf Club at Wallingford. Attorney Floyd Dugas was a featured presenter, discussing pension negotiations on a panel which also included Kevin McNabola, Finance Director for the City of West Haven, and Peter Carozza, President of the Uniformed Professional Firefighters of CT.
Attorney John Marini discusses the region’s economic growth at seminar for the Leadership Greater Valley Program
On October 20, 2016, Attorney John Marini presented at an educational seminar for the Leadership Greater Valley program which is sponsored by the Valley United Way, Chamber of Commerce and Valley Council Health and Human Services Program. The program, titled "Economic Development & the Region," focused on the forces that are driving the region’s economy. Attorney Marini discussed many of the projects that Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. has facilitated, such as the demolition at Ansonia Copper and Brass, the institution of the city’s first tax incentive program and the city’s development of a road leading to the Fountain Lake Industrial Park, which led to a major manufacturer locating their global state of the art headquarters in Ansonia.
Desi Imetovski to discuss 2017 mandatory CLE requirements at workshop for New Haven County Bar Assoc.
Mandatory Continuing Legal Education will be required in 2017; learn what you must do to be in compliance as well as other ethical and professional hot topics affecting the profession. Panelist Desi Imetovski, Senior Counsel at Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C., is the former Assistant Chief Disciplinary Council for the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch.
The event will be held on October 19, 2016 from 3-6 p.m. at the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce offices. For more information, click here.
Attorney Richard C. Buturla Acts as Prosecutor in Mock Trial for Bridgeport Police Dept. Recruit Training
The Bridgeport Police Department recently held new recruit training. The curriculum included a demonstration of presenting testimony via a Mock Trial. Attorney Richard C. Buturla acted in the role of Prosecutor, and Retired Superior Court Judge Bruce Levin acted as the judge. The mock trial was held at Bridgeport Probate Court.
BMD Sponsors University of Bridgeport Golf Classic
The 20th Annual University of Bridgeport Department of Athletics Golf Classic was held on Monday, September 26, 2016 at the Race Brook Country Club in Orange, CT.
Pictured above is Attorney Gregory Kimmel.
Education Law Department Joins Hartford Public Schools for Green Apple Day of Service
On September 24, 2016, Senior Partner Michelle Laubin and Associates John Khalil and Eric Barba joined a crew of volunteers at the Hartford Public High School campus and worked diligently cleaning up trash, planting bulbs, and moving mulch on the school's campus and around the neighborhood. This event was part of Green Apple Day of Service, a global day of action that brings together advocates around the world and encourages them to improve their communities through service projects at local schools. Green Apple Day of Service, launched by the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council in 2012, provides an opportunity for students, teachers, parents, elected officials, organizations, companies and others to transform all schools into places that sustain the world we live in, enhance health and well-being, and prepare students for 21st century careers. To learn more, visit: http://bit.ly/bmdgreenappleday
BMD supports Westport Rotary Lobsterfest
BMD was a sponsor of the Westport Rotary Lobsterfest on September 17, 2016. The event took place at Westport’s Compo Beach and over 1,200 people attended. Shown here is Karen Bloom, wife of Ira Bloom, BMD Westport Managing Partner.
Attorney Desi Imetovski presents seminar on law practice ethics for the Connecticut Bar Association
For more information, Click Here
Christopher Sugar to Present at CCM Workshop: Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations for Supervisors
City of Middletown Council Chambers
Tuesday, November 1
9 a.m. - 12 noon
This workshop focuses on the signs of probable alcohol abuse and drug use by safety-sensitive employees and the responsibilities of supervisors and managers to make a reasonable suspicion determination. Supervisors will learn the physical, behavioral and performance indicators, as well as the collection process, for alcohol and controlled substances according to US Department of Transportation Regulations. This workshop meets federal regulations (FMCSA and FTA) which require supervisory training.
The program is designed for both the new supervisor and veteran who may need a refresher on Drug & Alcohol determination skills. Click here to learn more or to register for the workshop.
Attorney Michelle Laubin Quoted in Special Ed Connection Article Regarding Nondiscriminatory Admissions Criteria for Charter Schools
Assistant Chief Disciplinary Counsel For State Of Connecticut Judicial Branch, Desi Imetovski, Joins Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.c. As Senior Counsel
Desi Imetovski has joined the law firm as Senior Counsel in the Business Services Department, concentrating in the area of Affordable Housing and Community & Economic Development. She formerly served as Assistant Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch where she ensured attorney compliance with the Connecticut Rules of Professional Conduct. Prior to her position with the state judicial branch, Attorney Imetovski owned and managed her own law firm where she represented individuals and businesses in the purchase, sale and refinance of residential and commercial properties for almost a decade.
In her new role at Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C., Attorney Imetovski will provide legal representation and services to public housing authorities, municipalities, and private developers. The redevelopment of low-income public housing involves many facets of legal expertise including in-depth knowledge of state and federal laws, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) finance programs, Low Income Housing Tax Credit programs, bond financing and other complex legal tools.
"Desi Imetovski brings a unique perspective to our growing law firm," said Rolan Young Smith, Senior Partner and head of the firm’s Affordable Housing and Community & Economic Development Department at Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. "Desi’s private firm background in commercial real estate law, along with her state government experience interpreting rules, regulations, and state and federal laws, will be invaluable in helping our clients address regulatory issues and overcome hurdles to acquire decent, safe and affordable rental housing for low income families," Young Smith added.
"I am thrilled to join the very smart, hard-working and well-respected team at Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C.," said Attorney Imetovski. "In particular, the opportunity to work with Attorney Rolan Young Smith, a distinguished leader in the field of affordable housing and urban revitalization … and someone who I have admired for many, many years … is very exciting for me," she added.
Desi Imetovski is a regular presenter and panelist at numerous seminars for the Connecticut Bar Association as well as for community and trade groups in the areas of legal ethics, real estate transactions and landlord tenant law. She is a graduate of Sacred Heart University and the Quinnipiac University School of Law where she was recognized with the Outstanding Woman Law Graduate, Service to the Law School, Service to the Community, and the Advanced Bankruptcy Distinguished Academic Achievement awards. Attorney Imetovski is admitted to practice in Connecticut and the U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut.
Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. has offices in Milford, Norwalk, and Westport, Connecticut. A leading player in the field of affordable housing and community & economic development in the state of Connecticut, the firm has more than 35 attorneys and 50 years of experience representing the interests of municipalities throughout the state.
Attorney Richard C. Buturla Appointed to Board of Directors for the Cardinal Shehan Center
Published on July 12, 2016 in the Stratford Star
The Cardinal Shehan Center, a youth center dedicated to enriching the lives of youth through learning, announced the appointment of Richard C. Burtula of Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. and six others to its board of directors.
"Our 7 new board members bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Cardinal Shehan Center and they each will play a key role in helping the Cardinal Shehan Center continue to fulfill its mission," said Terry O’Connor, executive director, Cardinal Shehan Center. "Their experience and proven track records in their fields will be a tremendous asset to the Cardinal Shehan Center.
Each new board member will sit on the Cardinal Shehan Center board of directors for six years. The Board of Directors of the Cardinal Shehan Center acts as a governing body to ensure the Shehan Center carries out its mission. The responsibilities of the Board Members range from involvement with fundraising efforts to attending board and committee meetings to educating the public about the Cardinal Shehan Center.
Mario F. Coppola Voted As Chairman Of Planning & Zoning Section Of The CT Bar Association
The Planning and Zoning Section aims to bring together land use practitioners to discuss current planning and zoning issues; educate membership and related professionals on pertinent legal decisions and legislation; monitor and propose land use legislation as appropriate; and foster good will and credibility between the Bar and general community.
Attorney Floyd Dugas presents legal update at ConnPELRA Annual Conference
Attorney Floyd Dugas presented a legal update on Federal laws, court decisions and National Labor Relations Board decisions effecting public sector employers at the 2016 ConnPELRA Annual Conference on June 3.
The Connecticut Public Employer Labor Relations Association is a non profit association formed as a resource for labor relations professionals working for municipalities, state agencies, boards of education and other public agencies.
ConnPELRA is affiliated with NPELRA the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association. Like the national organization, ConnPELRA is dedicated to providing high quality training and networking opportunities for human resource professionals and their staffs.
Congratulations to Attorney Chris Hodgson and daughter, Kate, NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Champion and recent graduate of Middlebury College
Kate Hodgson, daughter of Attorney Chris Hodgson, was a member of the Middlebury College Women's Lacrosse team which won the NCAA Division III National Championship on May 29 in Philadelphia. She was excited to be part of a very special group of young women who worked hard to be champions! Kate recently graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and already started work at Good Morning America. Congratulations, Kate and Chris!
BMD entry in Rotary event helps charity
BMD has been a supporter of the Westport Sunrise Rotary Great Duck Race event. The race took place on June 4, 2016 and raised thousands for local charities. The BMD entry in the "Duck Decorating Contest," created by Janice Kassimis and Janet Deleo of the Westport office won first prize. Shown in the photo is Senior Partner and Westport Managing Partner Ira Bloom (left) along with a judge from the event, Miggs Burroughs.
Attorney Ira Bloom to present Annual Legal Update at American Planning Association Meeting
Attorney Ira Bloom will present the Annual Legal Update at the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association’s upcoming meeting, Hot Topics in Land Use, Law and Practice 2016 to be held on Friday, June 3, 2016, at the Mark Twain Museum Center in Hartford, Connecticut.
The American Planning Association is the world’s largest planning organization that offers opportunities and resources for planners, students, commissioners, educators, engaged citizens, and allied professionals alike, and is committed to creating communities that thrive and prosper.
Robert L. Berchem Honored at Connecticut Law Tribune’s Professional Excellence Awards
On Thursday, May 25, 2016, Robert L. Berchem was honored at the Connecticut Law Tribune’s second annual Professional Excellence Awards held at the Bond Ballroom in Hartford, Connecticut. The program honored lawyers who, over the course of their outstanding careers, have left an indelible mark on the Connecticut legal community. The Tribune’s panel of judges considered not only success in the courtroom, but law firm and bar association leadership, advocacy roles, pro bono contributions and service on state and federal bar panels, among other factors. Managing Editor Michelle Sullo presented the awards. Congratulations, Bob!
Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. Partners with the CT Association of Schools to Present the Governor's Scholars Program
Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. recently partnered with the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) to sponsor the highly esteemed Governor’s Scholars Program. This year's award luncheon was held on May 19, 2016 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington, Connecticut. Senior Partner Michelle Laubin addressed the thirty honorees along with their parents, teachers, and school administrators. These academically talented students will have the opportunity to participate in coursework at more than 30 colleges and universities to earn college credit during their senior year in high school, and qualify for a renewable $5,000 scholarship to UCONN for each of four undergraduate years.
"We are both excited and appreciative of this new partnership," stated CAS Executive Director Dr. Karissa Niehoff. "The Governor’s Scholars Program gives highly talented students in Connecticut not only the recognition they deserve, but also great opportunities to pursue higher education within our state. Without the support and generosity of Berchem, Moses & Devlin, this program would not be possible."
Thirty School Districts Participate in 2016 Education Roundtable
Berchem, Moses, and Devlin’s 2016 Education Roundtable was held on Friday, May 20 at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, Connecticut. Representatives from 30 school districts participated in this annual event which provides legislative updates and important information to educators on a variety of trending legal issues. Led by Chair of the Education Law Department Marsha Belman Moses, the firm’s education law attorneys discussed a wide variety of topics including:
- The Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate
- Independent Education Evaluations
- Transgender Students: The Evolving Legal Landscape
- Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities
- Adventures in FOIA: Case Studies for Managing Difficult Requests
BMD’s school law attorneys take a strongly proactive approach to education matters, helping clients prevent crises and minimize expense by troubleshooting, training staff and continually updating decision-makers on changes in the law and trends in the education community.
