Practice Areas & Industries: Halloran & Sage LLP


Litigation & Dispute Resolution Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Our litigation practice is among the largest and most highly regarded in the Northeast. More than 70 years of courtroom success have cemented our reputation as leaders in trial and appellate advocacy. For our clients – who range from multi-national corporations to locally-owned businesses and individuals – the size and diversity of our litigation practice means a legal team matched to your needs and goals. In every case we handle, no matter how complex, the client remains the focus. You always know the attorney responsible for your case, you are consulted at every turn, and you are always kept fully informed.

Three components drive our success: trial experience, attention to detail and attention to cost. We are highly experienced in all phases of civil litigation and appeals in state and federal courts, as well as in alternative dispute resolution and hearings before government agencies. Our experience not only enhances our courtroom proficiency, it also enables us to work more efficiently. We are committed to ongoing and timely communication with our clients. That communication is enhanced by our policy of assigning a coordinating attorney to every case, who monitors all proceedings and serves as liaison to the client.

The scope of our litigation practice is broad and extends to business and commercial cases, civil rights, employment, insurance coverage and defense, products liability and toxic torts, professional liability, torts and general litigation. We represent clients in courts and adjudicatory forums throughout the United States and internationally. Whatever type of litigation you face, our attorneys have the experience and focus to pursue zealously the outcome you aim for.

Alternative Dispute Resolution 

Halloran & Sage enjoys a rich history and well-deserved reputation as one of the premier litigation firms in Connecticut. That experience has led to a deep appreciation of the value of utilizing Mediation or Arbitration to resolve disputes. Those alternatives provide more timely, cost-effective and predictable results than traditional litigation and trial. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Group at Halloran & Sage is a diverse group of seasoned trial attorneys and a retired Judge who are trained and experienced to act as mediators and arbitrators in all types of disputes. If you have a matter that would be best resolved through Mediation or Arbitration, please contact one of the Group’s partners listed below. We will take the time to listen to you and understand the unique aspects of your dispute and offer a recommendation on what member of the Group could best serve your needs.

The Group is very proud that Judge Frederick Freedman chose to join Halloran & Sage after retiring from the bench. Since joining the firm on January 1, 2012, Judge Freedman has been contacted by attorneys from across the State seeking assistance in resolving disputes. While his services are in high demand, he is committed to meeting the needs of all those desiring his assistance in resolving their disputes.

Asbestos Liability

H & S represents clients who are defendants in complex toxic tort and environmental claims, including claims of asbestos liability. We have the resources and an experienced group of attorneys who can handle these unique cases from the initial filing of the complaint through trial. Our firm handles cases in both state and federal courts in Connecticut and in the MDL-875 litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Additionally, the firm has been directly involved in cases implicating the application of Maritime law and its interaction with the laws of the State of Connecticut.

This litigation requires the coordination of lay witnesses, expert medical and scientific witnesses and witnesses dealing with industrial hygiene and the state of the art. Over the years, the attorneys in this group have deposed, examined, cross-examined and prepared these sorts of witnesses for depositions and hearings.

Our clients include consumer and industrial manufacturing companies, distributors, and mining companies.

Automobile Liability

Through seven decades of courtroom success, Halloran & Sage has provided aggressive defense to insurers and other clients in the area of automobile liability. Clients, ranging from self-insured multinational corporations and major national insurance companies to small local businesses and individuals, trust us to be their advocates at trial. Whether the case is a class action with millions of dollars at risk or a motor vehicle accident with soft-tissue injuries, we have the trial experience and attention to detail to provide you with the highest level of legal representation.

We understand and excel in all stages of the litigation process, and are equally adept at resolving cases through negotiation, mediation and arbitration.

When a dispute is sufficiently serious to reach litigation, one’s assets and reputation are at stake. Because we believe that timely communication regarding case developments and costs are essential components of a winning strategy, we work side-by-side with our clients throughout our representation. The client defines the measure of success in a case; we help achieve it. Whether the complexity of a case requires the experience of a seasoned trial partner, or if cost considerations call for a more economical approach, we work with the client to find the strategy and staffing that will achieve the best possible results.

