Law Tribune Announces Professional Excellence Award Winners
The Connecticut Law Tribune
March 31, 2016
The Law Tribune is proud to announce the winners of its second annual Professional Excellence Awards.
We are recognizing about two dozen lawyers for outstanding service to the profession during their long careers. We were looking for lawyers from a wide range of practice areas; from big and small firms; and from the public sector and academia. We received more than 70 nominations and we are pleased that the final field of honorees represents the type of diversity we were seeking.
Our panel of judges considered not only success in the courtroom, but law firm and bar association leadership, advocacy roles, pro bono contributions and service on state and federal bar panels, among other factors. Profiles of awardees will appear in the Law Tribune in May. There will also be a special event that month honoring the winners.
We thank everyone who sent us nominations. We had far more outstanding nominees than we could possibly honor in one year. We would invite those who nominated someone who didn’t make our final list to try again next year.
Here are the winners, listed in alphabetical order by last name:
- Akhil Amar: Yale Law School professor and constitutional law expert.
- Robert Berchem: Senior partner at Milford-based firm of Berchem, Moses & Devlin.
- Michael Cantor/Phil Colburn: Co-managing partners of the Hartford-based intellectual property firm Cantor Colburn.
- Robert Carter/Donna Civitello: Husband-and-wife partners in the Woodbridge workers’ compensation firm of Carter & Civitello.
- Margaret Chapple: Long-time assistant attorney general in Connecticut who at times led the office’s public safety, employment rights and litigation divisions.
- Anne Dranginis: Former prosecutor and Superior Court judge who is now a principal at Rome McGuigan in Hartford.
- Hugh Keefe: New Haven criminal defense lawyer and partner in the firm of Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante, P.C..
- Michael Koskoff: Name partner and trial lawyer at Bridgeport-based plaintiffs’ firm of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder.
- Don Liu: Xerox general counsel who was formerly GC for Toll Brothers.
- Alexander “Sandy” Meiklejohn: Quinnipiac University School of Law professor focusing on franchising law.
- John Nazzaro: Former organized crime prosecutor andcurrent Superior Court judge.
- Jon Orleans: Pullman & Comley employment lawyer and legal advisor to American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut.
- Louis Pepe: Former Connecticut Bar Association president and construction law partner at McElroy Deutsch Mulvaney & Carpenter.
- Margaret “Penny” Mason: LeClaire Ryan partner who is a former chair of Statewide Grievance Committee and New Haven Bar Association president.
- Thomas Mooney: Shipman & Goodwin education law partner and author of the text “A Practical Guide to Connecticut School Law.”
- William Perrone: Chair of Wiggin and Dana’s Corporate Department who focuses practice on emerging technology companies.
- Raphael Podolsky: Staff attorney for Legal Assistance Resource Center who lobbies in legislature on behalf of legal aid agencies.
- Robert Reardon: Trial lawyer and founder of the Reardon Law Firm in New London.
- Thomas Rohback: Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider trial, appellate and class action lawyer.
- Rafael Santiago: Founder of Santiago Law Group, a Hartford business law firm, and a founding member of the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association.
- Lea Nordlicht Shedd: Elder law attorney at Hamden’s Shedd & Hoberman who is a former chair of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Elder Law Section.
- Elizabeth Stewart: Former Murtha Cullina managing partner whose legal practice includes insurance and complex commercial litigation.
- Alvin Thompson: Connecticut federal court judge who formerly served as chief judge for Connecticut and managing partner at Robinson & Cole.
- Albert Zakarian. Day Pitney employment and business litigation lawyer whose clients have included Connecticut’s governor, chief state’s attorney and State Police commissioner.
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