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).
Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew announces that twelve of its attorneys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in the The Best Lawyers in America® 2016 (Copyright 2012 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.) in nineteen different practice areas. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 36,000 leading attorneys cast almost 4.4 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”
The practice areas and the attorney(s) listed in each area are as follows:
- Commercial Litigation: Ritchie E. Berger, Karen McAndrew
- Corporate Compliance Law: David Gurtman
- Corporate Governance Law: Brian Murphy
- Corporate Law: Jeffrey J. McMahan, Brian R. Murphy
- Education Law: Jeffrey J. Nolan, Karen McAndrew
- Employment Law – Management: Amy M. McLaughlin, Jeffrey J. Nolan, Karen McAndrew
- Immigration Law: Leigh Polk Cole
- Litigation – Construction: Karen McAndrew
- Litigation – Intellectual Property: Shapleigh Smith, Jr., Karen McAndrew
- Litigation – Labor & Employment: Amy M. McLaughlin
- Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants: Ritchie E. Berger
- Mergers & Acquisitions Law: Brian R. Murphy
- Non-Profit / Charities Law: Brian R. Murphy
- Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants: Ritchie E. Berger, Karen McAndrew
- Product Liability Litigation – Defendants: Shapleigh Smith, Jr.
- Real Estate Law: Austin D. Hart, Molly Langan
- Tax Law: Mark A. Langan
- Technology Law: Jeffrey J. McMahan
- Trusts and Estates: Mark A. Langan
Best Lawyers has named each of the following Dinse attorneys as “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective practice areas for 2016 in the Burlington area. Only a single lawyer in each specialty in each community is being honored as the “Lawyer of the Year.” Best Lawyers compiles its lists of outstanding attorneys through exhaustive peer-review assessments they conduct with thousands of leading lawyers each year.
Ritchie E. Berger
Personal Injury – Litigation – Defendants
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.
Litigation – Construction
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.
Jeffrey J. Nolan
Employment Law – Management
Mr. Nolan’s litigation and counseling practice focuses on representing employers and institutions of higher education before courts and administrative agencies in employment and student-related matters; advising employers and institutions of higher education on the resolution and legal implications of employment and student-related issues; and assisting employers and institutions of higher education in the development and implementation of appropriate policies, handbooks and training programs.
Austin D. Hart
Real Estate Law
Mr. Hart has represented clients in all phases of real estate transactions, including acquisition, permitting, development, finance, operation, leasing, and sale. He has advised clients with different types of real estate projects, including commercial office buildings, retail shopping centers, institutional campuses, and a planned recreational/residential community. He has served as counsel to common interest community owner associations, including a large mixed use resort association at a major Vermont ski area. A substantial portion of his practice focuses on the unique issues faced by colleges and hospitals in the ownership, operation, and expansion of their campuses, including property tax exemption laws. Mr. Hart was elected in 2015 as a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.
Jeff Nolan of Dinse’s Higher Education Practice Group presented three sessions at the University of Vermont’s national Legal Issues in Higher Education Conference in October, 2014. Jeff co-presented the keynote update on recent developments in higher education law, co-presented a session on the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (“VAWA”) and Title IX, and co-presented a session on the relationship between VAWA obligations to respond to dating violence, domestic violence and stalking and the work of campus threat assessment teams.
During September, 2014, Jeff Nolan of Dinse’s Higher Education Practice Group co-presented a webinar sponsored by United Educators and the University Risk Management and Insurance Association. Colleges and universities from around the country participated in the webinar, which suggested that institutions should consider involving their campus threat assessment teams as appropriate when responding to reports of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking that are likely to be received given the requirements of the recently-enacted Violence Against Women Act amendments to the Clery Act.
In April, 2014, Jeff Nolan of Dinse’s Higher Education and Employment practice groups presented a session on Campus SaVE Act implementation and training at the University Risk Management and Insurance Association’s Northeastern Regional Conference in Wellesley, Massachusetts, a session on workplace threat assessment and reintegration of “scary” employees into the workplace at the BLR Safety Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, and a session on threat assessment and the law at the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety Threat Assessment Conference in Richmond, Virginia.
Jeff Nolan of Dinse’s Higher Education Practice Group recently participated in the National Association of College and University Attorneys’ Spring Conference in Miami, which focused on “Student Sexual Misconduct: Addressing Institutional Culture and Compliance.” Jeff co-presented a session on the changes to institutional policies and practices required by the Campus SaVE Act, which went into effect March 7, 2014 and requires colleges and universities to respond to and provide training regarding domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Jeff also co-led a discussion group regarding how institutions should work with local law enforcement where on-campus misconduct may also implicate the criminal justice system.
A chapter co-written by Jeff Nolan of Dinse’s Higher Education Practice Group (with co-authors Gene Deisinger, Ph.D. and Marisa Randazzo, Ph.D.) titled “Threat Assessment and Management in Higher Education: Enhancing the Standard of Care in the Academy” was published in December, 2013 in the International Handbook of Threat Assessment. This peer-reviewed Handbook, which compiles chapters covering the basics of threat assessment and management, threat assessment in specific fields of practice such as higher education and schools, and best and promising practices in threat assessment and management operations, was published by the Oxford University Press.