Banking, Lender Liability & Foreclosure

Halloran & Sage regularly represents banking and financial institutions in a wide range of federal and state litigation involving commercial and residential contested foreclosures, lender liability claims and disputes relating to security agreements. Among the firm’s clients are some of the largest banking entities in the world, local lenders and a range of entities in between, each of whom routinely entrust us with the defense of claims ranging from emerging theories of lender liability law to more typical mortgage disputes. The firm also handles matters related to the litigation of contested foreclosure claims that often relies on an intricate working knowledge of constantly evolving areas of law, as well as a high level of familiarity with the procedural requirements and practical realities of litigating in the jurisdictions in which we practice. In all cases, the deep bench of attorneys within this practice area focus on providing valuable client service at a premium level of efficiency.

Bankruptcy, Creditors’ Rights & Restructuring

Our clients rely upon Halloran & Sage attorneys to assist them in all aspects of bankruptcy and creditors' rights, helping them enforce their rights as secured lenders or major unsecured creditors, and reach the best possible solution. Our attorneys have experience in debt and equity restructuring transactions, both inside and out of bankruptcy. Our services include negotiation of complex intercreditor arrangements, debtor in possession financing, drafting of restructuring documentation and coordination of financial and legal advisors. We represent lenders in lender liability claims, and are well-versed in the emerging theories of lender liability and defense. In addition, we litigate and defend fraudulent conveyance and transfer, preference, avoidance proceedings and other bankruptcy litigation, and represent clients in proceedings to determine the non-dischargeability of claims in bankruptcy. The firm has represented both lenders and debtors in liquidations and restructurings in both Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filings.

Commercial Litigation

At Halloran & Sage, our highly experienced litigation team draws on our firm's solid base in business and commercial law to deliver top-level advocacy combined with in-depth knowledge. We are acknowledged leaders in litigation and also leaders in business, corporate, insurance, real estate, employment and environmental practice. In forums throughout the United States and worldwide, we bring the full resources and depth of our firm to bear as advocates for our clients' best interests.

Our focus is twofold: achievement of your goals while doing so as cost effectively as possible. Collaboration is our watchword – collaboration with you in setting strategy and managing your case, and collaboration among our lawyers in assembling the team best tailored to your needs. Our firm's experience in business and commercial matters encompasses antitrust and trade regulation, energy, utilities, construction, bankruptcy, class actions, collections, business and commercial torts, contracts, ERISA, intellectual property, land use and real estate development, lender liability, licensing and franchising, partnerships and small businesses, securities, shareholders' derivative actions, technology, the Uniform Commercial Code and white-collar crime.

Whether you choose litigation or it chooses you, we are there to guide you from the outset. We start with a thorough evaluation and assessment of your position. From there, we work with you to define your goals and solidify your strategy. We help you evaluate the feasibility of alternatives to litigation, including arbitration, mediation and negotiation. In large, complex disputes – such as class actions and multi-district cases – we apply our extensive experience to develop and implement comprehensive and cost-effective solutions.

No matter the size or scope of the case, our client's needs, resources and long-term goals remain paramount. This is true not just after litigation is commenced, but also before it ever begins. Our litigation team works closely with members of our business consulting group to help clients avoid costly litigation through risk management, compliance and consultation. In all of our engagements, we offer our clients lean staffing, direct access to the partner in charge of the matter, and early evaluation of litigation options and alternatives to litigation.

Dram Shop/Liquor Liability

Halloran & Sage’s trial attorneys have long been leaders in the area of dram shop, liquor-liability claims, and related claims for both insurance and private clients. We have litigated, mediated and arbitrated numerous cases for insured and self-insured clients involving allegations of dram shop liability, service of alcohol to minors, social host liability, reckless service of alcohol (under Kowal v. Hofher) and negligent supervision of employees and patrons as well as claims involving fraternities and other social organizations. We have also successfully defeated claims of negligent service of alcohol, which are often disguised as negligent supervision claims.

