2014-04-03 / News

Ski enthusiast is town’s newest lawyer

By Ken Shane

Christ ian Infantolino Christ ian Infantolino Christian Infantolino, an islander who graduated cum laude from Roger Williams University last year, is the island’s newest attorney. Infantolino joins John A. Murphy and Emily Murphy at the law firm Morneau & Murphy on Narragansett Avenue. .

“We are pleased that a young person of Christian’s character and accomplishments has chosen to join our practice,” said Murphy.

Infantolino grew up in East Greenwich. Always an avid skier, he divided his teenage years between East Greenwich High and Waterville Valley Academy in New Hampshire, where he could pursue his passion for the slopes.

Science was an early interest for Infantolino. He studied biology at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., and graduated with a bachelor’s degree.

“My father was an orthopedic surgeon,” Infantolino said. “Science has always come naturally for me, so I decided to go that route.”

Infantolino was undecided about his future following graduation. He traveled through Europe for three months with his then girlfriend, now wife, Elaine. Upon returning to the States, he was still unsure about his path. He had always wanted to ski in the West, and ended up moving to Colorado in 2001. He lived in a small town called Frazier in the Winter Park ski area. Six months later, Elaine joined him.

The couple worked menial jobs for a while before Infantolino began selling real estate. Colorado was their home for nine years, and in his last three years in the Centennial State, Infantolino opened a commercial and residential cleaning company. With a family on the way, the couple began to realize that Frazier, with its 900 residents, might be a little too small for them. The Infantolinos decided they wanted to be closer to their families back east.

That’s when Infantolino decided he wanted to look into law school. While selling real estate, he interfaced with attorneys on a regular basis. He thought that instead of having to summon an attorney for each of his business needs, he could become one.

When Infantolino relocated to Colorado in 2001, his parents moved to Jamestown. He was accepted to several laws schools, but decided on Roger Williams so that his children could be closer to their grandparents. Infantolino started law school in 2010 at the age of 32. He graduated in May 2013, and got his license to practice law in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts late last year.

When Infantolino brought his family back east, they moved in with his parents in Jamestown. His father has since passed away. Infantolino’s family, which now includes 5-year-old daughter Jade and son Skylar, who is almost 2, lives with his mother in the north end. Elaine works at Island Realty doing marketing for the firm.

Infantolino joined Morneau & Murphy in January.

“A lot of the reason I wanted to work with John was not only the exposure to all of the areas of law I wanted to work in, but also being in Jamestown,” Infantolino said. “This is the kind of lawyer I wanted to be. I didn’t want to be a city lawyer. I wanted to be in a local area helping the community, and that’s what John has been doing for more than 30 years.”

Right now Infantolino is concentrating on land-use regulation, planning, real estate and corporate law. He also works in estate planning and resolving alternative disputes. He said that one of the things he likes about the firm is the wide variety of law it addresses.

In addition to skiing, Infantolino is a lifelong fisherman. He also likes to go mountain biking and enjoys taking his family to Mackerel Cove on the weekends.

“I’m a small-town lawyer,” Infantolino said. “I’m living here, and I really do want to help the people of Jamestown. Just because you live in a small town doesn’t mean you don’t have the same needs as everybody else. There are a lot of issues in town that people need a lawyer for. Having someone who lives in Jamestown and knows Jamestown is the way to go.”

According to Murphy, he had been looking for a “protégé” for a number of years. He wanted someone who could assist him in the tasks he undertakes for clients. Murphy also was looking for someone whose expertise would mesh well with Emily, his partner and daughter, who specializes in estate planning.

Infantolino was introduced to Murphy by a client. Following the interview process, Murphy said it became “apparent” that Infantolino and the firm were a perfect fit.

Murphy’s family moved to Jamestown in 1944 as “summer folk.” His father, Neale Murphy, began lawyering in town in the late 1960s. John started assisting him in 1973.

“We opened the law office at 77 Narragansett Ave. in 1988 and have been working there ever since,” he said. “Our years in Jamestown have been very happy, and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue to work in this wonderful community with Christian.”

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