We have broad litigation experience in federal and state courts, including
related appellate and administrative proceedings, arbitration proceedings,
and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, in the following substantive
areas: contract and business tort; unfair competition, including copyright
and trademark litigation and registration; federal constitutional and statutory
claims, including litigation under 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983; defamation; lender liability
actions; federal and state environmental law, including claims under CERCLA
and its state-law counterparts; construction litigation, employment termination
and discrimination; bankruptcy litigation; and class action litigation.
We represent a neighborhood organization whose responsibility it is to
remediate hazardous waste in the soil of more than one hundred residential
properties. In connection with that work, the neighborhood was sued by
one of its remediation contractors on a theory of unjust enrichment, among
others. The contractor claimed that it should be compensated for removing
contaminated soil in excess of the quantity contemplated at the outset of the
project. The Superior Court granted partial summary judgment in favor of
the neighborhood organization: the contractor could not recover for unjust
enrichment in the face of a fixed-price agreement.
We also represent a service provider in an action against the Narragansett
Indian Tribe. The plaintiff provided services to the Tribe over a period of
eight years under the terms of two engagement agreements. In a motion to
dismiss the case, the Tribe argued that the federal court lacked subject matter
jurisdiction because the Tribe enjoyed sovereign immunity. The district court
rejected the Tribe's contention finding that it had waived its immunity for the
purposes of any dispute with the plaintiff respecting the subject services. The
Tribe's motion for reconsideration was also rejected.
We represent the former owner of a hazardous waste site in connection
with an ongoing effort of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental
Management (RIDEM) to force the former owner and other potentially
responsible parties to accept responsibility for response costs at the site
in accordance with the requirements of the Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation and Liability Act and its state-law
Some of our past cases include representing a precast-concrete manufacturer
in connection with the multi-count complaint of a product purchaser alleging
manufacturing defects. The purchaser's central contention was that the
products developed alkali-silica reaction as a consequence of the concrete
mix design selected by the parties. A three-member panel of the American
Arbitration Association was selected to hear the case. After extensive
discovery and the exchange of expert reports, the case was settled shortly
prior to the start of evidentiary hearings.
We also represented a marine contractor in connection with claims arising
from construction of a marina expansion and improvements on Block Island.
The owner declined to meet its contract obligations, contending that several
components of the work had not been performed in a workmanlike manner.
The case was tried before a single arbitrator under the rules of the American
Arbitration Association. In the end, the arbitrator issued an initial award
decidedly in favor of the marine contractor as to the merits of the controversy,
followed by a supplemental award requiring the owner to pay the contractor's
attorneys' fees and costs.
We served as counsel to the Chief Operating Officer of a Massachusetts-based, non-profit organization who had been summarily suspended based
on charges of sexual harassment made by a female department head. After
investigation, the case was presented to the organization's board of directors
which voted to reinstate the COO.
We provided counsel to a former Rhode Island Secretary of State in litigation
instituted by the then Attorney General of the State to prevent a casino-gambling referendum from appearing on the November 2004 statewide ballot.
We defended a northeastern highway and bridge contractor in connection with
a $4 million fraud and breach of contract claim arising out of the sale of the
contractor's former plant and adjacent land. On the eve of trial, the case was
We served as counsel to the owner of a thirty-acre landfill in a challenge to
RIDEM's decision not to renew the owner's operating license. After lengthy
administrative hearings, RIDEM's decision was affirmed. In an appeal to
the Rhode Island Superior Court, however, the administrative decision was
reversed on the ground that RIDEM exceeded its regulatory authority. The
Rhode Island Supreme Court rejected RIDEM appeal, affirmed the decision
of the Superior Court, and reinstated the owner's license.
We represented a partner in a Providence law firm in connection with an
effort by the United States Trustee to hold the partner in civil contempt for
participation as counsel in the sale of real estate in alleged violation of the
automatic-stay provisions of the Bankruptcy Code. Before trial, the contempt
claim was dismissed with prejudice pursuant to a settlement agreement.
We also represented a publicly traded drug distributor in connection with an
effort, grounded in the anti-fraud provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 to forestall a tender offer by a management group. The District Court
issued an injunction against the offeror permitting the company to entertain
the offers of third-party suitors. In the end, the shareholders approved one
such suitor and realized value greater than that offered by the management
We provided counsel to a Providence hospital in connection with the
acquisition of adjacent municipal land and buildings. The hospital intervened
in an action challenging the city's right to sell the property. The trial court
sustained the sale to the hospital. On appeal, the Rhode Island Supreme
We served as counsel to a northeastern bank in a challenge to the
prepayment-penalty provisions of the bank's loan agreement with a multi-state manufacturing firm. The trial court rejected the borrower's challenge. On
appeal, the Rhode Island Supreme Court affirmed. The case established the
legitimacy of bargained-for, prepayment-penalty clauses in commercial loans
governed by Rhode Island law.
We represented Rhode Island's public transit authority in a federal class
action under § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The plaintiff class sought
to require the authority to limit its acquisition of new buses to wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Such a requirement would have increased acquisition
costs substantially with no evidence to suggest that wheelchair-confined
persons would increase their limited use of fixed-route buses. The District
Court granted the relief sought. On appeal, the First Circuit reversed, holding
that federal law did not require the affirmative action inherent in the District
We are available to act as mediators and arbitrators for cases within our areas