Additionally, we routinely represent clients before the Department of Consumer Protection, Liquor Control Board. The Board regulates the issuing and revoking of licenses, liquor regulatory matters and the levying of fines and penalties.

We defend the owners of establishments and other venues where liquor is sold and served, as well as fraternal and social organizations and private individuals in alcohol-related claims. In recent years, the scope and complexity of potential liability related to alcohol has grown significantly, well beyond the relatively limited exposure and issues presented by dramshop act claims, particularly where underage drinking is involved. Liquor-related claims typically involve deaths or severe injuries, motor vehicle, boat or recreational vehicle accidents or physical and/or sexual assaults. Issues of agency, legal responsibility for the acts of others, criminal and/or civil charges, licensing and regulatory agency actions, apportionment of liability, and the applicability of insurance coverage provisions and exclusions frequently arise. We have the experience and knowledge to recognize and provide sound legal advice to address these issues, and to effectively defend such claims.

Employment Litigation

Halloran & Sage represents employers in the defense of all employment claims, whether based on statutes, contracts or the common law. Our employment litigation practice is distinguished not only by our considerable courtroom experience, but also by our firm's depth of knowledge in related areas of labor and employment law and commercial litigation. By applying our broad understanding of business and the workplace, we have honed sophisticated trial skills that keep us at the forefront of employment litigation.

We defend employers against claims of discrimination, including those arising under federal and state laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act and the Equal Pay Act. We are equally adept at defending employers against common law claims, including lawsuits for breach of contract, wrongful discharge, defamation, invasion of privacy and emotional distress. Our practice includes representation of employers and insurers in workers' compensation disputes.

Employment litigation can be disruptive and costly to a business. The cases we defend range in scope from single claimants to class actions. In every one, our approach is to resolve the matter as quickly and efficiently as possible without compromising our client's best interests. We take a practical approach to employment litigation – an approach that is strengthened by our substantial experience in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies, including the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. We have also established a record of success in resolving employment disputes through alternative dispute resolution procedures such as mediation and arbitration.

Environmental and Land Use Litigation

Litigation in courts and administrative agencies is a hallmark of our environmental practice. We bring to environmental litigation proficiency in the courtroom along with mastery of the complexities of the earth sciences. Because we thoroughly grasp the technical underpinnings of assessment, compliance and remediation, we are better able to help hearing officers, mediators, judges and jurors understand the issues.

Our record of achievement in environmental litigation speaks for itself. We successfully prosecute and defend environmental cost-recovery actions in federal and state court, so that the costs of site investigation and remediation are assessed fairly. In Superfund litigation, we were selected to act as lead joint defense counsel in one of Connecticut's largest cases. In toxic-tort and property damage cases, we advocate for those whose property has been contaminated by others and defend those wrongly accused of causing contamination.

Our practice includes litigation and advocacy before administrative agencies. Our lawyers regularly appear before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and the Connecticut Siting Council.

In environmental litigation, protection of our clients' business and economic interests often leads to a negotiated settlement of a case. When cases do proceed to trial, we are zealous in pursuit of the best outcome. We are equally effective representing our clients' interests at the negotiating table, before a regulatory agency and in the courtroom. Because we practice in this area regularly and know it well, we are able to perform our services efficiently and cost-effectively.

Intellectual Property

Halloran & Sage recognizes the importance of our clients' intellectual property. We understand that trademarks, copyrights, patents, trade secrets and other intellectual property is often a critical part of one's business and marketing strategy, and may serve as a critical component in maintaining a competitive edge. At the same time, we also acknowledge that clients may face competitors who seeks to abuse the intellectual property system to disrupt competitors.

