Pierce Atwood LLP

Merrill's Wharf 254 Commercial Street
Portland, ME 04101, United States

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Massachusetts Packaging Plant Pays Nearly $485K Penalty For Environmental Violations

A packaging company in Dudley, MA has agreed to pay $484,900 in penalties to settle EPA claims that the company violated numerous federal and state regulations. The violations occurred at the company’s liquid and aerosol…more

Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Environmental Liability, EPA, EPCRA

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7 Intellectual Property Mistakes Startup Entrepreneurs Often Make

What’s the biggest mistake startup entrepreneurs make with respect to their intellectual property, and what can they do to fix it? That’s the question we recently put to IP attorneys writing on JD Supra, knowing that the…more

Business Formation, Copyright, First-to-File, Legal Perspectives, Patents

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Maine Tax Alert: Interesting Tax Changes Made By Maine's 126th Legislature (And One By Maine Revenue)

The 2nd Regular Session of the 126th Legislature has adjourned and as usual the Taxation Committee had a number of issues to address. However, unlike last session, the issues tended to be narrow and targeted, as opposed to the…more

Income Taxes, State Budgets, State Taxes, Tax Reform

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EPA Amends All Appropriate Inquiries Rule To Clarify Best Practices

The EPA has amended its "All Appropriate Inquiries" Rule (AAI Rule) to reference the recently published ASTM International E1527–13 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment…more

ASTM, CERCLA, Contaminated Properties, Environmental Assessments, EPA

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Florida Broadens Definition of Personal Information and Shortens Breach Notification Requirements

Last week, Florida signed into law the Florida Information Protection Act of 2014, effective July 1, 2014. This new law is broader than Florida’s prior law and includes some important, and in some instances unique, provisions…more

Data Breach, Document Requests, New Legislation, Notice Requirements, Personally Identifiable Information

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Maine Tax Alert: Interesting Tax Changes Made By Maine's 126th Legislature (And One By Maine Revenue)

The 2nd Regular Session of the 126th Legislature has adjourned and as usual the Taxation Committee had a number of issues to address. However, unlike last session, the issues tended to be narrow and targeted, as opposed to the…more

Income Taxes, State Budgets, State Taxes, Tax Reform

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Hundreds of NLRB Decisions Nullified Because of Unconstitutional Recess Appointments

In NLRB v. Noel Canning, the Supreme Court held that President Obama’s appointments of three National Labor Relations Board members in January 2012 during a three day intra-session Senate recess were unconstitutional because the…more

Barack Obama, Canning v NLRB, NLRB, Recess Appointments, SCOTUS

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SEC Issues Ground-Breaking Guidance: Pierce Atwood Business Counselor Q1 2014

Historically, subject to only very limited and narrow exceptions, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and many state securities regulators, have taken the position that brokers, finders and other intermediaries could not…more

Brokers, Compliance, FINRA, SEC

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Changes To The UCC Effective July 1: Are You Prepared?

Effective July 1, multiple amendments to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) became effective in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and 39 other states…more

Debtors, Driver's Licenses, Due Diligence, Forms, Secured Creditors

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Water, Water everywhere …

There were two court decisions this week regarding regulation of Maine rivers, one from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Watts v. BEP, and one federal, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay v. Hydro Kennebec, LLC…more

Clean Water Act, Critical Habitat, Dams, ESA, Habitat Conservation Plan

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Obama Administration Delays ACA Employer Mandate Until 2015

In a major development in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Obama administration announced on Tuesday that it will delay implementation of the “employer mandate” feature of the law…more

Affordable Care Act, Deadlines, Delays, Employer Mandates, Healthcare

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Changes To The UCC Effective July 1: Are You Prepared?

