Our broad range of complementary practice areas enables us to identify and address the complex needs of each individual and business client.
Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP is a general practice law firm in Boston, Massachusetts. Our mission is to give our clients experienced, effective advocacy. That involves more than just good legal work: it requires personal attention, focused on the client and the client's needs; a breadth of vision; and creativity. Because of the depth and diversity of our practice, we bring to the table a comprehensive understanding of what our clients need, and how to solve their problems and achieve their goals.
Since our inception in 1981, we have grown steadily but carefully, adding experienced lawyers with well-established reputations in complementary areas of practice, but always careful to ensure that we never lose the cohesion and team spirit that, we think, makes KC&S a great place to practice law. We are proud and pleased that our firm is ranked among the top 1% in the country, based on fellow lawyers' opinions of our work and ethical standards. Our attorneys are skilled practitioners with experience in both the public and private sectors; many are published authors; many have served as faculty members in law schools and continuing legal education programs.
Our clients include both individuals and public, privately-held, and not-for-profit corporations. We handle for them a wide variety of matters, from multi-million dollar transactions and commercial litigation to very personal matters involving individuals, their families, and their finances. Regardless of the nature of the assignment, our goal is always to understand our clients' circumstances thoroughly, and to respond to their needs promptly and effectively.
One Bowdoin Square
Boston, MA 02114-2919
We counsel individuals and families in planning estates of varying size and complexity. Our clients range from individuals with sophisticated tax concerns to persons with more basic family matters at issue.
We assess both the personal and financial goals of our clients; analyze the impact of tax laws on those goals; coordinate the various strands involved to create a sound estate plan; and prepare wills, trusts, powers of attorney, health care proxies, and other documents necessary to implement the best plan for our clients.
Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP also advises personal representatives and trustees in the administration of estates and trusts. We provide all necessary services from the probate of wills to the distribution of property to beneficiaries, including the preparation of Federal and Massachusetts income and estate tax returns. We also serve, when requested by our clients, as personal representatives of their estates and trustees of their trusts, supervising the management and investment of assets and working with beneficiaries to meet their current and future needs.
As an outgrowth of the firm's extensive work in special education and disability law, our attorneys are experienced in counseling families on the legal, tax and public funding implications of planning for family members with disabilities and in establishing special needs trusts, guardianships and conservatorships for their care.
Elizabeth Bailey represents individuals and families seeking assistance in estate, tax, and special needs planning. She also counsels personal representatives and trustees in the administration of estates and trusts, as well as guardians of incapacitated persons.
Ms. Bailey concentrates her practice in the following areas:
Estate, Tax and Special Needs Planning: Ms. Bailey develops estate plans that fit the individual circumstances and values of her clients. These plans include an assessment of both the personal and financial goals of those she is representing; the impact of tax laws on those goals; the preparation of documents, including revocable and irrevocable trusts; and the coordination of the various elements involved for the particular client to create a thoughtful and integrated estate plan. Ms. Bailey has more than twenty years of experience in counseling families who have children with special needs and knows how to set up and administer trusts for these children in a way that will permit them to qualify for public or private benefits while providing for their supplemental needs.
Administration of Estates and Trusts: Ms. Bailey represents Personal Representatives and Trustees in administering estates and trusts ranging from those that are modest in size and scope to those of considerable complexity. She prepares estate and fiduciary income tax returns; works with families and their advisors to gather necessary information; deals with courts, financial institutions and tax authorities; and coordinates distribution of estate assets to trusts, individuals and charitable organizations. She also serves as Trustee of family trusts, often working with outside investment advisors to tailor portfolios appropriate to the needs of the beneficiaries.
Family Adviser: Ms. Bailey helps individuals, couples and families work out solutions to complex family situations, such as dealing with blended families, preserving family homesteads and providing for individuals in unique circumstances, in both the planning and administration stages. These solutions may involve irrevocable trusts, such as life insurance trusts, qualified personal residence trusts and trusts which will last in perpetuity; limited liability companies and family partnerships as part of succession planning.