Our intellectual property attorneys are well-versed in handling the ins and outs of these matters. We represent clients in matters arising from disputes relating to trademarks, trade dress, trade secrets, copyrights, and patents. We have a depth of experience in prosecuting and defending claims of trademark and/or trade dress infringement, false advertising, copyright infringement, breach of contract, cybersquatting, dilution, and related claims in a wide range of fields, including in the financial sector, e-commerce, information technology, consumer products, the musical and entertainment industry, firearms-related products, internet usage, and other products and services. We have litigated and provided counsel relating to licensing disputes, technology-related issues, and other forms of state and federal protection. While we do not prosecute patent applications before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, we work with patent counsel to advance our clients' interests, and provide post-issuance services to clients.

Halloran & Sage has the experience to assist in virtually all aspects of intellectual property law. In addition to representing clients during disputes, we regularly file applications for registration of trademarks and copyrights, and have represented clients before the Trademark Trial & Appeals Board. We counsel our clients on their intellectual property issues proactively, whether to avoid taking actions that may cause a dispute; negotiating with a potential adversary to efficiently resolve both parties' concerns; or helping the client to position itself for future disputes. We are well-versed in drafting and negotiating agreements, including licensing, joint venture arrangements confidentiality and non-compete agreements, work-for-hire contracts, and other contracts. When our client becomes embroiled in litigation, where appropriate we will work to negotiate a resolution to protect our client's rights, and preferably ensures that it can fairly and properly advance its business goals.

Medical Malpractice

Threats to career and livelihood, professional liability claims call for superior legal guidance. As experienced leaders in the defense of these claims, we have the skills and knowledge to help professionals achieve the best outcome. We combine in-depth knowledge of the legal nuances of these cases with sensitivity to their financial, professional and personal consequences to achieve the best result under the circumstances. We work closely with our clients to familiarize them with the legal process and ensure that they fully understand the case.

We have extensive experience representing physicians, hospitals, dentists, home health care providers, chiropractors, nursing homes, podiatrists, social workers, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, medical administrators and other health care professionals. We have successfully tried numerous medical malpractice cases to verdict. Confident of our skills, major insurers regularly refer major medical malpractice cases to our attorneys.

Personal Injury

Halloran & Sage’s personal injury practice is focused on representing injured clients in personal claims due to negligence or wrongdoing, wrongful death, motor vehicle accidents, injuries due to defective premises and significant workplace injuries. Halloran & Sage attorneys work proactively facilitating solutions that provide clients with optimal results, either through settlement or litigation.

Premises Liability

Halloran & Sage attorneys have litigated thousands of premises liability cases. The partners and associates who regularly defend premises liability cases have handled virtually every type of premises case imaginable, ranging from slip-and-falls on residential and municipal sidewalks to wrongful death claims as a result of alleged inadequate security at commercial establishments. Premises liability cases represent one of the firm's most active areas in its tort's practice. Matters defended under an insured's homeowners' or commercial policy can include a wide variety of torts and circumstances. As with all of the legal work which Halloran & Sage performs, each case is matched with an attorney who is well-versed in the issues presented so that our representation is efficient and, therefore, cost-effective to our clients. When the circumstances warrant, Halloran & Sage attorneys work with investigators and experts in such fields as engineering, municipal and building code compliance, human factors engineering, and security to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients. Halloran & Sage has the attorneys and the expertise to defend any premises liability or homeowners' liability case, from the simplest to the most complex.

Probate Litigation

Halloran & Sage’s Probate Litigation Group combines our knowledgeable trusts and estates team with our seasoned litigation counsel. Our attorneys represent clients in tax and fiduciary-related matters in Probate Court, Superior Court and the appellate courts in both Connecticut and Massachusetts, as well as in Federal Court and the United States Tax Court.

Our practice spans the gamut of probate matters including Will and Trust construction actions, Will contests, trust litigation, probate appeals and breach of fiduciary duty claims. The breadth of our experience includes the complex litigation of undue influence claims, challenges to fees and commissions, challenges to investment decisions and performance, cy pres and reformation petitions, challenges to and by conservators, guardians and agents acting under powers of attorney, removal and/or surcharge of fiduciaries, issues involving charitable trusts and foundations, valuation disputes and tax audits.

