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September 2020 E-Newsletter

Ada Sawyer Centennial Celebration Postponed

Due to the ongoing pandemic and limit on gatherings, we must postpone our Ada Sawyer Centennial Celebration originally scheduled for October 15, 2020 at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet. The event has been rescheduled for October 14, 2021 at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet. 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, will feature a plated dinner and cash Bar with several exciting speakers. More information will be disseminated in early 2021.
This gives the Ada Sawyer Centennial Planning Committee plenty of time to develop a digital memorial booklet to honor Ada’s accomplishments and show how her courageous actions changed the future of the profession in our state. We are asking Bar members who may have known or been influenced by Ada, or who may have had doors opened as a result of her actions, to submit a short piece detailing how you were affected. Please click here to access the submission form.
Please keep your submissions to 500 words or less so we can accommodate as many as possible. The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2020.

FREE Fall CLE Seminars 

2020 Aon Sponsored FREE Ethics Seminars 
The 27th annual FREE ethics program is now open for registration! This year's program, “Don’t Let the Jokers Drive You Batty! - What We Can Learn from Batman About Maintaining Our Sanity (And Ethics) In the Practice of Law," is presented by ReelTime Creative Learning Experiences. Using film clips from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, this highly interactive seminar explores the impact of exceptionally challenging professional relationships with such folks, whom we liken to Batman’s arch-nemesis, “The Joker.”
Below are the dates and times for all three sessions. To register, click on the link for your preferred date and complete the registration form through Zoom. Once you have completed the registration form, a confirmation email will be sent to you with the link to view the program.
5:30 – 7:30 p.m., 2.0 ethics
Live Webinar Only
2:00 – 4:00 p.m., 2.0 ethics
Live Webinar Only
9:00 – 11:00 a.m., 2.0 ethics
Live Webinar Only
Don't Miss the October FREE Seminar Series: Unique Aspects of Military Divorce & Ancillary Issues  
Do you represent service members, their spouses, or want to start?  If so, this October CLE series is designed for you. During this two-part series scheduled for Wednesday, October 14 & 28, Attorneys Francis Flanagan, Kristy Garside and Paul Pederzani will address the unique issues and challenges presented when handling a military divorce, including the complexities of pensions and the recent changes to the military pension law. Moderating sessions 1 & 2 are Attorneys Barbara Margolis and Kerry Reilley Travers, respectively.
If you are not a member of the Volunteer Lawyer Program or US Armed Forces Legal Services Project, please contact us to join today and receive further information on the upcoming registration process.
Please note you must be a member of the pro bono programs and agree to accept a family law case to register. 
Staff members John Ellis, or Elisa King, will be happy to provide further details. You may also reach them at 401-421-7758 or 421-7799.


2020-21 Bar Member Dues Invoices Now Available

The Rhode Island Bar Association online dues invoices are now available for the 2020-21 year. The Bar no longer postal mails invoices to members. Please go to the Bar's website at and log in with your Bar ID and password. Click DASHBOARD and then MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL. Once there, you may access your personalized invoice and make your payment online by following the prompts.
You do not have to pay your dues online. As an alternative, you may download your invoice and pay by check. Or, you may contact the Bar at (401) 421-5740 and request your invoice be sent to you via postal mail. Please remember you must request the postal mailed invoice, as otherwise the only way to access your invoice is online.
If you have any questions, please contact Office Manager Susan Cavalloro by phone at (401) 421-5740 or email: 


CLE Corner

There are so many great CLE programs being offered virtually this September!
Here are just a few:
Conducting Internal Investigations: Risks and Remedies 
9:00 – 10:30 a.m., 1.0 credit + 0.5 ethics
Live Webinar ONLY
A Mindful Practice – A Four Session Series
12:45 – 1:45 p.m., 1.0 ethics
12:45 – 1:45 p.m., 1.0 ethics 
12:45 – 1:45 p.m., 1.0 ethics
12:45 – 1:45 p.m., 1.0 ethics
How to Locate People and Assets for Collections 
12:45 – 1:45 p.m., 0.5 credits + 0.5 ethics
Live Webinar ONLY
Starting a Law Firm: Technology Edition
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., 2.0 credits
Live Webinar ONLY
How to Run a General Practice Law Firm in 2020
4:00 – 6:00 p.m., 2.0 credits
Live Webinar ONLY
To view all our live webcast offerings, visit the CLE calendar.


Do you have an Idea for an article? 

The editors of the Rhode Island Bar Journal invite Bar members to submit articles and information for Rhode Island Bar Journal publication consideration. As a primary source of news and information for all Rhode Island Bar Association members, the Bar Journal is an outstanding forum for articles concerning all areas of practice. The Journal seeks original articles, written expressly for the first publication in the Bar Journal, by members of the Rhode Island Bar Association. Rhode Island Bar Journal submissions include:
  • Articles written about specific areas of the law or relating to the practice of law.
  • Case Studies of historic or recent past cases.
  • Counterpoint pieces to recent, previously published articles.
  • Histories regarding the practice of law and government in Rhode Island.
  • Book Reviews about law practice, legal, or political topics.
  • Bar Committee reports and information of interest to members.
Please click here to review the Rhode Island Bar Journal Article Selection Criteria, which also appears on page 4 of every issue. All issues of the Bar Journal since 2009 are located in the Bar Journal Archive on our website. To view the most recent issues of the Bar Journal, please click here or visit the Bar Journal Homepage. If you have any questions concerning Bar Journal article or news item submissions, please contact Rhode Island Bar Journal Editor Erin Cute by telephone: (401) 421-5740 or email:


Follow Us on Social Media So You Never Miss an Update!

