Joshua A. Hawks-Ladds is chair of the firm’s Labor, Employment Law and Employee Benefits Department. His practice includes counseling on and litigating business, construction, labor and employment and civil rights matters and municipal law. Attorney Hawks-Ladds has tried cases in numerous state and federal courts, argued before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the Connecticut Supreme and Appellate courts and the Massachusetts Appeals Court, and litigates extensively before administrative tribunals. Attorney Hawks-Ladds frequently lectures and consults on trial practice, business disputes, labor and employment law and municipal issues. Attorney Hawks-Ladds also regularly negotiates collective bargaining agreements, employment agreements, and severance and compensation packages involving executives of some of the largest U.S. and international companies. He is cited as an authority in Covenants Not to Compete: A State by State Survey, 2005 Supplement. Attorney Hawks-Ladds is an American Arbitration Association trained arbitrator and serves on the AAA’s National Roster of Neutral Arbitrators for employment disputes. Attorney Hawks-Ladds is a FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Dispute Resolution Arbitrator, having qualified through the FINRA National Arbitration and Mediation Committee.
From 1998 through 2008, Attorney Hawks-Ladds authored the Connecticut Bar Association’s official treatise on labor and employment law, “Labor Relations and Employment Law: Developments in Connecticut,” published annually in the Connecticut Bar Journal. He co-authors the Connecticut Bar Association’s “Annual Survey of Labor and Employment Cases.” He was a contributing author to the Hartford Business Journal on labor and employment matters through 2003, and has been interviewed for commentary on labor issues in periodicals nationwide. Josh’s recent articles include “Legality of Personality Tests Under the Americans with Disabilities Act,” (Connecticut Lawyer, June/July 2007); “Midstream Covenants Not to Compete: Is Continued Employment Enough?” (Connecticut Lawyer, June/July 2005); “May State Employees Sue Their Employer for Damages under FMLA’s Family Care Provision?” (PREVIEW of United States Supreme Court Cases, January 4, 2003); “Does Actionable Emotional Distress Exist in the Connecticut Workplace?” (Connecticut Lawyer, October 2002); and “A Case of Interpretation” (Connecticut Lawyer, November 2001). He also served as an adjunct instructor on human resources management at Saint Joseph College from 2001 to 2004. Attorney Hawks-Ladds is the coach of the University of Connecticut Mock Trial Society team.
Connecticut Bar Association - mediator and arbitrator, Legal Fee Resolution Board; past chair, Executive Committee, Labor and Employment Law Section; former chair, Common Law and Statutory Claims Committee; named to CBA's "Distinguished Volunteers Roster" for 2003
Hartford County Bar Association - founder and former chair, Labor and Employment Law Committee
New York Bar Association- Labor and Employment Law Section
Massachusetts Bar Association - Labor and Employment Law Section; Civil Litigation Section
Manchester Bar Association
Connecticut Bar Foundation - James W. Cooper Fellow
American Bar Foundation - Fellow
Federal Bar Council
Oliver Ellsworth Inn of Courts - Bencher
Justice of the Peace
March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, Connecticut Chapter - former board of directors member
Bolton Lakes Regional Water Pollution Control Authority - former alternate member
Community Health Charities of Connecticut - former member, board of directors
Society for Human Resources Management - member
Town of Bolton Board of Selectmen (2005-2008) - former member
UConn Club - board of directors
University of Connecticut Mock Trial Society Team - coach
Honors & Recognitions
AV Peer Review Rating by Martindale Hubbell
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of litigation - labor and employment and labor law - management since 2011
Listed in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers to Businesses in Labor and Employment
Listed as a "Top Lawyer" in Hartford Magazine in the areas of employment/labor and litigation, April 2010; July 2012
Selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers since 2006 in the areas of employment and labor, general litigation and business litigation
Hartford Business Journal's 2003 "40 Under Forty" Award - recipient; recognized him as one of Greater Hartford's top "young leaders"
2002 Distinguished Advocate for the Arts Award from the State of Connecticut Commission on the Arts - recipient
- In August 2018, Attorney Hawks-Ladds represented a client for a debarment hearing in which the New York State Department of Transportation threatened to bar the client from being awarded $20,000,000 in annual state construction contracts based on purported violations of state and federal disadvantaged business regulations. Attorney Hawks-Ladds successfully briefed and argued that the NYSDOT must maintain the client’s certification as a responsible contractor, which it did.
- In April 2018, Attorney Hawks-Ladds litigated and won an injunction action in which a minority shareholder sought to have the Massachusetts Superior Court order the dissolution of a closely held corporation, install a receiver and reinstate the shareholder as an employee of the company. The motion for injunction was denied in favor of our client.
- Attorney Hawks-Ladds litigated a preliminary injunction action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York involving a former employee of a large hedge fund's alleged violation of his noncompetition agreement and state and federal trade secrets law.
- Attorney Hawks-Ladds successfully defended a declaratory judgment action in the New York Supreme Court involving a former employee of a large hedge fund's attempt to prevent the enforcement of a noncompetition agreement through the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order. The Supreme Court denied the plaintiff's application.
- Argued a case of first impression before the State of Connecticut Appellate Court involving the advice of counsel as a defense to a slander of title lawsuit.
- Represented an international plastics brokerage company in Superior Court in Atlanta, Georgia relating to two former employees' alleged theft of trade secrets, breaches of fiduciary duties and breaches of confidentiality agreements.
- Litigated a Quiet Title action on behalf of a State of Connecticut agency at the Appellate Court after successfully securing a permanent injunction in the Superior Court.
- Successfully litigated a restrictive covenant case in Superior Court receiving an injunction against our client’s former employee for violating his agreement not to solicit customers and accounts.
