Bradford S. Babbitt

Partner

  • Overview

    Biography

    Brad Babbitt, co-chair of the firm's Litigation Section, represents businesses in a wide variety of industries, helping them to protect their interests in disputes arising from myriad different commercial relationships.

    Business Litigation and Appeals

    In addition to contract and business tort disputes, Mr. Babbitt has handled copyright, trademark, and trade secret litigation in both federal and state court. He has also represented companies in investigations conducted by state regulators and the Connecticut attorney general.

    Mr. Babbitt often represents companies in the utility industry in administrative appeals from regulatory rulings and other litigation. In this context, he has often used the preemptive power of federal or state legislation to assist utility companies in achieving their goals, despite local opposition. His experience in this area includes the Connecticut Supreme Court case that established the preemptive power of the Connecticut Siting Council over municipal zoning authorities and his defeat of attempts by antinuclear energy activists to entangle a state agency in a dispute over alleged safety violations at a nuclear energy plant. Mr. Babbitt routinely collaborates with members of our utility practice in representing our clients.

    Ecclesiastical

    Additionally, Mr. Babbitt represents religious organizations in a variety of disputes. Mr. Babbitt has defended local churches, clergy, dioceses, and archdioceses in the Episcopal and Roman Catholic faiths from claims of sexual abuse. These actions have included 58 different cases consolidated in federal court arising from allegations of abuse at a school in Haiti. Mr. Babbitt won summary judgment for a local church and a diocese of the Episcopal Church on thirty-five-year-old claims of abuse, and successfully defended that decision on appeal. Mr. Babbitt has also represented denomination leadership in the Episcopal and Baptist faiths in property disputes with local churches. As Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, Mr. Babbitt serves as legal counsel to the Bishop of Connecticut.

    Mr. Babbitt has tried numerous matters to verdict in both court and jury cases and also has substantial experience in arbitration. He has handled 14 appeals in the Connecticut appellate courts and another 11 appeals in the First and Second circuits.

    Before joining Robinson+Cole, Mr. Babbitt clerked for the Honorable William J. Lavery on the Connecticut Appellate Court.

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

        Business Litigation

      • Represented the owner of a multidisciplinary health care facility, renowned for providing facial reconstructive surgery, spa, and hotel services in a retreat setting. The former operator of the spa and inn had opened a competing spa operation only miles from the original retreat, using the trademarks that had been licensed to her by the retreat's owner. Sought injunctive relief in federal court to stop the misuse of intellectual property. After an injunction hearing, the matter was settled with all intellectual property being awarded, in a stipulated judgment, to the client in addition to the recovery of attorneys' fees.
      • Representation of a multinational health care information technology provider in an injunction action intended to prevent a breach of contract by a state health care agency. Robinson & Cole obtained an emergency ex parte injunction to prevent the state agency from disclosing trade secrets proprietary to our client in response to a freedom of information request promulgated by a legal aid organization opposed to managed care in governmental health care programs. Subsequently, Robinson & Cole defended against the agency’s efforts to lift that injunction and a subsequent appeal. The matter ended while the appeal was pending when the legal aid organization withdrew its FOIA request.
      • Defended aviation repair station against claims by Federal Aviation Administration that it had improperly returned aircraft parts to service. Issues included disputes over the proper methods for rehabilitating parts and the inconsistent guidance offered by the FAA. Civil penalties approaching $1,000,000 were settled for $10,000.
      • Defended a national railroad company against inverse condemnation and trespass claims concerning an alleged easement over the railroad. This case involved complicated valuation issues related to the presence of mineable stone and rock on the property and the feasibility of developing an industrial subdivision on property that was purportedly landlocked by the alleged taking.
      • Obtained dismissal, after evidentiary hearing, of a petition for a writ of mandamus filed by an antinuclear energy activist seeking intervention by state agency into nuclear safety issues at local power station. Demonstrated to the Court that the safety issues raised in the petition were preempted by federal law and that the plaintiff lacked standing. The petition was dismissed only 37 days after being filed.
      • Successfully obtained summary judgment on claims of tortious interference with contract and civil conspiracy arising from our client's successful opposition before municipal zoning authorities to construction of 32 condominiums on abutting property in Sharon, Connecticut.
      • Represented privately held trust in securities fraud action against private investment broker and her company. Obtained judgment exceeding $1.3 million after trial, which was successfully defended on appeal to the Second Circuit. After the defendants failed to satisfy the judgment, succeeded in piercing the corporate veil of the company in a five-day jury trial to reach the assets of the broker's husband, a co-owner of the company, and successfully defended that judgment at the Second Circuit.

