Wystan Ackerman is a partner in Robinson+Cole’s Appellate Team. Wystan is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York, the U.S. Supreme Court and various federal courts of appeals. He has briefed and argued appeals in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court, has successfully petitioned the SJC for further appellate review, and has also litigated interlocutory appeals before the Single Justice of the Appeals Court. He takes pride in writing briefs that are succinct and compelling, and preparing thoroughly for oral arguments. Wystan is often asked by his colleagues to serve as a “moot court” judge in practice arguments.
Wystan has also handled matters in the Supreme Court of the United States. He successfully petitioned the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in Standard Fire Insurance Company v. Knowles, 133 S. Ct. 1345 (2013), in which the Court unanimously rejected a plaintiff’s attempt to evade federal jurisdiction by stipulating that the amount sought would not exceed the $5 million threshold under the Class Action Fairness Act.
Wystan’s appellate practice is national in scope. Many of his appeals have involved class action and insurance cases. He has served as appellate counsel in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits, as well as in various state appellate and supreme courts. Wystan also regularly files amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs in federal and state appellate courts. He currently chairs the Appellate Section of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC). Wystan has been listed as a Second Circuit Litigation Star in Benchmark Appellate (2013) and is listed in Benchmark Litigation (2013-2015).
Wystan received his B.A., summa cum laude, in Government and Legal Studies from Bowdoin College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Wystan received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar and a member of the Columbia Law Review.
Kendra Berardi is a member of Robinson+Cole’s Business Litigation Group with experience in many aspects of the Massachusetts appeals process, including identifying and strategizing about likely issues for appeal, drafting appellate briefs for both the Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court, and preparing petitions for interlocutory review. Kendra has experience with Massachusetts state court appeals and appeals to the First Circuit in a variety of practice areas, including real estate, land use, commercial leasing, and general commercial cases.
Jessica Hamilton is a member of Robinson+Cole’s Insurance + Reinsurance Group. She focuses her practice on representation of commercial insurers in complex coverage matters, insurance bad faith and extracontractual liability cases, and other corporate litigation. She is also an active member of the firm’s Appellate Group.
Prior to joining Robinson+Cole, Ms. Hamilton served as a law clerk to the Honorable Bethany J. Alvord of the Connecticut Appellate Court and to the judges of the Connecticut Superior Court. While attending law school, Ms. Hamilton served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Henry J. Boroff at the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts, and represented clients as a member of the University of Connecticut’s Tax Clinic.
Larry Heffernan is a member of Robinson+Cole’s Business Litigation Group. He has briefed and argued appeals before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in development, leasing, mortgage, insurance, professional liability and regulatory disputes. His experience also encompasses interlocutory appeals and petitions for further appellate review and direct appellate review.
Danielle Andrews Long
Danielle Andrews Long is a member of Robinson+Cole’s Appellate Team. She has a significant amount of experience in all aspects of the Massachusetts appeals process – from pinpointing potential appeal issues, drafting appeal briefs (both appellant and appellee), preparing interlocutory appeals, preparing petitions for further appellate review and direct appellate review, and arguing appeals. Danielle has argued appeals before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court. Danielle’s experience encompasses her own matters that she has litigated prior to the appeal process and matters for which she has been specifically retained to pursue an appeal. She has experience with Massachusetts state court appeals from decisions in the Land Court and Superior Courts, Massachusetts District Court appeals to the First Circuit, and Massachusetts Bankruptcy appeals to the District Court and First Circuit. Her appellate experience includes a wide variety of substantive areas, including real estate, land use, products liability, construction, and legal malpractice cases.
Linda Morkan has dedicated her practice to appellate advocacy for almost 30 years, and has been involved in more than 200 appeals before the appellate courts in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York, as well as the Court of Appeals for the First, Second, Fifth, Sixth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits. She has only had one outing in the U.S. Supreme Court, but emerged victorious. Connecticut National Bank v. Germain, 503 U.S. 249 (1992).
In 2008, Linda was the first woman in Connecticut inducted into the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, an honor open only to those who have practiced as an appellate advocate for at least 15 years and possess a reputation of recognized distinction. (Academy membership is limited to 500 members in the United States and is by invitation only.)
For many years, her name has appeared in Best Lawyers in America, Benchmark Litigation and Benchmark Appellate, and was three times included in the special publication “Top 250 Women Litigators in the United States.” Linda is AV Rated Preeminent in Martindale-Hubbell in the area of Appellate Practice, and is currently listed in SuperLawyers‘ Top 100 Lawyers in New England and Top 50 Women Lawyers in New England.
Serving in local, regional, and national appellate advocacy groups, Linda just completed a three-year stint as Co-Chair of the Appellate Advocacy Section of the Connecticut Bar Association. She is also currently a Vice Chair of the Torts and Insurance Practice Section of the ABA, and regularly publishes in state and national publications on topics related to appellate practice and persuasive techniques.
When Linda is not researching, writing, or appearing in court, she can frequently be found at a Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band concert. Including the current tour, she has attended almost as many Springsteen shows as she has argued appeals.
Linda is admitted in the First Circuit, but not admitted in the state courts of Massachusetts.
Jonathan Small is a member of the firm’s Litigation Section and Insurance + Reinsurance Group. His complex commercial litigation practice regularly brings him into Massachusetts trial and appellate courts on behalf of insurance companies, real estate developers, and other businesses. His interest in appellate practice began in law school when, as a student attorney at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Public Representation, he wrote an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the AARP in U.S. Supreme Court case Warner-Lambert v. Kent, 128 S. Ct. 1168 (2008).
Jonathan has defended clients against bad faith and unfair trade practice claims brought under state consumer protection statutes, including the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act (Chapter 93A). He has successfully argued dispositive motions in federal and state trial courts, and defended those rulings on appeal. He has also defended clients in class action lawsuits and defeated attempts at class certification at the trial and appellate levels.
Jonathan grew up in the greater Boston area in Easton, Massachusetts. He attended College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he earned his undergraduate degree and majored in philosophy. After graduating from Holy Cross, Jonathan served as an AmeriCorps VISTA supporting low income communities in Miami-Dade County, Florida. He then matriculated at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC, where he was a staff editor of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, competed in mock trial as a member of the Barristers’ Council, was named a Global Law Scholars Program fellow, and served as a research assistant to Professor Charles R. Lawrence, III. Following law school, Jonathan clerked for the Honorable Lynn Leibovitz of the District of Columbia Superior Court. After the clerkship, he worked at Goulston & Storrs in Boston before moving to Connecticut with his family and joining Robinson+Cole.
Jeff White is chair of Robinson+Cole’s Appellate Group, which was honored in 2014 as Connecticut’s premiere appellate group by the Connecticut Law Tribune. He has been involved in over 50 appeals and has argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the state appellate courts in Connecticut, New York, and Maryland. Most notably, Mr. White successfully argued before the Connecticut Supreme Court in an antitrust case arising out of a proposed $1 billion waterfront project. Although Jeff is not admitted to the state courts of Massachusetts, he has handled appeals there while appearing pro hac vice.
Jeff is also chair of the firm’s Manufacturing Industry Team and regularly represents clients throughout the United States and globally, providing counseling and dispute resolution advice to manufacturers and distributors. In 2013, he created and launched the Manufacturing Law Blog, which was one of the first blogs in the country to address legal issues facing manufacturers and distributors.