What Is Blockchain, and Why Should I Care? – A01

The President’s Track

Session A: 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

About the Program
Blockchain is more than a buzzword: it’s transformational technology that will change many, if not most, law practices, government functions, and industries within the next decade. Hear a leading expert, Peter Van Valkenburgh of Coin Center, demystify the concept of a blockchain and explain it in plain English. Our local panelists will then describe how you may soon see this technology used in securities, health care, and wealth management industries and practices.

 You Will Learn

  • What blockchains are, how they work, and when it makes sense to use them
  • What an ICO is, why it is used, and when it is a security
  • How blockchain technology will be used in the health care industry
  • How to address virtual currency in tax, estate, and wealth management planning

Jonathan M. Shapiro, Shapiro Law Offices LLC, Middletown     

Attorney Shapiro joined Shapiro Law Offices as a partner in 2010. His practice concentrates on corporate transactions, employment matters, and complex commercial and general litigation, as well as in arbitrations and mediations.   He represents individuals and businesses in a wide variety of matters including breach of contract actions, non-compete claims, unfair trade practice claims, trade secret misappropriation claims, commercial lease disputes, employment and insurance coverage disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims and product liability claims.  Jonathan also regularly serves as “local counsel” for non-Connecticut-based firms that are admitted to practice pro hac vice.  Jonathan also counsels clients in a number of other areas including employment law, contract negotiations, commercial transactions and business formation.

Jonathan is admitted to practice in Connecticut and New York, as well as before the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the District of Connecticut. He was recognized as a Connecticut Super Lawyer “Rising Star” in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and was honored by the Fairfield County Business Journal at the 2011 40-Under-40 Awards Dinner. In November 2012, Jonathan was named as a “New Leader in the Law” by the Connecticut Law Tribune.  In 2014, 2015 and 2016, Jonathan was recognized as a Connecticut Super Lawyer. Attorney Shapiro will be installed as CBA president for the 2018-2019 bar year at the conference Annual Meeting Luncheon.

Dena M. Castricone, Murtha Cullina LLP, Hartford

Attorney Castricone is the Chair of the Privacy and Cybersecurity practice group and is a member of the Long Term Care and Health Care practice groups.  She is also the Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.  Prior to joining Murtha Cullina, Dena served as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, Frank J. Williams.

As the Chair of the Privacy and Cybersecurity group and a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US), Dena provides the full complement of data breach coaching services to business and health care clients including breach notification to individuals and various government entities.  She also counsels clients on cyber security risks, the creation of information security plans and the development and implementation of policies and procedures

Dena handles a broad range of regulatory compliance issues for providers, including responses to government inspections, professional licensure actions, Medicare appeals, patient discrimination claims, probate court matters relating to decision making and Fair Housing issues, as well as risk management and day-to-day operational issues.  With an extensive background in HIPAA, she also assists health care providers with HIPAA privacy and security compliance, policy development and implementation, training and service as a privacy officer.

Scott L. Kaufman, Sullivan & Worcester LLP, New York City, NY

Attorney Kaufman is partner at Sullivan & Worcester LLP. Scott represents entrepreneurs, technology and life science companies and investors in venture financings, M&A and other corporate transactions. He also represents clients in private and public securities offerings and advises on SEC compliance matters. Scott leads Sullivan & Worcester’s Emerging Companies & Venture Capital practice in New York and is active with its Blockchain and Cryptocurrency practice group.

Scott is a trusted advisor and serves as outside general counsel to a number of his clients. Scott also works with many Israeli hi-tech clients through ZAG-S&W, Sullivan & Worcester’s joint venture law firm with Israel-based Zysman, Aharoni, Gayer & Co. He has significant experience advising Israeli hi-tech companies in connection with their business transactions in the United States. Scott’s clients are in a number of industries including Internet, eHealth, digital media, biotech, artificial intelligence, IOT, data analytics, cyber security and software.

Scott received his J.D. with honors from Duke University School of Law and his B.A. with distinction from the University of Michigan.

Peter Van Valkenburgh, Coin Center, Washington, DC

Peter is Director of Research at Coin Center, the leading non-profit research and advocacy group focused on the public policy issues facing cryptocurrency technologies such as Bitcoin. He is a graduate of NYU Law, as well as a self-taught designer and coder.

He drafts the Center’s public regulatory comments, and helps shape its research agenda. He has testified before Congress, briefed staff and members of the EU parliament, and educated policymakers and regulatory staff around the world on the subject of cryptocurrency regulation and decentralized computing systems. Previously, he was a Google Policy Fellow and collaborated with various digital rights organizations on projects related to privacy, surveillance, and digital copyright law.


Suzanne Brown Walsh, Murtha Cullina LLP, Hartford

As a member in the Firm’s Trusts and Estates Department, Suzanne Brown Walsh represents clients in the areas of estate and tax planning, particularly for families of children with special needs, elder law, estate and trust administration, trust modifications and trustee changes. Suzy is nation­ally known for her speaking and writing, including the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning and numerous regional organizations throughout the country. She has been interviewed for On the Media, PBS Newshour Weekend and Marketplace Money. She has been quoted in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Bloomberg BNA’s Electronic Commerce Law Report, The Chattanooga Times Free Press, The Kansas City Star and by NBC News, CBS News and Agence France-Presse.  Suzy is a member of the Connecticut Bar and holds a B.S. degree from Boston University and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School.

Suzy is a past Chair of both the Connecticut Bar Association’s Estates and Probate and Elder Law Sections. She serves as a James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel (ACTEC), and chairs its Digital Property Task Force. She has also served on the Board of Directors of several community organizations, including PLAN of Connecticut, Inc., a nonprofit corporation providing low cost trust services to the families of the disabled. Before it was disbanded, Suzy served for years on the Connecticut Law Revision Commission’s Probate Advisory Committee.


2.0 CLE Credits (CT: 2.0 General; NY: 2.0 AOP)