Estate Planning and Probate

Dennis R. LaVette

PARTNER Dennis R. LaVette has practiced law in the State of Connecticut for more than 35 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 and is currently active in developing protocol and testing for the certification for the CBA Residential Real Estate Specialization Committee. 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 [...]

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 [...]

Walter C. Welsh

ATTORNEY Attorney Walter C. Welsh practices in the areas of taxation, estate planning, and probate as well as business and tax planning. Attorney Welsh began his career as a Trial Attorney with the Office of Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service. He has been engaged in providing estate and tax planning for individuals, families and businesses for many years. Attorney Welsh advises clients on using efficient plans for transferring their estates to the next generation. These plans include wills and may include a variety of trusts such as revocable trust and irrevocable life insurance trusts. The practice also includes probate and estate settlement. He advises clients on the formation of business entities and plans for transfer of or sale of businesses. Attorney Welsh has served as tax counsel and tax planning director for major insurance companies. He helps clients successfully resolve disputes with the IRS and other taxing authorities. Attorney Welsh is an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law, teaching a number of courses in taxation and insurance law. He regularly speaks at conferences and seminars on issues of taxation. Practice includes counseling and otherwise assisting in the organization, purchase and sale of businesses; estate and succession planning; and tax planning associated with these types of transactions. PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS: American Bar Association: Tax Section, Real Property Trust & Estate Law Section Connecticut Bar Association: Tax Section, Estate & Probate Section.