Effective July 1, multiple amendments to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) became effective in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and 39 other states…more

Debtors, Driver's Licenses, Due Diligence, Forms, Secured Creditors

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SEC Proposes Rules To Amend Regulation A

On December 18, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) released proposed rules to amend Regulation A to provide for the offering of up to $50 million in securities. Regulation A is a quasi-public offering…more

Compliance, Crowdfunding, Investment Company Act of 1940, JOBS Act, Regulation A

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Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

While most attention in Augusta now is on politics, specifically the ins and outs of the Governor’s race, some policy discussions remain ongoing in Augusta. This week, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee held an…more

Attorney Generals, Legislative Agendas, Legislative Committees, State Budgets

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Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

While most attention in Augusta now is on politics, specifically the ins and outs of the Governor’s race, some policy discussions remain ongoing in Augusta. This week, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee held an…more

Attorney Generals, Legislative Agendas, Legislative Committees, State Budgets

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Employers Must Use The New Form I-9 Starting May 7, 2013; Is Your Organization Prepared?

A new version of Form I-9 was released by USCIS on March 8, 2013. Employers were required by law to begin using the new version of Form I-9 effective immediately, but USCIS gave employers a 60-day grace period to implement the…more

Eligibility, Hiring & Firing, I-9, USCIS

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NESCOE Proposes ISO-NE Facilitate Addition Of New Electric Transmission Infrastructure & Natural Gas Capacity

The New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE) has proposed that ISO-New England (ISO-NE) facilitate the addition of new electric transmission infrastructure to access renewable resources and increased natural gas firm…more

Infrastructure, Natural Gas, Oil & Gas, Telecommunications, Utilities Sector

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Maine Supreme Court Clears Geologist In Ethical Dispute

Last week the Maine Supreme Judicial Court (the “Law Court”) issued a decision that reversed a determination by the Maine Board of Certification for Geologists and Soil Scientists (the “Board”) that a certified geologist had…more

Department of Environmental Protection, Disciplinary Proceedings, Ethics

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Mississippi ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics Corporation: Finding CAFA To Be As Clear As An LCD

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court once again weighed in with a decision regarding class actions, but this time with a twist. In what is a rare event in the class action context, the Court handed down a unanimous decision in…more

CAFA, Class Action, Class Certification, Mass Action, Parens Patriae

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Maine Tax Alert: Interesting Tax Changes Made By Maine's 126th Legislature (And One By Maine Revenue)

The 2nd Regular Session of the 126th Legislature has adjourned and as usual the Taxation Committee had a number of issues to address. However, unlike last session, the issues tended to be narrow and targeted, as opposed to the…more

Income Taxes, State Budgets, State Taxes, Tax Reform

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OSHA HazCom December 1 Deadline

Will you have completed training? And, are you ready for the “Ripple Effect?” - By now, most companies are aware that the OSHA Hazard Communication (HazCom) standard was changed in 2012, and that the first compliance…more

Compliance, Deadlines, Hazardous Communication Standard, OSHA, Training

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2013 Summary Of New Maine Laws & Carried Over Legislation

As an on-going service to our clients, Pierce Atwood is pleased to provide this updated summary of selected new Maine laws enacted during the 126th Maine Legislature’s 1st Regular Session and 1st Special Session, as well as…more

Legislative Agendas, New Legislation

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Important Changes To U.S. Patent Law: First-To-File

The United States will transition to a first-to-file patent system on March 16, 2013. Here are some key points U.S. patent applicants should be aware of…more

America Invents Act, First-to-File, Patent Reform, Patents, USPTO

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Changes To The Massachusetts Contingency Plan Could Affect Your Cleanup

After a long rulemaking with many hundreds of comments, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has just adopted major updates to the state’s cleanup program, known as the Massachusetts Contingency…more

Environmental Site Assessment, MassDEP, Public Comment, Rulemaking Process

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Shedding Light on the Vexing Problem of Issue Certification

This week I attended the annual Class Actions Seminar sponsored by DRI (the Defense Research Institute). It was an excellent program, covering many recent trends in class action practice of interest to corporate counsel and…more