Halloran & Sage represents individuals, families, beneficiaries, executors, trustees, conservators, guardians, nonprofit entities, banks and trust companies. We provide counsel at every step of the process to avoid litigation, where possible, and to protect our client’s interests in court where necessary. In every case Halloran & Sage attorneys are focused on representing our client’s best interest and bringing the matter to a successful conclusion. We recognize that because of the family dynamics involved in most fiduciary-related litigation matters, much more than money is at stake in most cases. Our attorneys will work to find the best resolution, in or out of court, to preserve family relationships as well as the family’s financial interests.

Product Liability & Toxic Tort

Our Product Liability and Toxic Tort Practice is distinguished by its experienced trial attorneys with a proven track record of successful defense through all stages of litigation. We represent product designers, manufacturers, assemblers, distributors, and sellers of every description in cases involving a broad spectrum of products. (See representative products listed below.) At Halloran & Sage, we will effectively and efficiently:

 Determine your company's role in the case
 Secure the evidence and gather the facts for a successful defense.
 Determine if other individuals or organizations owe your company a defense or indemnification and, if so, make the necessary demands and file the required actions.
 Determine if other individuals or organizations should be made parties to the case and, if so, file the necessary actions.
 Find and retain the necessary experts to defend your company.
 Most importantly, creatively and vigorously defend your company throughout the litigation and at trial to win your case.

Our product liability and toxic tort attorneys operate under the philosophy that the best defense requires a proactive approach. Rather than merely respond to theories advanced by attorneys representing the other side or wait for others to "run the case," we immediately take control of the issues in the lawsuit and focus on the approach most likely to be successful in obtaining a cost-effective resolution. Our intricate knowledge of product liability defense leads to consistently successful results for our clients. In the field of product liability law, there is no substitute for experience and knowledge.

In toxic torts, we have successfully defended many companies in personal injury and wrongful death cases alleging exposure to various toxic substances. Our toxic tort experience includes cases involving asbestos, diet products (including fen-phen and Nutri-System), lead paint, medical devices, PCBs, pharmaceuticals (including DES, DTP vaccine, Hormone Replacement Therapy and Rezulin), TDI and other chemicals. In addition to defending product liability cases, we also represent premises owners and insurers.

Our defense experience ranges from single-plaintiff cases to large consolidated actions involving numerous plaintiffs represented by several law firms. Likewise, our experience spans cases in which we represent the sole defendant to ones involving multiple defendants with divergent interests. Our record demonstrates that we consistently manage these complex, multi-party cases to achieve successful results for our clients.

Professional Liability

Threats to career and livelihood, professional liability claims call for superior legal guidance. As experienced leaders in the defense of these claims, we have the skills and knowledge to help professionals achieve the best outcome. We bring in-depth knowledge of the legal nuances of these cases, while remaining always sensitive to their financial, professional and personal consequences. We work closely with our clients to familiarize them with the legal process and ensure that they fully understand the case.

Our experience includes:

Design professionals. In design cases ranging from slip-and-fall claims to complex commercial construction disputes, our record of success speaks for itself. We are thoroughly experienced in the legal issues, but also in the technical aspects of construction, from pre-design through final completion. In fact, several of our attorneys have educational and career backgrounds in architecture and engineering. 

Directors and officers. We represent directors and officers in disputes involving all aspects of corporate decision-making. We defend shareholder and derivative claims involving allegations such as breach of fiduciary duty, federal and state securities violations, due diligence, mergers and acquisitions, and general business affairs. Our defense is strengthened by our ability to tap the knowledge of our corporate and insurance attorneys, who are experts in advising corporate clients on these issues.

Legal professionals. We defend legal malpractice lawsuits arising from all practice areas, including litigation, family law, wills and estates, business transactions, and intellectual property. We also represent attorneys in grievance proceedings and in suits by non-clients alleging vexatious litigation, abuse of process and similar claims. Our clients include law firms sued as the result of a lawyer's defalcation.

In addition to defending these cases, we counsel professionals on risk management, helping them avoid or minimize problems before they occur. Our expertise enables us to analyze the professional's practice and recommend preventive measures.

