Patrick Begos

Patrick W. Begos

Partner

Patrick W. Begos

Partner

  • Overview

    Biography

    Pat Begos is a member of the firm's Business Litigation Group and its Health and Benefits Litigation Group. Mr. Begos has almost 30 years of litigation, arbitration, mediation, and negotiation experience, representing companies and individuals in a wide array of commercial disputes. 

    Mr. Begos has represented clients in cases with high financial stakes, such as a feud among several countries over ownership of $70 million in Roman silver, claims regarding defective nuclear power plant components, and a $23 million breach of contract dispute.

    Employee and Group Benefits Litigation

    Mr. Begos handles claims, litigation, and appeals related to group welfare benefits, pension benefits, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), health insurance, disability insurance, and life insurance coverage.

    Mr. Begos is known nationally for his representation of employers, insurers, and plans in ERISA and employee welfare plan litigation. He has litigated hundreds of ERISA cases, shaping the development of ERISA case law in multiple jurisdictions.

    Mr. Begos prevailed in a key ERISA case, Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., which went to the U.S. Supreme Court and resolved a national issue over the enforceability of time limits on an individual’s ability to sue for benefits after being denied.

    Mr. Begos is a regular speaker on ERISA litigation topics, and he has written extensively for various nationwide publications. He also writes for the ERISA Claim Defense Blog, at www.erisaclaimdefense.com.

    Commercial and Business Litigation

    Mr. Begos has broad experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in commercial and business litigation, including recovering a $23 million summary judgment against hedge fund owners for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and deceptive trade practices.

    Mr. Begos has represented banks, investors, factors, and other lenders in lending and investment disputes. He advises and represents owners of family-owned and closely held businesses in management and ownership disputes. He has regularly handled litigation involving real property development and conveyance; art and antiquities; specialty insurance coverage; and unfair and deceptive trade practices.

    Prior to joining Robinson+Cole, Mr. Begos was the head of Begos Brown & Green's ERISA and Contract Dispute groups for eighteen years.

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

        Employee and Group Benefits Litigation

      • Successfully obtained dismissal of ERISA benefit claim due to expiration of a contractual limitations period, and had that dismissal affirmed on appeal, in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co.. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Second Circuit’s decision, resolving a conflict among Circuit Courts regarding the interplay between contractual limitations provisions and case law regarding accrual of ERISA claims.

      • Obtained appellate ruling that an insurer’s dual status as both claims reviewer and payor did not establish per se good cause to allow the introduction of evidence outside the administrative record in Locher v. Unum Life Insurance Co. of America. The case has had broad implications for procedures in ERISA matters.

      • Convinced appellate court that district court could preclude all discovery in an ERISA claim where the plaintiff did not establish good cause to seek evidence outside the administrative record. 

      • Represented insurer in multiple appeals and a remand regarding question whether alleged delegation of authority to determine claims to an affiliate precluded arbitrary and capricious review of the claim.

      • Represented multiple insurers in claims where disputes centered on question of whether a disability was due to a mental illness or a physical cause, such as traumatic brain injury or “chronic” Lyme disease.

      • Defeated claim that a disability was not due to intentionally self-inflicted injuries where alleged aim of attempted suicide was death, not disabling injuries.

      • Obtained defendant’s federal jury verdict in claim by the principal of one of the country’s largest Social Security Disability law firms that he qualified for disability benefits.

      • Commercial and Business Litigation

      • Recovered $23 million summary judgment against hedge fund owners for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and deceptive trade practices. Represented same clients in connection with federal criminal forfeiture by defendants, as well as receivership proceedings brought by Securities and Exchange Commission.

      • Won over $500,000 jury verdict in 2016 jury trial for breach of contract related to client’s real property acquisition.

      • Obtained court-directed defense verdict prior to the close of plaintiff’s case (based on admissions obtained in cross-examination of plaintiff) in 2014 jury trial involving a dispute over joint venture to share profits generated by financing taxi medallion loans in commercial paper market.

      • Represented specialty pharmaceutical company in insurance coverage dispute arising out of losses incurred from an employee’s participation in a multi-million dollar prescription drug diversion scheme.

      • Successfully represented wholesale food distributor and grocery store financier in multi-state dispute regarding seizure of multiple grocery stores in New York and Connecticut following defaults.

