The mission of this blog is to present you with a thoughtful and timely discussion of legal news and perspectives and related business issues that are facing manufacturers and distributors both within our firm’s northeast region and throughout the country. We are experienced attorneys who dedicate our practice to learning the needs, goals, and problems of our clients and then establishing an appropriate course of action to achieve their objectives. This blog will provide practical, relevant legal information based on our experiences and understanding of the complex business issues facing this industry.
Although there are thousands of bloggers out there, few, if any, are focused on legal issues that face manufacturers and distributors. It is our goal to fill that void and have the Manufacturing Law Blog serve as not only a resource for our clients and potential clients, but also, anyone interested in manufacturing law issues, such as consultants, industry trade groups, the media, and the like.
As with many good things in life, the idea for the Manufacturing Law Blog grew organically through deep and long-term relationships with friends and colleagues. We have worked together at Robinson+Cole for several years on matters involving manufacturing clients. This is due in part to the fact that our practices are complementary of each other and we all strive to provide a holistic and team-like approach to any manufacturing or distributor client.
I am an environmental attorney in Robinson+Cole’s Environmental and Utilities Group. I have worked with manufacturers, both big and small, on environmental compliance, risk management, and litigation matters for my entire career. My full firm bio can be accessed here.
As an environmental lawyer, I never want to be a roadblock to our client’s goals. I strive to understand the business of our manufacturing clients – what do you make and how do you make it? I want to know your objective, and I want to help you get there. Regulatory requirements and potential legal liabilities can sometimes seem daunting, but I help our clients develop an understanding of the requirements and all of the potential options so that we can create practical and cost-effective solutions to accomplish the objective. I work with management as well as the people who make our clients’ products every day, and I enjoy every part of it. It’s a good day for me when I can put on my hard hat and walk the factory floor.
As an attorney in Robinson+Cole’s Labor, Employment, Benefits + Immigration Group, I represent manufacturers in all areas of labor and employment law. This includes discharge and discrimination issues, workplace investigations, affirmative action compliance, employee discipline, wage and hour issues, disability and reasonable accommodation, family and medical leave, unemployment, training, and defense in federal and state court and before administrative agencies. My full firm bio can be accessed here.
I represent manufacturers in the aerospace, consumer goods, machinery and other industries, which involves identifying practical, cost-effective and realistic solutions that prioritize and solidly execute the client’s objectives. Manufacturers face unique challenges stemming from compliance with ever-changing industry regulations, including those impacting federal contractors. Early in my career, I toured a client’s facility facing union-related struggles and realized that only through observing the workplace on the ground level can an attorney successfully understand and represent businesses. As an employment attorney, I work alongside clients as a true partner to further their key personnel and human resources goals, including efficient and safe operations, recruitment and retention of talent, diversity and inclusion, among other issues. Whether advising on a leadership transition or on compliance with wage payment laws, the aim is always the same – to solve problems so clients can focus their attention on doing what they do best – manufacturing.
I am a partner at Robinson+Cole who handles corporate compliance and litigation matters for both domestic and international manufacturers and distributors that make and ship products around the world. My clients have ranged from publicly traded Fortune 500 companies to privately held and/or family owned manufacturers. For those looking for my detailed law firm bio, click here.
I am often asked why I have focused a large part of my law practice on counseling manufacturers and distributors. As with most things in life, the answer to that question is tied back to experiences I had well before I became a lawyer. My grandfather spent over 30 years working at a steel mill (Detroit Steel Company), including several years in its maintenance department. One of my grandfather’s prime job duties was to make sure that the equipment being used was safe. In his later years, he would apply those lessons learned in every project we did together as he passed on to me his great respect and pride for the manufacturing industry.
Because of these experiences, I not only feel comfortable advising executives in a boardroom, but also can easily transition to the factory floor. My experience has involved a range of industries, including aerospace and defense, chemicals, energy, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, nutritional and dietary supplements, and retail and consumer products. While I have extensive experience in litigation (including product liability and class actions), I am extremely proactive about trying to keep my clients out of the courtroom if at all possible. Specifically, I have counseled manufacturers and distributors on issues such as product labeling and warranties, product recalls, workplace safety/OSHA, anti-trust, and vendor relations, among other things. I always look for the business-friendly solution to a problem that may face a manufacturer or distributor and I hope this blog will help advance those efforts.