U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island
U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
Mr. Coffey heads the Firm's Providence, Rhode Island office and concentrates his practice in the areas of environmental, land use and real estate development law and government procurement. Mr. Coffey also currently serves as an Executive Committee member of Burns & Levinson. He represents owners and developers of real property and financial institutions with respect to land use proposals involving environmental requirements and regulations, particularly the remediation and adaptive reuse of Brownfields sites. He represents business clients before state and federal environmental regulatory agencies, state financing authorities and federal and state courts. Mr. Coffey also represents both business and industry before state and federal agencies with respect to air and water pollution and waste regulation. He represents public utilities, marine industries, manufacturing businesses and municipalities with respect to regulatory compliance. Mr. Coffey represents municipalities in regulatory approval, privatization procurement and financing of capital improvements to water supply and wastewater facilities.
Prior to joining Burns & Levinson in 2002, Mr. Coffey was with Peabody & Arnold LLP, where he was a Partner and member of the Business Group.
Mr. Coffey served the former Rhode Island Department of Natural Resources as staff counsel and assisted in the development of legislation creating the Department of Environmental Management where he served as legal counsel and chief legal counsel from 1977 to 1983. Mr. Coffey drafted many of the existing environmental laws in Rhode Island, including statutes dealing with hazardous waste management, solid waste disposal, wetlands protection, air pollution control, water pollution control and groundwater protection.
- American Bar Association
- Rhode Island Bar Association
- Providence Preservation Society, past President
- Rhode Island Bar Association, past Chair of the Committee on Environmental Law
- Save The Bay, past Board Member
- United Way of Southeastern New England, past Chair
- He served as a Rhode Island State Senator from Providence's Second District from 1985 to 1991.
- In 1998, he completed a nine-year term as one of two Rhode Island advisors to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
- J.D., Boston University School of Law, 1976
- B.S.F.S, International Relations, Georgetown University, 1972
- For twenty consecutive years, Mr. Coffey has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® (1993-2013) in the field(s) of Environmental Law, and Litigation - Environmental. Best Lawyers® is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 41,000 leading attorneys throughout the country cast almost 3.9 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Inclusion in Best Lawyers® is considered a singular honor.
- On December 12, 2006, Mr. Coffey was honored at the annual meeting of the Providence Center, on the 20th anniversary of the Center's Homeless Outreach Team. The Providence Center is the area's largest community counseling and mental health agency. Sean was honored for his work as a Rhode Island state Senator, 20 years ago, in establishing and providing state funding to support the Team. The program has expanded over the years and has been designated by the state of Rhode Island to take its methods and services throughout the state.
- In 1988, his efforts as a member of the Rhode Island Senate were acknowledged with a commendation for Outstanding Leadership by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission and a Citation for Achievement by the Providence Preservation Society.
- In 1990, his legislative leadership was acknowledged by both the Sierra Club and Common Cause.
- In 1995, he was named Community Volunteer of the Year by the United Way of Southeastern New England and Civil Libertarian of the Year by the Rhode Island affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union.
- Mr. Coffey was selected for inclusion in Rhode Island Super Lawyers ® (2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007). Super Lawyers and Rising Stars employ an annual jurisdictional selection process. Only five percent of lawyers in the state were selected to the Super Lawyers list and 2.5 percent to the Rising Stars list. The listing appears annually in the November issue of Rhode Island Monthly magazine and in New England Super Lawyers.
4/12/2012, South County Independent - CRMC rejects town's erosion plan
Sean Coffey was quoted in this article by Iain Wilson.
2/3/2012, Law 360 - 5 Tips For Managing Megaprojects
Sean Coffey was quoted in this article by Liz Hoffman.
12/15/2007, The Woonsocket Call - City sticks with school site
Sean Coffey was mentioned in this article by Joseph B. Nadeau.
12/6/2007, Providence Journal Bulletin - Schools site owner to help pay cleanup costs
Sean Coffey was quoted in the article by Tatiana Pina, which read: "Coffey said that the DEM agrees that it is difficult to assess the impact of the plume of contaminants flowing into the river because there are many contaminants in the river from other companies that dumped there for years. He said that the DEM and the city have agreed to come up with an upfront cost that the city could contribute by providing services from consulting or giving money for the study of the historic impact of mills on the Blackstone River."
10/2/2007, The Providence Journal - Providence Businesses join forces to oppose mixed-use zone on the harbor
Mr. Coffey was quoted in this article by Daniel Barbarisi.
2/13/2007, Pawtucket Times - Water war ends
Richard Coen and Sean Coffey were mentioned in this article.
4/13/2006, Providence (RI) Journal Bulletin - December Opening Seen for Water Facility
Sean Coffey was quoted in this article by John Castelluci.
Recent Articles and Publications:
The Legal Implications of Climate Change for RI’s Coastal Communities Workshop, 10.4.2012
Location: Save The Bay Center, Providence, RI
Topic: Individual property rights, state and local powers, and strategies for adapting