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May 2020 E-Newsletter

Pro Bono Corner

Critical Need for Pro Bono Attorneys to Take Family Law Cases

The Volunteer Lawyer Program is in critical need of attorneys who would be willing to take a family law case where there have been domestic violence issues. Unfortunately, the stay at home order imposed during the COVID-19 crisis may be contributing to a surge in domestic violence incidents, and these clients need our help more than ever. We need to place cases related to divorce, custody, restraining orders, and visitation. Clients are being made aware that virtual consultations may be necessary at this time. These are trying times for all of us, but it is particularly dire for those in need of pro bono legal services. For a full list of cases in need of placement, please contact John Ellis at or by calling 401-421-7758. We appreciate your generosity!

If you are not a member of the Lawyer Referral Service but would be interested in joining now, we are offering a FREE introductory membership through September 2020 with the opportunity to join the following year for only $100.00. The applications may be found by clicking here or in the Members Only section on our website.

The Lawyer Referral Service makes over 8,000 referrals a year to attorneys located statewide! Membership in the LRS is an excellent and inexpensive way to increase your client base and visibility within the community especially during these difficult times. Join today and become a part of the rewarding experience of assisting clients who may not otherwise be able to afford an attorney.

Please contact Caitlin Poland by phone at 401-421-7799 or email at for an application or any questions you may have.



Tips for Supporting Your Mental Health During COVID-19

In the midst of a situation like the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and worried. We may experience increased feelings of anxiety, powerlessness, impatience, or frustration. While feeling worried is normal and expected, there are many ways we can increase our resilience. Here are four tips to help manage your mental health during these trying times.

Manage your Stress Threshold: Try to lay a solid foundation for your mental health and well-being by prioritizing your sleep, avoid blue lights before bed and maintain a routine around your sleep schedule. Remember to eat a healthy diet and maintain a fitness routine. Exercise will lower your stress levels, help you to better regulate your emotions and improve your sleep.

Know Your Red Flags: One way to manage moments of anxiety is to identify key thoughts or physical sensations that tend to contribute to feelings of being overwhelmed. Actively reducing the physical symptoms of anxiety by using breathing techniques can de-escalate the stress cycle and help you regain control.

Routine is Your Friend: Routine helps to manage anxiety and will help you to adapt more quickly to this current reality. Create clear distinctions between work and non-work time, ideally in both your physical workspace and your head space. Find something to do that is not work and is not virus-related that brings you joy.

Be Compassionate with Yourself: There is much that we cannot control right now, but how we talk to ourselves during these challenging times can either provide a powerful buffer to these difficult circumstances or amplify our stress. This pandemic will cause a lot of stress for many of us, and we cannot be our best selves all the time. But we can ask for help or reach out when help is asked of us.

2020 Law Day Volunteer Acknowledgement

The Rhode Island Law Day Committee, chaired by Rhode Island Supreme Court Associate Justice Gilbert V. Indeglia, was not able move forward with the traditional Law Day this year as school buildings are closed for the year. However, in an effort to help teachers with their virtual lesson plans, teachers were given the option of receiving a PowerPoint presentation put together by volunteer attorneys as well as the option of having an attorney and judge team join them for a Google Meet Q&A session on Law Day.

We want to thank all of the attorneys and judges listed below who volunteered their time and participated in a virtual Law Day program. We sincerely appreciate their generous efforts and willingness to adapt to a virtual format. A special thank you is needed for our volunteers who designed an excellent and informative slide show which was distributed to schools on the Law Day topic: William Connell, Esq., Jillian Dubois, Esq., and David Fitzpatrick, Esq. 

Rhode Island Bar Association
David Bazar, Esq.
William Connell, Esq.
Angelyne Cooper, Esq.
James Crowley, Esq.
Richard P. D’Addario, Esq.
Marc DeSisto, Esq.
Jenna Giguere, Esq.
Amy Goins, Esq.
Jennifer Griffith, Esq.
Valerie Leon, Esq.
Samantha McCarthy, Esq.
Stacey Nakasian, Esq.
Sarah Oster, Esq.
Steven Richard, Esq.
Andrew Rodgers, Esq.
Sharlene Rossi, Esq.
Patrick Youngs, Esq.

