Best's Insurance Professionals and Claims Resource

Your Online Portal for Claims Industry Information

Best's Insurance Professionals and Claims Resource

Your Online Portal for Claims Industry Information



Best's Recommended Insurance Attorneys

General Defense


1 Landmark Square, 21st Floor, Stamford, Connecticut 06901

Practice Areas

  • Appellate Practice
  • Asbestos
  • Commercial Litigation
  • General Liability
  • International Law
  • Professional Liability
  • Toxic Torts
  • ADR-Mediation & Arbitration
  • Aviation & Aerospace
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Fire & Electrical Injury Litigation
  • Insurance Coverage Disputes & Litigation
  • Product Liability, Prevention, & Regulatory Compliance
  • Product Recall
  • Reinsurance Law
  • Subrogation & Recovery
  • Environmental
  • Mass Disasters

 Back To Top


About Us

Fitzpatrick & Hunt specializes in the defense of product liability, aviation & aerospace, general liability, and commercial claims. We also regularly counsel our clients on regulatory, risk prevention, recall, coverage, contractual, and subrogation/recovery issues. The firm actively litigates some of the most challenging cases facing clients today. These cases are technically and legally complex, and our experienced team of lawyers combines legal acumen with technical expertise to take these cases to conclusion. Whether the case calls for disposition on a motion, alternative dispute resolution or advocacy at trial, our lawyers are prepared and able to defend clients at every stage. Indeed, not only have our lawyers tried these complex cases, but we have taken our representation to the highest level on appeal, including to the United States Supreme Court.

For more than 30 years, our lawyers have provided advisory consultation to the worldwide insurance markets and a diverse range of product/aviation manufacturers. Our lawyers focus on delivering a defense strategy to clients which is custom tailored to their needs and remains cognizant of the delicate balance between the defense of litigation and our clients' business interests and goals. Lawyers in our firm have successfully led the defenses of sophisticated product/aviation manufacturers, including engine and aircraft manufacturers, satellite systems manufacturers, avionics manufacturers and suppliers, appliance manufacturers, industrial equipment manufacturers, and medical device manufacturers. Our case experience extends from defending clients against stand-alone personal injury claims to consolidated cases and multidistrict litigation around the country and abroad. Our range of representations includes clients small and large, and our lawyers are fully equipped to address the specific needs of each client in any litigation which may arise.

Our team is well-versed in litigation avoidance techniques and preparedness. We work with clients to establish preventative practices and corrective action/recall protocols, provide risk assessment, and advise them on loss prevention plans to reduce risk and exposure. We focus on product integrity, providing seminars at our clients' facilities directed to the specific needs of each individual client. Our lawyers have learned that there is no one size fits all approach to litigation preparedness and avoidance, and respond to our clients' needs accordingly.

 Back To Top


Personnel Information

Senior Counsel


Rudolph V. Pino Jr.

Stamford, CT

Admitted
  • New York, 1978
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, 1979
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1982
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1991
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 1998
Mr. Pino counsels American and international clients on contractual and regulatory matters, and litigates (and arbitrates) product liability, aviation, space, and insurance coverage disputes both in the U.S. and abroad. He has authored numerous articles concerning litigation, aviation, product liability, general insurance coverage, and telecommunication satellite insurance coverage. He has also spoken at numerous international conferences and prepared course materials for a variety of organizations.


