Article12.16.2019

Five Newtown Residents Named to 2019 Super Lawyers List

The Newtown Bee

BRIDGEPORT — Thirty-seven attorneys from Pullman & Comley LLC, including five who call Newtown their home, were honored by 2019 Super Lawyers, with 25 named to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list for 2019. A dozen of the firm’s attorneys were also recognized as 2019 Super Lawyers “Connecticut Rising Stars.”

In addition to being named as Super Lawyers, several Pullman & Comley members were included on lists of top Super Lawyers in the region.

James T. Shearin was included on the “Top 10: 2019 Connecticut Super Lawyers” list; Campbell D. Barrett and James T. Shearin were each included in the “Top 100: 2019 New England Super Lawyers” list; Jonathan B. Orleans and Campbell D. Barrett were each named on the “Top 50: Connecticut Super Lawyers” list; and Diane W. Whitney was included among the “Top 50: 2019 Women New England Super Lawyers” and the “Top 25: 2019 Women Connecticut Super Lawyers” list.

The names of the attorneys selected to Connecticut Super Lawyers appear in the November 2019 issue of New England Super Lawyers and in a special section appearing in the February 2020 issue of Connecticut Magazine.

The five local Pullman & Comley “Connecticut Super Lawyers” for 2019 were each polled about their careers and passion for the law and responded as follows:

Russell Anderson’s business and technology practice focuses on helping clients accomplish “what’s next” — whether “next” is a new mobile app, marketing campaign, or medical device. In particular, he has expertise helping clients in the software, e-commerce, marketing, market research, healthcare, and biotechnology industries.

“I am a business attorney with a technology, marketing, and privacy focused practice,” Mr Anderson said. “I grew up in Silicon Valley in California before meeting my wife in college and moving back to her hometown of Newtown. I think because of my roots, I’ve always been looked at as the ‘geek attorney,’ and I think I do a good job of understanding technical subjects and relating them to the legal work that I do.”

David P. Atkins is a litigator who leads the firm’s Professional Liability Section. He practices in the areas of professional liability, commercial litigation, appeals, and administrative proceedings.

Attorneys, law firms, CPAs, and healthcare and other licensed professionals routinely seek Mr Atkins to represent them in malpractice, ethics and disciplinary (grievance) matters, licensing, court sanctions, and disqualification proceedings.

“The most important things for any lawyer in his or her representation of a client are a willingness to listen and promptly respond to the client,” he reflected. “Many of the professionals I represent — not only lawyers but physicians, therapists, and accountants — get into trouble precisely because they fail to follow that basic rule of customer relations.”

Monte E. Frank is in the vice chair of Pullman & Comley’s Litigation practice. He represents business and municipal clients in the state and federal courts in Connecticut and before administrative agencies on a wide range of matters.

He regularly represents clients in mediation and arbitration in Connecticut and other states. In 2018, Mr Frank ran for Lieutenant Governor, and he is a past president of both the Connecticut Bar Association and the New England Bar Association.

He also previously served as president-elect and vice-president of the CBA, and he represents Connecticut in the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates.

“In addition to the commercial litigation work I do for small and large business clients, I have represented municipalities, including Newtown, for over 20 years,” Mr Frank said. “I view the work I did and still do for the Town as the most important work of my legal career.”

Michael G. Proctor is a member of the Real Estate Department. His practice includes commercial real estate finance and the acquisition, development, leasing, and sale of commercial property. Mike regularly represents banks, hospitals, developers, investors, and businesses in all aspects of commercial real estate and real estate finance.

“What I find fulfilling about real estate law is playing a role in bringing about a tangible and positive result: getting something new built, something old repurposed, something vacant filled, providing funds to mortgage borrowers, or otherwise shaping our communities,” Mr Proctor said. “As I drive around Connecticut, I enjoy passing many of the properties I have worked on over the years in varying roles.”

James T. Shearin is chairman of the firm and former chair of the firm’s Litigation Department. He has wide-ranging experience in federal and state courts at both the trial and appellate levels and before arbitration and mediation panels.

“Lawyers are problem solvers,” Mr Shearin said. “To be good in this profession, you need to understand the problem, think creatively about the solution, and then advocate zealously to make the solution happen.

He explained that this approach works best in collaboration, both with the client and peers within the firm.

“Long before most companies were actively thinking about culture, Pullman & Comley proactively fostered a supportive, teamwork environment,” Mr Shearin said. “I feel very privileged to be chairman of the firm in its 100th anniversary year, and also simply to have been a part of this firm — alongside many of Connecticut’s finest lawyers — for nearly all of my career.

“It’s remarkable that attorneys representing 18 different practice areas within our firm were honored by Super Lawyers this year,” added Mr Shearin. “We are fortunate to have a such a wide range of talented attorneys working together at one firm.”

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a rigorous, multiphase rating process.

Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third party research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis. The Rising Stars selection process is the Super Lawyers selection process except that candidates must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for ten years or less, and the selection process does not include peer evaluation by practice area.

Pullman & Comley celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2019 and is one of Connecticut’s largest firms, providing a wide range of legal services to clients in the New England region, as well as throughout the United States and internationally.

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