BCK Law, P.C. is a Firm concentrating in transactional, regulatory and corporate law. While the Firm practices in many different fields, we place a special emphasis on energy, environmental/land use, construction, employment, new media and commercial law and arbitration/mediation services. Our clients include businesses of every size (including entrepreneurial and technology start-ups); cities, towns, counties, regional compacts and state governments; environmental and other non-profit organizations and individuals. Firm attorneys are admitted to practice before all Massachusetts state and federal courts, as well as state and federal courts in Idaho, New York, Vermont, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Fifth and Sixth Circuits. Our alternative dispute resolution services are worldwide.
We pride ourselves on our personal service and responsiveness to our clients' needs, our ability to cost- effectively attain our clients' objectives, and our background in a wide range of legal issues despite our relatively small size. We bring a nimble and thoughtful approach that combines sound lawyering, deep knowledge of the energy and environmental industry from both a private and governmental perspective and decades of administrative and judicial litigation experience. The Firm's attorneys and staff make extensive use of advanced technologies and have a virtual private network linking the Firm's principal office in Greater Boston to satellite offices in Woodstock, Vermont and Ketchum, Idaho as well as to home offices maintained by Firm principals; we also use a wide variety of digital media to enhance our representation of clients.
A magna cum laude graduate of both Brown University and Boston College School of Law, Jeffrey Bernstein has broad public policy and private sector experience. Formerly the Director of the Massachusetts Legislative Energy Development Caucus and Executive Director of Resources for New England, Inc., Mr. Bernstein’s governmental background emphasized financing energy conservation and alternative energy development and environmental issues. Mr. Bernstein’s practice concentrates on renewable energy project and sustainable development, technology, corporate and commercial law and regulatory matters. He represents entrepreneurial and/or technology clients of the Firm on complex transactions. He also represents many municipal entities and non-profit environmental and renewable energy organizations serving as General Counsel to the innovative municipal aggregator, the Cape Light Compact and the affiliated Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative, Inc. Mr. Bernstein is on the board of a number of technology/New Media companies as well as serving as a trustee of the Upper Valley Land Trust. Mr. Bernstein has been admitted in all State Courts in Massachusetts and Vermont as well as the Federal District Court for Massachusetts and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, First and Sixth Circuits and works from the Firm’s Vermont office on a frequent basis. AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Resident in the Firm’s Mountain States office, Erin O’Toole is a cum laude graduate of Fairfield University and Suffolk University Law School. Her practice focuses on general business, nonprofit and energy law. She has assisted in complex financial transactions for technology clients of the Firm. She functions as outside General Counsel for several clients of the Firm, regularly advising them on corporate governance practices, operational matters, regulatory compliance, commercial transactions, contract negotiations, acquisitions and sales of businesses and employment matters. Ms. O’Toole also represents early stage and emerging companies, assisting them with entity formation matters (including corporations and limited liability companies), stockholder agreements, strategic partnerships and other transactional issues. She is admitted to practice before the State Courts of Massachusetts and Idaho, as well as the Federal District Court for Massachusetts and the United States Court of Appeals for the First and Sixth Circuits.
Audrey Eidelman focuses on energy and renewable energy issues, corporate, municipal and regulatory matters. Prior to joining the Firm, she was an associate at the Washington, D.C. office of Kutak Rock LLP, a national Firm, practicing in the areas of military base closure, realignment and reuse, federal privatization, federal property acquisition and federal contracts. Ms. Eidelman also served from August 2003 to December 2007 as first a senior law clerk and then an associate with the Firm, providing service to the Firm’s corporate clients and assisting the Firm’s senior attorneys on energy issues. Ms. Eidelman is a graduate of American University and a cum laude graduate of Suffolk University Law School. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.
Stacey Cushner has over twenty-nine years experience as a construction, employment and contract attorney and over twenty years experience as a mediator/arbitrator in these fields (see ADR section of this website). She has represented owners, developers, public agencies, general contractors, sureties, architects, subcontractors and suppliers in projects ranging up to $4.5 billion. She also has extensive experience in writing and negotiating multi-party construction contracts. She is a former Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant Attorney General of Massachusetts and was appointed to the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry, Steering Committee, Division 6. Ms. Cushner also has extensive experience in all aspects of employment law representing both public and private employers and employees. She has authored articles and taught numerous continuing legal education courses for the American Bar and other bar associations, lectured at Harvard Law School on ADR and has chaired and lectured for programs at Suffolk University Law School. She was a founding member of the Firm’s predecessor Boston law Firm, Bernstein, Cushner & Kimmell, P.C. She is a cum laude graduate of Brandeis University and obtained her J.D. degree in 1985 from Suffolk University Law School.
Rebecca Zachas is Of Counsel to the Firm focusing on energy regulatory and policy matters and renewable energy development for municipalities, other public entities, electric cooperatives, nonprofits and renewable energy developers. Ms. Zachas advises renewable energy clients on project structure, state and federal regulation, and financing. She drafts and negotiates project agreements, including power purchase agreements, renewable energy certificate agreements, host community agreements and leases, for renewable energy projects. Ms. Zachas regularly represents entities before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities in regulatory proceedings, including for net metering, interconnection, grid modernization, merger, utility long-term contracts, service quality standards, and reconciliation factors. She participated on behalf of a client in working groups on interconnection standards for distributed generation (D.P.U. 11-75) and grid modernization (D.P.U. 12-76). Prior to joining the Firm, Ms. Zachas practiced energy and telecommunications law at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, L.L.P., in Washington, D.C. and Boston where she represented electric utilities, power marketers, non-utility generators, telecommunications carriers and cable companies before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and various state public utility commissions. Ms. Zachas is a magna cum laude graduate of Syracuse University and a cum laude graduate of the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, New Hampshire (inactive), the District of Columbia, Maryland (inactive) and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Jo Ann Bodemer focuses on civil litigation, municipal, land use and insurance issues. Prior to joining the firm, she was an associate with Sinnreich & Kossakoff LLP, a New York litigation firm concentrating in complex commercial construction matters, as well as real estate disputes and municipal land-use matters. Ms. Bodemer gained experience as a commercial litigation associate for Farrell Fritz, P.C. and as an associate at Mound, Cotton and Wollan, a prominent New York Firm specializing in insurance and reinsurance issues. She received her J.D. cum laude , in 1997 from St. John’s University School of Law, where she served as the Managing Editor of the Law Review. Following her graduation from the State University of New York at Albany in 1984 with a B.A. in Psychology, Ms. Bodemer worked for ten years in the insurance industry for a prominent life and health insurance company. Ms. Bodemer is admitted to practice in the state courts of the Commonwealth, the state and federal courts of the State of New York and the United States Supreme Court.
