Hugh W. CuthbertsonPrincipal
Since my graduation from law school in 1973, I have been involved in both civil and criminal litigation in state and federal court, both at the trial and appellate levels.
For the past 30 years my stock and trade has been the representation of companies and their management in the defense of employment, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful discharge, breach of contract and various related tort claims, such as defamation, infliction of emotional distress and misrepresentation. During this time, I have also handled and continue to handle other employment and business related matters, such as shareholder disagreements, business “divorces,” non-competition, non solicitation and non disclosure disputes, wage and hour matters, and unemployment compensation issues.
I began my legal career as an appellate litigator in Washington, D.C., as a trial attorney in the Office of the General Counsel with the Interstate Commerce Commission (“ICC”). As the ICC’s representative in court, I argued cases involving transportation law issues before special three-judge federal district courts around the country that were specially convened by statute to hear appeals from ICC decisions. The statutory structure for these lawsuits provided an immediate right of appeal to the United States Supreme Court.
Born and raised in Connecticut, I left the ICC in Washington after almost 3 years to return home to accept an appointment as an Assistant United States Attorney (“AUSA”) for the District of Connecticut. I served as an AUSA a little more than 5 years, first as a federal prosecutor and then as a civil trial attorney. As a prosecutor, my experience included the presentation of cases to federal grand juries for indictment. The range of cases involved the alleged violation of various federal laws, such as the Internal Revenue Code, the federal banking statutes (e.g., bank embezzlement, bank robbery), U.S. Treasury statutes (e.g., counterfeiting and forgery of U.S. Treasury checks), the postal laws (e.g., mail fraud, theft of mail), the Omnibus Crime Control Act (e.g., trafficking in and illegal possession of certain firearms), and the immigration laws. Following indictment, my responsibility included not only the jury or bench trial of each case indicted, but also any appeal taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
During this time, I have been an author and lecturer on employment law and litigation topics. Since 1983, I have served as a member of the Panel of Special Masters for the New Haven Seat of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, where I have received recognition for my service. Special masters serve as part of the federal court’s early settlement procedure by presiding over settlement conferences scheduled by the court. In 2006, I was appointed by the judges of the Connecticut Superior Court to the Connecticut Statewide Grievance Committee, on which I served until July 2012. The Statewide Grievance Committee hears and adjudicates grievances filed against attorneys in Connecticut alleging violations of Connecticut’s Rules of Professional Conduct.
I am admitted to practice law in the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts. I am also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fifth, Seventh, Eleventh and District of Columbia Circuits, the United States District Courts for the Districts of Connecticut, Massachusetts and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the United States Tax Court.
I am a member of the New Haven County Bar Association, the Connecticut Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.
When not practicing law, I enjoy travel to various locations around the world – the Caribbean (US and British Virgin Islands), South America (Argentina and Peru), Europe (the UK, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Turkey), North Africa (Morocco), and Asia (India and Japan). With an undergraduate degree in history, I also enjoy reading history (especially the American Civil War with a focus on Gettysburg). More recently, I have begun visiting and leading tours of the Gettysburg battlefield for those who share my enthusiasm about this topic.
- Connecticut, 1981
- Massachusetts, 1973
- U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 1976
- U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts, 1981
- U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 2012
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 2012
- U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, 1975
- U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1975
- U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1976
- U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1981
- U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1988
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1998
- U.S. Tax Court, 2013
- Boston College Law School, Boston, Massachusetts, May, 1973
- Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, May, 1969
B.A. Major: History
- 90% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Employment Law and Litigation
- Lecturer, Employment Law and Litigation
Professional Associations and Memberships:
- New Haven County Bar Association
- Connecticut Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Special Master, New Haven Seat of the United States District Court, District of Connecticut, since 1983
- Connecticut Statewide Grievance Committee, 2006-2012
- November 9, 1946, Greenwich, Connecticut
I was lead counsel in the following reported cases and/or trials:
Private Practice (1981 to present)
- 1. Grass v. Astroseal Products Mfg. Corp. et al., Docket No. CV-03-0100217-S (Conn. Super. filed Dec. 13, 2002), non suit entered (Oct. 30, 2003), appeal filed, AC No. 25339 (Conn. App. Apr. 14, 2004), action re-filed and re-designated Docket No. X04-CV-04-0104547-S ( Conn. Super. May 18, 2004), appeal dismissed (Conn. App. July 13, 2004) (shareholders’ derivative action litigated over the course of three years – settled on first day of trial (Dec. 12, 2005).