Paula N. Anthony joins the firm as Senior Counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department
Paula N. Anthony recently joined Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. as Senior Counsel in the firm’s Labor & Employment Law Department. She formerly served as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Waterbury where she managed labor and employment matters as well as land use and zoning issues involving the city. Attorney Anthony has a notable record of success in mediation, grievance arbitration and employment litigation, along with deep experience in a multitude of other areas in public sector legal representation.
"Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. continues to strengthen its labor and employment practice with the addition of Paula Anthony," said Floyd Dugas, Chair of the Department. "She has represented the City of Waterbury for over 16 years and is a recognized leader in municipal labor and employment law in Connecticut. Attorney Anthony’s contributions will not only enhance the Labor & Employment Department, but she will be an excellent resource for the firm’s already robust Education and Municipal Law Departments."
Town of Seymour prevails in tax appeal decision vs. Regional Water Authority
In a recent trial concerning a tax appeal case named Birmingham Utilities, Inc. vs. The Town of Seymour, the court found that property indirectly part of the South Central Regional Water Authority System is subject to local property taxes. The Town of Seymour was represented by Senior Partner Richard J. Buturla of Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C., who is the Director of the firm’s Litigation Department. Murtha Cullina was the opposing counsel on behalf of Birmingham Utilities and the South Central Regional Water Authority.
In 2010, Birmingham Utilities, Inc. constructed an addition to previously existing building on property that it owns at the Seymour Wellfield located at 151 Roosevelt Drive. Although the building is only a ten by fourteen foot structure, it houses an electrical transfer switch that can change the wellfield from utility power to generator power, along with a distribution panel that controls the flow of electricity. For purposes of the 2010 grand list, the town determined that the value of the building itself was zero but that the value of the equipment inside it was $237,500, which is classified as personal property. The water authority claimed that it was tax exempt for these improvements, but the Town of Seymour did not agree. Taxes and penalties were charged because the water authority did not properly declare this property.
A subsidiary of the authority named RWA21, Ltd. filed a suit objecting to 2010 and 2011 taxes due, and later filed a second amended complaint that substituted Birmingham Utilities as the named plaintiff, objecting to additional assessments on the town’s grand list for the years 2012-2014.
Attorney Buturla successfully argued that Birmingham Utilities is NOT a subsidiary corporation of the water authority because RWA21, Ltd. is the actual owner of Birmingham Utilities, Inc. The Court determined that Birmingham Utilities must be owned directly by the water authority in order to qualify for the tax exemption. Therefore, Birmingham Utilities is subject to taxation by the Town of Seymour.
Attorney Mario Coppola discusses Ad Valorem Taxation Litigation on expert panel for Appraisal Institute
Mr. Coppola will be the only attorney on an expert panel discussing Connecticut Case Studies in Ad Valorem Taxation Litigation at an April 18th event to be held in Berlin, CT.
The Appraisal Institute is the world’s leading organization of professional real estate appraisers with nearly 22,000 professionals world wide. The Appraisal Institute is also the world’s largest publisher of real estate appraisal literature. For more information or to register, click here.
Attorney Doug LoMonte represents Colony Hardware Corporation in acquisition of A.W. Meyer Corp.
Doug LoMonte represented Orange, Connecticut based Colony Hardware Corporation in its acquisition of A. W. Meyer Co., Inc., of Ridgefield, New Jersey. The acquisition was completed on April 8, 2016.
Rebecca Goldberg participates in panel discussion for Annual Labor & Employment Law Conference presented by the Connecticut Bar Association
Attorney Rebecca Goldberg was a panel member at the Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference presented by the Connecticut Bar Association on March 17, 2016 at the Grassy Hills Country Club in Orange, CT.
The conference covered a wide range of topics including the growth of "joint employment" issues, the NLRB’s increased jurisdiction, the impact of changes to FLSA regulations, agency shop rules, and a review of important U.S. and Connecticut Supreme Court labor and employment decisions from the past year.
Attorney Goldberg participated on a panel discussion titled, "Payroll Practices and DOL Wage and Hour Audits: What Employers Need to Do, What Employees Can Expect."
Attorney Ryan Driscoll appointed as Treasurer of the Monroe Conservation and Water Resources Commission
The Monroe Conservation and Water Resources Commission conducts research into the utilization of open space, and develops, conserves, supervises and regulates natural resources within the Town of Monroe. To learn more about the Commission, click here.
Attorney John P. Marini elected to Board of Directors of newly formed Connecticut Land Bank for Brownfield Renewal
Attorney John P. Marini was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Land Bank for Brownfield Renewal, Inc. This 501(c)(3) corporation was formed to further the mission of expanding brownfield redevelopment in Connecticut. It’s goal is to create a process to accept abandoned and environmentally contaminated sites on behalf of Connecticut municipalities for the purpose of environmental clean-up and remediation. This is the first effort of its kind in the State of Connecticut. To learn more about the Connecticut Land Bank for Brownfield Renewal, click here.
Team BMD participates in 2016 Sandy Hook 5K - Love Runs Through
Team BMD again participated in the Sandy Hook 5K to help raise money for the Newtown Collaborative Recovery Fund which helps pay the out of pocket mental health expenses for those who have been most impacted by the 12-14-12 tragedy. More than $70,000 was raised through this event; a percentage of the proceeds will go directly to the chosen nonprofit organizations of the 26 families who lost loved ones.
Attorneys Jon Berchem and Ryan Driscoll ran for the cause on April 2. For more information, visit the event website at www.5krunforshf.org .
Rebecca Goldberg is a featured presenter at recent ConnPELRA seminar titled, "Dealing with Employees with Mental Health Issues"
Can I ask an employee about mental health issues?
When are accommodations necessary, and what goes beyond a "reasonable" accommodation?
FMLA – Does it apply?
These and other questions were addressed at a January 29, 2016 workshop presented by the Connecticut Public Employers Labor Relations Association at the Meriden City Hall. The seminar was quickly sold out; future presentations will be announced soon.
Christine A. Sullivan joins Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. as Senior Counsel in the Education Law Department
Christine A. Sullivan recently joined Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. as Senior Counsel in the firm’s Education Law Department. She is the former Director of Education and Training at the UConn Health Center, A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Education, Research and Service. Christine holds a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut. She is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and the University of Connecticut School of Law. Attorney Sullivan is admitted to the Connecticut Bar and has been a member of the Connecticut Bar Association since 1988.
Ms. Sullivan is also a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
"We are thrilled to announce that Christine Sullivan has joined Berchem, Moses & Devlin as a Senior Counsel in the Education Law group," said Marsha Belman Moses, Chair of the Department and Managing Director of the firm. "Christine is a very strong addition to our team, bringing a wealth of knowledge, particularly in the field of Special Education Law."
Prior to joining Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C., Attorney Sullivan worked in private practice for over 26 years at the firm of Duffy & Fasano Attorneys at Law located in Woodbury, Connecticut.
Christine Sullivan is deeply involved in the community. She has been a member of the board of directors of Saint Mary’s Health System in Waterbury, CT since 1998, and serves as the Chair of the Executive Compensation Committee and is a member of the Finance Committee. Christine resides in Woodbury, Connecticut with her husband, Charles Senich, and their two children.
Robert L. Berchem celebrates 50 years admitted to the Connecticut Bar!
On January 21, 2016, an anniversary celebration was held at Race Brook Country Club in honor of Robert L. Berchem's 50 years admitted to the Connecticut Bar. More than 170 friends, colleagues, clients and family members attended this very special event. Managing Partner Marsha Moses welcomed guests and introduced a video tribute to Bob, titled "50 Years of Excellence". Pictured above is Bob Berchem with his granddaughter, Carson Goos.
Doug LoMonte volunteers for Derby-Shelton "Sand and Salt for Seniors" project
Doug LoMonte teamed up with his daughter Amanda to deliver sand and salt buckets to seniors in Shelton. The effort was part of the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club’s 2015 Sand and Salt For Seniors Project. Each year the Club delivers buckets of sand and salt to seniors in Derby and Shelton to help prevent slip and fall accidents during the winter months. Doug has served as Secretary and member of the Board of Directors of the Club since 2004.
BMD staff make the holidays extra special for local families
The staff at Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. donated more than 150 gifts for 42 families through the Alpha Community Services YMCA of Bridgeport this holiday season. This is the third year that the firm has participated in this special initiative. Thanks to all for your generosity!
Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. is a major sponsor of the 2015 CABE/CAPSS Convention
Pictured above are Attorneys Lynn Kirshbaum (far left) and Michelle Laubin (second from right) with "Big Bird" Actor Caroll Spinney (center) and CABE representatives.
The CABE/CAPSS Convention held at the Mystic Marriott on November 20-21, 2015 was a huge success, attended by over 800 Connecticut educators.
Shelby Wilson to present at National Business Institute's Probate Boot Camp
December 10-11, 2015
The Holiday Inn Hartford Downtown
100 East River Drive
East Hartford, CT
Attorney Wilson will discuss probating estates that include a business:
- Business Interests of the Decedent
- Fiduciary's Authority/Obligation to Continue Decedent's Business
- Disputes Between the Estate and Business Partners
- Implementing the Business Succession Plan
For more information or to register for the seminar click here.
Christopher Sugar Honored at Westfair Communications' First Annual "Milli" Awards Ceremony at Chelsea Piers
Millennials in Fairfield and Westchester counties are running their own businesses, making an impact through volunteer work and contributing innovative ideas to transform companies. Westfair Communications celebrated 22 young professionals ages 21 to 34 at the first Milli Awards on Nov. 17 at Chelsea Piers Connecticut in Stamford. Congratulations, Chris!
Click here to read the article.
Mayor Rilling to put forward Mario Coppola for reappointment as corporation counsel
Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling announces a number of important appointments including Donna King for City Clerk and Mario Coppola as Corporation Counsel during recent press conference at City Hall. Click here to read the article.
Attorney John Marini to discuss Commercial, Industrial & Mixed-Use Development Projects at upcoming Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce event
Thursday, November 19, 2015
1:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Courtyard by Marriott
780 Bridgeport Avenue
Shelton, CT 06484
Please join us as we explore and discuss some of the major Commercial, Industrial and Mixed-Use Real Estate Development Projects that are planned or underway along the Route 8 Corridor and Greater Valley Region. The program will feature distinguished panels of Developers, Real Estate Experts and Public Officials who will provide insight into some of the projects that are changing the face of our community, while adding economic vitality to our state.
Attorney Doug LoMonte Distributes Dictionaries to Students at Booth Hill School
Attorney Doug LoMonte made a presentation and distributed dictionaries to the third grade students at Booth Hill School in Shelton on Friday, November 6 as part of the Dictionary Project sponsored by the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club. Each year the Rotary Club distributes a dictionary to each third grade student in all of the public and parochial schools in Derby and Shelton. Doug has served as the Club Secretary and member of the Club’s Board of Directors since 2004.
Bob Berchem to Receive Fairfield University Basketball’s Stags Distinguished Service Award
Fairfield University basketball is set to recognize five "Leaders of the Herd" on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the Manhattan Club in New York City. Award-winning sports commentators Len Elmore, Jackie MacMullan and Bob Wolff are recipients of the third annual Stags Lifetime Achievement Award for long and meritorious service. This year’s Stags Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to Bob Berchem ’62 and Tabitha Brickhouse-Fortt ’90.
Bob Berchem has remained active at Fairfield University by holding various leadership positions. He served as a Fairfield University trustee and facilitated arrangements for the University’s continued use of Webster Bank Arena for varsity competition. He has been a member of The President's Circle since 1981, and was chairman in 1989. In honor of his mother, Berchem funded the Barbara M. Berchem Scholarship for the benefit of first-generation college students.
