Tony Corleto focuses on commercial litigation, transactions and municipal liability. His experience covers intellectual property, corporate, construction, insurance coverage and bad faith, environmental, and employment practice liability issues. He regularly tries cases and argues appeals in the state and federal courts of Connecticut and New York, including complex matters involving banking and lease finance, software disputes, development rights and insurance coverage.
Before his legal career, Tony worked as a commercial casualty underwriter and risk management consultant. He also has served as general counsel for a software company where he handled copyright, trademark, trade secret and licensing matters.
Whether Tony is managing a data breach for a gaming company or litigating construction defect issues, he looks beyond the issue of immediate concern to better understand how it originated. This allows him to help clients avoid similar problems in the future.
Areas of Focus
In commercial litigation and transactions, Tony represents a wide range of clients, including consulting organizations in the technology, environmental and market research sectors; general and trade contractors; insurance companies and brokers; and software developers.
Tony has handled branding/identity projects, franchise matters involving petroleum dealers (PMPA) and automobile dealers, and transfers of environmentally impaired properties. He has litigated commercial disputes involving trademark, copyright, trade dress and patent infringement claims. As counsel to automobile leasing companies, manufacturers, banks, software developers and consulting organizations, Tony also has managed numerous transactions involving licensing, executive employment, spin-offs, mergers, buy-backs, technology transfers and real estate.
His recent technology engagements included assisting a new gaming company with its strategic agreements, copyright and licensing work. He also recently assisted a market research company after hackers accessed and posted proprietary product development information. Leading a team of Wilson Elser attorneys, the offending posts were taken down, the source of the leak was eliminated, and an effective presentation was made to assure content owners of security going forward.
Tony's recent commercial engagements also included a copyright dispute involving a housewares designer, trade secret matters between competitors, insurance coverage issues related to the 2010 catastrophic snowstorms in the Northeast, and sports liability matters involving football and cheerleading events.
Tony has successfully defended property rights claims brought by developers and landowners, wrongful arrest claims brought by detainees, defective road claims, drainage and sewer claims, employment claims, and claims under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. He has secured defense verdicts, summary judgments and other favorable outcomes for a number of towns and villages. In addition to his litigation work for municipal clients, Tony consults and works on insurance coverage disputes.
Won summary judgment dismissal of tortious interference, unfair trade practice and breach of contract claims in federal court in the District of Connecticut on behalf of an insurance company client. Plaintiff, an independent adjuster, commenced this action to recover payment of unpaid invoices and for breach of an alleged agreement to use the adjuster's services exclusively in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. Defendant withheld payment and ended the relationship when an internal audit revealed a pattern of fraudulent billing by plaintiff, and brought a counterclaim for affirmative relief. Court dismissed plaintiff's breach of contract claims; defendant's counterclaims and plaintiff's claim for unpaid invoices also were resolved favorably for the client.
Resolved a commercial dispute between a landlord client and a tenant that was chronically delinquent in paying rent and was preparing to vacate the premises prior to the expiration of the lease. In a rare move, the court granted the Writ of Attachment in an amount $240,000, which covered both back rent and the remaining balance of the lease.
Obtained a defense verdict in a trespass/property damage claim brought in Connecticut Superior Court by the owner of a Greenwich, CT, estate home against the owner and builder of the adjacent property. Plaintiff claimed that the construction company, while doing work on the adjacent property owned by the co-defendant, trespassed on her property, damaging a vintage rock wall and disrupting the grade. Successfully argued that plaintiff failed to meet her burden of proof.
Represent a national nonprofit youth football organization as a defendant in a variety of matters arising from league operations across the country, including defeating injunctions brought by three disqualified teams seeking to gain post-season berths in regional championships.
Obtained dismissal of a Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) case in the Eastern District of New York against an environmental engineering consulting firm. Plaintiff, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, acquired a 97-acre parcel of land in the Village of Old Westbury to develop a cemetery. After the Village denied a permit because cemeteries were not within the building code, the diocese sued, claiming the cemetery would be used for religious purposes and therefore would be allowed under RLUIPA. The diocese prevailed on appeal, with the stipulation that the project be subject to State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process. Our client, the environmental consulting firm, was hired by the Village to establish ground water monitoring and management criteria under which a cemetery could be developed, if feasible. The firm recommended stringent criteria to avoid contamination of the main source of water on Long Island. The diocese claimed the firm violated RLUIPA and the first and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution because its criteria for the cemetery were more stringent than regional criteria for similar non-religious uses (e.g., golf courses). We successfully argued that plaintiff failed to articulate facts demonstrating religious animus or an interference with the exercise of religious beliefs.
Won defense verdict for a Connecticut municipal Board of Education and its officials in a student "bullying" case. Complainant initially leveled claims of common law negligence and violations of the Connecticut "bullying" statute. Court granted defendants' initial motion to strike the bullying claim on the grounds that the statute did not create a private cause of action. Motions for summary judgment based on governmental and qualified immunity were denied for "questions of fact."
(Also at White Plains, New York Office)