Richard C. Lee United States District Courthouse, New Haven, Connecticut

Richard C. Lee United States District Courthouse, New Haven, Connecticut

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,



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


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


Phone: 203 984 8820;  203 557 4083 landline

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, a recognition 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 2019.  




Among other matters, Attorney Bagnell is advising and representing law enforcement officers across the country in Connecticut, Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Georgia, 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.


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 delay in the case was extraordinary, we were pleased with the outcome made possible by other judges.  Under no circumstances may an insurance company abandon an insured and delay a coverage determination for many years, without waiving defenses to a 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. His client was fired for refusing to lie under oath in a sexual harassment case.

Wiggin & Dana LLP represented the Register at trial.


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.

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In this action, plaintiff William Bernstein alleged that his former employer terminated his employment after he was diagnosed with lung cancer in violation of federal and state laws forbidding (1) disability discrimination and (2) retaliation for opposing such unlawful practices. Attorney Bagnell alleged violation of the American’s with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) (Counts I and II) and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (“CFEPA”) (Counts III and IV). In September 2015, he summarily defeated the corporation’s motion for summary judgment on all four counts, and obtained a substantial settlement on his client’s behalf.

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 Life Technologies, who were denied certain change in control benefits following a merger in November 2008.


In December 2012, a three-member panel of the American Arbitration Association awarded former executives of Applied Biosystems, Inc., f/k/a Perkin Elmer Corporation, $17.4 million in unpaid change in control benefits from Life Technologies Corporation, one of the world's largest biotechnology companies. (NASDAQ:   LIFE).  The case was presented to a former federal judge, former state judge and a senior member of the Connecticut Bar over a period of two years.  According to the claim of the executives, the incentive compensation became due from Life Technologies Corporation when it assumed the obligations of the executives' employment agreements after acquiring Applied Biosystems, Inc. in November 2008.  Life Technologies argued the executives were misreading their agreements and were not entitled to continued stock-based benefit awards.   

In finding for the executives, the arbitration Panel held the agreements were breached as "the Company made no effort to provide [the claimed benefits], and the Claimants are entitled to them."  "Consultants from Citrin Cooperman were instrumental in helping us present our clients' complex damages claim to the Panel," added Jeff Bagnell, who handled the damages aspect of the case at trial.


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 11th out of 1,688 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,, and the Polaris Project,, 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.


  • 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


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

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

  • Institute of European Studies, Madrid



  • Stamford Police Association

  • 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


  • 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