So how could a business lawyer who specializes in working with telecommunications companies like Verizon Wireless and Comcast be of such assistance to an organization like the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence?
Ask David Bogan, a business law partner in Edward's Wildman's Hartford office who was just recently elected to serve as vice-president of the CCADV for a two-year term.
"I was approached by someone [in the mid-1990s] who told me that they thought I might be able to help the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which I found a little curious," admitted Bogan.
But then a scenario was explained that made sense. Often a victim of domestic violence needs to remain in contact with their batterer because of their children. Despite this, the victim of the domestic violence does not want the batterer to know her whereabouts.
In the mid-1990s, blocking your phone number wasn't as easy as the click of a button. Not everyone had a cell phone. One call from the victim to the batterer about their children might reveal where she is, leaving her again susceptible to abuse.
Meanwhile, as a lawyer who at that time headed Robinson & Cole's utilities practice, Bogan had a number of resources he could consider for figuring out a solution. He talked to representatives from the Southern New England Telephone Company, or SNET, the state's main landline telephone company at the time, owned by AT&T.
"We came up with a calling card that the battered partner could use that would not reflect the phone number of where the call originated," said Bogan. "I didn't hear anything more about it which says to me the solution worked."
Bogan said as the years progressed in the 1990s the technology advanced, which made it easier to block where a call originated from.
"As a result of that involvement in 1995, CCADV was gracious enough to award me with what they called the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence President's Award for the work I had done on their behalf," said Bogan.
Bogan was then offered a spot on the organization's board of directors, but living and working in the Stamford area at the time (CCADV is headquartered in Wethersfield), Bogan declined.
However, by late 2011, after Bogan had moved to the Longmeadow, Ma. area and was working in Hartford, he accepted an invitation by the organization's current executive director Karen Jarmoc to become a member of the CCADV's board of directors.
"My view is if you're going to be on a board, especially for a nonprofit, do it when you can make a substantial contribution," said Bogan, who acknowledged that he couldn't devote the time necessary to CCADV when he was initially asked to join the board.
Founded in 1978, CCADV is a consortium of 18 of Connecticut's domestic violence agencies dedicated to working to change social conditions through statewide policy advocacy, public awareness, technical assistance, legislative reform, and education on the issue of domestic violence.
The member programs provide counseling, support services, and safe accommodations for domestic violence victims and their children.
"The thing that humbles you when you get involved with CCADV is the level of day to day commitment from the people that are in the trenches," said Bogan.
Bogan has served on various committees of CCADV's board of directors, including their governance board, prior to his election as vice-president.
Bogan said his job as an attorney is helpful in his role with CCADV.
"When we try to fill board positions we try to fill perceived gaps, such as legal experience, a financial background or human resources so that issues that come up for the nonprofit organization can be better addressed because you have someone who has professional experience in that area," said Bogan. "It's a very fine line because you have to realize that you're a board member and not serving as a legal counsel but you do the best you can to serve that fine line in a manner that best serves the organization."•