He is principal and president of Berchem, Moses, & Devlin P.C. Berchem continues to enjoy an active role on the Fairfield University campus through his service to students and administration. He graduated with a degree from Fairfield University in 1962 becoming the first in his family to earn a college degree. He was awarded a full scholarship to Villanova University School of Law where he received his J.D. in 1965, finishing first in his class. He then received a William W. Cook Fellowship to the University of Michigan's Law School, where he received his Master of Laws degree in 1967.
"I am pleased to honor Bob and Tabitha for their commitment to Fairfield University as well as their support of our athletic program," commented Fairfield Director of Athletics Gene Doris. "Both have been an integral part of the success enjoyed by our men’s and women’s basketball teams over the years."
WFAN Radio update reporter Bob Heussler, the longtime "Voice of the Stags," will serve as Master of Ceremonies at Fairfield’s Basketball Tip-Off Dinner.
Seven Attorneys from Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. Named to 2015 Connecticut Super Lawyers ® and Rising Stars ®
Marsha Belman Moses, Ira W. Bloom, Floyd J. Dugas, Christopher M. Hodgson, Mario F. Coppola and Warren L. Holcomb of Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. have been named to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list as top attorneys for 2015. Each year, no more than five percent of attorneys in Connecticut are selected by Super Lawyers. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in the state under the age of 40 or in practice ten years or less are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this prestigious honor.
Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous, multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an individual research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area. The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers magazines and in leading city and regional magazines across the country. The first Super Lawyers list was published in 1991, and by 2009 the rating service had expanded nationwide. In February 2010, Super Lawyers was acquired by Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals.
"Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. is proud and honored to have six of our attorneys selected as 2015 Connecticut Super Lawyers," said Robert L. Berchem, founder of the firm. "We constantly strive to cultivate a culture of excellence and growth for all members of our firm, and are greatly encouraged by this strong validation of our efforts," Berchem added.
Attorney Christopher Sugar Judges Yale Mock Trial Bulldog Invitational for High School Students
The Yale Mock Trial Association hosted its annual Bulldog Invitational for high school students on October 10 and 11, 2015. This year's tournament consisted of four rounds of competition and three workshops, as well as social events, and an address by a keynote speaker. A variety of specialized workshops were offered, in order to suit each student’s particular interests and grow their talents best. Each workshop was taught by members of the award-winning Yale Mock Trial Association. Attorney Christopher Sugar of Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. was one of this year’s esteemed judges.
Jodie and Ryan Driscoll Named as New Leaders of Law Award Winners for 2015 by the Connecticut Law Tribune
The judges have spoken. And the Connecticut Law Tribune has announced its New Leaders of the Law for 2015.
For the first time, we recruited members of the legal community to rate our nominees. Our desire was to get a fresh perspective on exactly what traits and achievements enable attorneys who are under 40 years old to rise above their peers. Each member of the five-judge panel sifted through dozens of entries and gave scores to each nominee in categories ranging from "contributions to the law" to bar association efforts, pro bono work and peer recognition.
Read more here.
Walter Camp Foundation Toy Drive Sponsored by BMD Generates Over 300 Gifts for the Yale-New Haven Hospital Auxiliary Toy Closets
The annual Walter Camp Day at the Bowl was held on Saturday, September 26 when the Yale University Bulldogs hosted Ivy-league rival Cornell Big Red. Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. sponsored the event for the seventh consecutive year to support the Walter Camp Foundation (WCF) and the Yale-New Haven Hospital Auxiliary Toy Closets Program. Fans were asked to bring a new unwrapped toy to support the cause and in return, received a free general admission ticket to the game. Attorneys and clients of the law firm donated more than 300 toys this year.
Additionally, fans had the opportunity to have their photo taken with the Walter Camp Player of the Year Trophy and the Heisman Trophy won by Yale football player Clinton Frank in 1937. Young players from the local New Haven Steelers Pee Wee football team of the New Haven Pop Warner League enjoyed refreshments at Berchem, Moses & Devlin P.C.'s tailgate party and received individual and team photos with the trophies. The Walter Camp Player of the Year Award is given annually to the collegiate American football Player of the Year as decided by the NCAA Division I-A head coaches; Walter Camp played college football at Yale College from 1876 to 1882 and is known as the "Father of American Football". The Heisman Memorial Trophy Award is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in college football in the United States whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.
"The Walter Camp Foundation is very appreciative of Berchem, Moses & Devlin's generous support over several years," said Robert Kauffman, WCF President. "Each year the WCF Toy Drive sponsored by Berchem, Moses & Devlin has grown exponentially, becoming one of the largest annual toy drives for Yale-New Haven Hospital Auxiliary's Toy Closets program, which provides good cheer for so many hospitalized children," Kauffman added.
Attorney Christopher Sugar to Present at CCM Workshop: Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations for Supervisors
Cromwell Fire House
Tuesday, November 17
9 a.m. - 12 noon
This workshop focuses on the signs of probable alcohol abuse and drug use by safety-sensitive employees and the responsibilities of supervisors and managers to make a reasonable suspicion determination. Supervisors will learn the physical, behavioral and performance indicators, as well as the collection process, for alcohol and controlled substances according to US Department of Transportation Regulations. This workshop meets federal regulations (FMCSA and FTA) which require supervisory training.
The program is designed for both the new supervisor and veteran who may need a refresher on Drug & Alcohol determination skills.
ConnCASE 2015 Annual Leadership Conference on Special Education Law to feature Attorney Michelle Laubin
The upcoming conference to be held on October 15-16, 2015 at the Farmington Marriott has been designed to provide participants with the most up-to-date information on Special Education Law, and will serve as the first Leadership Forum.
Attorney Laubin's presentation, "Transition Services: How Do We Get There from Here?" will examine the current state of the law on transition services with a focus on recent case decisions both in Connecticut and nationwide. She will discuss how recent guidance from State and federal sources fits with the "view from the bench" as articulated by hearing officers and courts, and provide source material for training staff on constructing meaningful and defensible transition services from ages 15 to 21.
Attorney Michelle Laubin to Speak on Concussion and Safety Issues at CABE Board Member Academy
The upcoming CABE workshop on October 15 at the Inn at Middletown will cover a variety of current legal issues in education. Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. Senior Partner Michelle Laubin will discuss issues involving safety considerations both on and off the field, as well as a school district's responses, liabilities and obligations to students with concussions. To register, click here.
Annual Day at the Bowl Scheduled!
Register (New Haven, CT)
1 Sep 2015
The Walter Camp Football Foundation in conjunction with the Yale-NHHospital Auxiliary Toy Closets Program is asking fans to bring a new unwrapped toy to support the cause and in return, receive a free general admission ticket to the game.
Toys can be dropped off at the Hospitality Village on Central Avenue, which is located near Gates D & E. This is the 16th year the Walter Camp Foundation has coordinated this toy drive and the seventh with event sponsor, the law firm of Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C.
The Yale-New Haven Hospital Auxiliary’s Toy Closets program was developed to provide new, age-appropriate and educational toys to pediatric patients at the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. Founded in 1993 by Ann Nyberg, WTNH News Channel 8 anchorwoman, the Toy Closets help insure that pediatric patients come away from their hospitalization with a pleasant memory. In addition, the toys serve as gifts for special occasions such as birthdays and holiday celebrations for hospitalized children.
Fans are asked to make sure toys or gifts are developmentally appropriate, new and unwrapped.
Attorney Christopher M. Hodgson Named to 2016 Best Lawyers in America List
Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. is pleased to announce that Christopher M. Hodgson has been named to the 2016 Edition of Best Lawyers. Mr. Hodgson is listed in the practice area of Labor Law - Management. Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. Its first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 65 countries. It is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession.
" Best Lawyersis the most effective tool in identifying critical legal expertise," said CEO Steven Naifeh. "Inclusion on this list shows that an attorney is respected by his or her peers for professional success."
Lawyers on the Best Lawyers in America list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise, and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing.
Eminent Domain Case Expected to Settle for $1.2 Million
By Christian Nolan, The Connecticut Law Tribune
Published August 14, 2015
Robert Barton v. City of Norwalk: The city of Norwalk has tentatively agreed to resolve a pending lawsuit for $1.2 million with the owner of a parking lot that was taken by eminent domain when the city built its new police headquarters a decade ago.
Additionally the city has arranged for the purchase of the properties from the owner as part of a redevelopment plan for that downtown area.
"We see it as a win-win," said Mario Coppola, who practices law at Berchem, Moses & Devlin in Westport and serves as the city of Norwalk's corporation counsel. "We get to resolve the Appellate Court case, additional tax appeals against the city and most importantly there will be a redevelopment of those properties in the near future. We see it as an opportunity to redevelop an entire block that is underutilized."
To read the entire article, click here.
The National Black Lawyers Announces Rolan Joni Young Smith as One of Its Top 100 Black Lawyers in Connecticut
The National Black Lawyers: Top 100 announced that Rolan Joni Young Smith has been selected for inclusion into its Top 100 Black Lawyers, an honor given to only a select group of lawyers for their superior skills and qualifications in the field. Membership in this exclusive organization is limited to the top 100 attorneys in each state or region who have demonstrated excellence and have achieved outstanding results in their careers.
Rolan Joni Young Smith is a Senior Partner at Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C., whose law practice concentrates in the areas of Affordable Housing, Community and Economic Development, Commercial Real Estate, Land Use Planning and Zoning, and Public & Municipal Law. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and American University, Washington College of Law.
Attorney Young Smith was the Macklin Fleming Visiting Lecturer in Law at the Yale University Law School Clinic on Housing and Economic Development from 2002-2003. She was Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority from 2006-2011, and is presently the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Start Community Bank. Attorney Young Smith was a member of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven from 2007-2014, and was its Chairperson from 2011-2012. In 2000 she served as the President of the Greater New Haven NAACP. Ms. Young Smith was honored as the Minority Business Person of the Year in 1999 by Business New Haven, and was named one of 20 Noteworthy Women the same year. In 2013 Ms. Young Smith received the Alumni Achievement award from Hamden Hall Country Day School.
With the selection of Rolan Joni Young Smith by The National Black Lawyers: Top 100, Ms. Young Smith has shown that she exemplifies superior qualifications, leadership skills, and performance in her area of legal practice. The selection process for this elite honor is based on a multi-phase process which includes peer nominations combined with third party research. As The National Black Lawyers: Top 100 is an essential source of networking and information for black attorneys throughout the nation, the final result of the selection process is a credible and comprehensive list of the most outstanding black lawyers chosen to represent their state or region.
About The National Black Lawyers: Top 100 – This professional honorary organization is composed of the Top 100 Black Lawyers from each state who serve individuals, families and businesses needing attorneys to represent them in the American legal system. Membership is extended to those individuals who exemplify superior qualifications and leadership in their respective state and area of specialty. Membership is limited to those attorneys who focus their practices in the following areas of law: Civil Plaintiff; Criminal Defense; Civil Rights; Matrimonial and Family Law; Bankruptcy Law; Social Security Disability Law; Immigration Law; Employment Law; Wills, Trust, and Estates; Banking & Finance; Business Formation; Business Labor and Employment Law; Business Transactions; Corporate Law; Litigation Defense; Intellectual Property; Trademark and Patents; Real Estate; Securities and Antitrust Defense; and Taxation. The National Black Lawyers: Top 100 provides accreditation to these distinguished attorneys, and also aims to provide essential legal news, information, and continuing education to black lawyers across the United States.
To learn more about The National Black Lawyers, please visit: http://NBLTop100.org/.
Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. Sponsors Business After Hours at Milford Lisman Landing
Pictured above (left to right) Kathy Alagno, Milford Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, Robert L. Berchem, Senior Partner of Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C., Bill Lombardi, Owner of Uncle Willie's Barbecue, and Christopher Carveth, Milford Chamber Chairman 2015
More than 140 guests enjoyed a fun evening of networking and reggae music at the beautiful Milford Lisman Landing on June 18, 2015. Food was provided by Uncle Willie's Barbecue, a local chain who recently announced that their fast casual restaurant concept will be franchised nationally.
Each guest received a Koozie lunch cooler courtesy of the firm, and many doorprizes were provided by area businesses.
Welcoming remarks were given by Robert L. Berchem, Senior Partner, and Bill Lombardi of Uncle Willie's Barbecue, along with Chamber representatives.
Congratulations, Mario Coppola, for Being Honored as One of Fairfield County's Prestigious 40 Under 40!
Photo courtesy of Bob Rozycki
Mario Coppola was honored as one of Fairfield County's best and brightest business leaders under the age of 40 at the 11th annual celebration of the "40 Under 40" Awards held at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut, on June 25th. The keynote speaker was Shawn Nelson, Founder and Chairman of LoveSac, one of America's fastest growing furniture store chains.
Mario Coppola practices in the areas of municipal law, land use and zoning, property tax assessment appeals, real estate transactions and general civil litigation. He has handled many zoning and tax appeal matters from the administrative level through the Connecticut courts.
Attorney Coppola currently serves as Corporation Counsel for the City of Norwalk. He has also served as a Town Attorney for the Town of Trumbull from 2009 to 2013 and an Assistant Town Attorney for the Town of Westport since 2006. Mr. Coppola regularly provides legal representation and services to other municipalities, including the Towns of Easton, Madison, New Canaan and Trumbull.
"You are the rising stars of Connecticut, and we thank you for what you do," said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, calling out Mario Coppola from the stage. – Danielle Brody, Fairfield County Business Journal, July 7, 2015
Mario Coppola is deeply involved in the community. He currently serves as vice president of the Walter Camp Football Foundation and is on the board of directors of the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA. He has served as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Greater New Haven Columbus Day Committee and as an alternate commissioner on the West Haven Zoning Board of Appeals. In addition, Mr. Coppola currently serves on the board of directors of the Connecticut Association of Municipal Attorneys (CAMA). He also is a frequent lecturer on various land use, zoning, property valuation and property tax appeal issues.
Westport Office Sponsors Rotary Great Duck Race and Wins Duck Decorating Contest
The BMD Westport office has been an annual sponsor of the Westport Sunrise Rotary Duck Race, a major Rotary fundraising event held each June. Participants purchase small plastic "ducks" that "race" in the river. All of the funds go to local charities. In addition, a duck decorating contest is held each year, and this year the firm’s entry was the First Place winner. The decorated duck, shown above, was the creation of the Westport staff directed by Janice Kassimis, and it depicts a "duck trial."
Attorneys Ira Bloom and Peter Gelderman are Featured Presenters at American Planning Association Conference
Attorneys Ira Bloom and Peter Gelderman spoke to 100 land use planners on June 12, 2015 at a conference of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association titled "Hot Topics in Land Use Law and Practice". Mr. Bloom and Mr. Gelderman updated the group on Mackenzie v. Planning & Zoning Commission of Monroe, a important recent Appellate Court case that limited the discretion of commissions to modify or alter regulations. The session occurred at the Mark Twain House in Hartford.
The American Planning Association is the national organization of professional planners and citizens involved in planning for our nation’s communities. CCAPA is dedicated to advancing the practice of good planning in Connecticut by providing members with up-to-date information about current planning issues and techniques, by building public and political awareness of the importance and benefits of good planning and by bringing the Chapter’s diverse membership together from throughout the state to share experiences with colleagues.
"Ask A Lawyer" Event Sponsored by the Milford Bar Association Features Attorney Joseph H. Corselli
Members of the public had the opportunity to speak with a lawyer for free on Saturday, May 30, when the Milford Bar Association held an "ASK-A-LAWYER" legal information clinic in the program room of the city’s library. The event was held in celebration of Law Day, which was May 1, in recognition of the ideas of equality and justice for all. Attorney Joseph Corselli volunteered his time to assist citizens and answer general questions about a variety of legal matters.
More than 25 area residents showed up to participate, and met with attorneys for 15-20 minutes to discuss general legal information. If necessary, they were provided with referrals to legal services, other agencies, a private attorney, or a useful legal website if they wished to do their own research.
The gamut of questions included topics such as divorce and child support, estate planning, bankruptcy, real estate closings, collections, estate fraud, employment issues, living wills, and many others.
Attorney Shelby Wilson Participates in Panel Discussion at American Bar Association National Meeting
The topic for the presentation was Buy-Sell Agreements for Closely Held Businesses. The panel reviewed practical issues and tax considerations when assisting clients with succession planning and putting a buy-sell agreement in place for closely held business owners. Also discussed were valuation issues and funding mechanisms for practitioners to consider.
Shelby Wilson is the Vice Chair of the Closely Held Business Committee for the American Bar Association. She has also served on the Executive Committee of the Tax Section for the Connecticut Bar Association since 2010.
Thorough Business Research is Accessible for Jobseekers, Entrepreneurs, and Students through LexisNexis Database
Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C., has once again funded the highly-regarded database LexisNexis for Westport Library patrons. For the seventh year in a row, the firm has supplied this service through the Library, which is the only public library in Connecticut to provide free access to the database. Newspaper articles, newsletters, magazines and broadcast transcripts from media sources around the world are available to Westport Library cardholders (and to anyone using library terminals) at no charge.
Researchers can also uncover detailed company information and financial performance measures including annual reports, SEC filings, executive profiles, corporate hierarchies, earnings call transcripts, SWOT analysis and more.John Finneran, a management consultant and chair for local and international networking groups, regularly uses the database. "I encourage entrepreneurs and jobseekers to use the library for research and networking," said Finneran. "LexisNexis is a very useful tool for research… information that is found simply by performing a Google search is not always correct, because it may only provide the positive information that companies want people to know. I use the LexisNexis database to collect factually correct competitor information, particularly about smaller, privately held companies," he added.
Businesses use the database, too. Fred Feuerhake, Energy Manager at Santa Buckley Energy, Inc. based in Bridgeport, a natural gas supplier for municipalities, corporations and universities, says, "I find the LexisNexis database to be very convenient, and a great resource when searching for prospective clients that could use our company’s services. The information is always very accurate."
"Our patrons are thrilled when they hear we have LexisNexis," said Maxine Bleiweis, the Library’s Executive Director. "Entrepreneurs and business people can’t believe it is available in their local library. We are so honored that Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C., sponsors this invaluable service."
"Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. is proud to continue our longstanding commitment to the community by partnering with the Westport Library to provide the LexisNexis database to students, businesspeople, and all library patrons," said Ira Bloom, Senior Partner at the firm.
About the Westport Library: Since 1886, the Library has been devoted to enriching the intellectual and creative lives of the residents of Westport. The Westport Library is a warm and welcoming destination where individuals read and research, shop the store, meet friends at the Library Café or simply enjoy the camaraderie of being in a shared space. The Westport Library earned "Five-Star" status in 2013 from Library Journal, the nation’s premier publication for libraries. Only 1% percent of public libraries nationally earned 5 stars. The Library was also one of only fifteen libraries in the nation named a National Medal Finalist in 2015 by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, a federal organization that is the primary source of support for libraries and museums.
Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. Attorneys Lead ConnPELRA Supervisory Boot Camp
On May 14, 2015, a ConnPELRA workshop titled "Supervising in a Unionized Environment, " was held at the Edith Wheeler Memorial Library in Monroe, CT. Attorneys Floyd Dugas, Christopher Hodgson, and Christopher Sugar presented on topics including "Setting Policy in Your Department," "Progressive Discipline and Employee Performance Evaluation," and "Attendance and Absence Control: Understanding the Different Types of Leave and Knowing your Rights".
The Connecticut Public Employer Labor Relations Association is a non-profit association formed as a resource for labor relations professionals working for municipalities, state agencies, boards of education and other public agencies. ConnPELRA is dedicated to providing high quality training and networking opportunities for human resource professionals and their staffs.
Attorney Shelby L. Wilson is Featured Presenter at 27th Annual American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law 2015 CLE Meeting
April 29 - May 1
The Capitol Hilton, Washington, D.C.
"State Income Taxation of Trusts Holding Business Interests"
Unlike the federal income taxation of trusts, the state income taxation of trusts is not uniform. This lack of uniformity can have a significant impact on a trust’s total income tax burden, particularly where its grantor, beneficiaries,trustees and the business interests held by the trusts have ties to multiple states. This panel will review the various mechanisms by which states tax trust income, and the impact those rules have on trusts holding business interests. It will also cover recent taxpayer challenges to state income tax laws featuring commentary from a litigator involved in the current challenge to North Carolina’s trust income tax regime.
Program Chair and Moderator: Karen Sandler Steinert, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A, Minneapolis, MN
Speakers: Thomas D. Myrick, Moore and Van Allen PLLC, Charlotte, NC; and Shelby Wilson, Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C., Milford, CT.
Richard C. Buturla Assists with 2015 Housatonic Community College Foundation "Distinguished Citizen" Luncheon as Committee Member
Pictured above: (front row, left to right) Attorneys Richard C. Buturla, Robert L. Berchem, Richard J. Buturla (back row) Joseph H. Corselli, Bryan L. LeClerc, Brian W. Smith, Gregory S. Kimmel
On Thursday, March 26, the 2015 Housatonic Community College Foundation's "Distinguished Citizen" Luncheon was held in Bridgeport, CT, to recognize key leaders who have positively impacted the lives of individuals in surrounding communities. As a committee member, Richard C. Buturla assisted with fundraising efforts for the event to support college students.
Bruce Silverstone, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Aquarion Water Company, was honored for his community service contributions. The event was widely attended by area business people and community leaders. Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. was a table sponsor; the firm is actively involved in the Bridgeport community and is proud to support Housatonic Community College (HCC).
"Thank you, Richard, for your tireless and diligent efforts in making the luncheon a huge success. I am happy to report that an HCC student received an internship through our honoree at Aquarion Water Company," said Lisa Vane, Institutional Advancement Coordinator, Housatonic Community College.
Berchem, Moses & Devlin hosts Westport-Weston Chamber "Morning Mix" featuring presentation by Attorney Rebecca Goldberg
Tuesday, April 21st at 8:00 a.m.
"Connecticut Employment Laws You Didn't Know Existed"
Often, businesses are unaware of mandatory procedural prerequisites to common practices such as biweekly payroll, electronic monitoring, and lawful deductions from pay. This 30-45 minute presentation will educate employers regarding these and other Connecticut compliance issues.
Team BMD runs in Sandy Hook 5K to support the Collaborative Recovery Fund
Led by Attorneys Michelle Laubin, Floyd Dugas, and Ryan Driscoll, Team BMD joined over 1,000 runners to participate in the March 28, 2015 event themed, "Love Runs Through." Berchem, Moses & Devlin friends and family members raised more than $1,000 in matching donations.
All race expenses were covered, and at least $70,000 in proceeds from the Sandy Hook 5K will be donated to the Collaborative Recovery Fund administered by the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation (which pays the out-of-pocket mental health expenses for those who have been most impacted by the 12-14-12 tragedy). A percent of the proceeds will go directly to the chosen nonprofit organizations of the 26 families who lost loved ones. Thanks to all who donated and participated!
To see more photos of the event, click here to visit the Hartford Courant's photo gallery.
