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 twelve roundtables.


The Grass is Greener…or is it?

Roundtable Discussion 
September 13, 2017
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
UCONN School of Law
Janet M. Blumberg Hall
Hartford, CT


Have you ever heard the following?  “Attorneys in private practice make more money.”  “Public Service attorneys work shorter hours and have positions that come with big pensions and benefits.”  “In-house lawyers have easier jobs because they don’t have to deal with the pressures of maintaining a private practice.”  “Attorneys who work for non-profit organizations have low stress, feel good jobs.” Join us for a discussion of different types of practices and assumptions that we make about the various types of legal lifestyles: public service, in-house counsel, private practice, and working for a non-profit organization.


Facilitators include:

Kathy M. Flaherty, Connecticut Legal Rights Project

Gail P. Hardy, State’s Attorney for Hartford

Kristen M. Marcroft, Freed Marcroft LLC

Hon. Tammy T. Nguyen-O’Dowd, Superior Court of Connecticut

Bryan J. Orticelli, Day Pitney LLP

John J. Phillips, Barings, LLC

José A. Santos, United Technologies Corporation

Alexis N. Smith, New Haven Legal Assistance

Amy Wergeles, Henkel Corporation

Edward Wilson, Office of the Attorney General

Gayle C. Wintjen, Oak Hill

Anne Kelly Zovas, Strunk Dodge Aiken Zovas LLC


This event will take place from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at UCONN School of Law, Janet M. Blumberg Hall, 2nd Fl. of Hosmer Hall, 65 Elizabeth Street, Hartford, CT. Seating is limited, so check your calendars and sign up soon by contacting Kati Carling of the Connecticut Bar Foundation at 860.722.2494 or email her at ctbf [at] cbf-1 [dot] org.

There will be a buffet dinner. Gluten-free, vegetarian/vegan options available upon request. Please send your check for $45.00 payable to the Connecticut Bar Foundation, to 31 Pratt Street, Suite 420, Hartford, CT 06103.  Your payment will assist in covering the cost of the dinner for the law students in attendance. The catering guarantee requirements make it necessary for us to charge you if you cancel less than 72 hours in advance.



Hon. Barry F. Armata
Connecticut Superior Court   

J.D. & G.A. 4 Courthouse 
400 Grand Street
Waterbury, CT 06702  

Susan Garcia Nofi
Central West Justice Center
One Monarch Place, Suite 350
Springfield, MA 01144


Directions: http://www.law.uconn.edu/about/maps-directions. Use 65 Elizabeth Street as destination on GPS or map program. Park in Hosmer Hall lot [Come in front of Hosmer Hall building from courtyard area, and enter school.  Once inside, go up the stairs and Janet M. Blumberg Hall will be straight ahead.]


A Fellows Roundtable Discussion was held on June 15, 2017 at Mory's in New Haven:


Exit Strategies

Roundtable Discussion

June 15, 2017

6:00 - 8:00 p.m.


New Haven, CT


This Roundtable will be of great interest to lawyers of all ages. Early and mid-career lawyers struggle to make orderly transitions to new positions.  They are also rightly concerned about older lawyers and their winding down.  They can learn from how those older lawyers make these changes.


As lawyers come to the end of their practice and careers, many have a hard time talking about their exit strategies and expectations as they phase out of full time practice.  Many firms and senior partners find it difficult to plan for succession and to be forthcoming about what the expectations are for those who are leaving and those who are staying.  At this roundtable, we will talk about how to have those uncomfortable conversations, what all the stakeholders expect, what they may fear, and how lawyers decades from their own retirement can help and learn from the experience of senior lawyers in transition. Please join us for a stimulating conversation about this difficult but important topic.



·         Dr. Sidney Horowitz, Connecticut Resource Group, LLC

·         Judi M. Keppelman, Robinson & Cole LLP

·         Bruce Louden, Louden, Katz & McGrath, LLC

·         John Rose, Jr., Corporation Counsel, City of New Haven

·         Mark G. Sklarz, Green & Sklarz LLC

·         Elizabeth J.  Stewart, Murtha Cullina, LLP


This event will take place at 6:00 p.m. at Mory’s, 306 York Street, New Haven, CT, 203.562.3157. Participation is limited to the first 25 people to register, so check your calendars and sign up soon by contacting Kati Carling of the Connecticut Bar Foundation at 860.722.2494 or email her at ctbf [at] cbf-1 [dot] org.


Please plan to bring with you or send a $45.00 check payable to the Connecticut Bar Foundation for your meal that night or mail your check ahead of time to 31 Pratt St #420, Hartford, CT 06103.




Dwight H. Merriam                                                                Barbara S. Miller

Robinson + Cole                                                                   Brody Wilkinson PC

280 Trumbull Street                                                              2507 Post Road

Hartford, CT 06103                                                               Southport, CT 06890   

860.275.8228                                                                        203-319-7133

dmerriam [at] rc [dot] com                                                                bmiller [at] brodywilk [dot] com 


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.