Boston College Law School
Juris Doctorate, 1980
Robert Crabtree advocates on behalf of persons with special needs. He represents families of children with special needs. Mr. Crabtree served as law clerk to the Honorable Walter J. Skinner of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
Mr. Crabtree is a frequent lecturer on various topics related to special education law and regularly presents to parent advocacy groups. He is also the author of numerous articles concerning special education law and advocacy and has spoken widely on related subjects.
In May 2005, Mr. Crabtree was a co-recipient, with Mr. Kotin, of the Martha Ziegler Founder's Award given by the Federation for Children with Special Needs, recognizing their part in the origins of Chapter 766 and their "decades of dedication to students with disabilities and their families."
Northeastern University School of Law
Juris Doctorate, 1976
Jennifer Catlin Davis represents both employees and employers in a wide variety of employment law matters. These range from counseling and contract negotiations to litigation and alternative dispute resolution, workplace investigations, and workplace trainings. Ms. Davis has extensive experience negotiating severance agreements and engaging in other executive advocacy for C-level executives. She began her career as a general civil litigator (she was a litigation partner at a national general practice law firm), increasingly focused on labor and employment matters, and now concentrates exclusively in the area of employment law.
Ms. Davis is certified by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) to conduct anti-discrimination and harassment trainings for employers, and has done so for a broad array of clients, including the Massachusetts Senate, academic medical centers, large corporations, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions. She has extensive experience in supervising and conducting internal investigations for employers, both into claims of discrimination and harassment and in situations of alleged criminal conduct. Ms. Davis also counsels clients on the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and conducts independent Title IX investigations.
Ms. Davis practices before the MCAD and in Massachusetts state and federal courts, as well as in arbitration. Ms. Davis co-chaired the task force that drafted the MCAD's sexual harassment guidelines (1998-2002) and is currently a member of the committee drafting the MCAD sexual harassment regulations. Ms. Davis has been a frequent speaker in continuing legal education programs offered on various employment law matters.
National Law Center, George Washington University
Janette Ekanem represents individual home buyers and sellers, developers of commercial and residential real estate, real estate investors, landlords and tenants of office and retail space, and private lenders.
Northeastern University School of Law
Joseph B. Green concentrates his practice in special education, personal injury, and criminal defense. He also represents students at private schools and colleges in disciplinary proceedings.
Mr. Green served for ten years as Assistant District Attorney in Essex County, where he had extensive jury trial experience and was the Chief District Court Prosecutor and Director of Policy and Planning. He also has experience in appellate litigation, having argued cases in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, and the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He has taught in the Clinical Program at Harvard Law School and in numerous continuing legal education courses. He has authored a book and several articles on evidence, trial practice and procedure, and criminal law.
Mr. Green has served on the Governor's/MBA Commission on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children, the Governor's Child Support Commission, the Commission on Violence Against Children, and he is currently on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (MABIDA)
Harvard Law School
Eileen Hagerty represents students with disabilities and their parents in disputes with their school districts. She represents and advises parents regarding all aspects of special education disputes, including the TEAM meeting process (evaluations, eligibility determinations, IEP development, program and placement disputes); suspension and expulsion hearings; proceedings before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA), including discovery, negotiation, pre-hearing conferences, and administrative hearings; federal district court and appellate court litigation; and attorneys' fee litigation. She represents students with all types of disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders; dyslexia and other learning disabilities; attention deficit disorders; and mental health issues. Ms. Hagerty has been named as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer in the field of education law each year from 2004 to the present. She was chosen as one of Boston's Top Rated Lawyers in education law (Boston Globe, 2012) and has been selected as one of the Top Women Attorneys in Massachusetts (Boston Magazine, April 2013 and April, 2014). She was recently named by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as a Top Woman of Law for 2014.
Prior to joining KCS, Ms. Hagerty was co-founder and partner at a small civil litigation firm. Before that, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney and a Special Assistant District Attorney, and litigated at a large Boston law firm. She served as law clerk to Judge Frederick B. Lacey of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Ms. Hagerty lectures and writes frequently on topics in special education law for both legal and lay audiences. She participates in various public service activities, including serving as a member of the board of directors of a non-profit advocacy organization, Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC), and serving as MAC's board chair from 2006 to 2012. She also serves as a member of MAC's autism advisory committee. She is herself a parent of children with disabilities.
