Insurance Defense

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 [...]

Joshua P. Joy

ATTORNEY Attorney Joshua P. Joy is an attorney in the firm’s Litigation Department. Attorney Joy practices in the areas of bankruptcy, commercial litigation, foreclosure, insurance defense, and real estate. Attorney Joy has a great deal of knowledge and wisdom as it relates to commercial and residential foreclosures, particularly contested foreclosures, and cases involving complex title issues with the primary focus being creditors’ rights. He also has valuable experience in mediating various types of legal issues. Attorney Joy is dedicated to serving his clients with the care, quality, and respect, to which they are entitled. Attorney Joy graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in Political Science. Attorney Joy received his J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law. During his time at Quinnipiac, he participated in an externship program in assisting a local Hartford community organization in their work with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, concerning a study that evaluated Connecticut’s current environmental laws. Due to his various internships, he also gained experience dealing with immigration and personal injury cases. Attorney Joy is an active member of his community, and resides in Wethersfield, Connecticut. He is currently admitted to practice in the State of Connecticut.

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 [...]

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.

Stephen H. Solomson

PARTNER Stephen H. Solomson practices in the areas of litigation, defense of professional licenses, securities law, insurance defense including coverage, as well as family and divorce law. Attorney Solomson started his law career as a legal intern in the Prosecutor’s Office in Hartford. Upon graduation from law school he entered state service as a Public Defender trying numerous jury trials in Hartford Superior Court.  He later became a prosecutor, serving as the head of the Economic Crime Unit of the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office, an award-winning unit comprised of prosecutors and investigators with statewide jurisdiction charged with the investigation and prosecution of white collar crime. During his tenure at the Economic Crime Unit, Attorney Solomson and his staff prosecuted hundreds of matters ranging from widespread home improvement frauds, embezzlements, insurance, financial and securities fraud.  While at the Economic Crime Unit, Attorney Solomson and his staff worked closely with many State and Federal Agencies including the Connecticut Insurance and Banking Departments, the Department of Consumer Protection, the United States Postal Inspectors, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.  After state service, Attorney Solomson was employed by Commercial Union Insurance Company, where he was responsible for insurance fraud investigations nationwide. Drawing upon this foundation, over the past 30 years Attorney Solomson has built a thriving litigation practice representing individuals and businesses in front of these same agencies with regard to regulatory compliance and defense of their professional licenses.  Attorney Solomson advocates for professionals working in insurance, real estate, accounting, health care, nursing home, [...]