Mark J. Sommaruga is chair of the firm's School Law section, and is a member of the Labor, Employment Law and Employee Benefits Department. Mark has provided legal counsel to Connecticut municipalities and school boards, other public sector clients, and private sector clients for almost 25 years. His extensive experience with these clients includes labor, employment, education, civil rights, special education, municipal law, construction law, tort matters, workers' compensation, and assorted other litigation in the state and federal courts on both the trial and appellate court levels, as well as before various state and federal agencies such as the State of Connecticut and U.S. Departments of Education, the Connecticut Department of Labor (including the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration), the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, and the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, along with the American Arbitration Association. He is routinely involved in representing clients in all stages of collective bargaining.
Mark also has extensive experience in counseling public and private clients on various labor and employment law and education law issues. He routinely advises clients on a wide range of employment matters relating to hiring, supervision, evaluation, discipline and termination, compensation, “restrictive covenants,” family and medical leave issues, sexual harassment, accommodations, discrimination issues, and various personnel policies and procedures. He also routinely counsels school district clients on a wide variety of education law issues relating to student discipline, special education, discrimination, abuse/neglect, residency/school accommodations, and policy review, along with counseling clients in disputes with vendors and contractors and with other municipal and state agencies.
Mark is the author of Understanding the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act and Access to Public Meetings and Records (Fourth Edition, 2013), which is published by the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE). He has been a participant in and presenter at numerous workshops, seminars and conferences on municipal, FOIA, education, special education, labor and employment law issues, including those sponsored by the Connecticut Bar Association and the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. He is a frequent presenter at the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education’s annual convention. He has written numerous articles on employment law and school law issues in various trade journals and newsletters and is a regular contributor to the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education Journal and The Connecticut Law Tribune. He currently conducts Legal Issues Forums for Connecticut Charter Schools with attorney Zachary D. Schurin and Special Education Legal Issues Forums with attorney Michael P. McKeon. He is also a member of the Firm’s Diversity Committee.