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March 2020 E-Newsletter

Judicial Nominating Commission Notice of Judicial Vacancies

The Judicial Nominating Commission of Rhode Island is seeking candidates for the following three (3) vacancies:

  • Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court (Prospective Vacancy, June 30, 2020)
  • Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court
  • Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Family Court

Interested qualified applicants may obtain an application which consists of a Personal Data Questionnaire and a Personal Financial Statement. These forms may be accessed by logging on to and clicking on the appropriate links. Written requests for an application should be faxed to 401-751-0604, attention Rachel DiNezza. Please note that all applications must be in typewritten format.

The deadline for filing applications with the Commission is 5:00 p.m. March 20, 2020. Please send completed applications to the attention of the Judicial Nominating Commission, Attention Rachel M. DiNezza, Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C., One Citizens Plaza, 8th Floor, Providence, Rhode Island 02903-1345.

If you have any questions about the application process, please call Chairperson Sarah T. Dowling at 401-241-3698, e-mail her at or log on to for more information.

The Judicial Nominating Commission encourages qualified applicants who will reflect racial, ethnic and gender diversity within the judiciary.


CLE Corner

There are so many great CLE programs being offered this March! Here are just a few:


Blockchain, Virtual Currency & Smart Contracts Basics for Lawyers
Thursday, March 12, 2020
12:45 – 1:45 p.m., 1.0 credit
RI Law Center, Cranston
Also available as a live webcast!

Cannabis Law: Understanding Medical Marijuana and Adult Use
Friday, March 13, 2020
2:00 – 4:00 p.m., 2.0 credits
RI Law Center, Cranston
Also available as a live webcast!

Planning for and Administering an Estate – A Practical Skills Seminar
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., 4.0 credits + 1.0 ethics
RI Law Center, Cranston

Representing Clients Before Veterans Treatment Court
Thursday, March 26, 2020
12:45 – 1:45 p.m., 1.0 credit
RI Law Center, Cranston
Also available as a live webcast!

Don’t forget to check out the CLE Calendar for all of our program offerings.


Committee News

The Rhode Island Bar Association’s Government Lawyers Committee is sponsoring a free-to-Bar-members, one-credit, Committee CLE seminar. On Thursday, March 5th, from 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm at Rhode Island Bar Association headquarters, 41 Sharpe Drive in Cranston. Rhode Island Superior Court Associate Justices Brian P. Stern and Richard A. Licht will present Administrative Appeals - Perspectives from the Bench. This program will provide participants with the opportunity to learn about administrative appeals filed in the Superior Court from the perspectives of the honorable panelists, both of whom held distinguished positions in executive agencies before taking the bench. Moderator Jenna Giguere (DBR) will facilitate the panel discussion to address matters of procedure, standard of review, and best practices in Superior Court appeals under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).  

To register, and for additional information, please contact Amy Morales:

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2020 Rhode Island Bar Award Nominations

There are three Rhode Island Bar Association awards open for nomination in 2020. Nominations for all the awards are due no later than March 16, 2020. The three awards open for nominations are listed below. Please click each link for more information.

Ralph P. Semonoff Award for Professionalism

Florence K. Murray Award

Victoria M. Almeida Servant Leader Award

Names of past award winners can be found here on the Bar's website. We encourage you to send in your nominations today!


Foundation Scholarship


The Bar Foundation intends to award two scholarships of $25,000 each to Rhode Island residents who enroll as first-year students in an American Bar Association accredited law school for the academic year beginning September 2020. The scholarship is for the first year of law school only and non-renewable. Each Scholarship award is made on the basis of demonstrated financial need, superior academic performance, community and public service, and demonstrated contacts with and commitment to the State of Rhode Island. The Scholarship Committee seeks applications from candidates without regard to race, color, religion, country of ancestral origin, handicap, age, sex, or sexual orientation.

The Rhode Island Bar Foundation Scholarship application deadline is March 27, 2020. More information and application forms are available on the Rhode Island Bar Association website: in the Rhode Island Bar Foundation section.

