CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Grillo's Pickles

If you haven't been to the Grillo's Pickles website, you should. There, you'll find the fantastic story of how this company began. We've copied part of it here to save you a click.

Grillo's Pickles began with a pickle cart, just a small wooden stand in downtown Boston, where Travis Grillo and his friends would sell two spears for one dollar. Travis would make the pickles by night using his family's 100-year old recipe - one he'd memorized from making pickles every summer as a kid. In the morning, Travis would bike to the Boston Common and set up the cart with his buddies. They'd hang out all day, urging people to try the simple Grillo family pickle. It was a small business but Travis worked hard for it. He made more pickles, biked more miles, and slept less hours than he ever had before.
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CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Factory Five Racing

Factory Five Racing was founded in 1995. Over the years they have grown from a start-up business in a small garage to become the world's largest manufacturer of "build-it-yourself" component car kits. They employ a full-time crew of about 40 people, and are located in Wareham, Massachusetts (about an hour south of Boston). They make their products right here in the USA, in the heart of New England where American manufacturing was born.
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CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Luca + Danni

Fred and Danny Magnanimi grew up watching their father create beautiful, handcrafted jewelry in the family's Cranston, RI jewelry manufacturing business. When the boys grew up, Fred moved to New York and began working on Wall Street as an investment banker, while younger brother Danny, still enamored by the family business, stayed home. Increased competition from overseas businesses created significant challenges for the business, but Danny was confident he could find a way for the family business to evolve and thrive. This was his mission, this was his passion.
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        Melissa E. Darigan

        Melissa is a partner in Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP’s Litigation Practice Group. She represents insurance companies, financial institutions and corporations in commercial, business and regulatory litigation in the Rhode Island and Massachusetts state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. Most of Melissa's cases involve the defense of complex matters alleging breach of fiduciary duty, violation of federal and state law, breach of contract and improper policies and practices. 

        Melissa also specializes in contested trust and estate litigation in the Rhode Island and Massachusetts superior and probate courts, including will and trust contests, accounting proceedings, fiduciary liability claims, disputes over distributions, and interpretation, modification and reformation of instruments. She further advises fiduciaries on trust administration strategies designed to avoid litigation.

        A Providence native, Melissa joined the Firm upon graduation from law school. For more than 15 years she chaired the Litigation Practice Group, and now serves on the Firm’s three person Executive Committee. Melissa is a mentor in the Firm’s Mentoring Program and co-founded a Firm initiative designed to help women in the Firm and the Rhode Island business community advance professionally. She is a frequent speaker on litigation risk management and best practices, insurance regulations and compliance and trust and estates administration.

        Melissa is Past President of the Rhode Island Bar Association (2015-2016) and has been actively involved in leadership of the Bar for almost two decades as a member of the Executive Committee and House of Delegates and for many years as a member and chair of the Superior Court Bench/Bar Committee.

        Education

        • Catholic University of America, J.D., 1992
        • George Washington University, B.A., 1989

        Bar Memberships & Admissions

        • Rhode Island, 1992
        • Massachusetts, 1993
        • U.S. District Court, Rhode Island, 1993
        • U.S. District Court, Massachusetts, 1993
        • U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit, 1997
        • U.S. Supreme Court, 1997

        Practice Areas

        Honors

        • Ranked as a leading attorney in commercial litigation in Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in 2018
        • Honored by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as a 2016 Top Women of Law
        • Named Best Lawyers’ 2015, 2017, 2018 and Providence Litigation – Banking and Finance Lawyer of the Year 2016 and 2019
        • Recognized by Providence Business News as the 2016 Business Women Professional Services Industry Leader
        • Recognized for three years in a row as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation by Legal Media Group
        • Recognized as a Litigation Star by Benchmark: Litigation, a Guide to America's Leading Business Litigation Firms and Attorneys
        • Selected by her peers as a Rhode Island Super Lawyer
        • AV® Preeminent Rated from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating on both legal ability and ethics based upon the confidential opinion of peers and judges
        • Named a Providence Business News 2005 40 Under Forty Honoree

        Professional Affiliations

        • Rhode Island Bar Association
          • President (2015-2016)
          • Executive Committee Member (2007-2017)
          • House of Delegates, Member (2004-present)
          • Superior Court Bench/Bar Committee, Member (1994-present); co-Chair (2009-2013)
          • Annual Meeting Committee, Chair (2012)
          • Strategic Planning Committee, Member (2011, 2017)
        • Rhode Island Bar Foundation
          • Board Member (2017-present)
          • Fellow (Life)
        • Rhode Island Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness
          • Member (2013-present) (Appointed by Chief Justice Suttell)
        • Rhode Island Women’s Bar Association
          • Member 
        • New England Bar Association
          • Board Member (2013-2015, 2017-2018)
        • Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants
          • Associate Member
        • Rhode Island Women's Bar Association
          • Member
        • American Bar Association
          • Litigation and Business Law Divisions, Member
        • Litigation Counsel of America
          • Fellow
        • Defense Counsel of Rhode Island
          • Member
        • Leadership Rhode Island
          • Class of 2000