The Bar is going paperless! As a reminder, the Rhode Island Bar Journal is now being distributed to members in a digital format via email, as well as our monthly CLE seminar brochures. Make sure you are following us on all our social media accounts so you never miss an update! 
Twitter: @RIBarAssoc 
LinkedIn: RI Bar Association 


Public Service Corner 

Lawyer Referral Service  
Thank you for being a member of the Lawyer Referral Service.
Renewing your LRS membership is easy to do by checking off the appropriate box on your 2020-2021 Rhode Island Bar Association dues invoice. Please include the LRS annual membership fee of $100.00 along with your Rhode Island Bar Association Membership Dues payment.  If you prefer, you can mail your annual $100.00 LRS dues separately to the Lawyer Referral Service, 41 Sharpe Drive, Cranston, RI 02920.
If you are not a member, please consider joining now. The Lawyer Referral Service makes over 8,000 referrals a year to attorneys located statewide! Membership in the LRS is an excellent and very inexpensive way to increase your client base and visibility within the community, especially during these difficult times. Applications may be found by clicking here or in the Members Only section on our website.
Please contact Caitlin Poland by phone at 401-421-7799 or email at for an application or any questions you may have about joining. We look forward to hearing from you!
Don’t Let Your CLE Coupons Expire!
In addition to the free seminars sponsored by the Bar Association pro bono programs, members who contribute and report thirty plus hours of pro bono service annually through these programs are eligible to receive CLE coupons to be used in the following calendar year. Eligible volunteer attorneys are given the choice of attending one, free, three-credit seminar or three one credit courses. If you have 2020 coupons and have not used them, please contact us to register you for an interesting and informative live webinar being offered by the CLE department. To view all of our program offerings, visit the CLE Calendar.

COVID-19 Back to School Tips

As the school year draws closer, we finally have a sense of what school will look like for our children. Whether your child’s school will start off totally virtual or have some form of in-person instruction, it is clearly not the traditional back-to-school experience that we’ve known. Here are four tips to help you prepare your child to successfully navigate their return to learning.
Mask Etiquette: Teach your children how to wear their masks properly. Encourage them to practice wearing masks for short periods at home and especially when they are out in public, gradually increasing the amount of time that they can tolerate the mask. Plan to supply your children with extra masks for school. Children need to hear from their parent that masks are one of the best ways to protect ourselves and others from getting COVID-19.
Encourage Proper Hygiene: Encourage hand washing often, have some fun with it by singing a song or telling some jokes while they wash. Establish consistent house rules about hand washing, including every time before family members leave home and come into the home from outside, after going to the bathroom, and before and after eating.
Get Back on a Regular Sleep Schedule: Many students have been on a different sleep schedule throughout the pandemic. They are likely going to bed later and getting up later in the morning. Parents can start incrementally pushing up bedtime to help ease the transition.
Prevent Separation Anxiety: After spending many long months at home, children may feel nervous about going back to school and being apart from family members. Have conversations about going back to school and try to develop tools for your child to feel connected to home, such as notes in their lunchbox, or a family photo they can bring to school.


Technology Tip

Everybody’s living on video conferencing right now, which means everybody’s apologizing for background noise: wailing children, barking dogs, the coffee machine dripping. What we’re all learning at the same time is that there are thousands of background noises present in our homes, that are difficult for us to block out, and annoying for our video conference partners. Fortunately, there are inexpensive solutions that block background noise for you, so you don’t have to keep toggling the mute button. Get ‘krisp’er sound tomorrow by clicking here.
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

It’s Not Too Late to Sign Up for Your 2020-2021 Bar Committees!
If you have not yet signed up as a member of a 2020-¬2021 Rhode Island Bar Association Committee, you can still do so! Bar committee membership runs from July 1st to June 30th. Even Bar members who previously served on Bar committees must reaffirm their interest for the coming year, as committee membership does not automatically carry over from one Bar year to the next. Please join no more than three committees.
Please note, committees are meeting via Zoom videoconference or teleconference until it is safe to meet in person again. 
Anyone signing up for Bar committees after August 15th can do so by contacting Erin Cute at 
Seeking Law Related Education Program Attorney Volunteers!
Your Bar Association supports law related education (LRE) for Rhode Island children and adults through three, longstanding programs: Lawyers in the Classroom and Rhode Island Law Day for upper and middle school teachers and students, and the Speakers Bureau for adult organizations. Responding to LRE requests, Bar volunteers are contacted – based on their geographic location and noted areas of legal interest – to determine their interest and availability.
If you are interested in serving as an LRE volunteer, and even if you have previously served as LRE volunteer, we are asking you to please click here to complete the new application to ensure our database is current with your continuing interest.
Questions? Please contact Erin Cute at 

Diversity & Inclusion Corner

The American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession released a report in 2019, Current Glance at Women in the Law, that includes eye opening statistics about women in the legal profession. To read the report please click here.
As a reminder, the Bar recently established a Task Force on Diversity & Inclusion in an effort to integrate diverse perspectives in our activities and educational programming and to encourage and cultivate social intercourse among all members of the Rhode Island Bar, elevate attorneys of diverse backgrounds to positions of leadership within the Association, and promote interest in the practice of law to diverse populations.
For members interested in joining the newly initiated Task Force on Diversity & Inclusion, please contact Erin Cute at 401-421-5740 or