It all started 12 years ago, with a Connecticut Law Tribune article that gave credit for a big tort victory to two lawyers then in the same New London, Conn., firm — founder Robert I. Reardon Jr. and associate Angelo Ziotas.

Neither was happy to share the glory. There were angry arguments, hurled curses and 10 years of litigation after Reardon refused to pay a departing Ziotas his year-end bonus. The decade-long saga is now all over, with a state Supreme Court ruling that has left Ziotas with far less money than he might have won.