Harvard Law School
Dan Heffernan concentrates his practice in the areas of special education, civil rights, personal injury, medical malpractice, and children's torts. He represents children with special needs and their families, people injured in accidents, and those who have had their civil rights violated.
Mr. Heffernan has extensive trial experience and has litigated numerous complex cases throughout the Commonwealth and across the country. He has served on the faculty of Harvard Law School's Trial Advocacy Program, instructing law students in trial preparation and trial techniques. From 1995 to the present he has served on the board of directors of the Federation for Children with Special Needs and was board president from 1995 to 2007. In 2002, he and his wife, Julie, received the Dr. Allen C. Crocker Award for Excellence from the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress. He writes and lectures frequently on special education law and advocacy. Mr. Heffernan has been named a Super Lawyer in special education law every year since 2005 and was named as a Top Rated Lawyer in Education by The Boston Globe in 2012. From 1995 to 2000, he served as the president of the board of directors of Community Legal Services and Counseling Center. He also serves on the MDSC Education Task Force. He has two daughters, Maggie and Evie, and a twenty-one year old son, Brian, with Down syndrome.
Harvard Law School
Melanie Jarboe represents families who have children with special needs as well as individual clients with disabilities. She counsels and assists individuals and families with a wide range of special education and disability law issues, including navigating the team process, eligibility for services, the development of appropriate accommodation plans, mediation, and litigation before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals. Prior to law school, Ms. Jarboe taught elementary school in Harlem.
Anne Josephson focuses her practice in employment law and litigation, and also represents clients in a wide variety of litigation matters including civil rights, business, real estate, and health law. In the area of employment law and litigation, Ms. Josephson represents employers and employees alike.
Ms. Josephson typically advises individuals and businesses on a broad range of employment-related matters. For employers, this typically includes counseling on employment policies, practices, and decision-making, as well as training for compliance with various employment-related laws. Ms. Josephson has also been retained to conduct internal investigations of discrimination complaints. For individuals, her practice typically involves negotiation of employment contracts and severance agreements; counseling on employment issues arising in the workplace; and pursuing and/or defending employment-related claims in administrative and judicial proceedings. The type of claims she works on broadly includes those arising under federal and state antidiscrimination laws; those arising under employment contracts, including change of control provisions covenants not to compete; and those arising under ERISA. Ms. Josephson regularly represents organizations who file amicus briefs on matters affecting the enforcement of civil rights and workplace antidiscrimination laws. She has completed the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination "Train the Trainer" program, offering best practices in anti-discrimination training and in conducting workplace investigations of discrimination complaints. Ms. Josephson frequently serves as a panelist in continuing legal education programs offered on current topics in employment law.
Ms. Josephson served as a law clerk to the Honorable Edward F. Hennessey, Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Assistant Attorney General in the Government Bureau of the Department of the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and Associate and Junior Partner at Nutter, McClennen & Fish. In addition, Ms. Josephson was a Teaching Fellow and former Adjunct Professor in Advanced Written Advocacy at Boston College Law School. She has also served as a facilitator in the City-Wide Dialogues on Racial and Ethnic Diversity.
Boston College Law School
Nicholas Kelley represents individuals and businesses in commercial litigation, students at all levels and graduate program and professional board and licensing applicants seeking standardized test or other accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and students facing academic or other disciplinary charges at the secondary school and university level.
Mr. Kelley currently guest teaches in the civil trial course at Northeastern University School of Law.
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
Lawrence Kotin, who retired on July 15, 2014, both in his capacity as partner and then as of counsel to the firm, practiced in the special education and disability law group.
