Rachelle is a Member of Cervenka Green & Ducharme LLC, Rhode Island's first women-owned business law firm. During her 20+ years of litigation experience, she has represented her clients in federal and state courtrooms across the country, before administrative agencies, and in international and domestic arbitrations to resolve an assortment of business disputes in diverse industries and areas, including employment, contract, and real estate/land use disputes.

Pre-litigation, Rachelle builds relationships with her clients—which include businesses of all sizes, State agencies, non-profit entities, and executives—as a trusted, strategic advisor and works with them to identify practical, results-oriented solutions to the issues they face. When litigation is necessary, she takes a strategic, proactive approach with an eye toward obtaining the best results in the most efficient manner, using the versatility and resourcefulness she has gained over two decades of practice.

Rachelle also has a significant practice advising clients—both corporate entities and executives—on employment-related matters. Having represented both sides, she effectively navigates every aspect of the employment relationship—from offer letters to separation agreements and everything in between. Through her work with regional employers, she has also developed an expertise in responding to data breaches and other aspects of cybersecurity.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a group of minority shareholders, including a founding officer, in a multi-count action against directors and shareholders of a closely-held Nevada corporation based in Massachusetts. After multiple dispositive motions by defendants were largely denied, broad discovery was exchanged, and defendants filed a retaliatory lawsuit against the former officer/client of CGD, the CGD team negotiated a favorable settlement and dismissal of all claims.
  • Represented a condominium owner of a two-unit condominium in a dispute with the other unit owner. After almost two years of litigation and a week-long trial, Rachelle and her team prevailed, with the Judge issuing a 90-page written decision making new law and awarding CGD’s client their attorneys’ fees on multiples bases.
  • Routinely represents businesses and employers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in cases involving wage disputes, discrimination, harassment, and violation of federal and state employment laws. Also represents clients before federal and state employment agencies following charges of discrimination.
  • Routinely assists clients (both employers and employees) with negotiating employment and separation/severance agreements. Has represented executives entering and exiting Fortune 100, 500, and smaller companies as well as the largest health-care systems in Rhode Island and the greater Boston area.
  • Assists clients - both executives and employers—in navigating non-competition restrictive covenants, including assisting employers with drafting and enforcing non-competition agreements and representing both former employees and employers in litigation involving non-competition agreements.
  • Conducts and assists clients in conducting internal investigations per state and federal laws, and advises clients how to respond to complaints.
  • Frequently serves as local counsel for out-of-state lawyers in state and federal courts, in some of the largest cases pending in Rhode Island.


  • Georgia State University College of Law, J.D., 1997 (cum laude)
  • Northwestern University College of Law, 1996 – 1997
  • College of the Holy Cross, B.A., 1991 (cum laude)

Work Experience

Cervenka Green & Ducharme LLC
  •  Member, 2017 - Present

Duffy & Sweeney Ltd.
  •  Partner, 2008 - 2017
  •  Associate, 2002 - 2008

Holland & Knight, LLP
  •  Associate, 1998 - 2002

Honors & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in Commercial Litigation, Labor and Employment, Intellectual Property, 2019, 2020
  • Super Lawyers – Employment Litigation; 2009 – 2014, Rising Star, 2014 - 2020
  • Rhode Island Monthly, Professional Excellence in Law – Commercial Litigation, 2019, 2020
  • Chambers USA – Leader in Field, General Commercial Litigation

Civic & Charitable Involvement

  • Sophia Academy
    • Individual Student Mentor, 2019 – 2020
  • Rhode Island Board of Education, Member, 2016 – Present
    • Council on Postsecondary Education
    • Chair, Personnel Committee
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State
    • Board President, 2013 - 2015
    • Board Vice President, 2010 - 2013
    • Board Member, 2007 - 2016
    • Recipient, Champions of Mentoring Award
  • American Heart Association, Executive Leadership Team, Go Red for Women, 2015 - 2017

Professional Affiliations

  • Rhode Island Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Sections on Labor and Employment Law and Litigation
  • Rhode Island Women's Bar Association

"Women in Cybersecurity–Understanding Cyber Opportunities and Threats for Cyber Strategic Leaders"
2017 Bryant Women's Summit Presenter