Attorney Ira Bloom addresses the topic, "Affordable Housing: The Municipal Perspective" at the Connecticut Bar Association Planning & Zoning Seminar held at Wesleyan University
Attorney Ira W. Bloom spoke on March 21, 2015 at the Connecticut Bar Association Planning & Zoning Seminar on Connecticut Land Use Law for Municipal Land Use Agencies, Boards, and Commissions. Over 300 attendees gathered at Wesleyan University for this seminar, which is given every two years. Attorney Bloom was one of several prominent land use and municipal attorneys who spoke at the session. His topic was: "Affordable Housing: The Municipal Perspective." Attorney Bloom has represented several towns in affordable housing applications.
Rethinking Teacher Tenure: Attorney Floyd Dugas addresses controversial topic at National School Board Association (NSBA) Seminar
Rethinking teacher due process rights was the topic of the opening general session last Thursday of NSBA's Council of School Attorneys (COSA) School Law Seminar. Attorney Floyd Dugas moderated the panel and is quoted in the article here.
Attorney Shelby L. Wilson Appointed Chair of American Bar Association's Section of Taxation Committee
Attorney Shelby L. Wilson was recently appointed as Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Taxation's Committee on Closely Held Businesses for a two year term beginning July 2015.
"Your selection as a Committee Chair and a part of the Section of Taxation's leadership represents recognition by your peers of your abilities and contributions to the work of the Section," said George C. Howell, III, Chair Elect of the ABA Section of Taxation.
The Closely Held Businesses Committee provides private practitioners and government lawyers a forum to share their knowledge and interact on matters involving closely held businesses, including corporate planning, estate and business succession planning, state & local tax planning issues and representation before taxing authorities.
As Chair of the Closely Held Businesses Committee, Attorney Wilson will be responsible for:
- Supervising and coordinating all Committee Activities
- Establishing subcommittees and appointing subcommittee chairs
- Grooming successors
- Affecting the development and administration of the tax laws through the Committee's programs and projects
- Continuing excellent CLE activities
Attorney Ira W. Bloom has published an article in the February 2015 issue of "Connecticut Lawyer", a journal published by the Connecticut Bar Association
The article assesses after three years the recent changes in the rules governing the filing of administrative appeals such as zoning appeals. As the former chair of the Connecticut Bar Association Planning and Zoning Section, Attorney Bloom played a key role in drafting the new rule.
Click here to read the full article.
Attorney Floyd Dugas to Moderate Panel on Teacher Termination at National School Boards Association Annual School Law Seminar in Nashville, Tennessee
Rethinking Teacher Due Process Rights: School Attorneys Consider Vergara and Legislative Reform
Thursday, March 19th
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Renaissance Nashville Hotel
The state court ruling in Vergara v. California is the first to find that tenure protections for teachers could deprive students of a constitutional right to an education. The evidence is compelling, the judge wrote. Indeed, it shocks the conscience. Join three NSBA's Council Of School Attorneys (COSA) veterans for a compelling look at the history of teacher tenure, the Vergara litigation and its New York counterparts, similar legislative efforts around the country, and public perception of teacher due process rights. Is it time to have the long overdue conversation about what process is due? The panelists will do just that and you are invited to join them!
Moderator: Floyd Dugas, Berchem, Moses & Devlin, Milford, CT
Presenters: Michael Smith, Lozano Smith, Fresno, CA; Jay Worona, New York State School Boards Association
Volunteer Fire Company Files Appeal Following Forced Merger
A volunteer fire company in Stamford is challenging on constitutional grounds a municipal charter change that consolidates all five of the city's volunteer fire departments into one consolidated Stamford Fire Department.
Long Ridge Fire Co. has been a private, not-for-profit volunteer fire company in Stamford since 1928. The company owns two fire stations and various equipment it uses to provide firefighting and emergency services within a fire service district that has been recognized in the Stamford Charter since 1977.
In its appeal, Long Ridge's lawyer, of Berchem, Moses & Devlin, argues that the trial court erred in siding with the city.
"There is no basis in law for the city to make [Long Ridge Fire Co.] part of the city fire department any more than it has the authority to unilaterally declare a private company a municipal agency," he wrote in his appellate brief. "The underlying premise behind the charter amendments-the forced merger of LRFC into a successor, city-owned, city-controlled, city-directed, city-operated and city-disciplined fire department-is illegal."
Ansonia's 'Godzilla' Anti-Blight Program Paying Off
Attorney John Marini
Since creating what's been dubbed the 'Godzilla' of anti-blight programs last year, Ansonia has taken a pretty big bite out of unsightly blight. That's according to Corporation Counsel John Marini who said since the beefed-up blight ordinance was passed by the Board of Aldermen last April, more than 100 homes and businesses have cleaned up their acts. Click here to read the full article published in the New Haven Register on February 6, 2015.
Christopher M. Hodgson Joins Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. As Senior Partner
Christopher M. Hodgson recently joined Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. as a Senior Partner in the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group. He has practiced labor and employment law in Connecticut since 1985. Chris is rated as AV by his peers in Martindale-Hubbell, its highest designation, and has been included in Best Lawyers in America since 2010, New England Super Lawyers since 2008, and Connecticut Super Lawyers since 2007. He is a graduate of Choate-Rosemary Hall, the University of Vermont, and the University of Richmond School of Law. Attorney Hodgson is admitted to the bar in Connecticut, the U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, and the U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit.
Berchem, Moses & Devlin Partner, Michelle Laubin, to Speak on Discipline and Discrimination at CABE Board Member Academy
CABE Board Member Academy Presents:
Discipline and Discrimination: It Can Be a Fine Line
Thursday, February 19, 2015
9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Rovins Conference Room
If you have a diverse student body, you are encouraged to attend this workshop and learn ways to avoid discriminatory charges in your district. Michelle Laubin, Attorney at Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C., and Karen Parks, Superintendent for Fairfield Public Schools, will:
- Review the latest guidance from the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education concerning its findings of discriminatory treatment
- Discuss discriminatory treatments' impact on students of color
- Provide concrete suggestions for how to avoid such charges in your district
In 2014, The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights reported "Black Students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than white students." They also highlighted suspension inequalities between students with disabilities and students without disabilities.
Attorney Bryan L. LeClerc Named as Paul Harris Fellow by the Fairfield Rotary Club
Attorney Bryan L. LeClerc was recently named as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Fairfield Rotary Club at the organization's annual meeting. Paul Percy Harris was a Chicago, Illinois, attorney best known for founding Rotary International in 1905, a volunteer organization of business and professional leaders who provide community service through a range of humanitarian, intercultural and educational activities. The motto of Rotary International is "Service Above Self." Paul Harris honorees are individuals who meet the highest professional and personal standards.
BMD donates to Homes with Hope in Westport
As part of its annual holiday donations, BMD has presented Homes with Hope with a donation. Shown in the photo are BMD attorneys Gail Kelly (left) and Westport Managing Partner Ira Bloom (right), along with Jeff Wieser (Center), President of Homes with Hope. Homes with Hope is a nonprofit organization located in Westport that deals with problems of homelessness and specifically provides supportive housing for individuals and families. Gail, Jeff and Ira are shown in front of a house.
2014 CABE/ CAPPS Convention
Berchem, Moses & Devlin was proud to support the 2014 CABE/CAPSS Convention held on November 14, 2014. Pictured above are the firm's Education Law Attorneys with Astronaut Rick Mastracchio.
October 2014: Associates Read to Bridgeport School Classes
Two attorneys from the firm took part October 23 in the Bridgeport public school system's Read Aloud Day 2014. Rebecca Goldberg and Christopher J. Sugar, both associates with the firm's Milford office, read to students in Bridgeport's Hallen School.
Ms. Goldberg read to a kindergarten class at the school and Mr. Sugar read to a sixth grade class. They were among 600 volunteers who read to every pre-kindergarten through sixth grade class in the Bridgeport public schools on Read Aloud Day. The event, which is organized by the School Volunteer Association of Bridgeport, draws volunteers from throughout the greater Bridgeport region. Many are busy professionals, like the two Berchem, Moses & Devlin attorneys, who find time to promote the importance of literacy skills.
Attorney Robert Berchem, Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and Attorney Ira Bloom.
The Westport office of Berchem, Moses & Devlin had the pleasure of holding a Business After Hours networking event with the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce on October 30, 2014. The After Hours Event allows members of the Chamber of Commerce to meet, exchange ideas and enjoy good company and food.
October 2014: Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. Donates Toys
Attorneys with the firm helped collect 200 toys for patients at the Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital during the Oct. 18 football game between the Yale Bulldogs and the Colgate University Raiders at the Yale Bowl in New Haven. The attorneys joined with the Walter Camp Football Foundation in sponsoring a tailgate party prior to the gridiron contest. Toys collected at the party were donated to the Yale-New Haven Hospital Auxiliary's Toy Closet. The Toy Closet program provides new, age-appropriate and educational toys for pediatric patients in the Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital.
October 2014: Attorney Douglas LoMonte took part in the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club's literacy project.
An annual event, the club distributes dictionaries to each third grade public and private school student in Derby and Shelton. Attorney LoMonte, Club Secretary and member of the Board of Directors since 2003 distributing dictionaries to third grades at Booth Hill Elementary School in Shelton.
July 2014: Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. Awards College Scholarships
Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. awarded its 2014 New Opportunities Scholarship to Diana Olivo, a 2014 graduate of Bridgeport's Warren Harding High School. She will be awarded $5,000 for her college expenses. Also, the law firm has awarded Diandre Clarke, a 2014 graduate of Bridgeport's Bassick High School, a second place prize of $1,000 for her academic achievements.
Robert L. Berchem, principal and president of the firm said, "These students have achieved remarkable success in high school. They have both demonstrated a strong understanding of the value of learning. Our firm is proud to help them continue their studies."
Both winners plan to attend Fairfield University in the fall. Diana plans to pursue a career in education. Diandre's goal is a career in the law. The winners were selected on academic achievement, financial need, and essays on the theme, 'What the scholarship means to me.'
The law firm created the New Opportunities Scholarship as a way to mark its 80th anniversary in 2013. The firm plans to award scholarships over a four-year period to deserving graduates of Bridgeport public high schools. The firm has committed at least $20,000 to the scholarship program and will consider renewing the program after the initial four years.
Christopher J. Sugar Appointed Education Committee Chairman Of The CBA Young Lawyers Section
Associate Christopher J. Sugar has been appointed chairman of the Education Law Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section. His term runs until May 2015.
Chris practices in the area of labor and employment law. Among the matters he addresses in his practice are Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints, charges arising under the National Labor Relations Act, and state and local employment and labor issues ranging from wage and hour issues to unit/employee classification problems.
LeClerc Participates In Workers' Compensation Roundtable At USI
Bryan L. LeClerc, a partner in the Milford office, participated in a roundtable discussion sponsored by USI Insurance Services, LLC, at its Meriden offices. The topic was Workers' Compensation. The roundtable was for the benefit of construction industry employers.
USI is an insurance brokerage and consulting firm. With more than 4,000 professionals in over 100 offices across the United States, USI is the 10th largest insurance broker in the nation. It is among the top 10 retirement consulting firms in the U.S. and is the largest employee benefit wholesaler in the tri-state area.
Lynn Kirshbaum, of the firm's Milford office, with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy at CABE's "A Day on the Hill."
Berchem, Moses & Devlin Attends CABE's "A Day On The Hill"
Firm attorneys attended "A Day on the Hill," an annual event conducted by the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), on March 5, 2014, in Hartford. The event, conducted at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts and at the Capitol, featured a series of networking meetings for CABE member school boards, their superintendents and staff, PTA and PTO members, students and guests. The governor spoke to the assembled group and later stopped to have a few photos taken with attendees. After the sessions at the Bushnell, CABE members and other attendees marched to the Capitol for a series of sessions with legislators. Berchem, Moses & Devlin is a CABE business partner. The firm represents numerous boards of education and school districts throughout the state.