- 2. Doyle v. Abbenante, 2003 WL 22962429 ( Conn. Super. Dec. 2, 2003) (granting defendant’s motion to dismiss complaint), aff’d, 89 Conn. App. 658, 875 A.2d 558, cert. denied, 276 Conn. 911, 886 A.2d 425 (2005).
- 3. Shakur v. Automotive Controls Corporation, 2002 WL 1949196 ( Conn. Super. July 22, 2002) (granting employer’s motion for summary judgment).
- 4. Henrie v. East Haven Builders Supply, Inc., 2001 WL 103778 ( Conn. Super. Jan. 26, 2001) (memorandum of decision following trial entered in favor of employer denying former employee’s application to compel arbitration).
- 5. Conway v. Town of Wilton, 1994 WL 118753 ( Conn. Super. Mar. 11, 1994) (granting defendants’ motions for summary judgment), aff’d, 39 Conn. App. 280, 664 A.2d 327 (1995), rev’d, 238 Conn. 653, 680 A.2d 242 (1996), on remand, 45 Conn. App. 17, 692 A.2d 1303, cert. denied, 241 Conn. 919, 696 A.2d 986 (1997).
- 6. Rehim v. Kimberly-Clark Corp., 1997 WL 724491 ( Conn. Super. Nov. 10, 1997) (granting employer’s motion to strike complaint).
- 7. Wormley v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Connecticut, Inc., 1996 WL 151861 ( Conn. Super. Mar. 12, 1996) (granting in part employer’s motion for summary judgment), 1992 WL 361490 (Conn. Super. Nov. 23, 1992) (granting in part employer’s motion to strike complaint); jury verdict in favor of employer; no appeal.
- 8. Manley v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Connecticut, Inc., 1996 WL 532506 ( Conn. Super. Sept. 10, 1996) (granting in part employer’s motion for summary judgment); jury verdict in favor of employer; no appeal.
- 9. Torok v. Ray Proof, a Division of Shielding Systems Corp., 1993 WL 479795 (Conn. Super. Nov. 16, 1993), 1993 WL 256399 ( Conn. Super. June 29, 1993), 1993 WL 28878 ( Conn. Super. Feb. 1, 1993) (granting in part employers’ motions to strike complaint); jury verdict in favor of employer; no appeal.
- 10. Korineck v. Automotive Controls Corporation, 1990 WL 283914 ( Conn. Super. July 26, 1990) (granting in part employer’s motion to strike complaint).
- 11. Aaronson v. Heathcare, Inc., 1990 WL 261987 ( Conn. Super. Nov. 5, 1990), 1990 WL 283968 ( Conn. Super. Jun. 14, 1990).
- 12. Brotherton v. Burndy Corporation, 1990 WL 283709 ( Conn. Super. Sept. 24, 1990) (granting in part employer’s motion for summary judgment).
- 13. Stratton v. St. Joseph’s High School et al., Docket No. 230440 (Conn. Super. July 7, 1986), reprinted in 12 CLT 26, p.362 (granting defendant interscholastic athletic school association’s motion for summary judgment).
- 1. M.K. ex rel. Mrs. K. v. Sergi, 2008 WL 2364282 (D. Conn. June 6, 2008) (granting in all respects motion for summary judgment in favor of defendant school board and two of its employees on counts in consolidated complaint challenging lawfulness of board’s special education program and employees’ conduct and on board’s counterclaim challenging hearing officer’s administrative decision).
- 2. Mr. and Mrs. B. v. East Granby Board of Education, 201 Fed.Appx. 834, 2006 WL 3102476 (2d Cir. 2006) (affirming entry of summary judgment in favor of defendant school board on lawfulness of its special education program).
- 3. M.C. ex rel. Mrs. C. v. Voluntown Board of Education, 226 F.3d 60 (2d Cir.) (reversing entry of summary judgment against defendant school board), on remand, 122 F.Supp.2d 289 (D.Conn. 2000) (affirming lawfulness of school board’s special education program after court trial on remand), aff’d, Docket No. 01-7984 (2d Cir. May 17, 2002) (affirming lawfulness of school board’s special education program on appeal).
- 4. Underkofler v. Community Health Care Plan, Inc., 1999 WL 464530 (D.Conn. June 17, 1999) (granting employer’s motion for summary judgment), aff’d, 225 F.3d 646 (2d Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 532 U.S. 970, rehearing denied, 533 U.S. 970 (2001).
- 5. St. George v. Inline Plastics Corp., Civil Action No. 3:98cv1820 (JCH) (D.Conn. Sept. 30, 1999), Ruling on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, digested in 5 Conn. Ops. 1292 (Nov. 8, 1999), and Ruling on Defendant’s Motion for Reconsideration, 2000 WL 303260 (D.Conn. Feb. 14, 2000).
