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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.

Back in 2013, I wrote a blog post about 3D printing and whether it was going to be the next “big thing.”  At the time, the commentary within manufacturing circles was mixed, at best, as manufacturing leaders wondered whether 3D printing would remain a specialty process mainly used by large OEMs such as Ford, GE, etc.

Seven years later, not much has really changed.  I recently read an article in Industry Week by Avi Reichental, a CEO of a 3D printing company, that is appropriately titled “Slow and Steady Wins the 3D Printing Race.”

The article still mentions GE’s efforts to use 3D printing along with some other stock examples that you see in many articles. Mr. Reichental then goes on to say:
Continue Reading 3D Printing for Manufacturers Continues to Lag Behind

Fellow Manufacturing Industry Team member, Taylor Shea and I had the pleasure of presenting the first program in the “Coronavirus Special Topic Conference Calls Series” offered by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Connecticut District Export Council on March 18, 2020. The session was on “Force Majeure both for Contracts/Suppliers, Cancellation of Trade Shows”

We kicked off our seventh year writing the Manufacturing Law Blog with Megan’s predictions for EH&S and Matt weighed in about labor and employment.  So, now it is my turn:

Sales Growth

You might wonder why I would start a compliance/litigation discussion with a business issue, but for most industrial companies these issues are

By nature, lawyers tend to be reactive and we are trained to respond to crisis and/or problems.  So, it takes a lot of work to develop proactive skills so that we can help our clients avoid problems such as large customer disputes or worse (the dreaded class action).

Over time, we have noticed common themes

Last night, I had the chance to attend an interesting panel discussion featuring Richard Steffens (Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere, U.S. Department of Commerce) and Jacobeth Hernandez (Consul for Economic Affairs at the Consulate General of Mexico in New York).  The topic was the USMCA, which is the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that is

This week we are pleased to have a guest post from Edward Heath and Kevin Daly.  Attorneys Heath and Daly are members of Robinson+Cole’s Manufacturing Industry Team and regularly counsel clients on trade compliance, anti-corruption compliance, and other corporate compliance issues.

Earlier this year, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued new guidance