Laura Pascale Zaino: Lawyer with Halloran & Sage LLP

Laura Pascale Zaino

Partner
Hartford,  CT  U.S.A.
Phone860-297-4667

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Experience & Credentials
 

Practice Areas

  • Appellate
  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution
 
University Wheaton College, B.A., Political Science, magna cum laude, 1991
 
Law SchoolUniversity of Connecticut School of Law, J.D., 1996
 
Admitted1996, Connecticut; 1998, District of Connecticut; 2006, 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
 
Memberships 

Associations

Connecticut Bar Association
CBA-YLS Appellate Practice
Committee (Past Co-chair)

 
BornNew Haven, Connecticut, November 23, 1969
 
Biography

Laura Zaino is an appellate and trial advocate whose experience spans a broad range of practice areas. She represents individual and corporate clients in both state and federal court throughout all stages of the litigation process.

As a member of the firm's appellate practice group, Laura has handled a wide variety of appeals, including million dollar contract disputes, property boundary disputes, municipal liability and taxation issues, professional malpractice claims, foreclosure and personal injury matters. Laura also works closely with and assists trial counsel with preserving issues and perfecting the trial record for appeal.

Laura's trial practice includes the defense of personal injury, professional liability, premises liability and automobile claims. She also prosecutes and defends subrogation claims.

Laura is a member of the CBA and has served as the co-chair of the CBA's Young Lawyer's Section's Appellate Practice Committee.

Publication
Don't Strike Out: Preserving Appellate Rights After a Motion to Strike
Occam's Razor Appellate Law Update, 04/02/2004

