The Connecticut Law Tribune’s 2019-2020 Connecticut Legal Awards program will be presented in virtual format this evening starting at 5 p.m. Registration through our website is free, and the program will include the announcement of Connecticut’s newest Attorney of the year.

Winners and finalists have been chosen following submissions by Connecticut law firms, public offices and individual attorneys in late 2019 and early 2020. Originally scheduled for May, the awards celebration was delayed due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted first in postponement of a live presentation and ultimately the move to an online-only format,.

Award winners come from a broad range of backgrounds, including private-sector, government and non-profit work, and from varying career levels, from rookie to managing partner.

The three finalists for the 2020 Attorney of the Year include corporate environmental lawyer Franca DeRosa of Brown Rudnick; litigation and appellate pro Brenden Leydon of Wocl Leydon and winning municipal litigator Leslie King of Carlton Fields. The three finalists are among more than 70 individual attorneys and firms being recognized this year at an awards celebration in May at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville.

A list of this year’s winners is as follows:

Attorney of the Year finalists

Franca DeRosa, partner, Brown Rudnick

Brenden Leydon, Wocl Leydon

Leslie King, partner, Carlton Fields


Best Mentors

Jonathan Olsson, Deputy General Counsel, Nielsen

John Mutchler, Partner, Murtha Cullina

James Sexton, Partner, Sexton & Company

Mark Carta, Partner, Carta, McAlister & Moore

Ed Doernberger, Partner, Saxe Doernberger and Vita

Robert Keane, Vice President & Associate Group General Counsel, Travelers

Glenn Carberry, Partner, TCORS

Victoria Woodin Chavey, Principal, Jackson Lewis


Best Officiators

Carolanne Rowe, Judge of Probate, Connecticut Probate Court


Distinguished Leaders

Attorney General William Tong, Connecticut Office of the Attorney General

Todd Sharinn, Head of Intellectual Property and Commercial Litigation Practice Groups, Gilbride Tusa Last & Spellane

John Cordani, Partner, Robinson & Cole

Lawrence Adler, Managing Partner, Adler Law Group

Steven Katz, Partner, Rome Clifford Katz & Koerner

Renée Dailey, Head Partner of Hartford office, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Keith Trantolo, Managing Partner Trantolo & Trantolo

Barry Moller, Partner, Cramer & Anderson

Jay Sicklick, Center for Children’s Advocacy

Eric Stockman, Partner, Stockman O’Connor

Joette Katz, Partner, Shipman and Goodwin


Game Changers

Mark Dendinger, Partner, Bracewell

Eileen Flug, Berchem Moses

Felice Duffy, Duffy Law

Sharad Samy, General Counsel, Commonfund


GC Impact

Lisa Proch, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Talcott Resolution


Giant Slayer

Daniel Lage, Partner, Ruane Attorneys

Yazmin Rodriguez, Partner, Esperanza Law


Law Firm Innovators

Wolf & Shore Law Group


Lifetime Achievement

Robert Mitchell, Founding Principal, Mitchell & Sheahan

John A. Collins, III, Director, Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law

Frank Coulom, Partner, Robinson & Cole

Vincent Trantolo, Trantolo & Trantolo

Richard Meehan, MeehanLaw

Amado Vargas, Partner, Vargas Chapman Woods

Maureen Weaver, Partner, Wiggin and Dana

Beverly Garofalo, Principal, Jackson Lewis


In-House Legal Dept Diversity and Quality of Life

Eversource Energy, General Counsel Gregory B. Butler


Litigation Departments of the Year – General

Wiggin and Dana


Litigation Departments of the Year – Specialty Categories

Cowdery & Murphy – Appellate

Murtha Cullina – Appellate

Wiggin and Dana – Product Liability/Mass Torts


New Leaders in the Law

Zachary Phillipps, Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky

Stephen Lebedevitch, The Lebedevitch Law Firm

Alex Taubes, Alexander T. Taubes

Emily Trudeau, Assistant State’s Attorney Fairfield State’s Attorney’s Office

Stacy Schleif, Center for Children’s Advocacy

Brittany Paz, Ruane Attorneys at Law

Jill Ruane, Ruane Attorneys at Law

Sebastian Lombardi, Day Pitney

Taylor Shea, Robinson & Cole

Kimberly Cohen, Shipman & Goodwin

Alexander Copp, Cohen and Wolf

Julia Camarco, Shipman & Goodwin

Martha Royston, Murtha Cullina

Benjamin Nissim, Murtha Cullina

Jonathan Schaefer, Robinson & Cole

Dan Brody, Robinson & Cole

David Lavery, Connecticut Fair Housing Center

Jody Erdfarb, Wiggin and Dana

Caroline Park, Wiggin and Dana

Richard Luedeman, Wiggin and Dana

Graham Moller, Cramer & Anderson

Blake Driscolli, Trantolo & Trantolo

Bridget D’Angelo, Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP

Isis Irizarry, IMI Law


Unsung Hero

Conrad Seifert, Seifert & Hogan

Barbara F. Green, Law Offices of Green and Gross

Cullen Guilmartin, Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani

Ashleigh Backman, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center