John’s practice focuses on commercial litigation, with a current emphasis on construction litigation, intellectual property protection, securities litigation, corporate governance disputes, employment issues and environmental/energy law.
Before becoming a Partner in the Firm’s Litigation Department in 2003, John worked for Whitman Breed’s New York City office. John started his career at Kelly Drye & Warren. He previously served a Clerkship with the New York Appellate Division, Second Department.
John currently represents several major architectural firms in contract and intellectual property disputes throughout the northeast. John also represents builders and commercial real estate developers in matters ranging from complex construction disputes to protecting developers from liability related to the collapse of large commercial developments.
Through protracted multi-state litigation, John also recently thwarted the sale of assets away from a publicly-traded railroad, while protecting the rights of its shareholders and a former management faction. John has also been honored for his pro bono work prosecuting a CERCLA claim on behalf of an indigent client.
While with Whitman Breed in New York City, John represented a major trading card company in multi-state litigation regarding its intellectual property rights to the indicia of several famous athletes, licensing disputes with the major professional sports leagues, and the company’s joint efforts with federal authorities in prosecuting the producers of fraudulent sports memorabilia.
John has also represented several large companies in employment litigation, and he has worked on securities class actionsand a major insider trading case.
John has served two terms in the Connecticut General Assembly as a State Representative for the 135th Assembly District (Weston, Easton and Redding). John serves on the Judiciary Committee, the Environmental Committee (Ranking Member) and the Finance Committee.
Professional and Community Affiliations
- American Bar Association
- Connecticut Bar Association
- FINRA Arbitrator (since 2005)
- Fact Finder/Arbitrator, Connecticut Judicial Branch (2002-2010)
- Connecticut General Assembly, State Representative for 135th Assembly District (since 2011)
- Redding Water Pollution Control Commission (Member and Chairman 2005 to 2011)
- Redding Zoning Commission (Member and Vice Chairman, 2004 to 2011)
- Republican Town Committee, Redding, CT (since 2003)
- Founder of Giants in the Community, Inc. (non-profit charitable organization)
“Erasing Bad Precedent Through Settlement: Will a Court of Appeals Vacate a District Court Decision Pursuant to the Parties’ Settlement Agreement?” Connecticut Bar Association, Federal Practice Section Newsletter (Summer 2001).
“A Practical Guide to Non-Compete Agreements, What Employers, Employees and Business Sellers Need to Know,” 3 PMA Law & Business Analysis & Planning Report, Issue 6 (February 2000) (Co-Author).
Honors and Recognition
- AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™
- “Top Lawyers of Fairfield County” citation by New Canaan, Darien and Rowayton Magazine (2012).
- Connecticut Bar Association Pro Bono Honor Roll (2001, 2003)
Notable Cases/Reported Decisions
Harbor Point Dev. v. Water Pollution Control Auth. of Stamford,
FST-CV13-6020491-S (Stamford Sup. 2013). Challenge to SWPCA’s sewer connection charge procedure under Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-255, arguing that charges are actually veiled sewer benefit assessments under Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-249 and are thus improper for not having followed the proper statutory procedure and analysis.
Allied Irish Banks v. Young Men’s Christian Assn. of Greenwich, 55 Conn. L. Rptr. 800 (Stamford Sup. March 25, 2013). (Jennings, J.) Effected a stay of enforcement proceedings on a $1.8M New York judgment after an analysis of first impression in Connecticut of the stay provisions in the UEFJA and Conn. Gen. Stat §52-606(a) and (b).
Allied Irish Banks v. Young Men’s Christian Assn. of Greenwich, 944 N.Y.S.2d 828 (N.Y. Supreme, NY Cty 2012). (Fried, J.) Challenged bank’s use of expedited judgment procedure under NY CPLR §1332 in connection with a ISDA Interest Rate Swap Agreement (case of first impression in New York); on appeal 105 A.D.3d 516 (1st Dept. 2013)
Lake Group Media v. Walter Lake, (No. 27561/09) (N.Y. Supreme, Westchester 2009). Defeated purchasers’ preemptive claims to prevent default declarations under SPA and notes, countered with challenges to corporate governance and a successful parallel arbitration.
Tel Comm Technologies, Inc. v. City of Bridgeport, 2006 WL 3791383 (D. Conn. 2006). Effected the dismissal of putative plaintiffs’ claims under the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996; made new law in the District of Connecticut and Second Circuit.
Lichtman v. Beni, 280 Conn. 25 (2006). Effected discharge of large mechanic’s lien at trial; moved to dismiss builder’s appeal on novel jurisdictional and Constitutional theory; Supreme Court adopted argument and dismissed appeal.
Doyle v. Town of Litchfield, 372 F.Supp.2d 288 (D. Conn. 2005). Established new federal precedent to allow indigent client’s claim under CERCLA to proceed despite having lost to Town in previous state court proceedings.
1055 Stamford Associates Ltd v. 33 Broad Street Associates LLC, 2002 WL 31513734 (Conn. Super Stamford 2002). Represented the Stamford Urban Redevelopment Commission against challenge by district property owner to the sale and build out of URC property for Target development. After a five day evidentiary, the court (Rogers, J.) dismissed civil and injunction action and related zoning appeals (33 Conn. L. Rptr. 330) based on lack of standing.
Whitman Breed Abbott & Morgan v. The Upper Deck Co, (No. 97 122714) (New York Supreme, N.Y.Cty. 1997). The Upper Deck Company v. Whitman Breed Abbott & Morgan, (No BC 195740) (Sup. Court Los Angeles 1998) Won a $2 million decision for Whitman Breed Abbott & Morgan against former California-based corporate client after managing bi-coastal litigations between New York and Los Angeles offices that went to appeal in both states.
Fezell v. National Rifle Association of America, (No. 600211/99) (New York Supreme, N.Y.Cty. 1998). Stayed a national election of the NRA and thereafter effected the alteration of its ballot practices via legal challenge to NRA voting procedures though successful preliminary injunction and contempt motions.
The Upper Deck Co. v. CPG Direct et al., (No 950197 BTM) (S.D.Cal 1996).
Score Board, Inc. v. The Upper Deck Co., (96cv02389 SSB) (D.N.J 1996).
The Upper Deck Co. v. International Management Group, (No 95-1169S JS) (S.D. Cal. 1995). Represented major trading card and memorabilia company in coordinated effort to eliminate the marketers of fraudulent sports memorabilia related to Michael Jordan, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Reggie Jackson, Wayne Gretzky, Ken Griffey Jr. and Joe Montana. Managed and prosecuted a multi-state litigations in federal court to protect client’s intellectual property interests; negotiated disputes with major professional sports leagues; managed local counsel; negotiated global resolutions among competitors, and worked with federal authorities.