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 Richard C. Lee United States District Courthouse

Richard C. Lee United States District Courthouse

Jeff Bagnell is a terrific trial attorney - not only does he have ‘behind the scenes’ smarts (excellent depositions and legal briefs) but he’s great in the court room. The best lawyers are totally prepared and not afraid to try their cases. That’s Jeff.
— Carolyn Koch, Principal at Jury Solutions, LLC, http://www.jurysolutions.com

 

PRACTICE AREAS

Civil Litigation, Civil Rights, Employment & Commercial Law, Insurance Litigation

EDUCATION

Boston College Law School, J.D., Newton, MA
College of the Holy Cross, B.A., Honors Program, Worcester, MA
Institute of European Studies, Madrid

CONTACT

Phone: 203 984 8820;  203 557 4083 landline
Email: jbagnell@bagnell-law.com

Mr. Bagnell, Co-Founder of his previous firm Lucas Bagnell Varga, LLC, has more than twenty-four years’ experience advising and representing individual and corporate clients in the areas of employment law, civil rights, contract disputes, executive compensation, trademark law, firearms defects, and related civil litigation. 

In August  2018, for the second consecutive year, he was named in the 25th Edition of Best Lawyers in America, an award reserved for few practicing attorneys in the United States.  In October 2017, he was named a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only award recognizing his accomplishments as a trial attorney and litigator.  He has been named as one of the Top 50 lawyers practicing in Connecticut by Superlawyers Magazine, an honor reserved for fewer than 1% of attorneys practicing statewide, and has been similarly recognized as one of the top 50 Litigation Stars in Connecticut by Benchmark Litigation.

A graduate of Holy Cross College and Boston College Law School, he has been peer-rated in the top five percent of attorneys practicing in Connecticut in Law & Politics and SuperLawyers Magazine every year since its inception in 2006 through 2018.  

He is currently lead counsel in a product liability action against one of the largest arms manufacturers in the world. 


"A very skilled and knowledgeable attorney."

- Ralph Losey, Esq.,  https://e-discoveryteam.com/2011/08/31/case-where-it-tech’s-fast-talk-had-zero-persuasive-value-with-judge/


Among other matters, Attorney Bagnell is representing law enforcement officers in Connecticut and Virginia whose weapons fired un-commanded, shooting them and, in one case, severing the officer's femur in half.   His work on the cases has resulted in the manufacturer issuing two "voluntary upgrade" notices, to install numerous safety repairs including, but not limited to, the weapon's drop defect.  

To date, no mandatory recall has been issued, despite numerous people across the country having been shot.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=15&v=u9vIY2EoJw

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  ‘ VOLUNTARY UPGRADE” STATEMENT, AUGUST 5, 2017.    RESPONSE BY MR. BAGNELL:  NEITHER VIBRATION OF OR IMPACT TO A GUN, OR ACCIDENTALLY DROPPING ONE, CONSTITUTES “ABUSIVE HANDLING. “  WHEN A MANUFACTURER TELLS YOU THAT A PISTOL NEEDS TO BE HANDLED LIKE AN EGG, IT’S OBVIOUS THAT AN IMMEDiATE RECALL NEEDS TO BE ORDERED, NOT A “VOLUNTARY UPGRADE.”  IN THESE CASES, THE STRATEGY HAS BEEN TO KEEP THE DEFECTIVE PRODUCT IN COMMERCE AT THE EXPENSE OF HUMAN SAFETY, AND BLAME THE VICTIMS.

VOLUNTARY UPGRADE” STATEMENT, AUGUST 5, 2017.

RESPONSE BY MR. BAGNELL:

NEITHER VIBRATION OF OR IMPACT TO A GUN, OR ACCIDENTALLY DROPPING ONE, CONSTITUTES “ABUSIVE HANDLING. “

WHEN A MANUFACTURER TELLS YOU THAT A PISTOL NEEDS TO BE HANDLED LIKE AN EGG, IT’S OBVIOUS THAT AN IMMEDiATE RECALL NEEDS TO BE ORDERED, NOT A “VOLUNTARY UPGRADE.”

IN THESE CASES, THE STRATEGY HAS BEEN TO KEEP THE DEFECTIVE PRODUCT IN COMMERCE AT THE EXPENSE OF HUMAN SAFETY, AND BLAME THE VICTIMS.

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In July 2016, he concluded an eight-year bad faith denial lawsuit against AIG, having defeated the company’s motion for summary judgment on the claim of unfair insurance practices.  “While the extreme delay and anti-plaintiff bias in the case, as well as the underlying case, were indefensible, we were pleased with the outcome made possible by a new judge.  Under no circumstances may an insurance company delay a coverage determination for more than four years on the exact type of claim a $5 million EPLI policy was written to cover, without waiving defenses to the claim."   

In the underlying case, Mr. Bagnell won a $4.2 million unanimous jury verdict in 2008 against the New Haven Register, on all counts, for wrongful termination, when his client was fired for refusing to lie under oath in a legal proceeding.  "Normally this kind of severe corporate misconduct would offend not just a jury, but a judge at least mildly concerned with the integrity of the oath taken in a courtroom."

However, despite being presented with clear evidence of the company's financial instability immediately after the verdict, the trial judge took no action, at all, for nine months on a post-judgment attachment motion filed by Mr. Bagnell.  At that point the Register filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11, making the 8-year action against AIG necessary.  

The overall proceeding against the Register, and its insurance company AIG, spanned 12 years.

