Robert C. E. Laney


Robert C. E. Laney has been a partner in the firm since 1997.  He is primarily engaged in the defense of civil suits on behalf of individuals, insureds and self-insured entities. Rob’s practice includes the defense of  legal malpractice claims, attorney disciplinary proceedings, claims against retail and restaurant locations, construction claims, commercial litigation, products liability cases, catastrophic tractor-trailer and motor vehicle accident cases, unfair trade practice matters and premises liability.

Rob has tried more than three dozen jury cases to verdict in state and federal courts in Connecticut, Virginia and North Carolina and has also successfully argued 21 appeals before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the Connecticut Appellate Court and the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Rob has held the highest professional rating from Martindale-Hubbell, AV, for more than 10 years and has been listed in Connecticut Super Lawyers® since 2008. He has been a frequent seminar speaker at conferences across the country on topics pertaining to civil practice and procedure, the defense of uninsured/underinsured motorist claims, the impact of recent changes to the Medicare Secondary Payer Act and other topics.  He served as a Special Master for the Connecticut Superior Court from 2005 - 2015 and as a court-appointed Fact Finder and Attorney Trial Referee from 2007 - 2015.

Rob was elected to membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates in 2018 and is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© for 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 in the area of legal malpractice defense.  He was also elected to membership in the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel in 2017 and in the National Retail & Restaurant Defense Association in 2013.  Rob is a member of the Professional Liability Defense Federation and is a past President of the Connecticut Defense Lawyers Association, a former co-chair of the Fairfield County Bar Association Civil Litigation Committee and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Fairfield County Bar Association.  He also served as the State Chair for the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys from 2005 until 2017.

Professional Affiliations: 
  • Member of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel
  • Elected to membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Member of the Professional Liability Defense Federation
  • Member of the National Retail & Restaurant Defense Association
  • Connecticut Defense Lawyers Association (Chairman of the Board, 2011 - 2012; President, 2010-2011; Member of the Board of Directors, 2006-2010)
  • State chair of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, 2005 to present
  • Member of the Defense Research Institute
  • Connecticut and Fairfield County Bar Associations
  • Selected for inclusion in Connecticut Super Lawyers (2008-2023)
  • Selected to appear in The Best Lawyers in America®, (2018-2024)
Representative Experience: 
  • Obtained dismissal of a fraud claim brought in federal court against the former vice president of finance of an investment bank that misappropriated a $4 million investment and transferred it for its own use. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal in a unanimous decision.
  • Represented five directors of a closely-held corporation in connection with a suit brought by two of the founding shareholders seeking $9 million for alleged theft of intellectual property, unfair trade practices, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract. Obtained a defense verdict for all five directors after an eight day trial.
  • Represented a commuter railroad company against a $12 million wrongful death claim brought by the estate of a young woman who was killed when she was struck by a train while walking across trestle. Obtained a defense verdict in favor of the railroad company after an eight day jury trial.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of an excavation company and several of its employees in connection with wrongful death claims brought by the estates of two employees who asphyxiated while working in a manhole.
  • Obtained defense verdict after a two week jury trial in federal court for a bail bondswoman charged with unlawful entry and civil rights violations.
  • Representation of an institutional equity investment management company in defense of multi-million dollar claims for violations of software licensing and maintenance agreements and unfair trade practices.
  • Has represented several trucking companies in connection with wrongful death and serious injury claims arising out of tractor-trailer accidents.
  • Has successfully represented numerous lawyers in connection with grievances and legal malpractice lawsuits.
Reported Decisions: 

International Strategies Group, Ltd. v. Ness, ___ Fed. Appx. ___ (2nd Cir., Jul. 15, 2011)

Tirreno v. Mott, 375 Fed. Appx. 140 (2010)

DaGraca, Admr’x., et al. v. Kowalsky Brothers, Inc., et al., 100 Conn. App. 781 (2007)

Lin, Adm’r. v. Metro-North Commuter Railroad Co., 277 Conn. 1 (2006)

Sullivan, Adm’r. v. Metro-North Commuter Railroad Co., 96 Conn. App. 741 (2006)

Auster v. Norwalk United Methodist Church, 94 Conn. App. 617 (2006)

Smith, Adm’r. v. Mediplex of Westport, 273 Conn. 508 (2005)

Coughlin v. Anderson, 270 Conn. 487 (2004)