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Partner - James W. Bergenn

James W. Bergenn


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Jim Bergenn's practice is comprised of complex criminal and civil litigation, including white collar crime and government investigations, substantial personal injury and wrongful death cases, and other trials involving substantial consequences. With more than 30 years of experience as a trial attorney and instructor, he is called upon regularly to use his trial skills, and experience with investigations and experts in diverse significant cases.

Jim handles a wide range of criminal cases, representing targets of investigations, criminal defendants, grand jury and other witnesses, and corporate and individual victims of crimes. He works in cases prosecuted by the gamut of federal, state and local authorities, such as the US Attorney’s Office, The Chief State’s Attorney’s Office, State and Federal Grand Juries, the FBI, the State Police, the SEC, the DEA, the ATF, the DOD, the IRS, the FDA, the FTC, the Office of Inspector General for various Federal Agencies, the various state regulators such as the Attorney General, the DEP, the DOH, the DMR, the DCF, the Office of Consumer Protection, and the local police.

In the Personal Injury area, he represents people in all types of personal injury cases including accidents involving motor vehicles and motorcycles, products and premises liability, construction accidents, drownings, boating accidents environmental hazards and medical malpractice. He handles sexual assault cases on behalf of both adult and children victims. The injuries in the cases he has prosecuted include death, burns, RSD, paralysis, blindness and Legionnaire’s disease. He uses technology to help jurors understand in simple terms what might otherwise be complex, including video reconstruction, videotaped depositions, and clear use of illustrations, charts, maps and highlighted documentary evidence. Most of his cases use expert witnesses, including accident reconstruction experts, and economic and medical experts to establish damages.


  • Connecticut Statewide Grievance Committee for New Haven Ethics Panel
  • CBA Task Force on Confidentiality and the Courts Commission
  • CBA Task Force for Legal Education
  • State of Connecticut Judicial Branch: Advisory Commission on Wrongful Convictions
  • Catholic University of America: President's Award
  • AV Preeminent® Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed as a Connecticut Super Lawyer®: Criminal Defense: White Collar (2006-2016); Personal Injury Plaintiff: General, Business Litigation (2006-2015)
  • Listed as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Connecticut by Super Lawyers® (2014, 2016)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®: Criminal Defense: White-Collar (2009-2017); Criminal Defense: General Practice (2017); Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar (2009-2016)
  • Named Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" (2014-2016): Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar -- Hartford
  • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star: Wrongful Death and Personal Injury (Plaintiff) (2012-2015)
  • Chosen as a member of The Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a voluntary membership organization that admits only attorneys who have won million dollar verdicts or settlements, and of which fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members
  • American Bar Foundation: Fellow

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Connecticut Bar Association: Executive Committee, Criminal Justice Section; Chair, Media and Law Committee
  • Hartford County Bar Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association: Board of Governors

Community Involvement

  • American Constitution Society: Lawyers Steering Committee
  • Town of Glastonbury: Former Conservation Commissioner
  • Town of Glastonbury: Former Chairman, Democratic Town Committee
  • Town of Glastonbury: Former Boys and girls soccer and basketball coach
  • Lector and Religious Education Instructor
  • Hartford Apartment Improvement Program, Inc.: Former Board President
  • Connecticut Friends for ALS Research
  • Covenant Preparatory School: Board of Directors

$3,500,000 Settlement for Wrongful Death Caused by Regional SWAT Team

After years of litigation, negotiated a $3.5 Million settlement, which is the largest reported Section 1983 settlement in a civil rights claim for excessive force by law enforcement in Connecticut.

$12.4 Million Judgment in Civil Rights Case

Lead trial counsel winning a $12.4 million jury verdict (plus attorney’s fees) in suit brought for developers against the Town of Branford, Connecticut. New England Estates v. Town of Branford (Complex Litigation Docket, Waterbury, September 2007). Proved that the Town’s taking of their interest in an option contract to buy a 77 acre parcel the land, for development of housing and a 9-hole golf course, resulted in a loss of over $1 million invested and lost profits in excess of $11 million. Attorney Bergenn's trial presentation included the use of digitized documents, maps, depositions, aerial photos, and damages analysis, using presentations by the client developer’s Licensed Environmental Professional and Site Plan Engineer, a developer himself, and an independent Forensic Accountant as well as adverse witness examinations of each of the relevant elected Town officials, the Town Attorney, the Town Engineer, the Town Planner, the Town Recreation Director, and the Town’s Licensed Environmental Professional. The jury credited the Developers and their witnesses over the testimony of the elected officials and their professionals.


Catastrophic Injury
$4,875,000 SETTLEMENT -- Motor Vehicle Crash - Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
$3,500,000 SETTLEMENT - Bicycling Crash - Catastrophic Traumatic Brain Injury
$2,500,000 SETTLEMENT - Construction Accident Resulting in Traumatic Brain Injury
$1,500,000 SETTLEMENT - Medical Malpractice - Failure to Diagnose
$1,850,000 SETTLEMENT - Boating Accident - Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD)
$1,100,000 SETTLEMENT - Motor Vehicle Accident - Mild But Permanent Traumatic Brain Injury
Multi-Million Dollar TBI Settlement
$949,468 ARBITRATION AWARD -- Mild-TBI Resulting From Rear End Crash With No Visible Property Damage
$400,000 SETTLEMENT - Rear End Crash - Hearing Loss With Tinnitus
Civil Rights
$3,500,000 Settlement for Wrongful Death Caused by Regional SWAT Team
$12.4 Million Judgment in Civil Rights Case
Criminal Defense Litigation
Conviction Overturned
Overturned Criminal Conviction
Appointed Special Prosecutor in State Police Conduct Case
Defense of Federal Money-Laundering Charges
Won Sole Acquittal in Wells Fargo Robbery by Puerto Rican Independence Revolutionaries
Reversal of Federal Bribery Conviction Before the Second Circuit
Wrongful Death
$4,300,000 SETTLEMENT - Drunk Driver Causes Head-On Crash Killing 73 Year Old Man
$1,700,000 SETTLEMENT - Fatality Resulting from Domestic Dispute
$1,250,000 SETTLEMENT - Distracted Driver Kills Pedestrian - Death of 21-Year-Old Man
Eight-figure Settlement in a National Class Action Lawsuit for Breach of Contract and Deceptive Practices Claims
Secured Over $136 Million in Mass Tort Recoveries
Car Accident Claim Reduced from $3.2 Million to $1,000 Award
Dispute with Construction Project Architects
Recovery of over $61 Million of Fraud and Abuse Claims
Defended Executive Subject to Internal Investigation

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James W. Bergenn Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year 2014 Criminal Defense Non White Collar Hartford                      

Practice Areas


  • Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 1979
  • Catholic University of America, B.A., 1976, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of CA
  • U.S. District Court, District of ME
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of IL
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of IL
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of AL
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of NY
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of NY
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