Dispute resolution
Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider

With offices in New York, Washington, DC, Hartford, Connecticut and San Francisco, Axinn maintains a special focus on litigation, particularly in the antitrust and intellectual property spaces. One appreciative client addresses the firm as “excellent, very accessible, responsive and reasonably priced.” This client goes on to note that “Axinn is also more diverse than most IP firms. ‘More diverse’ meaning not all white men and women.”
     In the firm’s Hartford office, Matthew Becker represented Alvogen Pine Brook in patent infringement litigation brought by plaintiffs concerning Alvogen’s ANDA submitted to FDA for approval of its Budesonide Extended-Release Tablets, which was marketed by Santarus and now plaintiff Valeant Pharmaceuticals under the name UCERIS, a corticosteroid medicine used to treat mild to moderate ulcerative colitis. In May 2017, a trial was held in Wilmington, Delaware. At the close of plaintiffs’ case-in-chief, Becker moved for judgment of non-infringement, which was granted, ending the case with a judgment in Alvogen’s favor in November 2017. The plaintiffs appealed that judgment. Oral arguments in the appeal were held in January 2019, and the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision that same month. The case was dismissed pursuant to a settlement on favorable terms in August 2019. Becker also, along with fellow Hartford partners Chad Landmon and Ted Mathias, represented this same client in a case regarding patents related to Pernix hydrocodone extended-release capsules, Zohydro. This case went to appeal at the Federal Circuit, which affirmed the lower court’s decision in December 2019. Landmon represented Zydus Pharmaceuticals and Cadila Healthcare in a Hatch-Waxman patent infringement action brought by Millennium Pharmaceuticals. The litigation involved the drug bortezomib, which is marketed under the Velcade. The patent at issue had previously been found valid by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, but Axinn developed a unique obviousness argument and aggressively litigated the case, leading to a favorable settlement on the eve of trial.  

Wiggin and Dana

Wiggin and Dana 

The litigation group’s potency at full-service firmWiggin and Dana is largely concentrated within its principal network of Connecticut offices in New Haven, Westport, Stamford, Hartford, Madison and Greenwich, which it hosts in tandem with a nexus of satellite offices in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and West Palm Beach. A particular client, retaining the firm’s widely celebrated labor and employment services for over a decade, notes the “responsiveness and thorough expertise” of its practitioners.

     New Haven’s Jonathan Freiman continues to be among the most active of Wiggin and Dana’s litigators, boasting a diverse commercial trial and appellate practice withdistinctive additionalmuseum and art law expertise. In addition to representing Yale University on a variety of recent and ongoing matters, Freiman currently serves as lead counsel to the higher education powerhouse in a suit brought by Yale Law School students in relation to the publication by a classmate of a dossier detailing allegations that the plaintiffs had attended dinner parties with several federal judges hosted in the home of Yale Law professor Amy Chua, in direct violation of an agreement with Yaleby Chua not to host students in her home due to numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against her husband, a fellow Yale Law professorwho is currently on leave. Plaintiffs filed suit against Yale alleging that, after denying the allegations of attendance, they were pressured by the university to confirm them and were subsequently “blackballed” by Yale from prestigious federal clerkship and fellowship opportunities. Plaintiffs also allege that Yale holds a “vendetta” against Chua as a result of her public endorsement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The matter raises novel questions as to whether law school professors and administrators are permitted to discuss students’ candor as they apply for fellowship positions within the law school. 

     Kim Rinehart, also of New Haven, joins Freiman at the helm of another matter on which the firm serves as lead counsel for Yale, a putative class action brought by astudent on the behalf of all students of Yale’s 14 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. The matter, one in a recent spate of several similar proceedings in jurisdictions nationwide, concernsa claim of unjust enrichment and promissory estoppel violations as to the university’s COVID-19 remote learning transition. Rinehart and Freiman, following their obtainment of a ruling granting Yale’s motion to dismiss, currently argue an amendment complaint from the plaintiff.  

     Newly recognized by Benchmark as a litigation star, white-collar, securities, and complex commercial practitioner Robert Hoff of the firm’s Stamford office is described by clients as a “first class” selection of counsel at every phase of litigation, particularly in banking and financial services disputes. Hoff remains involved in the firm’s representation of Epic Games, spearheaded by antitrust and consumer protection co-chair Benjamin Diessel, in the video game developer’s ongoing and high-exposure antitrust suit against Apple.  

     In Hartford, appellate specialist and education co-chair Aaron Bayer recently achieved an appellate victory before the Connecticut Supreme Courton behalf of Wesleyan University in a dispute with the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity and Kent Literary Club, its alumni organization. DKE and Kent filed suit against Wesleyan when the university terminated the fraternity’s agreement allowing it to house students, as a result of DKE’s failure to adhere to a new policy announced by Wesleyanmandating that all fraternity groups transition to co-educational status within a period of two years. Bringing claims that Wesleyan at which point the university was being represented by another firm - had committed common law torts and violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices ActDKE and Kent were granted a jury victory entitling them to $386,000 and a mandatory injunction compelling Wesleyan to re-enter contract with DKE allowing it to house students. After retaining Bayer and the Wiggin and Dana team, the decision was reversed and the injunction vacated by the Connecticut Supreme Court. The court also remandedfor further proceedings consistent with its detailed decision, greatly restricting theplaintiffs’ potential access to recovery in a new trial and barring the future possibility of an equivalent mandatory injunction. On remand, favorable settlement was negotiated by Rinehartand Timothy Diemand 

     Meanwhile, back in New Haven, Wiggin and Dana litigation chair James Glasser is currently representing State Senator Dennis Bradley as lead defense counsel in a federal trial addressing whether an office party hosted by Senator Bradley, during which he announced his intentions to run, qualifies as a campaign event. The State Senator faces charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud as a result of his failure to disclose costs associated with the party as he earlier filed for Connecticut Citizen’s Election Program funding. 

Labor and employment
Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey

Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey maintains a robust labor and employment practice that remains highly active in litigation. The firm’s lawyers in the practice are recognized for their strong reputation in the state. The practice represents both public and private employers that vary in size and industry.
Giovanna Tiberii Weller has a significant reputation as one of the state’s top labor and employment litigators. Serving as the co-leader the litigation department and the co-chair of the labor and employment group, she maintains a practice is almost entirely dedicated to employment litigation. Her most recent clients have been in the banking and finance and higher education sectors; however, her experience includes handling matters for clients in a wide variety of industries. Sarah Healey is noted for her significant wins for clients over the last year. In an eight-year- long case, Healey argued the motion for attorney’s fees and costs, which the court granted and awarded the client over $2.2 million, bringing the case to a successful end. In another victory, Healey obtained a summary judgement on behalf of Bridgeport Hospital in a case that involved an eight-count complaint filed by the plaintiff.

Pullman & Comley

Pullman & Comley is a full-service firm with five offices serving the state of Connecticut The firm has a strong reputation in litigation, including a solid labor and employment practice. A local peer gives credence to this: “Pullman is really good. I think they’re solid.” Employment litigation at the firm involves all types of claims, as well as single-plaintiff and multi-plaintiff disputes. Joshua Hawks-Ladds is co-chair of the labor, employment law and employee benefits department at the firm. Over the last year, he has assisted several clients in litigation regarding terminations of high-level management. He represented a major social media company following the termination of its CFO as well as a major hedge fund in the termination of its CEO. In addition to private clients, he also recently assisted a police department that terminated an officer for violations.