News/Events
Laura Zaino Joining UCONN Law's Moot Court Program Faculty

 
Reported CasesRepresentative Matter: CT Appellate Court Overturns Dismissal in Foreclosure Case and Bolsters Law Relating to Requirements of Legal Standing; In Deustche Bank National Trust Company, Trustee, v. Elizabeth Torres, the Connecticut Appellate Court dealt another blow to the attempts of borrowers to tighten the requirements of legal standing for a foreclosure action. In a decision officially released on March 25, 2014, the Appellate Court made clear that that a lender's mere allegation of holder status, together with production of the original note, was sufficient to constitute legal standing in the absence of any evidence presented to the contrary and in accord with the well-established line of Connecticut caselaw culminating in RMS Residential Properties, LLC v. Anna Miller, 303 Conn. 224 (2011). While the decision does not appear to fundamentally alter the status of Connecticut law, its release more than two years after RMS seems to be another sign of the strength and clarity of Connecticut's treatment of these issues.H & S Secures Reversal on Municipal Tax Ruling; In Gene Kasica v. Town of Columbia, SC 18968, Halloran & Sage (Laura Pascale Zaino and Michael Collins), on behalf of the Town of Columbia (the Town), secured a reversal by the Connecticut Supreme Court of a trial court judgment holding that municipal assessors did not have authority to tax partially completed construction. The plaintiff had challenged the Town of Columbia's assessor's valuations of his partially constructed, three story, plantation-style house for the 2008 and 2009 grand lists. In 2008, the assessor determined that construction was 35% complete and adjusted the property's assessment on the 2008 grand list to reflect that. In 2009, the assessor determined that construction was 40% complete and adjusted the property's assessment on the 2009 grand list to reflect that. The plaintiff appealed those valuations to the trial court. The trial court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, holding that the assessor could not legally increase the assessed value of the property based solely on the new construction because interim assessments are governed by 12-53a.... The trial court concluded that that statute governed the assessments at issue and held that [b]ecause an interim assessment under 12-53a (a) cannot commence until after new construction is completed, the assessor acted outside of [her] statutory mandate by performing an interim assessment when the property was [incomplete]. In reaching this conclusion, the trial court rejected the Town's argument that Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-55 governed the analysis and afforded the assessor with the authority to tax the partially completed construction. On appeal, the Town argued that the assessor had the authority to tax partially completed construction pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-55. The Town also argued that the trial court improperly applied Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-53a to the facts of this case because 12-53a only applied to completed new construction. The Supreme Court agreed with the Town and reversed the trial court judgment. In doing so, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the conclusion it reached in 84 Century Ltd. Partnership v. Board of Tax Review, 207 Conn. 250, 262 (1988) that 12-55 provides assessors with broad authority to conduct interim assessments of real property and further determined, as a question of first impression, that that authority extends to taxing partially completed construction. It found support for this conclusion in the statutory scheme governing the taxation of real property in Connecticut which provides, among other things, that all improvements to building lots are taxable. Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-64. The partially completed construction improved the plaintiff's building lot and was, therefore, taxable. The Supreme Court rejected the plaintiff's argument, which echoed the trial court's determination, that Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-53a governed the analysis. Instead, it agreed with the Town that 12-53a was strictly limited to assessing and taxing completed new construction and that because the construction at issue was only partially completed at the time of the assessments, it had no bearing on the facts of this case. In sum, the Supreme Court has confirmed that partially completed construction is, and always has been, taxable in Connecticut. This important holding confirms the propriety of a longstanding practice by municipal assessors throughout the state to tax partially completed construction, as well as the income municipalities have generated by their doing so.H & S Secures Judgment for State Marshal; In Hill v. Ocwen Financial Group, et al, FST CV126013409S (May 21, 2013), the plaintiffs alleged that they were wrongfully evicted. They claimed that there was a bankruptcy stay in place which should have prevented the eviction, that certain personal belongings were destroyed, lost or stolen during the eviction and that they suffered emotional harm. They charged various lending institutions and the state marshal who executed the eviction with negligence, trespass, negligent infliction of emotional distress, punitive damages, and CUTPA violations. Halloran & Sage (H&S), represented by Laura Pascale Zaino and Rachel Fain, vigorously responded with a comprehensive motion to strike the entire Complaint against the marshal. Relying primarily on Connecticut General Statute 6-38a(b), which protects marshals from liability for negligence and trespass in performing their duties, H&S challenged all of the counts on grounds that, despite how they were titled, each sounded in negligence and/or trespass. H&S also argued, among other things, that there is no cause of action for punitive damages.; The trial court (Adams, J.) agreed that Connecticut General Statute 6-38a(b) was dispositive of the negligence, trespass, negligent infliction of emotional distress and CUTPA claims and granted the motion to strike those counts. The trial court also agreed that there is no cause of action for punitive damages but concluded the allegations in that count could be construed to state a claim for reckless conduct. As such, the court denied the motion to strike that count. Undeterred, H&S moved for and secured judgment on the stricken counts, answered the Complaint and raised a statute of limitations defense. H&S then moved for summary judgment on grounds that the plaintiffs' action was not commenced within the two year statute of limitations set forth in Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-584. The plaintiffs had alleged that the eviction occurred on March 26, 2009. The marshal maintained that the eviction occurred on February 25, 2010. The Complaint was dated March 26, 2012 and served on the marshal on March 30, 2012. Thus, regardless of whether the eviction occurred on March 26, 2009 or February 25, 2010, the action was not commenced within two years thereof. The trial court (Povodator, J.) agreed, granted the motion and disposed of the sole remaining claim against the marshal. 