Dana M. Hrelic has earned a reputation as an accomplished appellate and commercial litigation attorney. She has substantial experience in state, territorial, and federal appeals in the areas of constitutional law, complex litigation and business law, family law, juvenile law, personal injury, administrative law, civil procedure, probate law, and criminal law. She has represented clients before the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts as well as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of the United States, and the Supreme Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands. She also has experience working on appellate matters in the Eleventh Circuit. She has argued or sat as second chair in countless more appeals in these courts. Dana has also represented amicus curiae clients, including the American Association of Justice and the Virgin Islands Bar Association, in the United States Supreme Court.
In her trial litigation practice, Dana has consulted with trial counsel and clients on civil, family, juvenile, criminal, and complex litigation matters and provides assistance at all stages of litigation, including both pre- and post-judgment matters—especially in matters where there is a likelihood of appeal.
Dana is an active member of numerous professional organizations and has held leadership roles in the Connecticut Bar Association, the American Counsel Association, and the American Bar Association, including serving in the ABA House of Delegates, serving as the Second Circuit Member of the ABA Federal Judiciary Committee, and serving as Chair of the ABA Young Lawyers Division. She is an active writer and co-authors three books, including the Connecticut Practice Book Annotated, Connecticut Juvenile Law and A Practical Guide to Evidence in Connecticut, authoring the chapter on reputation evidence. Dana routinely presents on appellate practice and procedure, diversity in the profession, legal education, and innovation in the profession.
Connecticut Bar Association - House of Delegates Member (2020-2022); Co-Chair, COVID-19 Task Force (2020); Co Chair, Law Schools & Law Students Subcommittee, COVID-19 Task Force (2020); Board of Governors, Assistant Secretary-Treasurer (2017-2018); Chair, Young Lawyers Section (2016-2017); Executive Committee Member, Appellate Advocacy Section (2012-present)
American Bar Association - ABA Federal Judiciary Committee, Second Circuit Member (2021-2024); Member, ABA House of Delegates (2018-present); Member, Drafting Committee, ABA House of Delegates (2018-present); ABA Section Officers Conference, Chair, Awards Subcommittee (2021-2022); Chair, Young Lawyers Division (2017-2018), overseeing 200,000 members; ABA Day Connecticut State Captain (2020-present); Member, Young Lawyers Division Council (2011-2021); Member, Judicial Division Council (2019-2021); Governing Council Member, Center for Innovation (2016-2017); Member, Commission on the Future of Legal Services (2014-2016); YLD Assembly Parliamentarian (2014); Member, Task Force on the Future of Legal Education (2012-2014); District #2 Representative, Young Lawyers Division (2011-2013)
American Counsel Association - member, Board of Directors (2020-present)
Oliver Ellsworth American Inn of Court
Virgin Islands Bar Association, Member
American Bar Foundation, Member
Connecticut Bar Foundation, Fellow
Board of Trustees, UConn Law School Foundation (2015-2017)
Hartford Promise - Mentor to two Bulkeley High School (Hartford) Students (2018-2019)
The Hartford Chorale - Secretary, Board of Governors (2010-2014); Singing Member (2010-2011)
Honors & Recognitions
ABA Advocate of the Month, April 2021
Selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers in the Appellate Practice area, 2013-2021
Named a New England Super Lawyers Rising Star in the Appellate Practice area, 2013-2021
Virgin Islands Bar Association Amicus Award, 2018
Finalist, Connecticut Law Tribune 2017 Attorney of the Year Award
ABA, Young Lawyers Division: Star of the Year, 2013-2014; Star of the Quarter, February 2013
CBA, Young Lawyers Section Public Service Award, 2012-2013
Recognized as a New Leader in the Law by the Connecticut Law Tribune, 2012
Notable cases argued or substantially worked on include:
- R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Brown/Gerald (V.I. S.C. No. 2019-0049/0050) (for Plaintiff-Appellees) (currently pending; defending largest verdict in U.S.V.I. history)
- Ranger American of the V.I., Inc. v. Balboni, __ U.S. __, 140 S.Ct. 651 (2019) (for Respondent)
- Russell v. Richardson, et al., 779 F. App’x 963 (3d Cir. 2019) (for Appellants, the U.S.V.I. Judicial Branch and its employee)
- Brathwaite v. Xavier, 71 V.I. 1089, 2019 WL 3287069 (V.I. 2019) (for Appellant)