While a Staff Attorney at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Mr. Kotin served as a Principal Investigator for the Massachusetts Study of Educational Opportunities for Handicapped and Disadvantaged Children in Massachusetts, responsible for the Legal Analysis and Drafting of Model Legislation. The Model Legislation was the original basis for what later was enacted as Chapter 766 of the Acts of 1972, the Massachusetts comprehensive special education law, while Mr. Kotin was Special Assistant for Education and Children's Services to Massachusetts Governor Francis W. Sargent. Subsequently, Mr. Kotin was Executive Director of Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services. Following his tenure as Director, Mr. Kotin was a co-founder of the Massachusetts Center for Public Interest Law and in that capacity was responsible for coordinating the drafting of the regulations for Chapter 766 and for advising the Massachusetts Department of Education during the first years of its implementation. In 1981, Mr. Kotin co-founded the law firm of Kotin, Crabtree & Strong.
Mr. Kotin was also a Lecturer at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study of Tufts University for approximately six years.
Mr. Kotin was a regular contributor to the Massachusetts Special Education Reporter, summarizing and commenting on the decisions of the Bureau of Special Education Appeals.
Columbia University School of Law
Sharen Litwin concentrates her practice in employment law and litigation. She advises and represents employees and employers on a broad range of employment issues ranging from wrongful termination, employment discrimination, reasonable accommodations for a disability, retaliation, sexual harassment, wage violations and workplace privacy issues, to the interpretation and enforcement of employment contracts, rights to benefits arising under ERISA, noncompetion and nonsolicition agreements, nondisclosure obligations, retention agreements and change of control agreements.
Ms. Litwin brings to this practice area extensive experience in litigation, representing both employers and employees before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, in state and federal courts and in arbitrations.
At the same time, Ms. Litwin provides practical advice for resolving disputes, to keep them from escalating to litigation. She negotiates employment and severance agreements for both individuals and companies, including many "C" level executives in public and private companies. She also provides advice and training to businesses regarding their legal obligations and personnel practices and drafts personnel policies and manuals.
Ms. Litwin formerly was a member of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. She has also served as an Assistant District Attorney and an Assistant United States Attorney.
Ms. Litwin has participated in many continuing education programs on employment law topics for the Boston Bar Association ("BBA"), Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education ("MCLE") and other organizations, and she has published articles on employment law.
Ms. Litwin has completed a certification course sponsored by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination to conduct internal investigations and trainings on harassment and discrimination.
Richard Loftus focuses his practice in employment law and litigation at the trial, appellate, and administrative levels. He represents employers and employees alike.
Prior to joining Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP, Mr. Loftus spent several years in private practice with Nelson, Kinder & Mosseau, P.C. There he litigated a wide range of cases including employment issues, commercial disputes, construction claims, and malpractice cases. He also served as clerk to the Honorable Justice Andre Gelinas of the Massachusetts Appeals Court from 2007-2008.
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Marie Mercier represents and counsels parents seeking advice regarding special education. In addition to special education law, her practice involves consumer protection, landlord tenant issues, personal injury law and disability insurance. Ms. Mercier has extensive experience in and practices civil litigation.
Boston University School of Law
Abbott Reichlin represents individuals and small to medium sized businesses who need assistance with a real estate or business transaction or with an income tax or real estate tax question. He advises and represents clients on purchases, sales, mortgages and leases of real estate, mortgage foreclosures, organization of business entities, business transactions, purchases and sales of businesses, tax returns, tax exempt issues and tax questions.
Boston University Law School
Janine Solomon represents students with disabilities and their parents in all aspects of special education, including at education Team meetings, mediations, due process hearings, and federal court proceedings in matters involving violations of federal and state special education law. Ms. Solomon has done extensive training on a wide range of special education issues.
Prior to joining KCS, Ms. Solomon worked at the Disability Law Center (DLC) on matters involving special education and disability discrimination law. She represented children and families in special education cases and represented adults with disabilities in court and administrative proceedings in matters involving housing, employment, and public access. While at DLC, Ms. Solomon also testified on state legislation amending MGL Chapter 71B, affecting the rights of children with disabilities. Collaborative legislative advocacy included the successful passage of the Children's Autism Medicaid Waiver; the Autism IEP Act; the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) bill; Maintaining Transition Age Requirements for Students with Disabilities; Special Education Observation Access law; and Transition Specialist Endorsement legislation signed into law on March 9, 2012.