Class Action, Class Certification, Professional Development, Rule 23(b)(3)

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New HIPAA Rules Affect Business Associates And Their Subcontractors

The new HIPAA rules issued by the Department of Health and Human Services have made substantial changes to the way in which covered entities (e.g., hospitals, health insurers, etc…) and their business associates (entities which…more

Business Associates, Covered Entities, HHS, HIPAA, HITECH

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Fiscal Cliff Averted: Estate, Gift And GST Tax Changes

The country was heading for a “fiscal cliff” as the Bush-era tax cuts were scheduled to expire on January 1, 2013. But the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted in the final hours to make those tax cuts permanent for…more

American Taxpayer Relief Act, Estate Tax, Family Limited Partnerships, Fiscal Cliff, Generation-Skipping Transfer

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Changes To The Massachusetts Contingency Plan Could Affect Your Cleanup

After a long rulemaking with many hundreds of comments, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has just adopted major updates to the state’s cleanup program, known as the Massachusetts Contingency…more

Environmental Site Assessment, MassDEP, Public Comment, Rulemaking Process

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Dealing with a Data Broker? Here's What you Need to Know

The FTC recently released its report, “Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability.” The report is the result of a study of nine data brokers and provides legislative recommendations..…more

Data Brokers, Data Collection, Data Protection, Data Retention, Data-Sharing

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Consumer Alert For Corporate And Non-Profit Entities Regarding Corporate Records Scam

We are once again entering the season when most for-profit and non-profit corporations file their annual reports with the Secretary of State or other applicable agency in the states where they are organized as well as the states…more

Corporate Records, Non-Profits, Scams

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New SEC Rule 506(c) - Accredited Investor Verification Requirements

We recently published a Business Alert regarding the SEC’s adoption of the final rule to lift the ban on general solicitation and advertising in Rule 506 offerings to accredited investors…more

Accredited Investors, Advertising, Dodd-Frank, General Solicitation, Marketing

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How I Began My Class Action Practice

Two years ago, the extent of my knowledge of and experience in class actions was limited to a complex litigation course I took in law school. I had four years of general litigation practice under my belt and had always thought…more

Class Action, Rule 23

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Fiscal Cliff Averted: Estate, Gift And GST Tax Changes

The country was heading for a “fiscal cliff” as the Bush-era tax cuts were scheduled to expire on January 1, 2013. But the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted in the final hours to make those tax cuts permanent for…more

American Taxpayer Relief Act, Estate Tax, Family Limited Partnerships, Fiscal Cliff, Generation-Skipping Transfer

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Fiscal Cliff Averted: Estate, Gift And GST Tax Changes

The country was heading for a “fiscal cliff” as the Bush-era tax cuts were scheduled to expire on January 1, 2013. But the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted in the final hours to make those tax cuts permanent for…more

American Taxpayer Relief Act, Estate Tax, Family Limited Partnerships, Fiscal Cliff, Generation-Skipping Transfer

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Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

While most attention in Augusta now is on politics, specifically the ins and outs of the Governor’s race, some policy discussions remain ongoing in Augusta. This week, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee held an…more

Attorney Generals, Legislative Agendas, Legislative Committees, State Budgets

See All Updates »

Water, Water everywhere …

There were two court decisions this week regarding regulation of Maine rivers, one from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Watts v. BEP, and one federal, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay v. Hydro Kennebec, LLC…more

Clean Water Act, Critical Habitat, Dams, ESA, Habitat Conservation Plan

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Employers Must Use The New Form I-9 Starting May 7, 2013; Is Your Organization Prepared?

