Five CBA Members Recognized at the ABA Annual Meeting

On August 10-15 the American Bar Association held their annual meeting in New York City, where thousands of lawyers from across the country came together to promote issues of importance of the legal profession and learn from leading colleagues in the field.

CBA members recognized at the ABA Annual Meeting include:
1. Monte E. Frank, Immediate Past President
2. Ndidi Moses, Vice President
3. Barry C. Hawkins, Past President (2012-2013)
4. Dana M. Hrelic, Assistant Secretary-Treasurer
5. Dwight H. Merriam, CBA Member

For more information, read the Latest News story.

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Member Spotlight: CBA Secretary Alaine Doolan

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B.E.E The Best (“Backpacks for Excellence in Education”), a program founded by CBA Secretary Alaine Doolan, is a nonprofit that provides donated backpacks and supplies to the Truancy Intervention Project, which is an organization that matches attorney volunteers with students from the New Britain school system experiencing problems with school attendance. Each volunteer serves as an advocate and role model for their student.

“Over the last six years the program has donated around 200 backpacks stuffed with supplies to some very worthy students,” Secretary Doolan said, who founded the program after years of mentoring where she noticed that one reason students didn’t go to school was because they didn’t have supplies.

Last year, backpacks and supplies were also provided to the Interval House, a shelter and center for victims of domestic violence. They provide a bridge to new life for individuals and families. This year, B.E.E The Best will be donating to both the Truancy Intervention Project and the Interval House.

If you are interested in donating, B.E.E The Best is looking for the following items: two pocket folders, backpacks, alarm clocks, calculators, pencil sharpeners, erasers, weekly planners, magic markers, pencil cases, 1 inch 3 ring binders, 8GB flash/stick drive, and plastic water bottles.

B.E.E The Best also accepts cash or check donations made out to B.E.E The Best, Inc. Please note that this program is a 501(c)(3) so your donations may be tax deductible!

Please send all donations by Thursday, August 17 to:
Alaine Doolan
Robinson & Cole LLP
280 Trumbull Street
Hartford, CT 06103

John H. Driscoll, Jr. Appointed as Senior Vice President, Regional Market Executive for Webster Private Bank

CBA member John H. Driscoll, Jr. has been appointed as the senior vice president, regional market executive for Webster Private Bank’s Hartford and New Haven offices. Attorney Driscoll is a tax attorney with over 30 years experience in investment, financial, and estate and tax planning. He serves on the executive committee of the Estates and Probate Section and the Sports and Entertainment Section.

Prior to joining Webster, Attorney Driscoll was with the U.S. Trust Company, N.A. where he oversaw 10 financial and estate planning professionals, and was a Senior Tax Manager at Arthur Andersen LLP, where he focused on personal financial planning and family wealth planning.

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John H. Driscoll, Jr.

CT Attorneys Form First Collaborative Business Dispute Resolution Group in State

Fifteen CBA members have come together to offer collaborative divorce resolution to the business community. The newly formed group, Collaborative Business Dispute Resolution (CBDR), provides an alternative to litigation, arbitration, and mediation. It is the first of its kind in Connecticut.

With a goal to avoid litigation and save time and money, this collaborative method differs from mediation when one neutral professional works with the parties to resolve disputes. The mediator assists in understanding each other’s points of view and developing settlement options. They cannot give legal advice or advocate for either party.

The benefits of collaborative business dispute resolution include:

  • Saving money and time
  • Reducing the risk and uncertainty of litigation
  • Allowing each party to participate in structuring a resolution
  • Allowing each party to take an active role in tailoring solutions to the particular needs of their business
  • Accessing the skills, talent, and experience of other professionals who can make a difference
  • Working in a respectful, private, and dignified environment, and preserve a relationship that may be worth keeping
  • Keeping all options open

The fifteen attorneys involved in creating this new type of business dispute resolution are David M. Barry, Jr., Jacobs Walker Rice & Barry LLC; Mark Block, Block Janney & Associates LLC; Deborah L. Dorio, Pease & Dorio PC; Bridget C. Gallagher, Brown Paindiris & Scott LLP; Brian T. Henebry, Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP; Paul N. Iannone, Rogin Nassau LLC; John L. Laudati, Murphy Laudati Kiel Buttler Rattigan LLC; Frank A. Leone, Leone Throwe Teller & Nagle; David J. Markowitz, Markowitz & Mawhinney LLC; Justin L. Murphy, Kahan Kerensky & Capassela; Nicholas Paindiris, Brown Paindiris & Scott LLP; Michael A. Pease, Pease & Dorio PC; Margaret F. Rattigan, Murphy Laudati Kiel Buttler Rattigan LLC; James M. Saya, Rogin Nassau LLC; and Jonathan M. Shapiro, Shapiro Law Offices LLC.

Gregory D’Auria Appointed as a Supreme Court Justice

Gregory D’Auria was sworn in as an associate justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court after a nomination by Governor Malloy. Justice D’Auria is filling the spot on the bench held by Associate Justice Peter T. Zarella prior to his retirement in December, and he is the third state Supreme Court justice to sit on the bench without prior judgeship experience.

Justice D’Auria has worked for the Office of the Attorney General for 23 years, where he served as an assistant general, associate attorney general for litigation, and head of the special litigation and charities unit. Attorney General George Jepsen appointed him the state’s first solicitor general in 2011.

Gregory D'Auria
Justice Gregory D’Auria
Connecticut Supreme Court

Member Spotlight: Dan M. Smolnik

CBA Tax Section Executive Committee member and tax lawyer Dan M. Smolnik of Smolnik Law Offices in Hamden, has been named by the Internal Revenue Service to its Taxpayer Advocacy Panel.

Established by the Department of Treasury in 2002, the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, is a Federal Advisory Committee to the IRS that helps to identify tax issues of importance to taxpayers and to provide taxpayer perspective to the IRS on key programs, products, and services. The Panel consists of a group of 75 citizen volunteers who listen to taxpayers, identify taxpayers’ issues, and make suggestions for improving IRS service and customer satisfaction.

Attorney Smolnik stated, “I am honored and humbled to have this opportunity to serve the people of Connecticut and the country by helping to make the tax system more accurate and easier to use.”

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Dan M. Smolnik

Member Spotlight: Peter Appleton

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CBA member and Statewide Legal Services Pro Bono Attorney Peter Appleton, of Appleton & Appleton LLC, represented a low-income family who had been victimized by his landlord.

Attorney Appleton successfully utilized the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practice Act to secure $225,200 judgement in damages against the landlord who unlawfully locked out the the family from their vermin infested apartment, threw away the family’s belongings, and sent taunting text messages.

Judge Grant H. Miller, Jr. found that for all the countless acts of “callousness, mean spiritedness, and arrogance,” he had seen in his 38 years of trial and jurist experience, this case offended him the most. The judgement is now on appeal.