Professional Licensure Defense

Our health care attorneys represent clients in regulatory and licensure matters at all levels of governmental involvement. We defend clients whose professional licenses are at risk or who have become the subject of an administrative investigation. We work with clients to create new, or improve existing, internal compliance programs before regulatory issues arise and we prepare appropriate responses to administrative inquiries and investigations.

Our attorneys have extensive experience defending health care professionals at hearings before medical and nursing boards, The Department of Public Health, The Department of Consumer Protection and in court. Their experience as litigators at all levels of federal and state courts provides an invaluable asset to clients needing regulatory and licensure representation.

Tax Assessment/Collection & Appeal

Our municipal attorneys have extensive experience in the defense of tax assessment appeals and in pursuing collection actions against delinquent taxpayers, delinquent water and sewer authority account holders, and in the foreclosure of blight liens. Halloran & Sage has the advantage of drawing on the combined experience of lawyers in our litigation, bankruptcy, tax and appellate practices when assisting a municipal client with a tax assessment appeal or collection matter.

Halloran & Sage has a reputation for successfully representing our clients in a cost-effective manner. Moreover, we believe in taking a proactive approach that emphasizes negotiation and cooperation where possible but aggressive litigation when necessary.

Trucking & Transportation

Halloran & Sage represents trucking and transportation companies throughout the industry, including national, regional and local self-insured trucking companies, as well as less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers, parcel express companies and household goods movers. We have particular strength in defending these companies in accident litigation, including cases involving catastrophic injury and wrongful death. We also provide transportation companies with legal counsel on matters involving federal regulatory compliance, cargo claims, driver error, negligent hire, driver fatigue and log book issues, logo/placard liability, breach of contract, agency disputes, hazardous materials, workers' compensation, labor and employment, insurance coverage and development of truck terminals.

We are highly skilled in defending litigation involving maintenance problems mechanical defects and product-liability issues. We represent trucking and transportation clients in all phases of litigation in federal and state courts. We also counsel trucking and transportation clients on risk management, helping them implement measures to avoid liability and litigation.

Our representation of these companies is strengthened by our ability to draw upon our firm's broad base of knowledge and expertise. In working with trucking and transportation clients, we regularly consult with lawyers within our firm who concentrate on insurance law, labor and employment, environment and land use, business and commercial Law and appellate advocacy.

As leaders in trucking and transportation defense litigation and trial work we are on the steering committee of the Transportation Practice Group of the American Law Firm Association (ALFA). We are active members in the American Trucking Association (ATA) and the Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA). Our attorneys regularly publish articles analyzing the significant and evolving legal issues that affect the trucking and transportation industry.

Workers’ Compensation

The Workers' Compensation Practice Group at Halloran & Sage is comprised of attorneys with extensive experience representing self-insured employers, insurance companies, and third-party administrators before commissioners in each of the eight districts of the Workers' Compensation Commission of Connecticut. The firm's clients range from nationally recognized Fortune 500 companies to municipalities and small businesses throughout Connecticut. Representation of clients extends to the appellate level, with appearances before the Compensation Review Board, Appellate Court of Connecticut, and Supreme Court of Connecticut.

We have the ability to handle all claims, ranging from basic compensability disputes to defending discrimination actions. Our representation can begin at any stage of the litigation, and continues through the appellate and/or subrogation proceedings associated with the claim. Members of the Workers' Compensation group are well-respected practitioners within the workers' compensation forum, have served as panelists on continuing legal education programs, and have been published contributors to the Connecticut Bar Association's workers' compensation magazine, Compensation Quarterly.

Halloran & Sage wants its workers' compensation clients to be more than satisfied with the representation that we provide. In addition to the handling of active claims, we gladly provide answers or advisory opinions to general questions on Connecticut workers' compensation laws. Additionally, we make efforts to regularly meet with our clients to provide presentations and training in Connecticut workers' compensation law, as well as to enhance the attorney/client relationship.