A new version of Form I-9 was released by USCIS on March 8, 2013. Employers were required by law to begin using the new version of Form I-9 effective immediately, but USCIS gave employers a 60-day grace period to implement the…more

Eligibility, Hiring & Firing, I-9, USCIS

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New Definition Of "Employee" Promises To Result In New Workers' Compensation Risk And Cost To Maine Employers

Last year, the 125th Maine Legislature enacted several amendments to the Maine Workers’ Compensation Act. Perhaps the most important was L.D. 1314, “An Act to Standardize the Definition of Independent Contractor.’’ This new…more

Independent Contractors

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Maine Tax Alert: Legislature Moves To Slash Pine Tree Zone Benefits And R&D Super Credit

The Supplemental Budget just released by the Legislature (LD 1843), if passed as written, may hurt Pine Tree Zone Business as well as businesses that engage in a substantial amount of research and development in Maine…more

State Budgets, State Taxes, Tax Credits

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For-Profit Corporations Can Object to Federal Laws on Religious Grounds

The United Statutes Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision holds that for-profit closely held corporations can object, on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs, to the contraception mandate imposed by the Patient…more

Affordable Care Act, Burwell v Hobby Lobby, Closely Held Businesses, Contraceptive Coverage Mandate, Healthcare

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EPA Approves Maine's NOx Waiver Request – VOC Waiver Request Still Pending

Since the mid-1990s, Maine has had an EPA-approved waiver from the ozone nonattainment new source review (NNSR) requirements for NOx covering, at a minimum, areas of the state that attain the ozone standard. The NOx waiver has…more

Environmental Policies, EPA, Waivers

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OFCCP Publishes New Affirmative Action Requirements For Protected Veterans And Individuals With Disabilities - What Federal Contractors Need To Know: Added Burdens And Significant New Legal Risks

On August 27, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced Final Rules that make changes to the regulations implementing the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance…more

ADA, Affirmative Action, Disability, Employer Liability Issues, Hiring & Firing

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Amending Your Bylaws to Mitigate the Cost of Shareholder Litigation: Fee-shifting and forum selection provisions

Shareholder litigation is on the rise, increasing the cost of doing business; and companies often face litigation on multiple fronts, further increasing litigation exposure. In 2013, 94 percent of M&A deals were challenged by…more

ATP Tours, Fee-Shifting Statutes, Forum Selection Clause, Shareholder Litigation, Shareholders

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Employer Identity Crisis: NLRB's GC Dramatically Expands Joint Employer Doctrine to Include Franchisors

Employer Status for Franchisors - Franchisors typically do not control hiring discipline, termination, or other employment decisions made at locations operated by independent franchises. Can they nonetheless be liable…more

Franchises, Franchisors, Joint Employers, McDonalds, NLRB

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Maine Budget Contains Significant Tax Changes

Averting a potential government shutdown, the Legislature voted to override Governor LePage’s veto of the biennial budget…more

Income Taxes, Property Tax, Sales & Use Tax, State Budgets

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EPA Approves Maine's NOx Waiver Request – VOC Waiver Request Still Pending

Since the mid-1990s, Maine has had an EPA-approved waiver from the ozone nonattainment new source review (NNSR) requirements for NOx covering, at a minimum, areas of the state that attain the ozone standard. The NOx waiver has…more

Environmental Policies, EPA, Waivers

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President Obama Nominates Norman Bay To Be Next FERC Chairman

President Obama has nominated Norman Bay to be the next Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Bay currently serves as FERC’s Director of Enforcement. Prior to joining FERC in 2009, Bay was a professor at…more

FERC, Nominations

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Amending Your Bylaws to Mitigate the Cost of Shareholder Litigation: Fee-shifting and forum selection provisions

Shareholder litigation is on the rise, increasing the cost of doing business; and companies often face litigation on multiple fronts, further increasing litigation exposure. In 2013, 94 percent of M&A deals were challenged by…more

ATP Tours, Fee-Shifting Statutes, Forum Selection Clause, Shareholder Litigation, Shareholders

See All Updates »

