Fellows Roundtables



The Fellows started roundtable forums to discuss topics of the day and issues involving the practice of law. It is hoped that there will continue to be four or more luncheon or dinner meetings each year, one in each of the four regions of the state. Twenty to thirty Fellows attend each forum, and a Fellow, in collaboration with one or more discussion leaders, moderates the conversation. To date, there have been eleven roundtables.

A Fellows Roundtable Discussion was held on February 22, 2017
Quinnipiac University School of Law in North Haven:

And Justice For All?

Can We Make Access to Justice a Reality?

Roundtable Discussion 

February 22, 2017
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Quinnipiac University School of Law
North Haven, CT


A fundamental tenet of American society is that all individuals stand equal before the law. For many people, navigating the waters of a complex legal system is, at a minimum, a daunting task. For others, the prospect of facing the rapids alone serves as a complete barrier to obtaining necessary services and protecting individual rights. 

Please join us to discuss the recommendations published December 15, 2016 in the Connecticut General Assembly’s Report of the Task Force to Improve Access to Legal Counsel in Civil Matters.

Does this Report serve as the life raft that we need, or are Connecticut’s citizens who cannot afford their own lawyers going to have to continue to sink or swim alone?


Discussants included:  Task Force Members Dean Jennifer Brown, Connecticut Legal Services Deputy Director Deborah Witkin, and New Haven Legal Assistance Executive Director Alexis Smith, Connecticut Legal Rights Project Executive Director Kathy Flaherty, Greater Hartford Legal Aid Staff Attorney Cecil Thomas


This Roundtable was co-hosted by Quinnipiac University School of Law

Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, and several law students participated.

A Fellows Roundtable Discussion was held on January 24, 2017 at Republic at Peppercorn's Grill in Hartford:

"Can You Just Listen?”

Roundtable Discussion
January 24, 2017
6:00 p.m.
Peppercorn's Grill
Hartford, CT

As we reflect on the election results and the divisiveness of our country, people are saying we need to listen to one another.  But can we?  What is the difference between listening and hearing?  Do we listen to respond or listen to understand?  In these times of interruption and “let me finish”, can we truly open our minds (and hearts) to the thoughts and feelings of those we are engaged with.  How do we listen: actively and with open mind, or are we formulating a response back?  Has this inability to truly listen to one another affected our legal system, our society, our policies, our safety?  How do we teach other to listen and what does listening truly mean? Please join members of the bench, communication experts, and community leaders for a lively discussion on a topic that is both professionally and personally relevant and to just listen to each other.  


Representative David Baram
Judge Leo V. Diana
Representative Rosa Rebimbas
Justice Richard A. Robinson
Dr. Elizabeth S. Thayer


Regional Co-Hosts:

Barbara Aaron, Esq.

Berman, Bourns, Aaron & Dembo, LLC
664 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105

Telephone: 860.232.4471
Baaron [at] westhartfordlaw [dot] com


Kim L. Duell, Esq.

Law Offices of Kim L. Duell
81 Wethersfield Ave, # 3
Hartford, CT 061114 

Telephone: 860.522.4025
kim [at] kimduell [dot] com

A Fellows Roundtable Discussion was held on January 18, 2017 at Republic at the Linden in Hartford:

The Art of the Legal Blog

Roundtable Discussion
January 18, 2017
6:00 p.m.
Republic at the Linden
Hartford, CT

Many lawyers are creating blogs as a means of marketing, commenting on areas of practice, cases or events, getting their views out there, etc., but does it work and what are some things a lawyer should consider when entering this domain?  Will it be read?  If so, by whom? What are the ethical considerations? Does it generate business? Is it worth the effort?  Could it come back to haunt you?  Please join us for a lively discussion on this relevant, personal and work required topic.


Attorney Meghan Freed, Freed Marcroft, LLC 

Attorney Daniel Schwartz, Shipman & Goodwin, LLP

                      Attorney Regina Von Gootkin, Brown, Paindiris & Scott, LLP

                      Attorney Bruce Stanger, Stanger & Associates, LLC


Regional Co-Hosts:

Meghan Freed, Esq.

Freed Marcroft, LLC
419 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06103
Telephone: (860) 560-8160
meghan [at] freedmarcroft [dot] com

Barry F. Armata, Esq.

Brown, Paindiris & Scott, LLP
100 Pearl Street
Hartford, CT 06103
Tel: (860) 522-3343
barmata [at] bpslawyers [dot] com

A Fellows Roundtable Discussion was held on April 18, 2016 at Quinnipiac University School of Law:



The Happy Lawyer:

A Myth or a Real Possibility?

presented by

Connecticut Bar Foundation
James W. Cooper Fellows


Quinnipiac University School of Law


It can almost seem like an oxymoron to some lawyers to suggest that lawyers can be “happy.” When we look more deeply at the concept, however, then we can unpack the mystery of why so many lawyers are chronically unhappy and unfulfilled and why others are, indeed, satisfied and fulfilled.

This Roundtable started with a look at the recent book, “The Happy Lawyer: Making a Good Life in the Law” by Nancy Levit and Douglas Linder (Oxford, 2010). CBF Fellow Professor Carolyn Kaas and two current Quinnipiac Law students presented the research findings and conclusions from the book. From an examination of the science of human happiness and from studies of lawyers in various practice settings, the authors suggested various strategies for boosting career happiness. Among other things, they suggested that finding happiness requires examining and understanding  our own personality types, values, strengths, and interests.  

Lawyers at different stages of their careers were asked to respond and to give their opinions on the book’s findings, and from their own experiences, on how they have -- or haven’t -- achieved satisfaction. This lead to a candid and productive discussion among all of the participants to help all of us chart pathways to improved quality in our professional lives.

For information on the latest roundtable: please contact the CBF at ctbf [at] cbf-1 [dot] org or 860.722.2494.