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Of Counsel - Paul D. Sanson

Paul D. Sanson

Of Counsel

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Paul Sanson has over 30 years of litigation experience, including a clerkship in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and three years as a trial attorney in the Honors Program for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. He practices in complex business and commercial matters, particularly in franchising, antitrust and trade regulation, and petroleum marketing. Paul has represented clients, including major oil companies, national and regional distributors and franchisors, and national corporations, has been lead trial counsel in jury and bench trials in both state and federal trial courts, and has argued cases before the Court of Appeals for the First and Second Circuits and the Connecticut Supreme Court. He also had a case before the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled in his client's favor 9-0 on both issues. Paul also served in the United States Navy from 1968-1971.


  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®: Commercial Litigation (2006-2021); Antitrust Litigation, Franchise Law (2013-2021)
  • Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers: Litigation: General Commercial (2002-2019)
  • Listed as a Connecticut Super Lawyer®: Business Litigation (2007-2020);  Franchise/Dealership (2007-2009)
  • AV Preeminent® Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association: Franchise Law Section; National Forum on Franchising; Litigation Section
  • Connecticut Bar Association: Federal Practice Section (Executive Committee Member and Former Co-Chair);  Franchising Section (Executive Committee Member and Former Chair)

Community Involvement

  • Princeton University: National Annual Giving Committee; Section Chair for Connecticut and Rhode Island
  • Connecticut Exeter Alumni Association
  • Noah Webster House: Former Trustee
  • West Hartford Historical Foundation: Former Trustee

$5.5 Million Judgment for Client Following a Trial Involving Antitrust, Unfair Trade Practices and Breach of Contract Claims

In a case on the Connecticut state court complex litigation docket, the owner of a large gasoline terminal sued our clients claiming antitrust violations, breach of contract, unfair trade practices, misrepresentation, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. All of the plaintiff’s claims were disposed of before trial, and the case went forward solely on our clients' counterclaim for breach of contract. After two trials and two appeals, the court awarded our clients $5.5 million in damages and attorneys' fees.

Achieved $800,000 Settlement for Client in Trademark Infringement, Breach of Contract and Unfair Trade Practices Lawsuit

We were asked by our client to bring a lawsuit in federal court in North Carolina against a distributor for trademark infringement and other violations of the Lanham Act, breach of contract, and violations of the North and South Carolina unfair trade practices acts. After multiple summary judgment rulings in our client's favor, defendant agreed to pay $800,000 to settle the case.  Shell Trademark Management BV v. Ray Thomas Petroleum, 642F. Supp. 2d 493 (D.N.C. 2009)


$5.5 Million Judgment for Client Following a Trial Involving Antitrust, Unfair Trade Practices and Breach of Contract Claims
Successful Pre-trial Win on Franchise and Robinson-Patman Act Claims Brought by 32 Franchisees
Achieved $800,000 Settlement for Client in Trademark Infringement, Breach of Contract and Unfair Trade Practices Lawsuit
Successful Settlement of an 8-Figure Claim Against our Client with a Payment to our Client
9-0 U.S. Supreme Court Victory on Constructive Nonrenewal and Termination Claims in a Franchise Case
Twenty-four State Analysis of Franchise and Distribution Laws
Favorable Settlement of Sherman and Clayton Act Claims on Behalf of an International Toy Manufacturer in an MDL Case in New York Federal Court
Represented a Wisconsin Manufacturer in the Lawsuit Resulting in the First Comprehensive Analysis by the Connecticut Supreme Court of the Connecticut Franchise Statute
Obtained Defense Verdict in Jury Trial Involving Business and Property Damage Claims of $400,000
Obtained Defense Verdict in Jury Trial Involving Claims by Franchisee That Franchisor Improperly Blocked Sale of Franchise
Defended Challenges to Terms in Franchisor's Renewal Agreements Brought by 40 Francisees
Obtained Pre-Trial, Terminations and Enforcement of Non-Compete Provisions on Behalf of a National Fast Food Client
Eight-figure Settlement in a National Class Action Lawsuit for Breach of Contract and Deceptive Practices Claims
Successfully Defeated a Hostile Takeover Attempt of our Client by an Off-shore Hedge Fund
Removal on Artful Pleading Doctrine
Obtained Injunction in New Jersey Federal Court on Behalf of Franchisor
Obtained Injunction to Require Franchisee to Vacate Premises
Obtained Summary Judgment for Franchisor in Massachusetts State Court

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  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1977, Law Fellow
  • Princeton University, A.B., 1974

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut

Court Admissions

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