Ira Bloom Interviewed For The Fairfield County Business Journal
Ira Bloom, Managing Partner of the Westport office, was interviewed for the March 3, 2014, edition of the Fairfield County Business Journal. In the article, Ira discussed the expansion of Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. to 40 attorneys. Ira also talked about the recent relocation of the Westport office and the firm's growing profile in Fairfield County.
The new lawyers at the firm gathered in the Westport office recently for a photo taken by the Connecticut Law Tribune. Pictured here standing, left to right, are Peter Gelderman, of counsel; John Marini, associate; Eugene Kimmel, senior counsel; Christopher J. Sugar, associate; Rebecca Goldberg, associate; Joseph H. Corselli, associate; Lynn A. Kirshbaum, associate. Seated, left to right, are Ira Bloom, Westport managing partner; Marsha Moses, firm managing partner, and Gregory Kimmel, senior partner.
BMD Boosts Ranks With Norwalk Firm And Six Other Attorneys
The Norwalk-based law firm of Kimmel & Kimmel, LLC and several other new lawyers have joined Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. to create significant growth several practice areas.
Joining the firm are Eugene M. Kimmel, as senior counsel; Gregory S. Kimmel, as senior partner; Peter V. Gelderman, a Fairfield land use/municipal lawyer, as of counsel; and Ansonia Corporation Counsel John P. Marini, as an associate. Also joining the firm as associates are Rebecca Goldberg and Christopher J. Sugar, in the Labor practice, Lynn A. Kirshbaum, in the Education Department, and Joseph H. Corselli, in the Litigation Department.
Robert L. Berchem, president of the firm, said, "These new lawyers at our firm bring a wide range of experience that will enhance service to our growing statewide client base. Our growth has always come through strategic steps aimed at improved service to clients."
During a transition period, the father-and-son Kimmel & Kimmel law firm will operate its Norwalk office until the two principals are fully merged into Berchem, Moses & Devlin's Westport office. The Kimmel & Kimmel firm has concentrated in the areas of real estate transactions, divorce and family law issues, personal injury matters and criminal law.
Mr. Gelderman, who will also be based in the Westport office, is experienced in business and commercial transactions, commercial and residential real estate transactions, condominium law and civil litigation. Previously, he has served as Assistant Town Attorney for Westport and Town Attorney for Trumbull. Also, he is a former member of the Trumbull Town Council.
Westport Managing Partner Ira W. Bloom said, "The addition of the Kimmel & Kimmel law firm and Peter represents major growth for our new Westport offices. We relocated here to establish a significant presence for Berchem, Moses & Devlin in Fairfield County."
John Marini, who will be based in Milford, is an important part of the growing municipal practice at the firm. In the past, he has served as a member of the Board of Aldermen for the City of Ansonia. He was the board's liaison to the city's Economic Development Commission and served as a member of the city's Finance Commission. He was also chairman of Ansonia's 2012-2013 Charter Revision Commission. John will continue to serve as Ansonia Corporation Counsel. Rebecca Goldberg, Lynn Kirshbaum and Christopher Sugar will be based in the Milford office.
The new additions to Berchem, Moses & Devlin bring the firm's roster up to 40 lawyers, making it one of the state's larger law firms.
A monetary donation from the firm to Homes with Hope will help with the Westport agency's ongoing efforts to help the homeless. Pictured here are (left to right) Karen Mahar, director of resource development for Homes with Hope; Jeff Weiser, president and CEO of Homes with Hope; Ira W. Bloom, managing partner of BMD Westport; and Gail I. Kelly, associate with BMD Westport.
Firm Donates Funds To Homes With Hope Of Westport
The firm has made a financial donation to Homes with Hope of Westport to help with the costs of housing and other services for the homeless during the 2014 winter season.
Ira W. Bloom, managing partner of the Westport office, said the contribution to Homes with Hope serves a continual and growing need in the community. "The winter season is extremely difficult on the homeless and other people who require shelter. We hope this donation to Homes with Hope will provide help to the people who are in need," Mr. Bloom said.
The donation from the firm will be used by Homes with Hope clients for purchases like food, gasoline and household items as they take up residence in apartments sponsored by the agency.
Berchem, Moses & Devlin lawyers attended the 2013 conference of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education/Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, November 15-16 in Mystic. The theme of the CABE/CAPSS conference was "Keeping Focus on Student Growth in a Time of Rapid Change." The firm sponsored the conference's Friday dinner speaker, poet Azure Antoinette. Pictured here, left to right, are Marsha Belman Moses, Floyd J. Dugas, Berchem, Moses & Devlin partners; and Trumbull Board of Education chairman and State Board of Education member.
Norwalk Mayor Rilling Taps Mario Coppola As Corporation Counsel
Mario F. Coppola, partner in the Westport office, has been named corporation counsel by newly elected Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling. The appointment is for a two-year term.
Mario regularly practices in the area of municipal law. He has provided legal representation and services to the towns of Westport, Trumbull, New Canaan, Madison and Easton. He has handled hundreds of matters on behalf of municipalities in the areas of land use and zoning, zoning enforcement, tax assessment appeals and tax collection, from the administrative level through the Connecticut courts.
Additionally, Mario has served as Co-Chair of the Fairfield County Bar Association Land Use and Municipal Law Sections. He has served as Secretary and Legislative Liaison for the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) Planning and Zoning Section. He has also been appointed to the Executive Committees of the CBA's Planning and Zoning Section and Municipal Law and Government Services Section.
The workshop was conducted Nov. 13, 2013, at Torrington City Hall.
The program focused on U.S. Department of Transportation requirements for urine testing for drugs and breath testing for alcohol; signs and symptoms of alcohol misuse and substance abuse; responsibilities of supervisors for reasonable suspicion testing; and appropriate response when an employee tests positive for drugs or alcohol.
Also discussed were the signs of probable alcohol abuse and drug use by safety-sensitive employees and the responsibilities of supervisors and managers to make a reasonable suspicion determination. Participants were taught the physical, behavioral and performance indicators, as well as the collection process, for alcohol and controlled substances according to DOT regulations. Related topics discussed included employer liability; insurance; contracts; indemnification; interaction with other laws, such as ADA and FMLA; and collective bargaining issues.
November 15-16, 2013: Berchem, Moses & Devlin lawyers attended the 2013 conference of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education/Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, November 15-16 in Mystic. The theme of the CABE/CAPSS conference was "Keeping Focus on Student Growth in a Time of Rapid Change." The firm sponsored the conference's Friday dinner speaker, poet Azure Antoinette. Pictured here, left to right, are Marsha Belman Moses, Floyd J. Dugas, Berchem, Moses & Devlin partners; and Trumbull Board of Education chairman and State Board of Education member.
November 2013: Mario F. Coppola, of the Westport office, recently presented before the Connecticut Bar Association's Planning and Zoning and Environmental Law Sections a summary of important new legislation. Of particular interest to the land and zoning practice is Public Act 13-9, which amends Connecticut General Statute § 8-13a, to extend the same protections currently applicable to nonconforming buildings to nonconforming structures. As a result of the change, state law now provides that any structure that violates zoning regulations for required setbacks for minimum lot area shall be a legal nonconforming structure if the "structure has been so situated for three years without the institution of an action to enforce the regulation." The statute defines a "structure" as having the same meaning as in the applicable local zoning regulations or, if undefined by such regulations, it shall mean "any combination of materials, other than a building, that is affixed to the land, including without limitation, signs, fences, walls, pools, patios, tennis courts and decks." It is important to note that the owner shall bear the burden of proving that a structure qualifies as a nonconforming structure under the statute. As a result of this new legislation, various structures which would otherwise be in violation of the local regulations are now legal so long as the structure has existed in that location for a least three years without any enforcement action from the town or city.
November 2013: Bryan L. LeClerc, a partner who resides in Fairfield, recently stepped down after serving on the Town Plan and Zoning Commission for five years, the last several as its chairman. His tenure on the commission was featured in an article published in the Fairfield Citizen and linked here by permission of the newspaper.
But Bryan's community service is far from over. As a longtime participant with the Boy Scouts of America, Bryan was recently named vice president of legal affairs for the board of directors of the Connecticut Yankee Council. He has been involved with the Connecticut Yankee Council for more than 10 years in a variety of roles, including as a local Scoutmaster. The Connecticut Yankee Council serves more than 17,000 youth members and nearly 4,600 adult volunteer leaders within five programs in Fairfield and New Haven counties and the town of Southington in Hartford County. more
Attending the Walter Camp Football Foundation tailgate party and toy drive are, left to right, Stacy Oswald, legal assistant; Douglas E. LoMonte, Partner; Matthew Sapienza, law clerk; Mario F. Coppola, Partner; Jonathan D. Berchem, Partner; Ira W. Bloom, Partner; Katherine Ashelford, legal assistant; Brian A. Lema, Partner; and Michael Esposito, paralegal.
October 2013: Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. was the sponsor of the 16th annual Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF) tailgate party at the Oct. 19 game between Yale and Fordham University at the Yale Bowl. WCFF President Jim Monico said, "The impact of Berchem, Moses & Devlin's contribution can best be measured by the amount of toys that were collected for the Yale-New Haven /St. Raphael's Children's Hospital Toy Closet at our tent. Without exaggerating, there were five tables, each eight-feet long, filled with toys for children suffering from various disabilities that required their hospitalization.
July 2013: Ophelia Barnett, a 2013 graduate of Bridgeport's Central Magnet High School, has been named the winner of the inaugural Berchem, Moses & Devlin New Opportunities Scholarship. She was awarded $5,000 for her college expenses.
During a ceremony at Bridgeport's Margaret E. Morton Government Center are, left to right, Robert L. Berchem, principal and president of Berchem, Moses & Devlin; Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch; scholarship winner Ophelia Barnett; and Ophelia's mother, Norma Barnett.
Ophelia, who plans to pursue a medical career, will attend the University of Connecticut.
Attorney Robert L. Berchem, principal and president of Berchem, Moses & Devlin, said the firm has decided this year to increase the amount it will give in scholarship awards to more than $7,500. In addition to the $5,000 scholarship initially planned, the firm has awarded a second-place winner $1,000 and is giving smaller amounts to 10 runners-up.
Felicia Salgado, also of Central Magnet High School, is the recipient of the $1,000 scholarship. She will attend the University of New Haven and plans a career in criminal justice.
The law firm created the New Opportunities Scholarship as a way to mark its 80th anniversary this year. The firm will award scholarships over the next four years to deserving graduates of Bridgeport high schools. Different graduates each year will receive the scholarships. The firm has committed at least $20,000 to the scholarship program and will consider renewing the program after the initial four years.
July 2013: The firm has relocated its Westport office to 1221 Post Road East. The office will occupy more than 4,700 square feet in its new location. There will be offices for up to 10 lawyers, as well as conference rooms to serve client needs. "The Post Road is a thriving business corridor where we can effectively serve our growing client base in Fairfield County," said Westport Managing Partner Ira W. Bloom. more
BMD Sets Up College Scholarship To Mark Law Firm's 80th Anniversary
May 2013: The firm has created a college scholarship program that will award $20,000 over the next four years to Bridgeport public high school students. The "New Opportunities Scholarship" has been established to mark the firm's 80th anniversary this year.
The scholarship will provide $5,000 a year for each of the four years, and will be given to a different graduate each year. A ceremony to announce the scholarship was held recently in the Margaret E. Morton Government Center in Bridgeport.
"This year, 2013, marks the 80th anniversary of the Berchem, Moses & Devlin law firm. As a way of celebrating our success and commitment to the region, we are offering a scholarship to help a high school student from Bridgeport fulfill his or her dreams for the future," said attorney Robert L. Berchem, principal and president of the firm. more
Attorney Robert L. Berchem, principal and president of Berchem, Moses & Devlin, left, presents Bridgeport Board of Education Chairman Kenneth Moales Jr., center, and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch with a $5,000 check for the newly announced Berchem, Moses & Devlin New Opportunities Scholarship.
