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8 Shipman & Goodwin Attys Named “Lawyer of the Year”

Eight (8) lawyers from Shipman & Goodwin LLP have been named “Lawyer of the Year” in their individual practice areas by The Best Lawyers in America© 2018: James W. Bergenn, Criminal Defense: General Practice; Timothy S. Hollister, Land Use and Zoning Law; Gabriel J. Jiran, Employment Law - Management; Thomas B. Mooney, Education Law; Robert J. O’Brien, Construction Law; Mark K. Ostrowski, Product Liability Litigation - Defendants; Louis B. Schatz, Tax Law; and Robert L. Wyld, Litigation - Trusts and Estates. In addition, 43 of the firm’s attorneys have also been recognized by their peers as Best Lawyers.

Best Lawyers has been universally 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:

James Bergenn, Lawyer of the Year in Hartford Criminal Defense: General Practice, has more than 30 years of experience as a trial attorney and practices in the areas of complex criminal and civil litigation. He counsels clients in a variety of significant criminal cases and represents targets of investigations, criminal defendants, grand jury and other witnesses, and corporate and individual victims of crimes. He works on cases prosecuted by the gamut of federal, state and local authorities. Mr. Bergenn has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2009 and was twice named Hartford Lawyer of the Year in Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar.

Tim Hollister has been named Hartford Lawyer of the Year in Land Use and Zoning Law.  He is Co-Chair of the firm’s Real Estate, Environmental and Land Use Practice Group, and handles a wide range of real estate and administrative law problems that arise in the context of land use and environmental matters. In addition, Mr. Hollister has been recognized nationally for his work in wetlands regulation, eminent domain, and workforce and affordable housing development. 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. Mr. Hollister has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2009 and has been named Lawyer of the Year in Land Use and Zoning Law and Land Use and Zoning Litigation multiple times.

Gabriel Jiran, recognized as Lawyer of the Year in Employment Law - Management in Hartford, is Chair of the firm's Employer Defense and Labor Relations Practice Group. He practices labor and employment law on behalf of corporations and public employers. Mr. Jiran assists employers in addressing the full spectrum of issues associated with the employment relationship and litigates employment disputes on behalf of employers, including discrimination claims based on age, disability, race, national origin, gender, sexual harassment, and workers' compensation retaliation. He also negotiates collective bargaining agreements and frequently represents employers before administrative agencies and courts in labor disputes. Mr. Jiran is frequently asked to speak and write on labor and employment matters on both a local and national level. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2013 in both Employment Law and Labor Law.

Thomas Mooney, Hartford Education Law Lawyer of the Year, is Co-Chair of the firm’s School Law Practice Group. He 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. Mr. Mooney is the author of A Practical Guide to Connecticut School Law (8th Edition, 2014), a comprehensive treatise on Connecticut school law used by teachers, administrators and board of education members throughout the state. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2006 and was recognized in previous years as Lawyer of the Year in both Education Law and Labor Law.

Robert O’Brien has been named Hartford Lawyer of the Year in Construction Law, and has more than three decades of experience handling a broad range of construction-related matters on behalf of contractors, public and private owners, subcontractors, sureties, architects, engineers and condominium associations. He is a member of the American Bar Association’s Forum Committee of the Construction Industry and serves on the American Arbitration Association's National Panel of Arbitrators. Mr. O’Brien is also a frequent panelist and speaker at construction law programs. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2015 and was previously recognized as Lawyer of the Year in both Construction Litigation and Construction Law.

Mark Ostrowski, Lawyer of the Year in Hartford Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, has more than 22 years of experience defending chemical and product manufacturers, public utilities, retailers, pharmaceutical companies, and business and medical professionals in complex tort and product liability actions. With his ready access to many of the leading scientific, engineering and medical experts in the Northeast, Mr. Ostrowski regularly handles cases in all courts throughout Connecticut and has appeared pro hac vice in other jurisdictions such as Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2011.

Louis Schatz has been recognized as Hartford Lawyer of the Year in Tax Law. He is Chair of the firm's Tax and Employee Benefits Practice Group, and practices in the areas of federal and State of Connecticut tax matters 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 Connecticut tax controversies (at the audit, appellate and court levels). Mr. Schatz is co-author of Connecticut Limited Liability Act: Forms and Practice Manual, the leading treatise in Connecticut on limited liability companies. He is also a frequent lecturer on federal and State of Connecticut tax, partnership and limited liability company issues. Mr. Schatz has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2012 and was named Lawyer of the Year in both Tax Law and Tax Litigation and Controversy in previous years.

Robert Wyld, Lawyer of the Year in Hartford Trusts and Estates Litigation, has significant experience representing fiduciaries and beneficiaries in complex trust and estates litigation, including will contests, trustee surcharge and removal litigation, contested accountings, cy pres and deviation claims, and trust and will construction actions. His extensive civil litigation experience centers on complex business and commercial litigation.  In addition to his trial practice, Mr. Wyld has considerable experience with alternative dispute resolution procedures, including mediation and commercial arbitration. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2007 and was previously named Lawyer of the Year in Trusts and Estates Litigation.

Shipman & Goodwin LLP is a full-service law firm with more than 175 attorneys in offices throughout Connecticut, New York and in Washington, DC, and serves the needs of local, regional, national and international clients. For more information, please visit