1The marshal argued that the emotional distress claims were not directed toward him.2In doing so, he recognized the marshal's argument that the NIED allegations were not directed to him and noted that [t]o the extent Freedman is a target, the claims of negligence must fail.3At oral argument, plaintiffs' counsel conceded that the March 26, 2009 date was probably inaccurate. However, he did not confirm that February 25, 2010 date the marshal espoused and attempted to establish through the submission of evidence was correct. The trial court did not resolve this apparent conflict because it did not have to. Willamette Management Associates, Inc. v. Palczynski; Halloran & Sage represented the plaintiff in a breach of contract action against the defendant and secured a judgment in the plaintiff's favor following a hearing in damages. The defendant appealed and the Appellate Court affirmed the judgment. The defendant's first argument was procedural. The plaintiff had filed an amended complaint at the direction of the court after discovering a scrivener's error regarding the return date. The defendant, who had been defaulted for failure to plead to that point, attempted to file an answer which the trial court refused. On appeal, she argued that the amendment conferred upon her the right to plead, notwithstanding the default. The Appellate Court disagreed because the amendment served merely to correct the return date. The defendant's second argument related to the propriety of the trial court's enforcement of the original contract between the parties, as opposed to a second agreement drafted after the defendant had breached the original. The defendant argued that the second agreement was the only enforceable agreement because of its complete integration clause stating that it superseded any prior writings. The Appellate Court disagreed, finding the subsequent agreement was not supported by consideration because it was nothing more than a promise to do something the promisor was already legally obligated to do. The plaintiff, a purchaser of land, brought a claim for negligent misrepresentation against the sellers and their agent... Sawicki v. New Britain General Hosp.; This certified appeal involved juror misconduct and the need for a new trial when the record supported conclusion that it was probable that one or more jurors viewed the evidence in an unfair and prejudicial manner.Successful Outcome/ Representative Reported Decision: Picco et al. v. Town of Voluntown, et al, Conn.(2010); The first named plaintiff claimed to have been injured after a portion of a tree fell on top of her while she was watching a soccer game at a field she claimed was owned, maintained and/or controlled by the town of Voluntown and/or its Board of Education. As such, she, her husband and two children brought a lawsuit against the town of Voluntown and certain named town officials and the Board of Education of the town of Voluntown and certain named board officials. The seventy count complaint purported to state claims sounding in negligence, nuisance, loss of consortium and bystander emotional distress. Halloran & Sage represented the town and its officials. At the trial court level, Halloran & Sage moved to strike all of the plaintiffs' claims against the town, asserting that they were barred by the doctrine of governmental immunity. At oral argument before the trial court, the plaintiffs conceded that the motion to strike should be granted on all counts except those alleging nuisance. Thereafter, the trial court concluded that the nuisance claims were likewise barred because the plaintiffs did not allege any facts indicating that the town, by any positive act, created the alleged nuisance. The trial court entered judgment accordingly. The plaintiffs then appealed and, after transferring the case to itself, the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's judgment. In doing so, it analyzed and interpreted the language of Connecticut General Statute 52-557n(a)(1)(c), a section of the statute it had not previously had occasion to review. The Connecticut Supreme Court specifically concluded that the plain language of that section clearly and unambiguously precludes liability in nuisance against a municipal defendant unless the alleged nuisance was created by a positive act of the defendant. Thus, the plaintiffs' failure to allege any positive act of creation in relation to their claims was fatally defective. Decorso v. Calderaro; The plaintiff, a commercial tenant under a lease, brought an action against her landlord, the attorney who represented the landlord and a state marshal, regarding the execution of an eviction. Halloran & Sage represented the marshal and obtained a summary judgment in his favor in the trial court which the plaintiff then appealed. The Appellate Court affirmed the trial court's judgment. Procedurally, the Court ruled that where a plaintiff does not replead a stricken count of a complaint and later proceedings dispose of the action, the court has jurisdiction over the appeal. Substantively, the Court ruled that there was no stay of execution in place when the plaintiff appealed from the judgment of possession. Latex Foam Intern. Holdings, Inc. v. Richard N. Goldman & Co., 2007 WL 447916 (Conn. Super. Ct. January 26, 2007)(Langenbach, J.); The Superior Court, Complex Litigation Docket, granted summary judgment on all claims against the defendant, an insurance brokerage company which had provided a limited inspection service for the purpose of determining whether the insured, a large latex foam mattress manufacturer, could lower its property insurance premiums by upgrading the building's existing sprinkler system. After the factory suffered a $38 million fire loss, the property insurance carriers who paid the loss brought subrogation claims against the brokerage company and inspector, alleging that they failed to instruct the insured to install fire sprinklers internally in the mattress dryer. The Court held that the broker had no legal duty to make such recommendations, and dismissed all claims, including negligence and contract claims. Hanks v. Powder Ridge Restaurant Corp., 276 Conn. 314, 885 A.2d 734 (2005); The plaintiff was injured while snowtubing at the defendant's facility. Before he was allowed to participate, he signed a release and waiver agreement exculpating the defendant for liability from any and all claims, including those involving the defendant's own negligence. The Supreme Court held, in a divided en banc opinion, that although the release was properly drafted, it was not enforceable because it violated public policy. Kramer v. Petisi, 91 Conn. App. 26, 879 A.2d 526 (2005); The plaintiff, a purchaser of land, brought a claim for negligent misrepresentation against the sellers and their agent, predicated on her claim that they negligently misrepresented the property boundaries. The plaintiff, however, did not obtain a survey of the land despite the advice to do so. The Appellate Court upheld a jury verdict in favor of the defendents, concluding that the failre to obtain a survey property formed the basis for a comparative negligence defense to the claim of negligent misrepresentation. Bloom v. Gershon, 271 Conn. 96, 856 A.2d 335 (2004); This case involved a procedural question - The Connecticut Supreme Court determined that the claims commissioner does not have jurisdiction to waive the State's sovereign immunity and grant a claimant permission to file apportionment complaint. Lostritto v. Community Action Agency of New Haven, Inc., 269 Conn. 10, 848 A.2d 418 (2004); This case resolved a longstanding procedural question regarding apportionment complaints. Although we lost, it is still significant. Supreme Court decided the 120 day provision for filing apportionment complaints is mandatory, not directory. Weigold v. Patel, 81 Conn. App. 347, 840 A.2d 19, cert. denied 268 Conn. 918, 847 A.2d 314 (2004); The plaintiff's decedent was killed in an automobile accident caused by a psychiatric patient who fell asleep at the wheel. The plaintiff alleged that the medication prescribed to the patient caused her to fall asleep. The Connecticut Appellate Court held that a psychiatrist owes no duty of care to the public to warn a patient of the danger of operating a motor vehicle while taking medication.
 
ISLN911879818
 
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Office Information

Laura Pascale Zaino

225 Asylum Street
HartfordCT 06103




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