Unlike some other firms which have recently formed appellate practice groups, Horton, Dowd, Bartschi & Levesque, P.C. has handled appellate and trial litigation throughout its 40 year history. Attorneys in the firm have argued, briefed amd consulted on hundreds of cases in the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts. We have also argued matters before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Attorney Wesley Horton successfully argued Kelo v. New London before the United States Supreme Court in 2005.
Every lawyer in the firm handles appeals before the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts in a full, diverse range of areas including constitutional law, contracts, construction law, personal injury, products liability, family law, real estate, criminal, and juvenile law. The firm’s cases include reversal of multi-million dollar verdicts, such as the $30 million verdict in Glazer v. Dress Barn. Members of the firm were also instrumental in obtaining the reversal of a $40 million verdict in Pelletier v. Sordoni/Skanska Construction Company. Cases handled by the firm have shaped the substantive law on family law, civil rights, eminent domain and procedural law. The firm has influenced the procedure for handling appeals through its cases.
Each attorney in the firm brings a long-standing commitment to appellate practice to bear in assessing appeals, recognizing and defining issues and preparing the appeal for its respective court. Appellate advocacy is an exacting process, one which requires a sincere dedication to the appellate process. It starts with the filing of the initial papers, with the crafting of the issues. It is furthered by the briefing, with research and forthright written advocacy. It culminates in the oral argument, preferably a dialogue with the Court to advance a better understanding of the issues already presented.
In furtherance of the firm’s longstanding commitment to its appellate practice, attorneys in the firm speak, write, and teach about appeals. Attorneys Horton and Bartschi provide case and practice annotations to Connecticut’s appellate rules in Connecticut Practice Series: Connecticut Rules of Appellate Practice, which is issued annually by West Publishing. Attorneys Horton and Bartschi also author the Connecticut Appellate Review, which appears annually in the Connecticut Bar Journal.
Since 2011, Attorneys Dowd and Bartschi have spoken at the Connecticut Bar Association on developments in the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts, respectively. They follow in the footsteps of Attorney Wesley Horton who previously spoke at the Connecticut Bar Association on the topic, first alone and then with Attorney Bartschi. Attorney Horton co-founded the Appellate Advocacy Institute of the Connecticut Bar Association, an intensive three-day appellate practice program, in which partners from the firm have served as faculty. Attorney Bartschi is an active member of the Connecticut Bar Association Appellate Advocacy Section, helping to draft rule changes which have been adopted by the judiciary. Attorney Horton has been teaching appellate advocacy at the University of Connecticut School of Law since 1971, and Attorney Levesque joined him in teaching the class in 2013. Attorneys Dowd and Levesque each separately taught the Moot Court interterm at UConn School of Law. These activities provide continued opportunities to renew and expand the legal skills of the firm’s attorneys as well as others.
Perhaps the greatest endorsement of our appellate practice is the fact that other lawyers refer their clients to Horton, Dowd, Bartschi & Levesque, PC.
ETHICS & LEGAL PROFESSIONALISM
When attorneys need representation, they turn to the attorneys at Horton, Dowd, Bartschi & Levesque, P.C. We have been handling ethics related matters for over 30 years, including:
Representation of attorneys in disciplinary proceedings before the local panels and the Statewide Grievance Committee
Representation of attorneys during presentment proceedings before the all Connecticut Courts
Consultation with attorneys and law firms throughout the state on issues of legal ethics such as conflicts of interest or law firm dissolution
Consultation with attorneys and law firms on lawyer advertising
Consultation with and representation of attorneys as to random audits and employee defalcations
Consultation with and representation of attorneys as to defalcations
Representation regarding the unauthorized practice of law
Representation for the defense in professional negligence matters
Defense of legal malpractice actions
Expert witness testimony for grievance proceedings or legal malpractice cases
Consultations may seek limited advice or a long term relationship. It is better to ask first, than regret later.
In addition, attorneys from the firm represent candidates for admission to the Connecticut Bar in both the application process and before the Bar Examining Committee. We also represent attorneys on applications for readmission to the practice of law in the Connecticut Superior and Appellate Courts.
Attorney Horton has testified as an expert witness both in Connecticut Superior Court and in depositions on ethical issues such as conflict of interest and the reasonableness of fees.
The commitment of the firm to professional ethics extends beyond representation.
Attorney Wesley Horton was Chair of the CBA Committee on Professional Ethics and has been a member since 1976. Attorney Brendon Levesque will annotate the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Judicial Code of Conduct in the Connecticut Practice Book
Annotated, an annual publication authored in large part by members of the firm.
Attorney Levesque belongs to the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers and speaks on a regular basis on lawyer ethics and risk prevention at individual firms and at bar association programs. Attorney Dowd is listed in Best Lawyers for Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law.
Attorney Levesque has annually co-authored the Ethics Review in the Bar Journal since 2009.
Since its inception in 1976, attorneys from Horton, Dowd, Bartschi & Levesque, P.C. have been litigating trial cases in Connecticut State and Federal Courts. Our trial litigation practice includes representation of defendants in personal injury and premises liability matters, product liability claims and wrongful death claims. We are hired by individuals, insurers and claims adjusting firms. We also represent plaintiffs in personal injury matters, wrongful death actions and bad faith claims. At Horton, Dowd, Bartschi & Levesque, we offer a team approach, providing clients with a comprehensive defense that covers every step of the legal process from pretrial matters through discovery and settlement negotiations, all the way to trial, post judgment motions, and any possible appeals.
Our attorneys author publications such as The Connecticut Practice Book, Annotated and The Connecticut Rules of Appellate Procedure. Attorney Karen Dowd served as Chair of the Litigation Section of the Connecticut Bar Association. Attorney Robert Shields Jr. has worked with the judicial system as an arbitrator and mediator for years. Attorney Shields’ considerable experience and perspective is helpful in assessing and preparing cases for amicable resolutions. If the case goes to trial, our litigators are prepared for the factual and legal aspects of the case. Hiring Horton, Dowd, Bartschi & Levesque as your trial litigation counsel ensures that you will be prepared for any legal challenge that may arise in your case from pre-trial discovery through a petition for certification to the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Insurance law is equal parts litigation and legal analysis. The trial and appellate litigation experience of Horton, Dowd, Bartschi & Levesque is well- suited to the complex legal analyses needed in insurance litigation where a thorough understanding of the nuances of the law is essential. At Horton, Dowd, Bartschi & Levesque, we have contributed to the body of law in the area of insurance coverage and bad faith. Our experience as litigators at the trial and appellate levels help us to protect and advance your interests. Our knowledge of the industry from both the corporate and policyholder perspective allows us to also deal with questions concerning claim handling and bad faith insurance practices.
The firm focuses its insurance practice on litigation and interpretation of all lines of insurance policies and related contracts. The firm represents insurers in complex litigation matters and provides coverage opinions, analysis and litigation services. Insurance cases demand a flexible law firm that is informed, experienced, and reliable. The attorneys of Horton, Dowd, Bartschi & Levesque provide the kind of legal advice that can prepare your case for its best possible presentation.