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Higher Education


Leigh Cole and Jeff Nolan Present at UVM Legal Issues Conference (October 2017)

Each fall the University of Vermont presents a popular national conference on legal issues in higher education, designed for education administrators. This year Leigh Cole and Jeff Nolan participated as speakers on topics including current legal trends in campus threat assessment, sexual assault-related litigation, and emotional support animals (Jeff) and immigration (Leigh).


Leigh Cole co-presents second NACUA Briefing on the Phasing-out of DACA

On September 6, 2017 Leigh Cole presented a telephone Briefing for the membership of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) regarding the announced phasing-out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. She co-presented with Steven Bloom, Director, Government Relations, of the American Council of Education. NACUA Briefings are a new service of NACUA offering timely education on breaking legal developments. Briefings are short, audio-only presentations that are free of charge for NACUA members. Ms. Cole also presented NACUA’s debut Briefing in March 2017 on President Trump’s Executive Orders on immigration, co-presenting with Terry Hartle, Senior Vice President, American Council on Education.


Leigh Cole serves as instructor for NACUA’s online course on Immigration

Leigh Cole once again is serving as an instructor for an online course for the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA). Since 2011 Ms. Cole has co-instructed NACUA’s course “Immigration Basics for Colleges and Universities” with Michael Pfahl, Associate Counsel, Kent State University. NACUA’s online courses offer in-depth coverage of important issues in the practice of higher education law, featuring pre-recorded webinars narrated by leading higher education law experts, extensive course materials, self-assessments and instructor-led conference calls.


US Supreme Court will review visa/travel ban next term; students, workers and family members abroad still protected from the ban

News reports are confusing about the US Supreme Court’s per curiam decision today to uphold *in part* the visa/travel ban Executive Order (EO). The decision actually is good news for colleges and universities, US employers, and individuals from the affected countries in the United States who have relatives abroad.

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari and will review the consolidated visa/travel ban EO cases in the October term. In the meantime the Court stayed *in part* the preliminary injunctions blocking implementation of the EO.  The EO now may be applied to individuals who “lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” Eliminating the double negatives involved in staying an injunction barring implementation of an EO, this means the EO still does *not* apply to individuals with a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States, including intending refugees who have a qualifying relationship in the United States.  The decision specifies that the following parties clearly have a qualifying relationship so *remain protected* by the preliminary injunctions: those with a close family relationship with an individual in the United States, giving spouse and mother-in-law as examples; students admitted to a US college or university; those who have accepted offers of employment in the United States; and those invited to give a lecture in the United States. Three dissenters, Justices Thomas (writing), Alito and Gorsuch, concurred in part and dissented only as to continuing the preliminary injunctions to protect individuals with qualifying relationships in the United States. The court asked the parties to brief the question whether the case is moot because the 90-day duration of the EO ended on June 16, 2017 even though the Trump Administration tried to extend the effective date to the date of a court decision lifting the preliminary injunctions.


Nolan comments on US sexual assault trends for British higher education publication

Jeff Nolan of our Higher Education Practice Group recently provided commentary for the UK-based publication Times Higher Education.  In an article published August 11, 2016 titled “Can UK learn from US on tackling sexual assault on campus?”, Nolan commented on trends in how colleges and universities in the U.S. are better educating students about sexual assault and reporting options, and tailoring sexual assault adjudication models to better meet the needs of involved students.  Nolan also expressed his hope that more institutions would utilize campus threat assessment capacity to enhance safety when dating violence or stalking cases pursued through a disciplinary process may also implicate current and ongoing safety concerns.  To read the full article, please click here.


Linda J. Cohen receives Master of Healthcare Delivery Science degree

We are pleased to announce that Linda J. Cohen, a Director at the firm, has been awarded a Master of Healthcare Delivery Science Degree from Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business and Geisel School of Medicine.

Linda focuses her practice on counseling health care providers navigate the evolution to value based reimbursement.  She works with ACOs, health systems, providers and entrepreneurs to achieve compliance and business objectives.   Ms. Cohen advises on regulatory compliance, reimbursement and transactions.  Her compliance counseling includes state and federal fraud and abuse laws, corporate governance, reimbursement, professional services agreements, data use, reimbursement contracts, and patient health care information privacy under state law and HIPAA.  She serves as outside general counsel for ACOs, home health agencies and skilled nursing facilities and has substantial experience in reimbursement issues involving both governmental and commercial payors, having litigated many disputes to conclusion.


Nicole Andreson elected to the American Law Institute

We are pleased to announce that Nicole Andreson has been elected to The American Law Institute (ALI). Ms. Andreson is one of 72 newly elected judges, lawyers, and law professors from around the country.  ALI is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law.

Ms. Andreson’s practice is focused on the representation of physicians and hospitals in professional malpractice actions in both federal and state courts.  Immediately prior to joining the firm, Ms. Andreson served as a Deputy State’s Attorney for the Chittenden County State’s Attorneys’ Office.  During her tenure at the State’s Attorneys’ Office, Ms. Andreson prosecuted sexual assaults and crimes against children. Prior to prosecuting, Ms. Andreson worked as an Assistant Attorney General for the Vermont Attorney General’s Office.


Two Dinse attorneys recognized as litigation stars in Benchmark Litigation 2016

We are pleased to announce that Ritchie E. Berger and Karen McAndrew are featured in Benchmark Litigation 2016 as Litigation Stars for their outstanding work in litigation. The results of Benchmark Litigation stem from the culmination of a six-month research period where researchers conduct extensive interviews with litigators and their clients to identify the leading litigators and firms. During these interviews, researchers examine recent casework handled by law firms and ask individual litigators to offer their professional opinions on peers.

Mr. Berger is head of the Litigation Section of the firm and is considered one of Vermont’s premier trial lawyers.  He concentrates on the defense of complex civil litigation throughout Vermont and New England. He is a Fellow and Regent of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Past-President of Vermont Chapter.

Ms. McAndrew is one of Vermont’s leading trial lawyers.   She headed the firm’s litigation practice for many years, and was named a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1997.  She has successfully tried many complex civil cases in state and federal courts, and handled numerous appeals in the Vermont Supreme Court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  She has a particular concentration in higher education law.