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The same year, he obtained judgment on behalf of a maritime inventor on all seven counts of an intellectual property, unfair trade practices, and trademark infringement case against Lewmar, Inc., one of the world's largest manufacturers of marine equipment and accessories.  His client had invented a revolutionary one-handed sailing winch handle, which won international awards for its ingenuity and quality.  It was almost immediately copied by a corporate partner and other competitors.   https://www.sailingworld.com/gear/composite-onetouch-winch-handle-dax-labs

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Jeff has obtained precedent-setting decisions in many other areas of practice including wrongful discharge, the Family and Medical Leave Act, spoliation of electronic evidence, and E-discovery.  Among other many successful results for clients, with attorney Scott Lucas he obtained a $17.4 million arbitration award in December 2012 on behalf of five former executives of a public life sciences company, who were denied certain change in control benefits following a merger in November 2008.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lucas-bagnell-varga-llc-secures-174-million-award-for-former-applied-biosystems-executives-182432471.html

 In June 2009, he obtained a $1 million settlement of an age discrimination claim on behalf of a terminated cosmetics executive.

He was lead counsel for the plaintiff in Doe v. Norwalk Community College, 248 F.R.D. 372 (D. Conn. 2007), a case in which he was among the first attorneys in New England to obtain sanctions for spoliation of electronic evidence.  He has achieved other substantial verdicts and settlements in his practice areas.  His practice is entirely devoted to civil litigation and appeals.   While he is known for representing individuals, his representative corporate clients have included Norwalk Marine Contractors, Inc.; Delta Level Defense; Dax Labs LLC; RuggerWear LLC; and Velocity Express, Inc.   

He is also proud to represent the Founder of the Adventures in Travel Expo, James Cohen, whose original concept to combine adventure with vacations has been an enormous world-wide success.

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He has argued cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts in New York and Connecticut, the Eastern District of Virginia, as well as the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Court.  



Mr. Bagnell is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and Connecticut.  He served as an attorney with Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Chimes & Richardson, P.C. in New Haven, Connecticut, a pre-eminent firm that specializes in civil litigation and white-collar criminal defense, where he worked closely with the firm’s founding partner, Joseph D. Garrison on a variety of cases and successful trials, including $1.6 million and $500,000 verdicts against companies for violation of the FMLA in 2003 and 2005.

He has served as a member of the executive committee of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section, and is a Sustaining Member of the National Employment Lawyers Association and the American Bar Association’s Section on Litigation. 

 


 

In his spare time, Jeff is a dedicated cyclist.  He is currently ranked 12th out of 1,621 cyclists for the all time fastest time in Westport's Compo Sprint time trial, averaging almost 29 miles per hour.   He is also an avid sailor.   His favorite charities are Wounded Warrior Project, https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org, and the Polaris Project, https://polarisproject.org, which seeks an end to human trafficking.  

He is the published author of One Question Too Many:  The Trial of Captain Charles B. McVay III,  a study of the 1945 court-martial of the captain of the USS Indianapolis.  His work on this 2014 copyrighted article,  which included locating and obtaining a copy of the actual trial transcript, led him to be consulted by the actor who portrays the Japanese submarine commander in the motion picture “USS Indianapolis:  Men of Courage” starring Nicholas Cage.  http://litigationcommentary.org/index.php/contributors/1384-one-question-too-many-the-trial-of-captain-charles-b-mcvay-iii

http://lawmagazine.bc.edu


ADMISSIONS:

  • United States Supreme Court, 2002

  • United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2000

  • United States District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and Connecticut, 1998

  • State Bar of Connecticut, 1993

  • State Bar of Massachusetts, 1992

  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, Pro Hac Vice, 2018


EDUCATION:

  • Boston College Law School, J.D., Newton, MA

  • College of the Holy Cross, B.A., Honors Program, Worcester, MA

  • Institute of European Studies, Madrid


SCHOLARLY LECTURES AND WRITINGS:


ACTIVITIES AND AFFILIATIONS:

  • NELA

  • Executive Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association's Labor and Employment Section,

  • Sustaining Member of the National Employment Lawyers Association

  • Sustaining Member of the American Bar Association's Section on Litigation


SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS:

  • The E-Smoking Gun: Digital Forensics, E-Discovery, Spoliation of Electronically Stored Information”, Connecticut Bar Association seminar (2008)

  • “The Use of Mock Trials and Jury Consultants”, Annual meeting of the National Employment Lawyers Association in Atlanta, Georgia (2008)

  • “Discovery Issues Relating to Electronically-stored Information (ESI)”, 2008 New England Regional Conference of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) in Boston, Massachusetts (2008)

  • “Connecticut FMLA Update 2006”, Council on Education in Management in Trumbull, Connecticut (2006)

  • “Navigating a Case at the Department of Labor: Where are the Shoals?”, 130th Annual Connecticut Bar Association Annual Meeting, New Haven, Connecticut (2005)

  • “Annual Employment Law Summary”, 130th Annual Connecticut Bar Association Annual Meeting, New Haven, Connecticut (2005)

  • “Expert Witnesses”, National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), New England Regional Conference, Boston, Massachusetts (2003)

  • “About Current Issues Regarding FMLA”, National Business Institute seminar on Family and Medical Leave Act in Hartford, CT (2002)

  • “Employment Law”, Connecticut Bar Association Annual Symposium on Employment Law in New Britain, Connecticut (2002)


admitted in Connecticut and Massachusetts