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November 2020 E-Newsletter


Task Force on Diversity & Inclusion Survey

As we announced this summer, the Rhode Island Bar Association recognizes that diversity within the profession supports our mission and promotes a fair and equal justice system. After launching our Task Force on Diversity & Inclusion, it was decided that the best way to begin to analyze the state of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession is to survey our membership. Neither the Rhode Island Bar Association nor the Rhode Island Supreme Court currently maintains this type of data that would allow us to compare our profession to the population of Rhode Island. We hope to use the information gained from this survey 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. While this survey is anonymous, please be aware we may share the data collected with the RI Supreme Court and other legal organizations.
You may answer only what you are comfortable answering, but please know that your candor will assist the Task Force as it begins to outline specific goals.
Please note: If you have already taken this survey which was previously circulated, please do not take it again. Thank you for your time and consideration! 
For members interested in joining the newly initiated Task Force on Diversity & Inclusion, please contact Erin Cute at 401-421-5740 or


CLE Corner

There are so many great CLE programs being offered virtually this November! Here are just a few:
Cybersecurity and IT Made Easy
12:45 – 1:45 p.m., 1.0 credit
Live Webinar Only
Federal Court Practice and the COVID-19 Court
12:30 – 1:30 p.m., 1.0 credit
Live Webinar Only
COVID-19: A Nursing Home Update
2:00 – 3:30 p.m., 1.5 credits
Live Webinar Only
Enter to Win!
During the month of November, every CLE registration is a chance to win! For every seminar you attend, your name will be entered into a raffle to win a Logitech HD Webcam. The more seminars you attend, the greater your chances are to win! The winner will be chosen on Wednesday, November 25th


2021 Annual Meeting Workshop Proposals Due by November 11th!

The Annual Meeting Planning Committee is looking for your input! Each year the Annual Meeting Planning Committee’s goal is to develop programming that will meet the diverse needs of Rhode Island practitioners at many levels of experience and areas of legal practice. Please consider submitting one or more workshops for consideration to help us plan a program that will meet the needs of the bar membership. Initial proposals consisting of a brief description of the proposed workshop are due by November 11, 2020.  
To access the 2021 Annual Meeting workshop proposal form please click here. Please contact CLE Director Tanya Nieves at 401-421-5740 or if you have any questions.


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.


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 
Instagram: @RIBarAssociation 
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.

Tips to Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely During COVID-19

Turkey, mashed potatoes, family, and football all bring about the nostalgia of Thanksgiving for many people. However, with COVID-19 cases increasing in many areas, this year’s celebration will look a lot different than those of the past. Below is a list of tips to help you and your family celebrate Thanksgiving safely this year.
  • Enjoy a small dinner only with people who live in your household
  • If you must invite others, keep invites to fewer than 3 households (including the host's own family)
  • Hold gatherings for less than 2 hours to minimize the risk of exposure 
  • Skip the buffet this year, whenever possible, aim to offer individual portions, so no one’s reaching into shared dishes 
  • Masks should remain on for as long as possible (barring eating and drinking)
  • If the weather allows, push for people to stay outside and gather on the patio or deck
  • Everyone should maintain social distance if possible, even outside
  • Watch sports events, parades, and movies from home
  • A virtual dinner party is the safest and best option to connect with those who can’t travel to see you. Organize a start time to eat over Skype, Zoom, or Facetime.
  • If you try a virtual gathering, coordinate your menus to plan a few similar dishes so everyone can enjoy the same appetizers or grandma’s secret stuffing recipe. 
  • Prepare traditional family recipes for relatives and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and deliver them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
  • Shop online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the following Monday


Committee News

On Wednesday, October 21st, the Government Lawyers Committee held a virtual event with law students from Roger Williams University School of Law, where committee members shared insights on government practice with the future lawyers of our community. In attendance were Committee Chairperson Jenna Giguere, committee members William J. Connell, Etie-Lee Schaub, Michael P. Jolin, Kara DiPaola, and 16 law students. Chairperson Giguere kicked off the meeting by introducing herself and explaining her role as Deputy Chief of Legal Services for the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation. She also encouraged students to make the most of their bar membership when they join the Association by getting involved and joining committees. The next half hour was dedicated to committee members introducing themselves and explaining their different roles in government practice. After introductions, students used Zoom’s polling feature to ask the attorneys 6 questions that they prepared in advance. Attorneys were able to answer the questions in real-time and discuss their personal experiences with the students. The questions asked were related to work-life balance, career growth, and the different challenges government attorneys face. At the end of the event, students were split up into virtual breakout rooms with one attorney per room. This gave students the opportunity to ask any additional questions they had in a more personal setting. The event was a great success and provided law students with valuable insight into the profession.


Save the Date!

Rhode Island Law Day is scheduled for Friday, April 30, 2021. The classroom program topic will be American Society and the Rule of Law. The rule of law is a set of principles, or ideals, for ensuring an orderly and just society. Many countries throughout the world strive to uphold the rule of law where no one is above the law, everyone is treated equally under the law, everyone is held accountable to the same laws, there are clear and fair processes for enforcing laws, there is an independent judiciary, and human rights are guaranteed for all. The 2021 Law Day theme, reminds all of us that we the people share the responsibility to promote the rule of law, defend liberty, and pursue justice.
There is still time to volunteer to participate if you have not done so already! Bar members interested in volunteering for Rhode Island Law Day and the Bar’s other Law Related Education (LRE) programs are asked to contact Erin Cute by telephone: (401) 421-5740 or email:


We Welcome Articles!

The Bar Journal Editorial Board is requesting articles from our members for possible publication in the Bar Journal. Having your article published in the Journal gives you visibility and establishes you as an expert in your field! We seek articles that present ideas that will help lawyers better practice law and operate their firms more efficiently, review specific case law, as well as historical pieces or tech-related pieces. Below are some suggested ideas for topics that might be interesting to our members:
  • cybersecurity 
  • social media discovery
  • law of protests
  • grand jury reports and privacy protections
  • execution of warrants
  • effect of COVID on estate planning (or how COVID has affected any particular practice area)
  • remote notarizations
  • employment law during a pandemic
  • how to run your practice during COVID (or related tech topics)
And if you have an idea for an article that is not on this list, please consider writing and submitting an article! To submit an article for consideration, or if you have a question about whether an article may be a good fit for the Journal, please contact Kathleen Bridge at


Technology Tip

As life and law firm management become consistently more complex, it’s harder than ever to stay on top of things -- especially in a solo or small firm environment. There are tons of applications and services for generating tasks lists; but, it’s still difficult to generate effective ticklers for due dates on your own, in a time-effective way. That’s why, if you have an iPhone or iPad, you should check out Due, which is easy-to-use, allows you to create ticklers quickly and generates the persistent reminders you need. What’s due? Now, you’ll know.
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