- 6. Moffett v. Kimberly-Clark Corp. 1998 WL 698760 (D.Conn. Aug. 6, 1998) (granting in part employer’s motion for summary judgment).
- 7. Flexible Technologies, Inc. v. Hall et al., Lead Case No. 3:93cv643 (JBA) (D.Conn. April 14, 1997) (jury trial; case settled after three days of taking evidence).
- 8. Figerle v. Brake Systems, Inc., 1988 WL 99199 (N.D.Ill. 1988) (granting employer’s motion for summary judgment), aff’d, 893 F.2d 1337 (7th Cir. 1989).
- 9. Stadnick v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, 15 Conn. L. Trib. No. 14, p.28 (D.Conn. Nov. 16, 1988) (granting employer’s motion for summary judgment).
United States Attorney’s Office, District of Connecticut (1976-1981)
- 1. Willy’s Grocery v. United States, 656 F.2d 24 (2d Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 454 U.S. 1148 (1982).
- 2. Marci v. City of New Haven , 503 F.Supp. 6 (D.Conn. 1980).
- 3. Hearn v. Nelson, 496 F.Supp. 1111 (D.Conn. 1980).
- 4. TM Systems, Inc. v. United States , 473 F.Supp. 481 (D.Conn. 1979).
- 5. Galante v. U.S. Parole Commission, 466 F.Supp. 1266 (D.Conn. 1979).
- 6. United States v. Colonial Bank and Trust Co. et al., 1979 WL 1479 (D.Conn. 1979).
- 7. Vitagliano v. United States, 601 F.2d 73 (2d Cir. 1979), cert. denied, 444 U.S. 1085 (1980).
- 8. United States v. Pereira , 574 F.2d 103 (2d Cir. 1978) (affirming defendant’s conviction and district court’s denial of defendant’s motion to dismiss).
- 9. In re Liberatore, 574 F.2d 78 (2d Cir. 1978) (appeal of contempt citation entered by district court).
- 10. Housler v. Nelson, 453 F.Supp. 874 (D.Conn. 1978).
- 11. United States v. DaSilva, Criminal No. N-78-3 (D.Conn. 1978) (jury verdict in favor of Government; no appeal).
- 12. United States v. Evans, 559 F.2d 1205 (2d Cir. 1977) (criminal contempt conviction; affirmed on appeal).
- 13. United States v. Brown, 438 F.Supp. 1002 (D.Conn. 1977) (court trial verdict in favor of Government; no appeal).
- 14. United States v. Apuzzo, 555 F.2d 306 (2d Cir. 1977) (jury verdict in favor of Government; affirmed on appeal).
- 15. United States v. Steinberg, 428 F.Supp. 77 (D.Conn. 1977).
- 16. United States v. Wadsworth , Criminal No. B-77-2 (D.Conn. 1977) (court trial verdict in favor of Government; no appeal).
- 17. United States v. Edmonds , Criminal No. N-76-87 (D.Conn. 1976) (court trial verdict in favor of Government; no appeal).
- 18. United States v. O’Neill, Criminal No. N-75-178 (D.Conn. 1976) (jury trial).
- 19. United States v. White, 556 F.2d 563 (2d Cir. 1976) (jury verdict in favor of Government; affirmed on appeal).
Interstate Commerce Commission (1973-1976)
- 1. Chem-Haulers, Inc. v. United States et al., 536 F.2d 610 (5th Cir. 1976).
- 2. Aero Mayflower Transit Co., Inc. v. I.C.C., 535 F.2d 997 (7th Cir. 1976).
- 3. North American Van Lines v. United States et al., 412 F.Supp. 782 (N.D.Ind. 1976).
- 4. Freight Forwarders Institute v. United States et al., 409 F.Supp. 693 (N.D.Ill. 1976).
- 5. Middle Atlantic Conference v. United States , 417 F.Supp. 1186 (D.D.C. 1976).
- 6. Atichson, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. United States et al., 403 F.Supp. 1327 (E.D.Pa. 1975).
- 7. Lemmon Transport Co., Inc. v. United States et al., 393 F.Supp. 838 (W.D.Va. 1975).
- 8. Aetna Freight Lines, Inc. v. United States et al., 381 F.Supp. 711 (N.D.Ohio 1974).
- 9. Nationwide Carriers, Inc. v. United States et al., 380 F.Supp. 1132 (D.Minn. 1974).
- 10. Engel Van Lines, Inc. v. United States et al., 374 F.Supp. 1217 (D.N.J. 1974).