Rhode Island Judiciary
Hon. Karen Lynch Bernard
Hon. Alfredo T. Conte
Hon. Laureen Q. D'Ambra
Hon. Melissa E. Darigan
Hon. Brian A. Goldman
Hon. Robert E. Hardman
Hon. Jeffrey A. Lanphear
Hon. Richard A. Licht
Hon. Melissa Austin Long
Hon. Richard A. Merola
Hon. Steven A. Minicucci
Hon. Angela M. Paulhus
Hon. Richard D. Raspallo
Hon. Kristin E. Rodgers
Hon. Brian P. Stern
Hon. Paul A. Suttell
Hon. Brian Van Couyghen


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CLE Corner

There are great CLE programs being offered as live webcasts this May!

Here are just a few:


Stuart Takes a Trip and Teaches Misconduct
Thursday, May 14, 2020

1:00 – 2:00 p.m., 1.0 ethics

Business Email Compromise – 3 Secrets to Protecting Your Law Firm’s Email
Thursday, May 21, 2020

12:30 – 2:00 p.m., 1.5 ethics

Pixel Persuasion - Legal Writing for the 21st Century
Tuesday, May 26, 2020

1:00 – 2:00 p.m., 1.0 credit

The CLE department has created a COVID-19 section in our on-demand catalog dedicated to programs that focus on managing stress and anxiety during these difficult times. There are programs on how to safely work remotely, managing stress, and how your law firm can survive the pandemic. Click here to view this special section.

To view all our live webcast offerings, visit the CLE Calendar. To view all our on-demand programs, visit the on-demand catalog. New programs are added weekly, so be sure to check back often!



2020-2021 Bar Committee Membership

If you have not yet signed up as a member of a 2020-2021 Rhode Island Bar Association Committee, please do so today. Bar Committee membership runs from July 1st to June 30th. Even Bar members who served on Bar Committees this year must reaffirm their interest for the coming year, as committee membership does not automatically carry over from one Bar year to the next.

To sign up for a 2020-2021 Bar Committee, please click here to access our Bar Committees page on our website. Click on the Bar Committee Sign-up link and log in using your RIBAR credentials. As an alternative, you may download the Bar Committee Application form appearing above the list of committees and mail or fax it to the Bar Association. Please join no more than three committees and only use one method to register to avoid duplication.

If you have any questions concerning membership or the sign-up process, please contact the Bar’s Member Services Coordinator Erin Cute at (401) 421-5740 or

Technology Tip

Legal consumers need information about the state of the practice of law now more than ever. As interest rises with respect to the effect of the ongoing pandemic on particular legal claims, law firms need to brace for impact. So, if you haven’t for a while, test your intake procedures. Do all your intake forms still work? What other modern intake options can you provide? Are you collecting data to analyze for improvement of your conversion rate? If there was ever a time to upgrade intake technology, it’s right now.

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

2020 Annual Meeting Webinar Series

We are inching closer to finalizing our virtual 2020 Annual Meeting series of webinar programs. A detailed e-brochure will be emailed to you next week to lay out what we have in store. You can expect the usual caliber of excellent programs such as:

  • COVID-19 Issues for Employers;
  • Cross Examinations: Homicidal or Suicidal?;
  • Helping Clients and Their Families Navigate Long-Term Care Eligibility;
  • Navigating Multi-Level Regulatory Schemes: Examples in Cannabis and Liquor;
  • And many more relevant and engaging topics.

Our panelists have been working hard to put together this valuable programming, and we're thrilled that technology allows us to deliver the content to our members during the present crisis.

Ada Sawyer Centennial Celebration

At this time, we are still pushing full steam ahead for our Ada Sawyer Centennial Celebration scheduled for October 15, 2020 at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet. Of course, this is based on a best-case scenario of moderate sized crowds being allowed to congregate in the fall, but we will keep members apprised of any changes. For more details, please click here to view the save-the-date!


US Small Business Administration Temporary Positions

The US Small Business Administration is looking to fill several temporary positions to help them respond to small business owners in need of COVID-19 disaster assistance relief. In particular, they need attorneys/paralegals to review and close SBA Disaster Loans. Real estate experience is a plus. Individuals waiting on bar results may apply. Attorneys must present a current bar card but may be licensed in any state. Follow the links below for more information on the positions.

Paralegal Specialist

Attorney Advisor (Gen)

Legal Assistant