      • Retained to assist passenger rail system to respond to excavation by neighboring land-owner which undermined right-of-way; obtained preliminary injunction authorizing rail system to perform restoration work on the neighbor’s property to restore the right-of-way; obtained final judgment for costs associated with restoration work.

      • Sought preliminary injunction to remove incursion into railroad right-of-way which threatened critical infrastructure construction program; negotiated agreement by which incursion was eliminated and railroad received payment of litigation costs.

      • Removed regional water authority’s condemnation action to Federal court and asserted Federal preemption defenses to prevent uncompensated taking; negotiated resolution under which client received substantial compensation under license agreement.

      • Successfully defended award of power purchase agreements under state energy procurement program to renewable energy producers in Federal challenge by unsuccessful bidder.

      • Defended majority owner of power generating facility against claims of self-dealing and breach of fiduciary duty by minority owners; at the close of fact and expert discovery, mediated resolution based on purchase of ownership shares for a fraction of the original demand.

      • Appellate

      • Represented Verizon Wireless in successful Connecticut Supreme Court appeal involving the exclusive jurisdiction of the Connecticut Siting Council over telecommunications towers.
      • Successfully defended Connecticut Siting Council approval of a telecommunications tower in southeastern Connecticut against multiple appeals and motions for reconsideration by municipalities, residents, and the attorney general. Appeal to the Superior Court from denial of motion to dismiss was itself dismissed.
      • Represented a criminal defendant as special public defender. Persuaded Connecticut Supreme Court, sitting en banc, to modify the 145-year-old evidentiary doctrine of "constancy of accusation."
      • Represented company proposing to construct new energy plant in appeal by unsuccessful bidder from state agency's award of output contract. Persuaded court to dismiss appeal for lack of standing on an expedited briefing and argument schedule.
      • Succeeded in defending district court's entry of preliminary injunction prohibiting payment of $4.5 million in settlement fund to corporate alter egos of judgment debtors that had been found liable to our clients, judgment creditors, for breach of contract, conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and violation of Mass. Gen. Laws c. 93A.
      • Persuaded trial court to dismiss appeal for lack of standing where appellant challenged Connecticut Siting Council authorization to build and operate telecommunications facility in northwest Connecticut; successfully defended that decision and numerous other issues raised on appeal at the Connecticut Appellate Court and the Connecticut Supreme Court. Successfully defended judgment at the Second Circuit.
      • Convinced district court to dismiss civil rights action under Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, issue preclusion, claim preclusion, and standing principles where unsuccessful litigant in earlier state and federal cases against telecommunications provider refiled the same claims styled as civil rights violations in federal court. Successfully defended judgement at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
      • Ecclesiastical

      • Advised a parish and the diocese regarding sexual abuse claims asserted by two minors against a parish organist after the organist was convicted of criminal abuse charges. The matter was complicated by the fact that the minors came from a highly dysfunctional home, which made ascertaining the facts and negotiating a resolution very difficult. The matter was resolved at a level acceptable to the parish and the diocese, substantially below the policy limits, using a payment mechanism that protected the long-term interests of the minors to every extent possible.
      • Advised a diocese regarding a dispute over property of one of its parishes under the control of disaffected lay and ordained leadership. The diocese successfully defended its rights over the property and prevented congregation members from removing the property to another denomination.
      • Won summary judgment on behalf of an ecclesiastical diocese and one of its parishes, in a case arising from claims of sexual abuse by a priest in the 1970s, by demonstrating, through affidavits of individuals who had known the priest up to the time of the alleged abuse, that the parish and the diocese had no basis on which to suspect that the priest would harm any member of the church and, therefore, had not acted negligently or violated any fiduciary duty; successfully defended summary judgment on appeal to the Connecticut Appellate Court.
      • Representation of part of a worldwide religious order in dozens of cases consolidated in federal court involving claims arising from alleged sexual abuse of minors at a school. Claims against the client include negligent hiring, supervision, and retention of the alleged perpetrator of the abuse, breach of fiduciary duty, and vicarious liability.
      • Retained to replace prior counsel in anticipation of trial of negligent hiring, retention, and supervision of priest accused of sexual abuse; completed fact and expert discovery; prepared for trial and began selecting jury; negotiated settlement before start of evidence.