April 2013: Robert L. Berchem, principal and president of the firm, has received Fairfield University's Alumni Service Award. Bob was honored at the school's 2013 Awards Dinner April 10 at the Grand Hyatt New York in New York City. A graduate of the class of 1962, Bob was the first in his family to receive a college degree. As an alumnus, he has contributed to the school in a number of capacities, including serving as a trustee from 1990 to 1996. Bob has been a member of the school's President's Circle since 1981 and was chairman in 1989. He also established a scholarship fund at the university to acknowledge the opportunities the school afforded him and to honor his mother. The Barbara M. Berchem scholarship benefits other first-generation college students. more
Robert L. Berchem, left, principal and president of Berchem, Moses & Devlin, and the Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., president of Fairfield University, during the university's 2013 Awards Dinner April 10 in New York City. At the dinner, Bob accepted the university's Alumni Service Award.
April 2013: The firm has again donated funds to the Westport Public Library to provide the LexisNexis database service. The LexisNexis program is used by library patrons seeking data for a variety of reasons, including job searches. BMD has supported LexisNexis at the Westport Library since 2009. The database has information on 46 million global companies, an archive of news publications and trade journals, and a vast collection of legal documents.
April 2013: Marsha Belman Moses and Michelle C. Laubin were speakers at the April Leadership Forum sponsored by the Connecticut State Department of Education, the Connecticut Council of Administrators of Special Education (ConnCASE), and the State Education Resource Center (SERC). Marsha and Michelle spoke on the Board of Education perspective regarding new Connecticut special education regulations. The forum was conducted April 4-5, 2013, at the Marriott Courtyard in Cromwell.
March 2013: Ira W. Bloom was part of the panel on March 16, 2013, at the Connecticut Bar Association Planning and Zoning Section seminar for municipal land use officials. The seminar, held every two years at Wesleyan University, features a group of prominent land use attorneys who summarize the latest developments for municipal commission members and staff. Nearly 300 people attended the event. Mr. Bloom summarized the latest developments in the affordable housing area.
March 2013: Floyd J. Dugas will be speaking on April 11, 2013 at the National Council of School Attorneys convention in San Diego, CA on the topic of School Safety.
February 2013: Shelby L. Wilson wrote an article for the February 18, 2013, edition of the Fairfield County Business Journal. The article, entitled "The State of the Federal Estate Tax and Why Proper Planning Remains Critical," was published in the newspaper's Wealth Management Supplement and its online edition. In the article, Shelby discusses the federal Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and how provisions of the law affect estate and tax planning. Shelby advises individuals, families and closely held businesses on estate and generation-skipping tax planning, income tax planning, tax compliance, business succession planning, estate settlement and trust administration.
February 2013: Michelle C. Laubin has co-authored a chapter in the book " School Nurse Administrators: Leadership and Management," published by the National Association of School Nurses. The chapter, entitled "Understanding the Legal Landscape," addresses laws and regulations that may apply in the school setting governing nurses and their interactions with students, staff and parents. The book will be offered as a textbook for school nursing administrators nationwide.
January 2013: Ira W. Bloom and Mario F. Coppola appeared on a seminar panel with Judge Douglas Mintz, Judge Barbara Bellis, and Judge Marshall Berger at the Fairfield County Bar Association seminar on January 23, 2013. The topics were the new land use appeal rules, which Attorney Bloom helped draft, and the new land use docket in Hartford.
Visiting a Westport apartment complex where Homes with Hope provides permanent housing for the homeless are, left to right, Ira W. Bloom, senior partner with the law firm of Berchem, Moses & Devlin; Jeffrey N. Wieser, president and CEO of Homes with Hope; Gail I. Kelly, an associate with the law firm; Eileen Francis, a paralegal with the law firm; and Jacob P. Bryniczka, a senior partner with the law firm.
January 2013: The firm has made a monetary donation to Homes with Hope of Westport to help individuals and families transition from homelessness into permanent housing. The donation from the firm will be used by Homes with Hope clients for purchases like food, gasoline and household items as they take up residence in apartments sponsored by the agency. The firm also recently made significant donations to the Connecticut Food Bank and the City of Milford's Adopt-A-Family program.
December 2012: Shelby L. Wilson was quoted in an article on estate planning in the December edition of New Haven Magazine. In the article, entitled "The Greatest Gift," Shelby comments on how charitable giving as part of an estate plan is not just for the wealthy, but can be a legacy for those of modest means. Shelby advises individuals, families and closely held businesses on estate and tax planning.
December 2012: Richard J. Buturla and Warren L. Holcomb successfully defended Stratford police officers and the Town of Stratford in a federal jury trial on claims stemming from arrests in a 2007 melee at the former Harborside Bar in Stratford. The trial in U.S. District Court in Hartford exonerated the officers and the Town of Stratford in a civil rights lawsuit that ensued in the incident. more
November 2012: Shelby L. Wilson and Joshua A. Weinshank gave a presentation on "The State of Your Estate" on November 17, 2012, at the Westport Center for Senior Activities. Topics included lifetime planning issues such as durable and springing powers of attorney, health care instructions and living wills, as well as the current state of the federal and state gift and estate tax regimes.
November 2012: Ira W. Bloom published an article in the October/November 2012 edition of Connecticut Lawyer, a publication by the Connecticut Bar Association. The article discusses a recent case, Piquet v Town of Chester, which outlines standards for appealing a decision of the local zoning enforcement officer.
Mario F. Coppola, left, and Shelby L. Wilson were honored by the Connecticut Law Tribune as New Leaders in the Law at a dinner November 9, 2012. The dinner was attended by 300 people, including Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Mario and Shelby were among a select group of Connecticut attorneys age 40 and under who received the award.
October 2012: Joshua A. Weinshank has joined the firm as an associate. Joshua focuses his practice in the area of trusts & estates. He serves the needs of clients in the areas of strategic estate planning and gifting plans. He has represented fiduciaries and beneficiaries in probate hearings and the administration of estates, and has also created Medicaid planning strategies for clients.
October 2012: The firm helped collect more than 400 toys for the Yale-New Haven Hospital Toy Closet as part of a drive connected with the October 20th Yale-Penn football game at the Yale Bowl. The firm joined with the Walter Camp Football Foundation in sponsoring the toy drive and a tailgate party attended by 250 people prior to the Ivy League game. The Toy Closet program provides new, age-appropriate and educational toys for pediatric patients in Yale-New Haven's Children's Hospital. "The event was a great success, and we are proud to have been part of a toy drive that benefits hospitalized children," said Mario F. Coppola, a partner at Berchem, Moses & Devlin who also serves on the Board of Governors of the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
The firm helped collect more than 400 toys for pediatric patients at the Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital during the October 20th Yale-Penn football game. The toys were displayed during a tailgate party sponsored by the firm and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Left to right are Mario F. Coppola, partner; Brian A. Lema, partner; Floyd J. Dugas, senior partner; Ira W. Bloom, senior partner; Jonathan D. Berchem, senior partner; David DeGrasse, paralegal; and Douglas E. LoMonte, partner.
Effective October 1, 2012, the firm has been selected to represent the Town of New Canaan for all legal matters. Partner Ira Bloom will be the designated Town Attorney. In addition to general municipal matters, the firm will also serve as labor and employment counsel to the Town.
October 2012: Attorney Marsha Belman Moses was a presenter at the CABE Workshop entitled "New Legal Issues for a New School Year: Teacher Evaluation, Bullying and School Climate" which took place on October 1, 2012 at the Sheraton Hartford South Hotel. She presented on "Bullying and School Climate: How to Help Your District Deal with These Issues"
Attorney Carolyn Mazanec Dugas wrote an article for the August 6, 2012, Municipal and Education Law issue of the Connecticut Law Tribune. The article, "State Adopts Model Educator Evaluation Guidelines," describes the state's newly adopted pilot guidelines, which will inform a new statewide system of evaluating teachers and administrators beginning in the 2013-2014 school year. The article explores the various steps that will be taken through 2014 to implement a new evaluation process, which is intended to result in improvements in the quality of public education in Connecticut.
Attorneys Carolyn Mazanec Dugas wrote an article for the August 6, 2012, Municipal and Education Law issue of the Connecticut Law Tribune. The article, entitled "New Definitions for Excused and Unexcused Absences," discusses how the Connecticut State Board of Education has developed standardized definitions for excused and unexcused absences in order to allow for consistency in determining what constitutes truancy in the state's schools. The definitions will apply across all school districts for reporting purposes on school attendance and will help the state properly report data on school attendance.
August 2012: Attorney Michelle C. Laubin was quoted in an article that appeared on the website Special Ed Connection. The article, entitled "Timely investigate students' unexcused absences," discusses the need for school officials to thoroughly assess what might be causing a special education student's unexplained absences or disruptive behavior. Not doing so opens a district to litigation that could result in having to pay for compensatory services for the student.
July 2012: Attorney Shelby L. Wilson has been named partner of the firm. Her practice focuses on estate planning, estate administration and tax law. She advises individuals, families and closely held businesses on issues dealing with estate and generation-skipping tax planning, income tax planning, tax compliance, business succession planning, estate settlement and trust administration.
July 2012: Attorney Michelle C. Laubin was quoted in an article that appeared on the website Special Ed Connection. The article, entitled "Take these precautions if making two or more placement offers," deals with the dilemmas school districts face when they offer more than one option to parents who are placing their disabled children in special education programs outside of their public schools.
July 2012: Attorney Ryan P. Driscoll is helping the United Way of Milford as a volunteer "Leader on Loan." Ryan will take part in a campaign to raise funds for various United Way programs. This is the second year Ryan has been involved in Leaders on Loan. He will be working with attorneys from other firms in Milford in the fund-raising campaign.
The firm hosted a legislative breakfast recently with 4 th District U.S. Rep. Jim Himes at the Westport Public Library. Congressman Himes, center, was introduced by Robert L. Berchem, senior partner in the Milford office, at right, and Ira W. Bloom, senior partner in the Westport office. Attorneys from the firm and their clients had the opportunity to question Congressman Himes about a broad range of issues, from education to finance to energy policy.
Ira W. Bloom, senior partner in the Westport office, spoke June 22, 2012, at a seminar sponsored by the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association at the Mark Twain Museum Center in Hartford. Ira spoke on the new court rules regarding e-filing of records in administrative appeals. About 100 planners from across the state attended the seminar.
Ira W. Bloom, senior partner in the firm's Westport office, discusses the LexisNexis database service that is offered at the Westport Public Library through the firm's financial support. With Ira are reference librarian Margie Freilich-Den, foreground, and business librarian Sylvia Schulman. The LexisNexis program has been used by library patrons seeking data for a variety of reasons, including job searches. BMD has supported LexisNexis at the Westport Library since 2009, and recently gave the library a donation to continue providing this valuable service.
Attorney Michelle discussed labor and employment law developments at the Milford Chamber of Commerce's May 4, 2012, Good Morning Milford seminar. Michelle gave an overview of laws affecting how small business owners hire, manage and compensate employees. Among the topics Michelle addressed was Connecticut's new credit score law and how it affects hiring decisions. She also talked about pre-hire medical inquiries, the independent contractor-versus-employee test, and incentives for hiring veterans.
Attorney Floyd J. Dugas won a state arbitration award for the Town of Westport in a dispute with the town's public works union. Under the decision, the town for the first time will implement a defined contribution plan for newly hired employees. The plan, similar to a 401(k) plan, will replace the existing defined benefit pension plan for the new hires of the Department of Public Works. The decision also reduced the maximum pension a public works employee would be eligible for from 81.25 percent of the employee's final year salary to 65 percent, a change that represents an actuarial savings of $1 million to the pension plan. The Westport Representative Town Meeting approved the state arbitration panel decision at its April 3, 2012, meeting.
