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Kristen M. Whittle

Partner
Headshot Kristen M. Whittle

Kristen is an experienced civil litigator who focuses her practice on insurance coverage and bad faith litigation, employment law, and products liability litigation. She actively practices in the courts of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

In addition to her litigation work, Kristen regularly advises employers on all aspects of the employment relationship—from hiring through separation—and she frequently reviews and revises personnel policies and handbooks.

Representative Accomplishments

  • Obtained Rhode Island Supreme Court decision on behalf of a national insurer, enforcing a policy’s contractual limitations period on appeal.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a national insurance company, dismissing claims filed in a direct action by a Rhode Island rental car company.
  • Contributed substantially to persuading a Superior Court judge to allocate insurance coverage on a pro rata basis for a medical malpractice judgment, which reduced the exposure faced by the firm’s insurance carrier client by $875,185.
  • Contributed to persuading a Superior Court judge to dismiss an employment retaliation complaint against a nursing home supervisor on the basis that the former employee had previously agreed to relinquish all claims arising from her termination.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a physician, dismissing him from a case alleging violations of the Rhode Island Confidentiality of Health Care Information Act and Rhode Island’s Right to Privacy statute.

In addition, Kristen coordinates the firm’s pro bono activities with the Roger Williams University School of Law’s Pro Bono Collaborative. Working with Bradley Hospital’s Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, firm attorneys advise parents of disabled children turning 18 regarding their options, and, where appropriate, establishing legal guardianship of their children.

Prior to joining the firm, Kristen served as a law clerk in the coverage group of a major property and casualty insurer and authored numerous coverage opinions.

Education

  • Boston College Law School (J.D., 2009)
  • Boston College (B.A., summa cum laude, 2006) Phi Beta Kappa; Dean’s Scholar

Bar Admissions

  • Rhode Island
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court, Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, Rhode Island
  • “Personnel Practices” article series published by Rhode Island Small Business Journal, highlighting legal issues facing Rhode Island employers (December 2013–present)
  • “Privacy Consideration for Employer-Sponsored Wellness Plans,” IFEBP (January 2018)
  • HIPAA compliance tips,” Providence Business News (Sept. 1, 2014)
  • Rhode Island Excellence in the Law Up & Coming Lawyer Honoree, Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly (2019)
  • Professional Excellence in the Law, Rhode Island Monthly (2019)
  • 40 Under Forty Honoree, Providence Business News (2017)
  • Rhode Island Super Lawyers Rising Star (2013–2018)

An experienced public speaker, Kristen has conducted seminars on employment law, health care legal matters, and emerging insurance coverage issues, including:

  • “Employment Laws affecting Rhode Island Nursing Facilities” (May 2018)
  • “Employment Law Update in Rhode Island (May 2018)
  • “Hot Topics for Aging Services Employers” (March 2018)
  • “Employee Wellness Challenges: Keeping Them Well, Keeping You Compliant” (June 2017)
  • “Employment Law Update in Rhode Island” (May 2017)
  • “Lawsuit Trends in Aging Services” (April 2017)
  • “Compliance with Changing Marijuana Laws” (March 2017)
  • “Employment Contracts: What Dentists Need to Know” (March 2016)
  • “Best Practices for Senior Services Employers” (March 2016)
  • “The Hiring Process: Do’s and Don’ts” (August 2015)
  • “Social Media: Legal Considerations for Non-Profits” (November 2014)
  • “HIPAA Compliance – 2014” (October 3, 2014)
  • “Legal Pitfalls Facing Rhode Island Home Care Employers” (September 2014)
  • “Top Ten Best Practices for Non-Profit Employers” (June 2014)
  • “Disclosure of PHI/ePHI and Electronic Communications with Patients” (January 2014)
  • “The Expanding Waistline of Coverage B—Personal and Advertising Injury” (April 2013)

Kristen also regularly serves as an instructor of the class, “Legal Considerations for Business Owners” at the Center for Women & Enterprise in Providence.

Kristen served as a law clerk to Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice William P. Robinson III in 2009–2010.

  • Member, Advisory Committee for Roger Williams University School of Law’s Pro Bono Collaborative
  • Member and Board Secretary, Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Women’s Bar Association
  • Member and Former Vice Chair, Board of Directors of the Interfaith Counseling Center
  • Member, Rhode Island Bar Association
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Member, Claims & Litigation Management Alliance

More about

Kristen enjoys running and traveling. She has completed races, including three marathons and 11 half marathons, in seven states.