Member Spotlight

Issue May 2006

Attorney Robert W. Lavoie, a shareholder and chairman of the Real Estate Practice Group at the law firm of Devine, Millimet & Branch PA in Andover, has been elected chairman of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (MVPC).

As chairman, Lavoie will head the MVPC's efforts to provide professional planning services to promote the sound and coordinated growth and development of the Merrimack Valley region. He has served as the Amesbury Commissioner to the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission since 2000 and previously served as co-chair of the Amesbury Master Plan Steering Committee

Active for years in the community, Lavoie was recently elected as a municipal councilor for the Town of Amesbury. In 2005, he was appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court to serve on the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission, which provides continuity to the many organizations involved in assuring access to civil justice for low-income families and individuals within the state.

In addition, he serves on the board of directors of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce and of the Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council. He is a past president of the Yankee Clipper Council Inc. Boy Scouts of America and currently serves on the boards of directors of Boy Scouts of America-Area 1, the Andover Chamber of Commerce and Merrimack Valley Legal Services. He is also a corporator of Danvers Savings Bank.

Lavoie represents commercial real estate developers, owners and buyers in land development and land use permitting matters. He also represents a variety of businesses, including national and regional telecommunications companies, before local zoning and planning boards.

Lavoie is a member of the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Bar Associations, the Massachusetts Real Estate Bar Association and the Massachusetts Conservation Commissions Association. He holds a B.A. from Harvard and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law.

Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas LLP, the largest law firm in western Massachusetts, has named two new partners, J. Patrick Kennedy and Elizabeth H. Sillin.

Kennedy, formerly counsel, is a member of the firm's Litigation/ADR Department and practices primarily in the Boston office. His commercial litigation practice focuses on representing banks, mortgage lenders and other financial institutions in lender liability, U.C.C., check fraud, bankruptcy, real estate and bank operations disputes. He also has experience representing in commercial matters a wide range of high tech clients. He also represents companies and individuals in employment disputes.

Kennedy earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University, then worked as a commercial banker in the Boston area before attending law school. After receiving his juris doctor degree, summa cum laude, from Vermont Law School, where he was an editor of the Vermont Law Review, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. Robert E. Cowen at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit for the 1993-94 term.

Elizabeth Sillin, formerly an associate, is a member of the firm's Estate Planning and Administration Department and the Health Law Practice Group. She practices primarily in the Springfield office, and focuses on estate planning, estate administration and regulatory compliance by not-for-profit clients, including health care providers and educational institutions.

Sillin received an undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Wesleyan University and a master's degree from Cornell University, and graduated, summa cum laude, from Western New England College School of Law, where she was senior note editor of the law review. She then clerked for the Hon. John M. Greaney, associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.