Attorneys Marsha Belman Moses and Michelle C. Laubin took part in a two-day seminar on special education topics March 29-30, 2012, in Cromwell. The seminar, which was attended by school administrators from across the state, was co-sponsored by the Connecticut Council of Administrators of Special Education (ConnCASE) and the State Education Resource Center (SERC). Marsha and Michelle both addressed the board of education perspective on restraint and seclusion in schools.
April 2012: Attorney Michelle C. Laubin obtained an AV® Preeminent TM rating from Martindale-Hubbell's Peer Review Ratings. AV® Preeminent TM is the highest rating given in the peer review process conducted by Martindale-Hubbell and attests to an attorney's high ethical standards and legal ability.
Marsha Belman Moses made a presentation to the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) April 11, 2012, in West Hartford. The program, entitled "Facebook Me: Policy and Legal Implications of Technology in the 21 st Century," addressed the legal landscape created by technology, particularly the use of social networking by administrators, teachers and students. Topics included cyber-bullying, sexting and texting, and the interface of student and teacher First Amendment rights. Marsha offered strategies and potential solutions for issues that arise for school districts in the use of social networking and other technologies.
Attorneys Marsha Belman Moses and Michelle C. Laubin took part in a two-day seminar on special education topics March 29-30, 2012, in Cromwell. The seminar, which was attended by school administrators from across the state, was co-sponsored by the Connecticut Council of Administrators of Special Education (ConnCASE) and the State Education Resource Center (SERC). Marsha and Michelle both addressed the board of education perspective on restraint and seclusion in schools.
Attorney Michelle C. Laubin made a presentation on March 22, 2012, to the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) in West Hartford. Michelle's presentation focused on the Connecticut Board of Education's proposed revisions to special education regulations. Topics included restraint and seclusion in schools, and the impact of the new bullying law on services for special needs students.
Attorney Ira W. Bloom moderated and spoke at a Connecticut Bar Association Planning & Zoning seminar March 16, 2012, on the new court rules for land use appeals. These rules significantly change the manner in which zoning and other land use appeals will be handled by the courts. The seminar was one of the first to be presented in a webcast by the bar association. Ira chairs the Planning & Zoning Section of the bar association. Ira also wrote an article that was published in the March 2012 issue of the Connecticut Lawyer magazine entitled "Forget the Large Boxes: A New Rule for Filing Records in Administrative Appeals," which explains the new rules in zoning cases.
An article by Attorney Shelby L. Wilson on current provisions in federal law affecting estate and gift planning was published in the March 5, 2012, issue of the Fairfield County Business Journal. The piece explores certain tax advantages unique in 2012 for bestowing lifetime gifts or transferring assets at death. Shelby's article, "Going ... going ... gone at the end of 2012?" can be viewed here.
Attorney Shelby L. Wilson served as a panelist in a presentation entitled "Estate Planning Gone Awry" at the 2012 Mid-Year Meeting of the American Bar Association (ABA) Tax Section in San Diego, California, on February 17, 2012. The panel discussed strategies for family estate and tax planning designed to minimize state and federal taxes.
January 2012: Mario F. Coppola, an attorney in the Westport office, was promoted to partner. Mario practices in the areas of municipal law, land use and zoning, property tax assessment appeals, real estate transactions and general civil litigation.
December 2011: The firm made holiday donations to charitable endeavors including the Connecticut Food Bank, Homes with Hope of Westport, and the Adopt-A-Family program administered by the Milford Department of Human Services in conjunction with United Way of Milford. Funds provided to the Connecticut Food Bank helped restock the shelves during the critical holiday period. Money provided to Homes with Hope was used for gift cards for homeless individuals and families transitioning into permanent housing. The donation to the Adopt-A-Family program was used to help a Milford family in need purchase children's gifts during the holiday season.
December 2011: Richard J. Buturla was named Seymour Town Counsel by First Selectman W. Kurt Miller. Richard is a senior partner in the Milford office of the firm. He concentrates his practice in the area of civil litigation, including insurance defense. Richard previously served as Town Attorney in Stratford and Cheshire, and as Corporation Counsel in Derby.
Attorney Floyd J. Dugas won a state arbitration award for the City of New Haven and its Board of Education. The decision has allowed the city to privatize roughly half of its school custodian positions at a savings of approximately $4 million per year. The award also achieved changes in the areas of pensions and health care, including the elimination of retiree health insurance for new hires. The decision offers a precedent that may pave the way for other municipal employers seeking ways to reduce costs and budget deficits. Floyd is a member of the firm's Labor and Employment Group, as well as its Education Law Group. Read more about the arbitration decision on the firm's Connecticut Education Law Blog.
November 2011: Jonathan D. Berchem was named Milford City Attorney by Mayor Ben Blake. Jonathan holds the part-time position while practicing as a senior partner with the firm in the area of general civil litigation, including insurance defense, construction litigation and employment law. Jonathan, who is resident in the firm's Milford office, is chairman of the board of the United Way of Milford, and also serves on the boards of the Woodruff Family YMCA in Milford and the Cardinal Shehan Center in Bridgeport.
Attorney Floyd J. Dugas spoke on Friday, April 8, 2011 at the National School Boards Association Counsel of School Attorneys' annual meeting in San Francisco. Floyd co-presented on the topic of Negotiating Educational Reform.
Attorney Ira W. Bloom moderated and spoke on March 12, 2011 at a Connecticut Bar Association Planning & Zoning Section seminar on Land Use for Municipal Officials. The seminar was at Wesleyan University and attracted 325 board members and staff from municipalities throughout the state.
On January 21, 2011, Attorney Shelby L. Wilson served as a panelist of a presentation entitled "Giving Away the Store: A Primer on Business Succession Planning and Post-Mortem Financing of Tax Liabilities of Estates Holding Closely Held Business Interests" at the Midyear meeting of the American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, held in Boca Raton, Florida.
Attorney Michelle C. Laubin held a workshop called "Sexting, Texting and Other Uses of Technology by Students and Staff: The Legal Predicaments, Pitfalls and Possibilities" at the 2010 CABE/CAPSS convention. Attached is an article about the presentation used with permission of CABE. November 2010 issue of the CABE Journal
On Wednesday, November 17, 2010, Attorney Shelby L. Wilson presented "Planning For You and Your Family in Turbulent Times" at the Milford Hospital, 281 Seaside Avenue, Milford, CT.
On June 15, 2010, Attorney Floyd J. Dugas spoke at a workshop presented by CABE called Collective Bargaining and Teacher Compensation in the 21st Century that was held at ACES, 205 Skiff Street, Hamden, CT.
On April 7, 2010, Attorney Michelle C. Laubin spoke at Navigating Special Education Law and Advocacy: Attorneys Representing Parents and School Boards Discuss the Issues. The free seminar addressed what every parent should know about their child's basic special education rights in and outside of school.
On March 10, 2010, Attorney Shelby L. Wilson spoke at Estate and Life Planning/Advance Health Care Directive for the New Haven County Association of Paralegals.
On March 3, 2010, Attorney Mario Coppola co-chaired and spoke at a Connecticut Bar Association seminar in New Britain on Real Estate Valuation, Tax Assessment Appeals, and Eminent Domain Procedures.
March 2010: For a second year, BMD has made a generous donation to the Westport Public Library to fund the Library's LexisNexis database service to the public. The service is available to citizens through the Library's website and was extensively used during its first year in 2009. The donation continues the firm's commitment to the Westport and Fairfield County communities.
On February 24, 2010, Attorney Shelby L. Wilson spoke at "Get Active in Your Retirement-Take Control of Your Investment Portfolio and Estate Planning" hosted by Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. and Catamount Management Group. The event took place at the Westport Historical Society.
In December, 2009, Attorney Mario Coppola was appointed an Assistant Town Attorney for the Town of Trumbull. Attorney Coppola will handle the land use and inland wetland legal matters for the town.
Attorney Shelby L. Wilson spoke at "Preservation of Capital and Prudent Estate Planning in this Market Environment" hosted by Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. and Catamount Management Group. The event was held at the Westport Historical Society.
Attorney Ira W. Bloom will be speaking at the 2009 CCM Annual Convention & Exposition on October 8, 2009 at the Connecticut Convention Center. Attorney Bloom's is scheduled in Session C at 3:00 pm to speak on Municipal Law and Liability Update. Attorney Bloom will be giving an update on Land Use Law.
Attorney Ira W. Bloom has been appointed to chair the Connecticut Bar Association Planning and Zoning Executive Section for 2009-2010. Congratulations Ira.
Attorney Ira W. Bloom spoke to the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association on "Hot Topics in Land Use Law and Practice 2009" on June 26, 2009. The seminar occurred in Berlin, CT. Attorney Bloom appeared on a panel discussing recent cases in the land use area.
BMD sponsors LexisNexis at the Westport Public Library: The Westport Public Library became the first library in Connecticut to offer the LexisNexis research program to the public thanks to a generous donation by the firm. The site is available both from home and at the public library. The donation continues the firm's tradition of community involvement and support.
Westport Library Director Maxine Bleiweis noted how pleased she was with the firm's contribution.
Ira W. Bloom spoke at the Connecticut Bar Association Planning & Zoning Section seminar on "Land Use for Municipal Land Use Agencies, Boards, and Commissions" on March 28, 2009 at Wesleyan University. The seminar attracts over 250 municipal board members and officials and is given every two years. Mr. Bloom's topic was Zoning Commissions. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Planning & Zoning Section and will be the new chair later this year.
It is our pleasure to announce that the Milford Chamber of Commerce, with over 800 member businesses, has selected Attorney Robert L. Berchem to receive its LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. The award has been given to Bob, who grew up, raised a family and worked professionally in Milford his entire life, in recognition of his numerous achievements and contributions to the business and civic fabric of the greater Milford community. Bob will be honored at the Chamber's annual meeting on Wednesday, January 28, 2009. Congratulations.
On Wednesday, October 15, 2008, Attorney Marsha Belman Moses was a presenter at the CABE sponsored program on Free Speech, Religion and Search and Seizure: The Rights of Students and Employees in the Public School Setting, The Constitutional Rights of Students.
On Thursday, October 16, 2008, Attorney Ira W. Bloom was a speaker at the Connecticut Bar Association's CLE Seminar Advanced Land Use Law discussing affordable housing law. The seminar was held at the CBA Law Center, New Britain, CT.
On Wednesday, October 22, 2008, Attorney Ira W. Bloom was a speaker at the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities Learn, Develop, Grow seminar in the Municipal Law Update section. Attorney Bloom spoke on recent land use cases.
On Friday, June 20, 2008, Attorney Ira W. Bloom spoke at Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association's (CCAPA) seminar called "Hot Topics in Land Use, Law and Practice 2008." He spoke on '08 Legislative Session Summary and Trends In Municipal Land Use Caselaw Update.
April 25, 2008 Attorney Marsha Belman Moses was a panelist at the Eighth Annual Education Law Conference "Current Topics on Legal Issues in Education Law." The conference was sponsored by the University of Bridgeport, School of Education & Human Resources and Phi Delta Kappa International
Attorney Michelle C. Laubin has been quoted in the LRE Compliance Adviser, you can view the article "Set clear limits, goals for diagnostic placement to earn parents' trust" here.
Connecticut Association of Boards of Education ("CABE") has recommended to Governor M. Jodi Rell that Attorney Floyd J. Dugas to be reappointed as Management Member of Connecticut Teacher Arbitration Panel. Congratulations to Floyd.