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Seven Lawyers Receive "Lawyer of the Year" Honors

August 21, 2020

Seven (7) lawyers from Shipman & Goodwin LLP have been named “Lawyer of the Year” in their individual practice areas by The Best Lawyers in America© 2021: James W. Bergenn, Criminal Defense: General; Barry C. Hawkins, Litigation – Real Estate; Timothy S. Hollister, Land Use and Zoning Law; Thomas B. Mooney, Education Law; Robert J. O’Brien, Construction Law; Louis B. Schatz, Litigation and Controversy – Tax; and Daniel A. Schwartz, Labor Law – Management.

Best Lawyers has been regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence for more than 30 years. Based on more than 7.3 million confidential detailed evaluations, only a single lawyer in each high-profile legal specialty in each large legal community is designated as a “Lawyer of the Year.” These Shipman & Goodwin attorneys received particularly high ratings from their peers for their abilities, professionalism and integrity:

Jim Bergenn has been recognized as the Hartford area’s “Lawyer of the Year” in Criminal Defense: General. Jim Bergenn's practice is comprised of complex criminal and civil litigation, including white collar crime and government investigations, personal injury and wrongful death cases, and other trials involving significant 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 many different kinds of contested cases. He is often called upon by local and national media outlets to discuss high-profile criminal cases.

Barry Hawkins has been recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation – Real Estate in the Hartford area. Throughout his career, Barry has practiced in the areas of real estate and litigation. He is the author of numerous papers on real estate issues and has taught and lectured extensively on real estate, land use and environmental issues, including alternative dispute resolution. Barry is a former member of the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association. Since 1983, he has been active in the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, and served three years on its national Board and as chair of its Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. He is the Past President of the Connecticut Bar Association.

Timothy Hollister, recognized again as Hartford Lawyer of the Year in Land Use and Zoning Litigation, practices land use, environmental and municipal law, and handles a wide range of real estate and administrative law problems that arise in the context of land use and environmental matters. He has represented developers, corporations, property owners, municipalities, boards of education, and neighborhood and environmental groups in administrative proceedings before local, state, regional and federal agencies and litigation in the state and federal trial courts, and has argued more than 40 cases in the state and federal appellate courts. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2009, and was previously recognized as Lawyer of the Year in both Land Use and Zoning Litigation and Land Use and Zoning Law.

Tom Mooney has been recognized as the Hartford area’s “Lawyer of the Year” in Education Law. Tom is active in all areas of school law, including labor negotiations for certified and non-certified staff, teacher tenure proceedings, grievance arbitration, freedom of information hearings, student disciplinary matters, special education disputes and all other legal proceedings involving boards of education. In addition, Tom has taught school law at the University of Connecticut School of Law since 1985, and has served as Professor in Residence at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut since 2001. Tom is the author of A Practical Guide to Connecticut School Law (9th Edition, 2018), a comprehensive treatise on Connecticut school law, published by CABE and used by teachers, administrators and board of education members throughout the state. He also writes two monthly columns, "See You in Court!," which appears in the CABE Journal, and "Legal Mailbag," which appears in the CAS Bulletin. Tom is Co-Chair of the firm’s School Law Practice Group.

Bob O’Brien, recognized as Hartford “Lawyer of the Year” in Construction Law, practices in the areas of construction, surety and specialized banking and commercial litigation. With more than three decades of construction law experience, he handles a broad range of construction-related matters on behalf of contractors, public and private owners, subcontractors, sureties, architects, engineers and condominium associations. Bob's banking litigation experience relates to check fraud liability and financial institution bonds. He has conducted numerous jury and bench trials, and has extensive experience with arbitration and mediation as dispute resolution alternatives. A member of the American Bar Association's Forum Committee of the Construction Industry, Bob serves on the American Arbitration Association's National Panel of Arbitrators and has frequently been selected as a mediator in construction disputes.

Dan Schwartz, recognized as Hartford Lawyer of the Year in Labor Law – Management, represents employers in a broad spectrum of employment law matters such as employment discrimination, restrictive covenants, human resources, retaliation and whistle blowing, data privacy and wage and hour issues. He has extensive trial and litigation experience in both federal and state courts in a variety of areas, including commercial litigation and trade secret enforcement. He has also represented employers in appeals to the Connecticut Supreme Court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Dan is also the author of the independent Connecticut Employment Law Blog, one of the most widely read blogs of its kind in the nation.

Louis Schatz has been recognized as the Hartford area’s “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation and Controversy – Tax. Lou practices in the areas of federal and State of Connecticut tax with attention to the representation of closely held businesses organized as limited liability companies, partnerships and S corporations; real estate joint ventures; and the representation of taxpayers involved in federal and Connecticut tax controversies (at the audit, appellate and court levels). He is a frequent lecturer on federal and State of Connecticut tax, partnership and limited liability company issues. For many years he has been providing annual updates on Connecticut tax developments to accountants practicing in New York and New Jersey. Louis is widely published, including his authorship of the latest edition of "Connecticut Limited Liability Act: Forms and Practice Manual," the leading treatise in Connecticut on limited liability companies. As a member of the firm’s Opportunity Zones team, Lou advises clients on various aspects of the Qualified Opportunity Zones program.

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