Fiscal Cliff Averted: Estate, Gift And GST Tax Changes

The country was heading for a “fiscal cliff” as the Bush-era tax cuts were scheduled to expire on January 1, 2013. But the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted in the final hours to make those tax cuts permanent for…more

American Taxpayer Relief Act, Estate Tax, Family Limited Partnerships, Fiscal Cliff, Generation-Skipping Transfer

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President Obama Re-Nominates Cheryl Lafleur To A Second Term At FERC

President Obama has re-nominated Cheryl LaFleur to a second term at FERC. Originally from New England, she has served as the Acting Chairman of FERC since November 25, 2013…more

Cheryl LaFleur, Energy Policy, FERC

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3 Fundraising Mistakes Startup Entrepreneurs Make (and How to Avoid Them)

Some startups want to tout big fundraising numbers. Resist that urge. Focus on a smart valuation and return focus to the product…more

Business Formation, Fundraisers, Legal Perspectives, Startups, Venture Capital

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7 Intellectual Property Mistakes Startup Entrepreneurs Often Make

What’s the biggest mistake startup entrepreneurs make with respect to their intellectual property, and what can they do to fix it? That’s the question we recently put to IP attorneys writing on JD Supra, knowing that the…more

Business Formation, Copyright, First-to-File, Legal Perspectives, Patents

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New FEMA Flood Zone Maps: Is Your Property About To Be Included In A High Risk Zone?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is set to finalize new flood zone maps for the coastal areas of New England in the next few weeks. On many of these new maps, coastal flood zones are likely to shift, putting many…more

Disaster Preparedness, FEMA, Flood Zones

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Massachusetts Long-Term Contract For The Purchase Of Renewable Energy And Recs

Massachusetts Utilities Submit Long-Term Contracts for the Purchase of Renewable Energy and RECs from Five Maine Wind Projects and One New Hampshire Wind Project to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities for Approval…more

Renewable Energy, Utilities Sector, Wind Power

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The Plaintiff Who Knew Too Much: First Circuit Dismisses Effort to Toll Statute of Limitations

On June 3, 2014, the First Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action filed by a group of former workers in a French luggage factory against Bain Capital, LLC in the District of Massachusetts. The case exemplifies…more

Class Action, Dismissals, Fraudulent Concealment, Putative Class Actions, Statute of Limitations

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Fiscal Cliff Averted: Estate, Gift And GST Tax Changes

The country was heading for a “fiscal cliff” as the Bush-era tax cuts were scheduled to expire on January 1, 2013. But the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted in the final hours to make those tax cuts permanent for…more

American Taxpayer Relief Act, Estate Tax, Family Limited Partnerships, Fiscal Cliff, Generation-Skipping Transfer

See All Updates »

Fiscal Cliff Averted: Estate, Gift And GST Tax Changes

The country was heading for a “fiscal cliff” as the Bush-era tax cuts were scheduled to expire on January 1, 2013. But the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted in the final hours to make those tax cuts permanent for…more

American Taxpayer Relief Act, Estate Tax, Family Limited Partnerships, Fiscal Cliff, Generation-Skipping Transfer

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DOMA Undone

Signed into law in 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, defined “marriage” for purposes of federal law as a union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and “spouse” as a person of the opposite sex…more

DOMA, Due Process, Equal Protection, Estate Planning, Estate Tax

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Areas of Practice
  • Administrative Law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
  • Antitrust & Trade Regulation
  • Appellate Practice
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Organizations
  • Class Action
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Construction Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Debtor/Creditor
  • Energy & Utilities
  • Environmental Law
  • Finance & Banking
  • Government
  • Immigration Law
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Litigation
  • Maritime Law
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Personal Injury
  • Privacy
  • Products Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Science, Computers, & Tech
  • Securities Law
  • Taxation
  • Toxic Torts
  • Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Zoning, Planning & Land Use
See more
Locations
Other U.S. Locations
  • D.C.
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
Other Countries
  • Sweden
Number of Attorneys

100+ Attorneys

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