      • Represented parish sued as the Chartering Organization of a Boy Scout Troop in multiple cases of alleged abuse by a scout leader in the 1970’s; cases were settled at the close of discovery without payment by the parish.

      • Health Care Litigation

      • Defended Medicaid member class action involving allegations of due process violations against health maintenance organization.
      • Represented a deferred compensation plan broker against claims of breach of fiduciary obligations under ERISA and state law claims of fraud and other business torts alleged by a competing retirement plan. Successfully defeated application for preliminary injunction and obtained dismissal of the suit.
      • Defended provider class action against managed care organization claiming improper withhold, interference with patient contracts, and misrepresentation. Negotiated a three-way settlement agreement with class and independent physicians' association based on prospective revisions to provider relations policies and obtained court approval of the settlement.
      • Defended managed care organization in class action brought by members charging that company's subrogation policies violated Connecticut law. Suceeded in reducing the scope of the class so significantly that reasonable settlement was obtained with limited expenditure of attorneys' fees.
      • Defeated motion for temporary injunction filed against managed care organization by doctor who had been terminated from provider network and sought to be reinstated. Following limited discovery, obtained summary judgment in client’s favor and defended that judgment upon appeal.
      • Represented national health insurer in claims dispute with hospital. In arbitration, established liability of hospital to health insurer for reimbursement of overpayments and defeated claims asserted by hospital. Negotiated advantageous settlement before arbitration panel convened to hear damages evidence.
      • Retained by large, publicly held health insurer to prosecute a fraud recovery action against chiropractors and medical doctors who had engaged in extensive fraudulent billing practices. Obtained significant recovery for the client in settling the matter while simultaneously settling two Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act suits for no payment.
      • back to top
    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      American Bar Association
      Commercial and Business Litigation Committee, Member (1998 - Present); Membership Chair, 2000 to 2006; Program Co-chair, 2003 to 2005; Trade Secrets Litigation Co-chair, 2006 to 2010; Web Page Co-editor, 2007 to 2012
      Content Management Committee, Co-chair (2014 - Present)

      Connecticut Trial Advocacy Institute
      Faculty Member (2004 - 2009)
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business in the state of Connecticut in the area of Litigation: General Commercial since 2013

      Listed as a Litigation Star in Connecticut in Benchmark Litigation for 2011 - 2016

      Listed in Connecticut Super Lawyers® in the area of Business Litigation for 2006 and from 2011 to 2016 (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.)

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      Greater Hartford Community Foundation
      Board of Directors; foundation owns and operates the Travelers Championship, Connecticut's only stop on the PGA TOUR (2009 - present)

      Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut
      Chancellor (Legal Counsel to the Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut) (2008 - present)

      Donations & Bequests for Church Purposes, Inc.
      Board of Directors; investing organization for Episcopal Church in Connecticut

      Missionary Society of the Diocese of Connecticut
      Board of Directors; asset holding company for Episcopal Church in Connecticut

      Church Home of Hartford Incorporated
      Board of Directors; owns and operates Seabury Retirement Community, Bloomfield, Connecticut
  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "Chevron: Stronger Than Ever in City of Arlington, Texas," published in Appellate Practice Journal, a publication of the American Bar Association (9/30/2013)

      "ESI: Now That You've Got It, How Do You Get It In?" published in Commercial & Business Litigation, co-authored with Kori Termine Wisneski, republished in the Fall 2008 edition of the American Bar Association's Section of Litigation Trial Practice Journal, vol. 22, no. 3; republished in 2009 by the American Bar Association's Section of Litigation, Pretrial Practice & Discovery Newsletter, vol. 19, no. 2 (Spring 2008)
      • » more info