Technology Tip

If you’re marketing your law firm on social media, or want to, you can get stalled if you have to login to a lot of different social media sites to continually post updates. Who’s got time for that? Instead, try a free tool like HootSuite or Buffer, to manage several accounts from one dashboard, and also schedule posts.

This tech tip is brought to you by the Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Consultant, Jared Correia, of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting. If you need help with billing, client relations, data management, financial management, marketing, office technology, time management, disaster prevention & recovery, or any other area related to managing your practice, Red Cave Law Firm Consulting will provide Rhode Island Bar Association members with unlimited virtual consulting services (email, telephone, chat, video) FREE OF CHARGE. To get started, visit the Bar’s LPM page here, or just email Jared directly at


Pro Bono Corner

If you missed the free fall three part CLE seminar series, “Saw it on the Internet: the legal and ethical issues surrounding electronic evidence,” sponsored by the Volunteer Lawyer Program it is available to you electronically (on demand).  Each 2 credit session includes .5 ethics credit. The sessions are as follows: Available Electronic Evidence and How to Access It, Direct & Cross Examination of Fact Witness and Direct & Cross Examination of Digital Evidence Expert Witness.

Please contact Volunteer Lawyer Program Coordinator John Ellis at 401-421-7758 or or Lawyer Referral Service and Elderly Pro Bono Coordinator Elisa King at 401-421-7758 or

Please note, you must agree to accept a pro bono family law case either through the Pro Bono Program for the Elderly or Volunteer Lawyer Program as part of the registration process.


Wash Your Hands

To prevent viral infections, doctors suggest practicing good hand hygiene. In light of the recent coronavirus outbreak, public health guidelines continue to emphasize this.

Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community.
Help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by following these five steps every time you wash your hands.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water — either warm or cold.
  2. Apply soap and lather well.
  3. Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
  4. Rinse well.
  5. Dry your hands with a clean towel or air-dry them.



Rhode Island Bar Association Annual Meeting

The Rhode Island Bar Association Annual Meeting is on Thursday, June 18 and Friday, June 19, 2020 at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Our opening plenary speakers, the Honorable O. Rogeriee Thompson of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and the Honorable John J. McConnell, Jr., Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, will draw upon their career experiences to lead a discussion and provoke a meaningful conversation about the legal profession.

On Thursday, we are hosting a free Annual Awards Reception in the Rotunda starting at 4:30 pm. Join us for libations and heavy hors d'oeuvres as we honor and celebrate the great accomplishments of this year's awards recipients. This event is open and FREE to ALL Bar members – don’t miss out!

The 2020 Rhode Island Bar Association Annual Meeting brochure is scheduled to hit your doorstep in early May!


Ada Sawyer Centennial Celebration

The Ada Sawyer Centennial Celebration commemorates the 100th anniversary of the year that the first woman was admitted to the Rhode Island bar. The event, organized by the Bar Association’s Ada Sawyer Centennial Planning Committee and supported by the RI Women’s Bar Association and the Roger Williams University School of Law, is scheduled for Thursday, October 15, 2020 at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet.

Join us for a plated dinner and a cash bar. Tickets will be available for purchase in the late spring. More information will be disseminated to Bar members in the coming months. It is an event not to be missed!

Do You Have a Plan for Pandemic Preparedness?


The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick/encourage employees to stay home when they are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Remind employees to do the same.

But do you also have a strategy in place in the event of a disruptive emergency?The ABA suggests asking yourself the following questions:

  • Can you access critical client records remotely?
  • Have you prioritized your firm’s functions by criticality?
  • Do you have a “go kit” of office items you would need if you could not access your primary office?

Employers should revisit their emergency preparedness plans and be ready to respond to varying levels of severity were an outbreak to occur. The CDC advises employers to prepare for the possibility of:

  • Widespread absenteeism, especially if employees need to care for sick family members
  • Many, or all, employees needing to work remotely
  • The need to suspend some business operations

Getting a strategic plan in place early can help avoid confusion and panic in the event of an emergency.