LIVE: Latest on ACLU Medical Marijuana Battle Against Smithfield
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Related Slideshow: The Power List - Judiciary and Lawyers, 2016
Michael Kelly — Street fighting litigator that is happy to take on cities, the state, big companies - it does not matter.
Kelly’s cases are often controversial and nuclear. Recently, he beat the Department of Health on the suspension of former State Senator/pharmacist Leo Blais.
Nothing's dull when Kelly is involved.
Frank Williams - The former Chief Justice has been assigned to navigate pension lawsuits, 38 Studios and the Providence Firefighters’ battle with the City of Providence.
He may have more influence and make more money in his new role then he did when he served as Chief Justice.
As GoLocal wrote in April 2015, “Yet like so much of Williams' career in the public eye, the appointment was not without some degree of controversy. Williams will be paid $400 per hour for his work on the case, (according to a wpri.com report) and that fact led to criticisms on social media and talk radio.
Williams’ ability to become a lightning rod has been confounding to both Williams and his friends alike.”
Maureen McKenna Goldberg — Think Diana Ross. She is the lead of the Supremes. Nothing happens in the hallowed chambers of the Rhode Island State Supreme Court without Goldberg’s stamp on it.
With her husband, lobbyist Bob Goldberg making millions in lobbying fees and representing some of the most powerful business interests in business, their reach is wide and deep.
If you want to know what is really happening in the state, then get on their boat one weekend and keep quiet and listen.
Zach Darrow — Busy building one of the most dynamic business law firms in the state, complete with nearly a dozen real estate and corporate attorneys. Add to his mix a lobbying arm that functions like Pac-Man when it comes to tax stabilization agreements.
Darrow’s reach may be a little more complex than many see - the firm now has offices in New York and Miami.
Everyone took note when former Providence City Solicitor and Chief of Staff to Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Jeff Padwa, joined the firm earlier this summer. Darrow moves in mysterious ways.
Michael Forte - Stealth. Forte doesn’t get much press and he likes it that way. The new Chief Judge of the Family Court has a low-profile public persona, but is a growing power in the judiciary.
A Democratic legislator who was appointed to the bench under Governor Ed DiPrete, Forte has amassed some serious power-wattage in Rhode Island.
Knows Both Sides
Artin Coloian - He has enjoyed of the most complicated and seemingly paradoxical careers, as a staffer to both U.S. Senator John Chafee and Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci. A political advisor (and donor) to many — his campaign finance report ranges from Governor Gina Raimondo to GOP Cranston Mayor Allan Fung to Progressive Representative Aaron Regunberg.
Now, Coloian is one of the top criminal attorneys in Rhode Island. He has represented everyone from mobster Bobby DeLuca to Councilman Kevin Jackson to drug kingpins.
Chris Graham — Whether it is a start-up looking to close venture funding or a biotech looking at acquisition, Graham is a skilled craftsman that makes deals happen.
Understated, Graham is now a managing partner at Locke Lord (formerly Edwards and Angell). He is been through all of the firms mergers and transformations and had quietly continued to make deals happen.
Henry Kinch — Once a top advisor to then-Governor Bruce Sundlun and now serves as the Clerk of Providence County Courts.
Kinch is highly respected in and out of the court. When smart political people want advice they call Kinch.
His network extends far beyond Benefit Street. He served as President of the Pawtucket City Council and lost to Don Grebien for Mayor in 2010.
Could a political comeback be in the making?
Behind the Scenes
Claire Richards — She has been crafting the legal strategy for the state of Rhode Island for decades.
She has served in the office of legal counsel for Governors Lincoln Almond (R), Don Carcieri (R), Lincoln Chafee (I/D), and Gina Raimondo (D).
This is not a lifetime appointment - she has served at the pleasure of the Governor for decades. Whether it is a legal strategy on 38 Studios or advising on an appointment, she has been the behind-the-scenes lawyer for the state's top elected officials.
Max Wistow — Don’t look for friendly. His biggest fans say Wistow is one of the most aggressive lawyers in Rhode Island. His detractors use words that are unsuitable for publication.
He was selected by Governor Lincoln Chafee to pursue the recovery of the 38 Studios assets from a collection of litigants -- and in total, he recovered over $60 million.
Some top lawyers are known as a lawyers’ lawyer. Wistow is the lawyer most lawyer would hire to represent them.
Editor's Note: At the time of publication, the recovery was over $40 million, which had been previously noted. The figure has been updated to reflect the total at the conclusion of the legal proceedings, as of 2017.
- LIVE: Rhode Island’s Emerging Leaders: Richard Norris
- LIVE: Bios Urn, A Biodegradable Urn That Grows A Tree From Ashes
- LIVE: Providence Improv Guild Turns Five Years Old
- LIVE: 6 Tips For Buying A Laptop For College - CNET contributor Rick Broida
- LIVE: Filmmaker Ana Gonzalez on her RI Hip-Hop Documentary, “Almost Dope”
- LIVE: Brandon’s Beach Playground at Burnside Park Opens
- LIVE: Bring Your Own Improv, RI’s Family Friendly Improv Group
- LIVE: Brown Researchers Find Evidence of Water In The Moon’s Interior
- LIVE: Elephant Sanctuary’s Montgomery Talks Protecting & Preserving Elephants
- LIVE: Seekonk School of Rock’s Shawn Garrity & All-Star Performance
- LIVE: Broadway News from The Broadway Blog’s Matthew Wexler
- LIVE: 19-Year-Old Singer/Songwriter Rennick Overcomes Chronic Disease to Headline at Met Cafe
- LIVE: Tony Estrella on The Gamm’s 2017-2018 Season
- LIVE: Pitts-Wiley on Exult Choir’s 10th Annual ‘Greatness of Gospel’ Concert
- LIVE: Dutra Talks About Over 40 Years of Dance Education at The Carolyn Dutra Dance Studio
- LIVE: Brussat Talks New Book, “Lost Providence” - Warns Providence of New Development
- LIVE: DARE Calls on RI Housing to Make Greater Effort to Address Affordable Housing
- LIVE: iLuminate Dance Captain, Lisa Bauford, Talks Tech & Dance Steps
- LIVE: Professor Talks About Students at Salve Regina Work on Cyber Defense Study
- GoLocal LIVE: Central Falls Supt Capellan on Opportunities—and Challenges—This School Year
- LIVE: Newport Historical Society Hosts Reenactment of British Occupation of Newport’s Old Quarter
- LIVE: Data From URI Shark Research Suggests Mako Sharks Are Overfished
- LIVE: Preserving Vintage Video Games At Rhode Island Computer Museum
- LIVE: RI’s Pontenza on How Rhythm & Roots Festival Saved & Launched Her Career