      "New Rules Help with Inadvertent Disclosure," published in Connecticut Law Tribune, co-authored with Brett Boskiewicz (3/2007)
      • » more info

      "The New Reasonable Accessibility Standard: What's So Reasonable About It?" co-authored with Kori Termine, published in e-Discovery, a special publication of the Section of Litigation, American Bar Association (2/2007)
      • » more info

    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "Bulletproofing Your Contracts: Lessons for Commercial Contract Clauses from the Litigation Battlefield," at Managing Litigation for In-House Counsel Webinar (3/12/2013)

      "Legal Risks of Social Media," at Conference of Chancellors and Bishops of Province I of the Episcopal Church (2/15/2013)

      "Bulletproofing Your Deals 2010," at Connecticut Chapter of Association of Corporate Counsel of America, co-presented with William J. Egan (6/10/2010)
      • » more info

      "Litigating The Eminent Domain Case In Connecticut," at Second Annual Property Rights Seminar: Update on Eminent Domain and Regulatory Takings, co-presented with Dwight H. Merriam, Brian R. Smith, David E. Ross, Robert J. Sitkowski (10/10/2007)
      • » more info

      "Lose a Pair of Pants, Get Sued for $54 Million -- Doing Business in the Shadow of 'Consumer Protection' Laws," at Metro Hartford Alliance AM Strategy (9/5/2007)
      • » more info

      "Reasonable Accessibility of ESI and 26(f) Conferences Under the New Federal Rules of Civil Procedure," at Connecticut Bar Association Annual Meeting (6/18/2007)
      • » more info

      "Bulletproofing the Deal: Lessons for Transactional Lawyers from the Litigation Trenches," co-presented with William J. Egan (10/16/2012) to Pitney Bowes Legal Department

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • March 7, 2017

        Five Robinson+Cole Lawyers Selected as James W. Cooper Fellows of the Connecticut Bar Foundation

        • » more info
      • August 27, 2014

        Brad Babbitt Appointed Co-chair of ABA Publication Management Committee

        • » more info
      • July 17, 2014

        Hartford Lawyer Elected to Board of Directors of Church Home of Hartford Incorporated

        • » more info
      • May 14, 2014

        Robinson+Cole's Appellate Group Wins Connecticut Law Tribune's Litigation Department of the Year Award

        • » more info
      • January 2, 2014

        Robinson+Cole's Business Litigation Group Receives Top Ranking in Benchmark Litigation 2014

        • » more info
      • March 30, 2012

        Trial and Land Use Lawyers Present Webinar on Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act

      • June 15, 2010

        Robinson & Cole Attorneys Instruct In-house Counsel on How to “Bulletproof” Their Deals

        • » more info
      • April 16, 2009

        Robinson & Cole Business Litigation Attorneys Publish Nationally on Admissibility of Electronically Stored Information

        • » more info

      R+C News Releases

      • October 18, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

        • » more info
        • View article
      • May 27, 2016

        Chambers USA Recognizes Robinson+Cole Lawyers and Practice Groups

        • » more info
        • View article
      • November 3, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Recognized in Benchmark Litigation 2016

        • » more info
        • View article
      • October 19, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

        • » more info
        • View article
      • May 19, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Earns Six Practice Area Rankings in Chambers USA 2015

        • » more info
        • View article
      • October 30, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Recognized by Benchmark Litigation

      • October 17, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers

        • » more info
        • View article
      • May 29, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Earns Rankings in Chambers USA 2014 in all Connecticut Practice Areas

        • » more info
        • View article
      • June 10, 2013

        Chambers USA Ranks Robinson & Cole in Five Practices, Names 17 Attorneys as Leading Lawyers

      • October 22, 2012

        Super Lawyers® Names 49 Robinson & Cole Attorneys to 2012 List and Recognizes 26 as Rising Stars

        • » more info
        • View article
      • February 28, 2012

        Brad Babbitt to Cochair Robinson & Cole’s Litigation Section

        • » more info
        • View article
      • December 16, 2011

        Benchmark Litigation 2012 Recognizes Six Robinson & Cole Attorneys

        • » more info
        • View article
      • October 28, 2010

        Benchmark Litigation 2010 Recognizes Four Robinson & Cole Attorneys

        • » more info
        • View article