Mr. Bagnell, Co-Founder of his previous firm Lucas Bagnell Varga, LLC, has more than twenty-four years’ experience 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 and appeals. Attorney Bagnell was just named a Life Member to the Multi-Million Dollar and Million Dollar Advocates Forum recognizing his record of multi-million dollar awards for his clients. He has been named one of the Top 50 lawyers practicing in Connecticut by Superlawyers Magazine, has been similarly recognized as one of the top 50 Litigation Stars in Connecticut by Benchmark Litigation in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and has been described as an “experienced and able trial attorney” by a senior federal judge in a published opinion.
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 2016. His practice is entirely devoted to civil litigation and appeals. He has recently been invited to be a member of the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.
"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/
Attorney Bagnell is currently representing a SWAT team member seeking damages when his firearm discharged after falling to the ground. Since the suit was filed, the manufacturer has issued a voluntary upgrade of the pistol due to problems with the weapon's internal safeties, which are designed to prevent the gun from firing in such a situation. The Complaint seeks "in excess of $1 million for each count and there are three counts in the Complaint, each requiring proof of different elements. What amount is ultimately awarded is of course up to a jury and the Judge, as I have stated," he added. "A weapon that fires without a voluntary trigger pull and shoots you is a very serious issue; the amounts in question reflect that; and the company's post-suit recall reflects it, as well"
Mr. Bagnell says, “The suit has been validated already in our view,” as the upgrade indicates the company's awareness of the defect.
In March 2017, Attorney Bagnell was named a Life Member of the Multi-Million Dollar and Million Dollar Advocates Forum, recognizing his career record of multi-million dollar awards and settlements for his clients.
In July 2016, he concluded a marathon eight-year insurance coverage battle againt AIG, having defeated the company’s motion for summary judgment on the claim of unfair insurance practices under Connecticut law. “While the delay and anti-plaintiff bias in this case, as well as the underlying case, were truly appalling, we were pleased with the final outcome made possible by a new judge. Under no circumstances may an insurance company delay a coverage determination on a claim for more than four years and get away with it." "It was very difficult to see my client, who lost her livelihood for refusing to lie under oath, re-victimized for years by court personnel who, even after seven years, still had a hard time understanding, or did not want to understand, the very basics of insurance law; that is something that could probably only happen in Connecticut," he added.
Jeff has obtained precedent-setting decisions in several areas including wrongful discharge, the Family and Medical Leave Act, spoliation of electronic evidence, and E-discovery. Among other 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. In June 2009, he obtained a $1 million settlement of an age discrimination claim on behalf of a terminated cosmetics executive. In July 2008, he obtained a $4.2 million jury verdict on behalf of a former employee of the New Haven Register, who was terminated in retaliation for refusing to give false testimony in a state administrative proceeding. In August of that year he successfully opposed a motion for summary judgment by General Electric Company in an age discrimination case involving an E-band executive. He represented 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 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, as well as the Connecticut Supreme Court. In preparing his cases for trial and selecting juries, Mr. Bagnell works very closely with a Virginia-based jury consultant, Carolyn Koch, Esq. of Jury Solutions Inc., to ensure the best possible presentation to the jury.
Articles on cases he has handled have appeared in the National Law Journal, Lawyers Weekly USA, the Connecticut Law Tribune, and various legal journals. He has obtained precedent-setting decisions in the areas of E-discovery and spoliation, insurance coverage, wrongful discharge, wage and hour laws, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. He has been a frequent speaker at bar association events, including the Connecticut Bar Association’s annual meetings. He has authored articles on evidence issues arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, litigating cases under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), as well as Supreme Court jurisprudence on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. He was a contributing editor of the American Bar Association’s Model Employment Law Jury Instructions, Second Edition, as well as the American Bar Association’s Employment Litigation Handbook.
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 is admitted to practice to the state bars of Connecticut and Massachusetts. Previously in his career he served as associate counsel for a $300 million, publicly traded communications company in Milford, Connecticut, with over 2,000 employees, where he advised management on a broad array of issues involving international and domestic business transactions. He also served as an attorney with Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Chimes & Richardson, P.C. in New Haven, Connecticut, a 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.
“You learn so much just by observing a lawyer as preeminent as Joe, let alone being able to work with him for years,” he stated. “It was a great experience and one which continues to influence my practice today.”
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 1,221 cyclists for the fastest time in Westport's Compo Sprint time trial, averaging almost 28 miles per hour. He is also an avid sailor.
He is also the author of One Question Too Many: The Trial of Captain Charles B. McVay, a study of the court-martial of the captain of the USS Indianapolis. His work on this article, which included locating and obtaining a copy of the original 1945 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
- 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:
- Cross-Examining Hitler, 1931; The Most Dangerous Cross-Examination of All Time (author)
- “Lessons in the Art of Questioning from the Titanic Disaster Hearings”, (author)
- “One Question Too Many: The Trial of Captain Charles B. McVay III”, (author)
- “Legal briefs on Statute of Frauds and other topics”, The Leveler (Spring and Summer 2001) (author)
- “Litigating Cases Under the Family and Medical Leave Act”, Practicing Law Institute, 30th Annual Labor and Employment Law Symposium, New York, New York (October 2000 and 2001) (co-author)
- “The Stray Remarks Doctrine After Reeves”, CBA Labor & Employment Law Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Fall 2000). Reprinted by Connecticut Bar Association (March 2002) and National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), New England Regional Conference (April 2003) (author)
- “Magic Words Not Needed: Second Circuit’s Pleading Standard Too Strict in Swierkiewicz”, Connecticut Law Tribune, Labor and Employment Issue (May 2003) (author)
- “Model Employment Law Jury Instructions, Second Edition”, American Bar Association (2006) (contributing editor)
- “Employment Litigation Handbook, Second Edition”, American Bar Association (2007) (contributing editor)
ACTIVITIES AND AFFILIATIONS:
- 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)