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Partner - James W. Bergenn

James W. Bergenn


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Jim Bergenn's practice is comprised of complex criminal and civil litigation, including white collar crime and government investigations, personal injury and wrongful death cases, and other trials involving significant consequences. With more than 30 years of experience as a trial attorney and instructor, he is called upon regularly to use his trial skills, and experience with investigations and experts, in many different kinds of contested cases.

Jim’s wide range of criminal cases include representing targets of investigations, criminal defendants, grand jury and other witnesses, and crime victims. Because he handles personal injuries, he often helps victims after criminal cases are completed, obtain the correct compensation for their harm. He works in cases prosecuted by all the various federal, state and local authorities, such as the US Attorney’s Office, The Chief State’s Attorney’s Office, State and Federal Grand Juries, the FBI, the State Police, the SEC, the DEA, the ATF, the DOD, the IRS, the FDA, the FTC, the Office of Inspector General for various Federal Agencies, state regulators such as the Attorney General, the DEP, the DOH, the DMR, the DCF, and the Office of Consumer Protection, and local police.

As an experienced Personal Injury attorney, he represents people involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrians (including DUI cases), products and premises liability matters (including defective lithium ion batteries in laptops, I-Phones, and E-cigarettes that caused burn injuries), construction accidents, drownings, nursing home negligence, boating accidents, wrongful imprisonment environmental hazards and medical malpractice. He handles sexual assault cases for both adult and children victims. The injury cases he has prosecuted include death, Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI’s), burns, RSD, paralysis, blindness and Legionnaires' disease. sexual abuse, and cases. He was involved in cases arising out of the 9/11 attacks.

He uses technology to help jurors understand in simple terms what might otherwise be complex, including video reconstruction, videotaped depositions, and clear use of illustrations, charts, maps and highlighted documentary evidence. Most of his cases use expert witnesses, including accident reconstruction experts, and economic and medical experts to establish damages. Jim Bergenn and Bill Ronalter often use videos to assist with case resolutions. Click here to learn more.


  • Firm is ranked Tier 1 by U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers as a Best Law Firm in both Personal Injury Litigation and Products Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs
  • Connecticut Statewide Grievance Committee for New Haven Ethics Panel
  • CBA Task Force on Confidentiality and the Courts Commission
  • CBA Task Force for Legal Education
  • State of Connecticut Judicial Branch: Advisory Commission on Wrongful Convictions
  • Catholic University of America: President's Award
  • AV Preeminent® Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed as a Connecticut Super Lawyer®: Criminal Defense: White Collar (2006-2020); Personal Injury Plaintiff: General, Business Litigation (2006-2015)
  • Listed as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Connecticut by Super Lawyers® (2014, 2016, 2019)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®: Criminal Defense: White-Collar (2009-2020); Criminal Defense: General Practice (2017-2020); Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar (2009-2016); Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs (2018-2021); Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs (2018-2021)
  • Named "Lawyer of the Year" (2014, 2016): Best Lawyers Hartford Region Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar
  • Named "Lawyer of the Year" (2018, 2021): Best Lawyers Hartford Region Criminal Defense: General Practice
  • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star: Wrongful Death and Personal Injury (Plaintiff) (2012-2015)
  • Chosen as a member of The Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a voluntary membership organization that admits only attorneys who have won million dollar verdicts or settlements, and of which fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members
  • American Bar Foundation: Fellow

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Connecticut Bar Association: Executive Committee, Criminal Justice Section; Chair, Media and Law Committee
  • Hartford County Bar Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association: Board of Governors
  • The Brain Injury Trial Lawyers Top 25

Community Involvement

  • American Constitution Society: Lawyers Steering Committee
  • Town of Glastonbury: Former Conservation Commissioner
  • Town of Glastonbury: Former Chairman, Democratic Town Committee
  • Town of Glastonbury: Former Boys and girls soccer and basketball coach
  • Lector and Religious Education Instructor
  • Hartford Apartment Improvement Program, Inc.: Former Board President
  • Connecticut Friends for ALS Research
  • Covenant Preparatory School: Board of Directors

$36,500,000 ARBITRATION AWARD - Defective Product - Catastrophic Burns to 3 Year Old Boy and 33 Year Old Father

Our clients, a 3 year old boy and his 33 year old father, suffered third degree burns to over 70% and 50% of their bodies respectively and we argued that a lithium ion battery exploded from an electronic device. We brought claims against the product assembler, distributor, and seller. After three unsuccessful mediations and more than 50 depositions, the claims were presented to an arbitration panel. The result of the arbitration was a gross recovery of $36,500,000 for our clients.

$12.4 Million Judgment in Civil Rights Case

Lead trial counsel winning a $12.4 million jury verdict (plus attorney’s fees) in suit brought for developers against the Town of Branford, Connecticut. New England Estates v. Town of Branford (Complex Litigation Docket, Waterbury, September 2007). Proved that the Town’s taking of their interest in an option contract to buy a 77 acre parcel the land, for development of housing and a 9-hole golf course, resulted in a loss of over $1 million invested and lost profits in excess of $11 million. Attorney Bergenn's trial presentation included the use of digitized documents, maps, depositions, aerial photos, and damages analysis, using presentations by the client developer’s Licensed Environmental Professional and Site Plan Engineer, a developer himself, and an independent Forensic Accountant as well as adverse witness examinations of each of the relevant elected Town officials, the Town Attorney, the Town Engineer, the Town Planner, the Town Recreation Director, and the Town’s Licensed Environmental Professional. The jury credited the Developers and their witnesses over the testimony of the elected officials and their professionals.


