Litigation

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 M. Carnelli

ATTORNEY Attorney Dennis M. Carnelli is an associate in the firm’s Insurance Law, Litigation, and Appellate Advocacy practice groups. His work encompasses a broad array of civil and appellate matters. He joined the firm after serving as a law clerk to Justice Barry R. Schaller and Judge Paul M. Foti at the Connecticut Appellate Court. A combat veteran of the Iraq War, Mr. Carnelli’s practice is founded upon efficient, proactive, and objective-oriented representation. Mr. Carnelli graduated with honors from Western New England University School of Law, where he was a member and later Note Editor of the Western New England Law Review. He received CALI Awards for Excellence in Civil Procedure and Business Organizations, and the Benjamin D. Novak Award for the best student-written publication from the law school faculty. Wounded Warriors and Due Process: The Cushman v. Shinseki Analogy, 35 Western New England Law Review 161 (2013). He also was selected to represent his law school in the National Transactional Law Meet, where he honed his advocacy skills and, along with his colleague, won the Northeast Regional Competition. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Carnelli served in the United States Army as a forward observer. He was assigned to the 3d Brigade Combat Team, 3d Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Georgia. He deployed to Iraq with the 3d Brigade between 2007 and 2008, as part of a broader strategy that is colloquially known as “the surge.” Following his honorable discharge from active service, Mr. Carnelli engaged in volunteer work for [...]

Robert B. Flynn

PARTNER Robert B. Flynn provides advice to sophisticated business clients about their rights and liabilities, and represents those clients in Federal and State Courts and in arbitration and administrative proceedings. His practice areas include commercial litigation, environmental liability, and insurance-related litigation including coverage and professional liability defense. He has tried cases before Federal and State Courts in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. Attorney Flynn's commercial litigation experience includes court actions, arbitration and negotiations of claims under contracts, common law, and statutes, including the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, Trade Secrets Act, Franchise Act, and statutes governing corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships.  He regularly provides advice to business clients about risk management and dispute resolution. His environmental litigation experience includes claims and defenses under Federal and State laws.  He works closely with environmental engineers to define the type, extent and cause of contamination to develop and support his clients' claims and defenses. He works to recover or to minimize for his clients the extraordinary costs often associated with environmental contamination.  In addition, he provides advice to clients considering development of former industrial sites to minimize or eliminate liability for environmental issues caused by prior owners or operators. As a member of the Insurance Litigation team, Attorney Flynn frequently defends complex professional liability claims against businesses, non-profit agencies, homeowners’ associations and property management companies. These claims are often brought against Directors & Officers (D&O) of an entity alleging negligence or breach of fiduciary duty in the performance of their responsibilities. Whether [...]

Randall M. Hayes

PARTNER Randall M. Hayes is a trial attorney who focuses on the defense of municipal liability, premises liability, contractor liability, professional liability (E&O and D&O), and product liability cases. Attorney Hayes represents clients, including self-insured corporations and municipalities, in both state and federal district courts. He has extensive experience in the defense of attorney, accountant, insurance broker, and architectural malpractice cases and has tried notable complex professional liability cases to verdict.  His reported Connecticut Appellate Court decision of Pearl v. Nelson, 13 Conn. App. 170, established historical precedent for the requirement of expert testimony in a legal malpractice action. In his civil defense practice, he actively represents and counsels insurance carriers and self-insured corporations in the alternate dispute resolution process including arbitrations and mediations.  In addition, he has been frequently asked to serve as both a mediator and arbitrator in alternate dispute resolution proceedings.  Attorney Hayes recognizes the importance of achieving cost-effective resolutions and works very closely with clients in developing appropriate legal strategies designed to achieve the client’s litigation goals. Attorney Hayes joined O'Connell, Attmore & Morris after 30 years of practice with Skelley Rottner P.C. where he served as managing partner from 1998-2007.  Attorney Hayes’ past civic and professional involvement includes service on the Board of Trustees for the Metropolitan YMCA of Greater Hartford and also as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the West Hartford YMCA.  He is a former member of the Board of Directors for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Hartford.  He [...]

Anthony M. Maio

ATTORNEY Anthony M. Maio has over twenty years of experience in the practice of law, concentrating on residential real estate and civil litigation.  Attorney Maio has extensive experience in the court rooms of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and has successfully litigated matters at the trial court and appellate court levels.  Given his vast experience, he is well versed in Massachusetts residential real estate, foreclosure and landlord tenant law.  His practice includes trials and appeals in these areas. Attorney Maio’s work includes servicing the legal needs of both corporations and individuals, from drafting a simple will to complex litigation involving multiple parties and issues.  He has conducted and prevailed in civil suits dealing with personal injury and tort, business, real estate, family law and housing matters. On the appellate level, Attorney Maio was instrumental in changing the landscape of the law in Massachusetts for the tort of intentional interference with a contract and with business relations as it applies to an attorney-client relationship.  See Cavicchi v. Koski et al, 67 Mass. App. Ct. 654 (2006). Attorney Maio has litigated cases resulting in multiple reported decisions and favorable opinions in the Massachusetts Housing, Superior and Appeals Courts.  He also successfully represented multiple families in an environmental action involving idle bus motor emissions and respiratory injuries to local families. Over the course of his career, he has successfully obtained many favorable settlements for clients in cases brought to mediation or arbitration. During law school, Anthony Maio served as a judicial law clerk for [...]