Dawn Book serves as office manager and finance and technology director. She is responsible for the management of the Firm’s computerized time and billing programs, as well as serving as the Firm’s network administrator. She seamlessly coordinates communications between the Firm’s main office and the two satellite offices and allows the Firm to cost-efficiently and productively represent a myriad of clients.
Kelly Harper provides support related to public utilities law, renewable energy project development, and other business deals of the Firm. Her work includes legal research and monitoring of related policy developments. She also assists in the maintenance of the Firm’s website and New Media efforts. Prior to joining the Firm, Ms. Harper served as an Asbestos Litigation Paralegal for Thornton Law Firm, LLP as well as a General Litigation Law Assistant for Foley Hoag, LLP. She received a B.S. from Northeastern University where she studied Psychology and Criminal Justice.
BCK is founded (under another name) by Jeff Bernstein in a small office near Old Boston City Hall. Deciding that technology will give the small firm a leg-up and the ability to transact business with and litigate in cases involving much larger firms, BCK purchases an IBM PC with a 64K floppy drive and printer for $5,200, or about $12,500 in today's dollars. The Firm's early adaptation of case management software makes litigation with hundreds of thousands of documents feasible.
BCK serves as counsel to the Vineyard Conservation Society, a Martha's Vineyard environmental advocacy and conservation nonprofit in its successful battle to stop the Nobnocket shopping center – a large, out of character, development which would have significantly damaged local merchants, disrupted Vineyard traffic and the special local character of the island.
The Firm acquires a share of Red Sox season tickets on the third base side. Tickets cost about eight dollars a seat/game.
The Firm represents the Hudson-Mohawk Chapter of the Sierra Club in opposition to a coal-fired power plant which would have added massive particulate emissions and acid deposition into Southern Vermont and the Berkshires. The plant was ultimately cancelled.
BCK helps to devise and implement an innovative "Brownfields" (contaminated land) redevelopment plan for the City of Pittsfield and the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority. Firm lawyers spend several years representing the City of Pittsfield in negotiating a mediated settlement with General Electric Company regarding PCB contamination in the city and the Housatonic River.
The Firm installs its first network, replacing the "sneaker-net" system of hand carrying floppy disks between users. The first server's name has been lost in the mists of antiquity (as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes would say) but after giving its first two servers street names like Boylston and Dartmouth, all subsequent servers get musical monikers like "Schubert," "Lennon" and "Sun Ra."
The Firm begins to work with Barnstable County in the establishment of the Cape Light Compact. The Compact is the first municipal electricity aggregation in Massachusetts and an innovative intergovernmental partnership of twenty-one Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard Towns and the two counties.
BCK Dispute Resolution Services, Inc. is established to provide arbitration and mediation services in construction, employment, commercial, business and consumer cases. Firm principal Stacey L. Cushner, Esq. becomes President of this new corporation.
The Firm establishes a Mountain States office in Hailey, Idaho based on telecommuting before anyone knew the word: dial-up internet and long distance rates of twenty cents per minute plus.
The Firm moves its main office out of downtown Boston to the Back Bay near the Boston Public Library and Copley Square park.
The Firm establishes a virtual office in Vermont and helps the Washington Electric Cooperative in putting together the legal framework to build the largest landfill gas to electricity project in Northern New England.
BCK provides assistance to the Compact as it becomes the first universal service electricity aggregator in Massachusetts, offering competitive power supply to over 200,000 consumers on the Cape & Vineyard.
The Red Sox win the World Series for the first time in eighty-six years. Most Firm lawyers and staff are ecstatic although a few Yankees fans at BCK are crestfallen.
In the midst of a crippling snowstorm, Firm lawyers telecommuting from home offices realize that email and other electronic traffic has not only not diminished, as in earlier years on "snow days," but actually increased.
Moving to eliminate paper and make all documents electronic, BCK installs a dedicated search server after a hotly contested naming contest.
The Firm moves out of Boston to the Gateway Center in Newton.
The Firm helps in the formation of the Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative, Inc., an entity designed to bring local clean, renewable energy to Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard.
CVEC successfully installed 28 megawatts of photovoltaics (PV). The CVEC PV projects range from large PV arrays covering entire capped landfills to smaller arrays on the roofs of schools, police stations and town halls. The 6.7 MW Town of Barnstable's Airport PV project is the largest solar farm located in New England, with the combined project spanning adjoining Barnstable Airport and Barnstable Fire District properties.
Snowmageddon. Boston is crippled by record snowfalls of over 108 inches and shuts down for days on end. BCK's virtual private network operates smoothly although snowbound Firm lawyers and staff do experience the same cabin fever that afflicts the entire region. BCK's Mountain States office paradoxically reports early spring weather at the same time.
BCK moves to new offices in Waverley Oaks Office Park, Waltham, off Interstate 95.
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