Eight-figure Settlement in a National Class Action Lawsuit for Breach of Contract and Deceptive Practices Claims
Secured Over $136 Million in Mass Tort Recoveries
Car Accident Claim Reduced from $3.2 Million to $1,000 Award
Recovery of over $61 Million of Fraud and Abuse Claims
Dispute with Construction Project Architects
Defended Executive Subject to Internal Investigation
Catastrophic Injury
$36,500,000 ARBITRATION AWARD - Defective Product - Catastrophic Burns to 3 Year Old Boy and 33 Year Old Father
$5,000,000 SETTLEMENT - Truck Strikes Cyclist - Leg Amputation
$4,875,000 SETTLEMENT - Motor Vehicle Crash - Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
$3,500,000 SETTLEMENT - Bicycling Crash - Catastrophic Traumatic Brain Injury
$2,500,000 SETTLEMENT - Construction Accident Resulting in Traumatic Brain Injury
$1,850,000 SETTLEMENT - Boating Accident - Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD)
$1,500,000 SETTLEMENT - Medical Malpractice - Failure to Diagnose
$1,100,000 SETTLEMENT - Motor Vehicle Accident - Mild But Permanent Traumatic Brain Injury
Multi-Million Dollar TBI Settlement
$949,468 ARBITRATION AWARD - Mild-TBI Resulting From Rear End Crash With No Visible Property Damage
$400,000 SETTLEMENT - Rear End Crash - Hearing Loss With Tinnitus
Civil Rights
$3,500,000 Settlement for Wrongful Death Caused by Regional SWAT Team
$12.4 Million Judgment in Civil Rights Case
Criminal Defense Litigation
Conviction Overturned
Overturned Criminal Conviction
Appointed Special Prosecutor in State Police Conduct Case
Reversal of Federal Bribery Conviction Before the Second Circuit
Won Sole Acquittal in Wells Fargo Robbery by Puerto Rican Independence Revolutionaries
Defense of Federal Money-Laundering Charges
Wrongful Death
$4,300,000 SETTLEMENT - Drunk Driver Causes Head-On Crash Killing 73-Year-Old Man
$1,700,000 SETTLEMENT - Fatality Resulting from Domestic Dispute
$1,465,000 SETTLEMENT - 91-Year-Old Wheel Chair Passenger Dies in Motor Vehicle Crash
$1,250,000 SETTLEMENT - Distracted Driver Kills Pedestrian - Death of 21-Year-Old Man


October 13, 2020  CT Lawyers Recognized as 2020 Super Lawyers
August 21, 2020  Seven Lawyers Receive "Lawyer of the Year" Honors
August 21, 2020  "Best Lawyers in America" Recognizes 42 Lawyers
June 23, 2020  Shipman Lawyers Representing Survivors and Families of those Killed in WWII B-17 Bomber Crash
August 15, 2019  "Best Lawyers in America" Recognizes 43 Attorneys
June 11, 2019  Jim Bergenn Discusses Fotis Dulos Case on FOX 61 News
October 18, 2018  CT Attorneys Recognized as 2018 Super Lawyers
August 26, 2018  Jim Bergenn Discusses Cohen, Manafort and Trump on FOX 61 News
August 26, 2018  Jim Bergenn Weighs in on Cohen, Manafort and Trump on FOX 61 News
August 23, 2018  Jim Bergenn Discusses Cohen & Manafort's Legal Developments on Mornings With Ray Dunaway
August 15, 2018  "Best Lawyers in America" Recognizes 43 Firm Attorneys
December 19, 2017  Jim Bergenn Offers Insight to FOX 61 News on Dabate Wrongful Death Suit
December 1, 2017  Jim Bergenn Discusses Michael Flynn's Guilty Plea on FOX 61 News
October 17, 2017  CT Attorneys Recognized as 2017 Super Lawyers
August 22, 2017  Eight Firm Attorneys Receive "Lawyer of the Year" Honors
August 15, 2017  "Best Lawyers in America" Recognizes 43 Firm Attorneys
January 8, 2017  Jim Bergenn Discusses Reinstatement of Skakel conviction on FOX 61's "The Real Story"
November 3, 2016  Jim Bergenn, Joan Feldman and Tim Hollister Named "Top Lawyers"
October 18, 2016  CT Attorneys Recognized as 2016 Super Lawyers
August 15, 2016  "Best Lawyers in America" Recognizes 39 Firm Attorneys
July 10, 2016  Jim Bergenn Featured Guest on FOX 61 Program "The Real Story"

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  • Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 1979
  • The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, B.A., 1976, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of NY
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of NY
  • U.S. District Court, District of CT
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