Susan L. Miller

PARTNER Attorney Miller maintains an active and diverse trial practice handling a variety of matters including but not limited to, bad faith, insurance coverage claims, product liability, personal injury, premises liability, automobile and asbestos claims.  Her clients include insurance companies, third party administrators, self-insureds and corporations. In recognition of her skill, integrity and extensive trial experience, she was nominated and elected to the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).  ABOTA is a national association of experienced trial attorneys that requires its members to be responsible for elevating the standards of integrity, honor, ethics, civility and courtesy in the legal profession. She has also been elected to the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel. During her career, Ms. Miller has had considerable experience as a general practitioner handling real estate transactions, probate, landlord and tenant disputes and general corporate matters.  Ms. Miller prepares and defends civil litigation matters involving personal injury, product liability, professional liability, coverage disputes, bad faith, uninsured motorist, sick building, and toxic waste cases. Ms. Miller tries cases in both the State and Federal Courts.  She has taken and argued appeals in both the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme  Courts, and has numerous reported decisions, particularly in the area of insurance law.  She also represents lawyers before the Grievance Committee. Attorney Miller was appointed by the Presiding Judge for the Judicial District of Middlesex to serve as an alternate in the Local Grievance Panel for two terms from 2007 to 2013.   Attorney Miller was invited by the Honorable [...]

Diane C. Mokriski

PARTNER Diane Mokriski practices in the areas of employment law, employment litigation, and fair housing litigation.  She represents employers of all sizes, ranging from small, family-owned Connecticut businesses, to national banks and nonprofit organizations.  Her clients include restaurant owners, hotel franchisees, owners of dental, medical, and veterinary practices, and large retail establishments.  She defends her clients against a wide range of employment-related claims, including allegations of discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge, and unpaid wages.  She counsels her clients in the areas of non-compete agreements and contract negotiations, and provides managerial training in areas such as harassment prevention and the drafting of employee handbooks. As a member of the Insurance Litigation team, Attorney Mokriski is frequently retained by insurers to defend businesses accused of employment discrimination.  She is an experienced practitioner in every forum in which Employment Practices Liability (EPL) matters can be mediated and litigated, including the EEOC, Connecticut’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO), and state and federal courts. Attorney Mokriski’s experience includes the defense of EPL claims based on race, religion, and gender discrimination under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA);  the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA);  the Whistleblower Act; and other related state and federal laws.  Additionally, Attorney Mokriski is adept at defending cases alleging violations of wage and hour laws.  These cases include a variety of claims against employers including unpaid overtime, failure to pay appropriate wages including minimum wage, and employee misclassification. As these claims become [...]

Erin Arcesi Mutty

PARTNER Erin Mutty practices in the areas of commercial litigation, intellectual property, business law, land title disputes, title insurance litigation and real estate. She counsels individuals, small businesses and national corporations with respect to intellectual property development and protection, with an emphasis on trademarks. In addition, Attorney Mutty represents clients in litigation, focusing on business disputes, title insurance litigation, mechanics' liens and residential and commercial foreclosures. Attorney Mutty graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Logistics. Following graduation, she worked for IBM as a Commercial Financial Analyst. She received her Juris Doctor cum laude from the Quinnipiac University School of Law, where she was Editor-in-Chief for the Probate Law Journal. Her note “Conservatorships and Marriage: For Love or Money,” is published in the 2003 edition of the Journal. Attorney Mutty is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of Connecticut. She worked with several Hartford-area civic organizations and downtown property owners to draft the ordinance establishing the Hartford Business Improvement District that was passed by referendum.  Her published decisions include Trinity United Methodist Church of Springfield, Massachusetts v. Levesque, 88 Conn. App. 661 (2005). Attorney Mutty resides in Cheshire, Connecticut with her husband and two sons. You can connect with Erin Mutty on LinkedIn and you can also view her Avvo profile.

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. [...]

Anja Rusi

ATTORNEY Attorney Anja Rusi is an associate attorney in the firm’s Litigation Department. Attorney Rusi practices in the areas of commercial litigation, real estate, business law, and insurance defense. Attorney Rusi has a broad knowledge of commercial litigation, representing various clients in contested commercial and residential real estate matters, breach of contract disputes, and other general business matters.  Attorney Rusi has extensive experience representing condominium and homeowner associations in maintaining their compliance with the Common Interest Ownership Act.  Additionally, Attorney Rusi has represented numerous real estate owners in matters related to purchase, sale, development, and landlord/tenant disputes. Attorney Rusi graduated from Fairfield University with a B.A. in Politics and International Studies and received her law degree from Western New England School of Law.  During law school she served as a student attorney in the Small Business Clinic handling transactional legal matters including contract drafting, employment policies, regulatory compliance, and intellectual property matters pertaining to trademark and copyright. Attorney Rusi is admitted to practice in the State of Connecticut.