        Community Activities

        • FirstWorks
          • Board Member, Vice President
        • Providence ¡CityArts! for Youth, Inc.
          • Former Secretary, Board Member
        • Big Sisters Fund
          • Former Secretary, Board Member
        • Big Sisters of Rhode Island
          • Former Board Member
        • Leading Women
          • Former Advisory Board Member
        • Rhode Island Coalition for Minority Investment
          • Former Counsel to the Board
          • Founders Award (2004)
        • Minority Investment Development Corporation
          • Former Counsel to the Board
            • Recognition Award (1997)
        • Perishable Theater
          • Influential Women in RI Award (2001)

        Representative Cases

        Insurance

        • Represented insurance company in a regulatory complaint brought by a local fire department resulting in withdrawal of all claims.
        • Successfully resolved insurance coverage dispute over payment of substantial litigation costs incurred in prior litigation.
        • Defended insurance company in state-wide consumer class action in a unique case involving parallel proceedings in state and federal court resulting in favorable settlement.
        • Obtained dismissal in precedent setting case involving the interplay between the jurisdiction of regulatory agencies and private contract claims.
        • Advised insurance company in comprehensive regulatory investigation and examination.
        • Obtained dismissal of 23-count complaint against title company alleging breach of fiduciary duty, civil conspiracy, negligent misrepresentation, obtaining money by false pretences.
        • Represented insurance company in rate hearing before administrative agency in which requested rate increases were approved.
        • Successfully represented insurance company in administrative action challenging contractual relationships with auto body repair shops.
        • Defended title insurance company in action alleging civil RICO violations in which all charges were dismissed.
        • Represented insurance producers in a complex administrative license revocation proceeding resulting in favorable settlement.
        • Defended insurance company in consumer class action alleging systemic violations of law and contract in the insurer’s claims settlement practices resulting in favorable settlement.

        Trusts and Estates

        • Successfully settled numerous contested actions alleging trustee’s breach of fiduciary duties to beneficiaries (representing the beneficiary in some instances and the fiduciary in others).
        • Negotiated favorable settlement for trustee in breach of fiduciary duty and breach of loyalty claims arising from financial markets collapse.
        • Advised fiduciaries and secured court orders releasing them from liability in numerous complex trust accounting matters.
        • Represented beneficiaries and obtained favorable settlement in claims against estate for improper distribution of tangible property.
        • Secured court order confirming trustee’s authority over challenge by beneficiary.
        • Obtained court orders allowing cy pres relief in several cases.
        • Obtained approval of comprehensive estate plan for guardians of incapacitated ward.
        • Secured appointment of a guardian in heavily contested guardianship action.
        • Secured approvals for modification and/or termination of irrevocable trusts in numerous court proceedings.
        • Obtained reformation of trust department’s entire trust portfolio upon corporate restructure.
        • Successfully defended executor in companion cases to invalidate will and trust for lack of capacity and undue influence.
        • Successfully settled action on behalf of heirs to invalidate will and trust for lack of capacity and undue influence.
        • Obtained favorable order on competing claims to a joint bank account.
        • Represented executor in inter-related probate, state and federal court actions involving fraud and insolvency.
        • As mediator, successfully settled breach of fiduciary duty action.

        Banking

        • Obtained jury trial verdict for defendant national bank in case alleging forgery and fraud.
        • Obtained bench trial verdict for defendant national bank in case alleging wrongful foreclosure.
        • Guided national bank to successful settlement of dispute arising from failure to follow internal practices and procedures.
        • Successfully defeated claims of violations of state and federal banking laws brought against national bank in six interrelated actions in federal district court, bankruptcy court and the state trial and appellate courts.
        • Represented financial institution in precedent setting cases involving core banking procedures.
        • Reached favorable settlement for financial institution in action alleging conversion.
        • Successfully defended numerous financial institutions in wrongful foreclosure and eviction actions in state, federal, district and housing courts.
        • Reached favorable settlement for national bank in breach of contract and deceptive trade practices claims.

        Commercial

        • Obtained dismissal of sexual abuse claims on grounds of statute of limitations on behalf of corporate defendant (decision cited as one of the “The Most Important Opinions – January-June 2016” by Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly).
        • Defended professional association and secured dismissal of claims in action alleging wrongful license suspension.
        • Arbitrated breach of contract claims for foreign corporation resulting in a significant award that was upheld on appeal.
        • Advised national corporation in complex receivership proceedings resulting in favorable settlement.
        • Successfully defended corporation in claim to redeem shares.
        • Advised corporation on contract rights and remedies under asset purchase agreement resulting in settlement.
        • Served as arbitrator in matter alleging breach of numerous commercial laws.

        Representative Publications

        Representative Speaking Engagements

        Press Releases