- Won a Second Circuit Court of Appeals appeal involving a Connecticut real estate agency involving a franchise arbitration matter, after having prevailed with the confirmation of the arbitration award in the U.S. District Court. Attorney Hawks-Ladds argued the appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Won a Connecticut Appellate Court case after winning a summary process trial involving a complex low to moderate housing dispute.
- Negotiated a long term retention agreement for the President and Chief Executive Officer of a Connecticut bank.
- Successfully completed an eight day trial involving claims of trade name dilution and unfair competition under the Lanham Act, Connecticut's Trademark Act and common law resulting in a favorable judgment for our client.
- Successfully negotiated a $1.3 million partnership dispute involving one of the largest accounting firms in the U.S.
- Served as an expert witness in a disability discrimination lawsuit in which a national security company was sued for negligent hiring of an allegedly disabled employee who caused a motor vehicle accident.
- Completed two Freedom of Information Commission actions both resulting in favorable results for our client, a Connecticut municipality. The first involved the disclosure of Police Department records. The second involved the disclosure of a town employee's personnel, disciplinary and medical records.
- Litigated a FINRA arbitration matter at FINRA in New York City involving one of the world's largest financial institutions and its former financial advisor.
- Argued before the Connecticut Supreme Court a case of first impression involving the Connecticut fair housing laws. The case involved the defense of the firm's clients, a housing authority and a property management company, in a discrimination action in which our clients successfully precluded the complainant from intervening in a Superior Court lawsuit. The Supreme Court must decide whether the complainant has a right to intervene when the statute is silent on that right.
- Won a motion to compel arbitration in which the superior court found that the State of Connecticut Sales Representative Commission Statute is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act.
- Briefed, argued and received a decision from the Connecticut Supreme Court on a matter of first impression relating to the State of Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Act. The legal issues involved whether a quasi-state agency is immune from an award of sanctions and legal fees levied against it by the workers’ compensation commission due to the agency’s delay in processing a workers’ compensation claim.
- Successfully defended a workers' compensation claim in which the client received a formal hearing award that held that a truck driver was an independent contractor and not an employee under Connecticut law.
- The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a District Court decision and dismissed a claim against our clients, a municipality and its officers. The case involves significant issues involving a municipal police officer's right to free speech under the First Amendment. Attorney Hawks-Ladds briefed the case to the District Court and to the Court of Appeals.
- Prevailed before the Appellate Court which affirmed a Superior Court trial court decision denying a writ of mandamus filed against a Connecticut Probate Court judge.
- Received a superior court judgment confirming an arbitration award denying a union's Application to Vacate an Arbitration Award. The arbitration award arose out of a multi-day arbitration, litigated by Attorney Joshua A. Hawks-Ladds, in which the panel determined that a labor arbitration was not arbitrable due to the union’s failure to follow the contractual grievance procedures. The matter is currently on appeal before the Connecticut Appellate Court.
- After a five day arbitration, won a labor arbitration before the Connecticut State Board of Mediation and Arbitration for a municipal police department.
- Argued successfully before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a federal civil rights lawsuit resulting in a denial of a motion on a matter on appeal.
- Argued a case of first impression in front of the Connecticut Appellate court involving the Connecticut Fair Housing Act. Attorney Hawks-Ladds had successfully prevented a tenant from intervening in a Superior Court housing discrimination case against his clients; the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and the tenant appealed the denial of her right to intervene.
- After a three week trial, Attorney Hawks-Ladds received a Superior Court judgment for our client in a $5,000,000 foreclosure and defense of fraud and civil rights action. The Court granted our client all requested relief and rejected all of the defendants' claims.
- Litigated a case of first impression on a First Amendment free speech issue before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Successfully defended a State of Connecticut Authority in a federal court civil rights lawsuit, resulting in a dismissal of the claim.
- Argued a case of first impression before the Connecticut Supreme Court involving Connecticut's Historic District Commission law.
- After a vigorously contested arbitration, received an Arbitration Award in favor of a municipality, upholding the town's Police Commission's discipline of a police officer for publishing a libelous, anonymous letter that disrupted the town's police department.
- Successfully litigated a Permanent Injunction lawsuit on behalf of an employer in which the court ordered equitable relief in the form of an extension of a nonsolicitation covenant during the period of the employee's breach.
- Won a directed verdict, after a jury trial, defending a company from its former employee’s claim of Workers’ Compensation discrimination.
News & Insights
- Attorneys Joshua Hawks-Ladds and Mark J. Sommaruga Present at Connecticut Conference of Municipalities12.03.2019
- Holiday Inn Hartford Downtown Area, 11.04.2019
- Attorney Joshua Hawks-Ladds Presented "Best HR Practices in Hiring, Disciplining and Firing Employees" to Middlesex Chamber of Commerce02.12.2019
Pullman attorneys negotiated the casino project development agreement on behalf of the Town of East Windsor, Connecticut, the first approved to be constructed off Indian tribal lands.
Pullman's Employment Law attorneys provide anti-harassment training and counseling to give clients the tools they need to follow proper protocols for prevention, address harassment cases and comply with the law.
Our attorneys routinely advise our clients on best practices to meet the challenges presented by dramatic changes in labor and employment laws.
A significant number of Connecticut attorneys, in law firms, corporate legal departments and insurance agencies, turn to our Professional Liability team for risk management advice to handle their important matters.
Since medical marijuana was legalized in Connecticut, our attorneys have assisted the businesses that grow, dispense and provide testing services for this limited-use drug, while also advising employers grappling with employment policies and practices that need to be modified to meet the new statute guidelines.
Bar and Court Admissions
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- New York
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut
- U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court
Western New England University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1991
University of Connecticut, B.A., 1987