Estate Planning and Probate

Simon J. Brighenti, Jr.

OF COUNSEL Simon J. Brighenti, Jr. has been working with clients in the areas of land use, zoning and residential and commercial real estate in Massachusetts and Connecticut for more than 20 years.  Over much of the last decade, he also has significant experience in telecommunications law, both as a land use consultant prior to joining O’Connell, Attmore & Morris and since joining the firm in representing a large national PCS carrier and smaller telecom entrepreneurs.  He recently became licensed to practice law in the state of Rhode Island, expanding the firm's presence in southern New England. As a telecommunication land use consultant, Attorney Brighenti achieved a success rate in obtaining zoning relief in excess of 95% in municipalities throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. Attorney Brighenti was instrumental in bringing initial wireless service to many Massachusetts towns, including several in the Berkshire Hills.  He has also served as a consultant to various municipalities in revising their telecommunications ordinances. (The outcome of any particular hearing, does, of course, depend on a variety of factors unique to each case and past case results cannot guarantee or predict the outcome of any future matter undertaken.) In addition to his telecommunications work, Attorney Brighenti has handled hundreds of residential and commercial closings and has examined well over a thousand land titles.  Due to his wide range of experience, he is able to offer a truly comprehensive closing service. He is knowledgeable in the details of title evaluation and is often consulted by other attorneys and [...]

Dennis R. LaVette

PARTNER Dennis R. LaVette has practiced law in the State of Connecticut for more than 25 years. The bulk of his practice is comprised of residential and commercial real estate transactions with an emphasis in mortgaging, financing, and title matters. He also practices in the areas of probate, wills and estate planning. Attorney LaVette is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, its Real Property Committee, and the Hartford County Bar Association. He has served on the CBA's Real Property Section Subcommittee on Closing Customs. He was formerly a member of the Closing Committee of the Connecticut Mortgage Bankers Association. He is a frequent lecturer on residential real estate matters for Real Estate Agents and The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority First Time Home Buyers Program. Attorney LaVette earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in General Biology and History from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. He was awarded a Juris Doctor Degree from the DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. Upon graduation, Attorney LaVette returned to the Hartford area. He was a partner at Green & Kleinman prior to becoming a partner at O’Connell, Attmore & Morris. Attorney LaVette has been active in community affairs as the Chairman of the Berlin Historic District Commission, a former member and officer of the New Britain Chapter of Unico International and as an active member of St. Paul Church. He has served as Chairman of the Finance Council of the St. Paul Church, Kensington, Connecticut and as Chairman of the Parish Council. He was [...]

Adam D. Lewis

PARTNER Adam D. Lewis practices in the Real Estate Foreclosure and Bankruptcy practice areas. He has extensive experience in all areas of judicial and non-judicial foreclosures, as he has represented loan servicers and institutional clients in both Massachusetts and Connecticut foreclosure matters. Beyond foreclosures, Attorney Lewis litigates evictions, resolves title issues, and protects client interests in bankruptcy proceedings. Prior to joining O’Connell, Attmore & Morris, he represented loan servicers and banks at a mid-sized real estate firm in Connecticut.

Michael D. O’Connell

PARTNER Michael D. O’Connell has litigated a broad range of complex issues throughout the U.S., in cases dealing with complex commercial transactions, claims of bad faith and unfair trade practices, employment issues, bankruptcy, construction  accidents and virtually every other type of matter that might land at the doorstep of his business and insurance clients. He has served as national coordinating counsel for clients with significant product liability exposure, including asbestos products, tire and automotive products, and construction machinery. He has extensive experience in dealing with environmental issues, both in the construction litigation context and in real estate development.  He has relations with a broad range of experts, whether technical, financial or otherwise, who can come to the aid of his clients in the litigation context.  He has handled insurance defense work for multiple property and casualty liability insurers ever since he began the practice of law. He has extensive experience in Intellectual Property Law, including trademarks, service marks and copyrights, as well as patent law litigation. On the local level, his practice provides a link between the litigation arena and the real estate, insurance and commercial practices. He has been instrumental in closing commercial deals involving the purchase and sale of movie theaters, radio stations, restaurants and the like. He has extensive experience in real estate development, including the regulatory processes. He has served as outside counsel for  both title insurers and liability insurers, underscoring his understanding of the transactional side of the equation as well as the litigation scene. [...]

Claudia M. Sklar

PARTNER Claudia M. Sklar has been actively engaged in the litigation of general civil and commercial matters, with an emphasis on creditors' rights including commercial and residential foreclosures, commercial law, and title insurance litigation for over 30 years.  Her practice also includes residential and commercial real estate, commercial leasing, landlord/tenant litigation, commercial financing, loan workouts, bankruptcy, debt restructuring, eviction, general business matters, as well as domestic relations and family law.  Supported by a highly qualified team of attorneys and professional staff, Attorney Sklar prides herself on providing both individual and institutional clients with the personal attention and responsiveness that they deserve.  Ever mindful of keeping up to date with legal developments and approaches, Attorney Sklar successfully completed the mediation skills training program at the Quinnipiac University School of Law Center on Dispute Resolution. Another major focus of Attorney Sklar's practice centers around protecting and preserving the rights of same sex couples, LGBT clients and their families.  Attorney Sklar and various other members of the firm bring an empathic perspective to the planning required to be sure that a client’s life decisions are properly documented.   Recognizing the ever-changing landscape of the law with regard to members of the LGBT community, Attorney Sklar draws upon her broad-ranging background and experience to assist individuals and same-sex couples and their families on all legal issues, including:  Co-parent and second parent adoptions for same-sex couples  Custody  Estate planning, including wills and trusts; probate matters between unmarried couple  Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements  Co-habitation agreements  Powers of [...]