      • Represented auction house in dispute with multiple sovereign countries over ownership of $70 million in Roman silver.

      • Litigated dispute over alleged improper sale of one of the original printings of the Declaration of Independence.

      • Represented manufacturer in disputes with multiple electric utilities over allegedly defective component in nuclear power plants.

      • Successfully replevied diverse assets, including collectible cars, race horses, retail stores and computer equipment, for various clients.

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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      Connecticut Bar Association

      American Bar Association

      New York State Bar Association

      Defense Research Institute
      Life, Health and Disability Committee: Vice Chair of 2017 Life, Health, Disability & ERISA conference
      Editor of ERISA Reports
      Co-chair of Webinar Subcommittee
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell™ (Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings is a trademark. AV Preeminent is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc.)

      Recognized by Corporate Counsel magazine as a member of "Go-To" Firm for Unum Group

      Recognized by Connecticut Law Tribune as “Dozen Who Made a Difference.” 

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      School Governance Council at Brien McMahon High School
      Co-chair

      Senators' Success Fund
      Member

      Rowayton Beach Association
      President
  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "The Probate Exception to Federal Jurisdiction," published in For the Defense, co-authored with Gregory J. Bennici (August 2017)
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      "Personal Jurisdiction under ERISA: Forget About Minimum Contacts," published in DRI ERISA Report (12/20/2016)

      "Sorry, I Can’t Write This Article," published in GP Solo (January/February 2014)

      "Defenses to Offensive Collateral Estoppel," published in DRI Today (June 2011)

      "How to Seize Stuff," published in GP Solo (July-August 2010)

      "Carefully Balanced By Design: Using Congressional Policy to Persuade the Court," published in DRI For The Defense (September 2008)

      "Worst Case Scenarios From the Files of an Employee Benefit Plan Litigator," published in Corporate Counsel (October 2007)

      "Me and My Elmo: A Middle-Tech Approach to Presentation of Evidence," published in Defense Research Institute (Fall 2007)

      "The Subprime Lending Crisis: What Does it Mean to the Leasing Industry?" published in Equipment Leasing Newsletter - American Lawyer Media (May 2007)

      "The Virtual Law Firm," published in GP Solo (July-August 2003)

      "A Map To The Minefield: Discovering and Minimizing Business Litigation Risk," published in CBIA News (June 1999)

    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "A View from the Inside Looking Out," at the Defense Research Institute's (DRI) annual Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA Conference in Chicago (4/26/2017)
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      "Risk Management and Litigation Issues Arising Out of the January 2017 Amendments to ERISA Disability Claim Regulations," co-presented with Theodore J. Tucci (January 2017)
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      "The Fiduciary Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege in ERISA Cases and Other Ethical Considerations," at American Conference Institute (October 2016)

      "Enforcement of ERISA Plan Limitation Provisions in the Post-Heimeshoff World," at American Conference Institute (October 2015)

      "Disability Law Update," at Defense Research Institute, Life Health Disability & ERISA Conference (April 2015)

      "I Write the Rules that Make the Whole Claim Untimely - Supreme Court Holds in Heimeshoff that Contractual Statutes of Limitations Under an ERISA Plan are Controlling," at Practicing Law Institute (January 2014)

      "The Supreme Court: Hartford’s Heimeshoff Case and other Noteworthy Developments," at The Hartford Legal Summit (September 2013)

      "ERISA Equitable Remedies After McCutchen and Amara," at Stafford (July 2013)

      "Advanced ERISA Claim Handling," at Defense Research Institute, Life Health Disability & ERISA Conference (April 2013)

      "Practical Evidence," at ABA National Solo and Small Firm Conference (October 2010)

      "How to Expand Your Practice Areas," at ABA National Solo and Small Firm Conference (October 2009)

      "Preventing, Managing, and Reducing Costs Associated With Disability Claims Litigation," at American Conference Institute (2009)

      "ERISA Claim Litigation 101," at Connecticut Bar Association (2008)

      "Taking it to the House: Law Firm Management," at ABA National Convention (2008)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • August 21, 2017

        Patrick Begos and Greg Bennici Co-author Article Published in For the Defense

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      • March 15, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Conduct Roundtable on Claims Litigation

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      R+C News Releases

      • January 3, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Welcomes New Litigation Partner

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