- Kelly v. Kurtz, 193 Conn. App. 507 (2019) (for Appellant/Cross-Appellee)
- Hirschfeld v. Machinist, 181 Conn. App. 309 (2018) (for Appellee)
- In re Egypt E., 327 Conn. 506 (2018) (for Appellant)
- Kantorowski, et al., v. Saint Vincent’s Medical Center, et al., A.C. 38385 (2017) (for Appellant) (matter settled after oral argument)
- Lewis v. Clarke, __ U.S. __, 137 S.Ct. 1285 (2017) (for Amici Curiae Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association and American Association for Justice)
- Territory of the Virgin Islands v. United Industrial, Service, Transportation, Prof’l & Govn’t Workers of North America Seafarers Int’l Union, On Behalf of Ernest Bason, 575 U.S. 957 (2015) (for Petitioner, Government of the U.S.V.I.) (cert. denied presumably for mootness after Mr. Bason died)
- Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle, et al., __ U.S. __, 136 S.Ct. 1863 (2016) (for Amicus Curiae Virgin Islands Bar Association)
- In re Egypt E., 322 Conn. 231 (2016) (for Appellant)
- ProFoot, Inc. v. Merck & Co., Inc., 663 F. App’x 928 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (for Appellant)
- Western Dermatology Consultants, P.C. v. VitalWorks, Inc., 322 Conn. 541 (2016) (for Appellant)
- In re Gabriella A., 319 Conn. 775 (2015) (for Appellant)
- Hirschfeld v. Machinist, 151 Conn. App. 414 (2014) (for Appellee)
- In re Elvin G., 310 Conn. 485 (2013) (for Appellant)
- Yeager v. Alvarez, 134 Conn. App. 112 (2012) (for Appellant)
- June 2021 - Virgin Islands Bar Association - Featured as a panelist for Midyear Meeting program: "ABA Panel - The Practice, Post Covid19 - The Practice Forward Report"
- March and April 2021 - ABA Day Digital 2021: A Presentation for State Captains - Served as a presenter and panelist before the 2021 class of State Captains in preparation for ABA Day Digital 2021
- January 2021 - Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University: Gender & The Law Class - Served as a guest lecturer in a class taught by Prof. Michelle Coughlin, Esq. (Founder of MothersEsquire).
- December 2020 - Virgin Islands Bar Association - Served as a presenter for CLE: “Appellate Motion Practice in the V.I. Supreme Court.”
- September 2020 - Connecticut Bar Association - Served as a presenter for “AAA Roadside Assistance for the Legal Profession: A-dvances in Technology, A-rtificial Intelligence, and A-lternative Fee Arrangements.”
- August 2020 - National Conference of Bar Presidents - Featured as a panelist in “Governance in Transition Workshop” at the NCBP Annual Meeting.
- June 2020 - Virgin Islands Bar Association - Served as a presenter for CLE: “Virgin Islands Appellate Practice.”
- October 2019 - Connecticut Supreme Court "On Circuit" Program - Served as a moderator for the Connecticut Supreme Court’s “On Circuit” Program at the University of Hartford.
- March 2019 - Virgin Islands Bar Association - Served as a presenter for “Making Your Individual Development Plan.”
- March 2019 - Connecticut Bar Association - Served as a presenter for CLE: “Advanced Appellate Practice: Federal Procedure and Novel State Issues.”
- December 2018 - Virgin Islands Bar Association - Served as a presenter for CLE: “Strategic Use of Amicus Curiae Briefs in Appellate Litigation.”
- May 2018 - American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division - Served as a moderator for CLE: “Domestic Violence During Pregnancy.”
- January 2018 - South Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division - Served as a presenter for CLE: “Diversity in the Legal Profession.”
- November 2017- Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference - Invited to speak to the Board of Governors.
- October 2017 - American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section - Served as presenter for Fall Meeting Town Hall: "TIPS Leaders of Tomorrow."
- October 2017 - Canadian Bar Association, National Young Lawyers Section - Invited to speak with the Executive Committee in Toronto, Canada.
- March 2017 - MS. JD Conference - Served as presenter for "The Practice Popularity Contest."
- March 2017 - American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Mountain Summit - Invited to speak to attendees on behalf of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.
- September 2016 - Yale Law School, Appellate Law Class - Served as a guest lecturer in the class taught by Justice Barry Schaller.
Bar and Court Admissions
- New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- Law clerk to the Honorable Christine S. Vertefeuille, 2008-2009, Connecticut Supreme Court
J.D., University of Connecticut School of Law, 2008
B.A., with distinction, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2005