Boston College Law School
William Strong advises clients on copyright and trademark issues and on other publishing law matters such as defamation and false advertising. His practice includes copyright and trademark registration, licensing and other transactional matters; dispute negotiation, and where necessary litigation, to enforce or defend against infringement and other claims.
Mr. Strong represents a wide range of companies from very large to very small and individuals involved in publishing: publishers, authors, trade associations, curriculum developers, and agents. He advises the Association of American Publishers (AAP) on various legislative and other matters such as the provision of accessible formats to print-disabled students. (For the AAP, Mr. Strong recently helped negotiate, and largely drafted, a new Wisconsin statute regarding provision of accessible textbook formats.) He also represents the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers on issues regarding the enforcement of their copyrights in the United States.
Mr. Strong served as an adjunct professor of Copyright Law at the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, New Hampshire from 1987 to 1996.
Finally, having begun his professional life as an estate planner, Mr. Strong continues to assist numerous clients on such matters, working in tandem with our Estate Planning department. He also serves as a trustee on many client trusts.
Harvard Law School
Dolph Vanderpol represents individual home buyers and sellers, developers of real estate, investors in real estate, landlords, and tenants. He handles leasing, purchase, and sale of office buildings, shopping centers, and other commercial and residential properties. He also counsels clients in the development of condominium projects of all sizes.
Boston College Law School
Ren Varrin brings broad knowledge and experience in corporate and business law to the increasingly complex needs of Massachusetts small to mid-size companies. Throughout the stages of the business lifecycle, from startup to financing to sale, Mr. Varrin strives to provide practical and timely advice in an efficient and cost-effective manner. With a natural curiosity and genuine interest in understanding each client's business and goals, Mr. Varrin enjoys the two way communications and client "partnership' essential to effective representation. His expectation is to provide each client with the on-going specific business knowledge and attention of in-house counsel, which is not normally available to small to mid-size companies, in co-ordination with the resources that an outside firm can provide.
Mr. Varrin actively practices in the areas of entity creation and related issues of founders' relations, initial staffing and finance; commercial and vendor relationships including manufacturing, distribution and licensing; private equity, venture capital and angel investments; contract preparation, negotiation and administration; ownership conflict and succession; employment contracts, including noncompetition, non-disclosure and intellectual property agreements; executive compensation including the structuring and negotiation of equity and performance-based incentives and plans, and the merger and acquisition of businesses and business lines on either the buyer and seller side.
Mr. Varrin actively supports and collaborates with the firm's other practice areas, including Intellectual Property, Employment, Commercial Real Estate, Taxation and Litigation.
Harvard Law School
Amy Weinstein represents individuals and families seeking assistance in estate, tax, and special needs planning. She also counsels personal representatives and trustees in the administration of estates and trusts, as well as guardians of incapacitated persons.
More specifically, Ms. Weinstein concentrates her practice in the following areas:
Estate and Tax Planning: Ms. Weinstein works with individuals and families to develop a plan that meets their unique personal and financial circumstances and goals, analyzing the impact of tax laws on their situation and preparing wills, trusts, powers of attorneys, health care proxies and other documents for the management of assets during life and the transfer of property at death. She also deals with transfers of real estate through qualified personal residence trusts, family limited partnerships and limited liability companies and advises clients about charitable giving.
Special Needs Planning: Ms. Weinstein works with parents to plan for the care of family members with incapacities. She prepares trusts and other arrangements that meet the wishes and goals of parents and the needs of their incapacitated child, in light of the legal, tax and public funding implications; and assists with the selection and appointment of trustees and guardians.
Estate and Trust Administration: Ms. Weinstein represents personal representatives in all aspects of administering estates from gathering necessary information, preparing and filing court documents, dealing with financial institutions and managing various estate assets to preparing estate tax returns and distributing assets to individuals, trusts and charities. Ms. Weinstein serves as Trustee of revocable and irrevocable trusts and advises Trustees of irrevocable life insurance trusts, special needs trusts and other trusts. She also ensures the proper management of trust assets and oversees distributions, taking into account the present and future needs of beneficiaries. Ms. Weinstein assists with the resolution of disputes and ambiguities in wills and trusts and the determination of the rights of beneficiaries by compromise or litigation.
Boston College Law School