Mr. Pino has served as the Chairman of the Insurers' 702 Forum Committee that coordinated six Boeing 702 satellite insurance claims totaling $1.5 billion. He also served as counsel to the Insurers’ Claim Coordinating Committee for claims of constructive total loss made by the operators of the XM Rock & Roll, Galaxy 11, PAS 1R, Atlantic Bird 1, Superbird 6, and O3b, telecommunication satellites. On behalf of 22 insurers, Mr. Pino arbitrated an action against a major satellite manufacturer, seeking to recover amounts paid in connection with the operator's claim for total loss.
Education:
  • Fairfield University, B.A., 1973
  • New York Law School, J.D., 1977

 Back To Top

Partners


Brian W. Colistra

Stamford, CT

Admitted
  • New York, 1998
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 2000
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern, Northern and Western Districts of New York, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2007
Brian's practice areas are diverse and include aviation, product liability, product recalls, premises liability, general liability, asbestos, labor law, municipal, transportation, construction defect and lead paint exposure. His outstanding trial work has continued in the civil venue, obtaining favorable trial results for our clients through directed verdicts, defense verdicts, and pre-verdict settlements.


He has defended airport owners and operators, aircraft manufacturers, component manufacturers and all manner of aviation industry vendors in matters ranging from complex and catastrophic aircraft crashes to simple slip and falls on airport property. His asbestos practice involves the defense of one of the world's most respected motorcycle companies against wrongful death claims arising from alleged asbestos exposure. Brian's accomplishments as a litigator and his experience handling sensitive and complex wrongful death cases recently prompted a Fortune 500 Insurance Company to retain him to defend a residential fire loss that resulted in the death of 5 people. He also currently serves as primary regional counsel defending claims of premises, product, general and automobile liability filed against the insureds of an A+ rated Insurance Company.
Education:
  • Canisius College, B.A., 1991
  • New York Law School, J.D., 1995

 Back To Top


Thomas E. Healy

Stamford, CT

Admitted
  • New York, 1991
  • Connecticut, 1991
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, 1992
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 1997
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1999
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2002
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 2006
Tom's practice concentrates on product liability, premises liability, commercial, and subrogation disputes, and regularly represents clients in the federal and state courts throughout the United States. He also handles contractual, real estate, regulatory, and corporate matters for clients, and assists clients with product safety and risk management issues. In particular, he has represented a major appliance manufacturer on a national basis for many years, and served as local counsel for numerous other appliance manufacturers.


Prior matters of note which Tom has been involved with include: defending several gun manufacturers at the trial of the landmark NAACP v. A.A. Arms proceeding; litigating individual and class action matters alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA); representing a leading computer manufacturer in connection with a leasing dispute; and prosecuting a multi-million dollar subrogation proceeding on behalf of an international insurer.
Education:
  • Cornell University, B.S., 1986
  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 1990

 Back To Top


Matthew D. Kennedy

Stamford, CT

Admitted
  • New York, 2002
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 2005
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 2009
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2013
Matthew's practices on the litigation and arbitration of commercial and insurance disputes. He serves as national recovery counsel to one of the world's largest insurers, and in that capacity manages and directs litigation throughout the states. Mr. Kennedy has handled a significant volume of subrogation work, for several carriers and has represented a number of satellite insurers and reinsurers on issues of coverage, claims handling, regulation, and subrogation. He is especially well-versed in product liability litigation, from aircrafts to consumer goods. 


Matthew secured a settlement of $8 million from the manufacturer of an airplane component, and an arbitral award exceeding $16 million from the manufacturer of a commercial telecommunications satellite. He has also achieved significant success on behalf of injured plaintiffs, including wrongful death matters.

Matthew's areas of practice include Commercial Litigation, Aviation and Space, Insurance Subrogation and Recovery, Personal Injury, Products Liability.
Education:
  • Georgetown University, B.A., 1996
  • Brooklyn Law School, J.D., 2002

 Back To Top


Richard T. Petrillo

Stamford, CT

Admitted
  • New York, 1994
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, 1999
Rich's practice focuses primarily on litigation in a number of areas, including products liability, premises liability, toxic torts, construction matters, subrogation, commercial disputes, and debt collection. He handles all phases of complex civil litigation throughout the United States in Federal and State Courts. He also provides counsel to clients on a wide range of issues, including product safety, warnings, insurance coverage, debt collection, and related issues.


Rich serves as corporate counsel and assists corporate clients with incorporation services, corporate compliance issues, distribution agreements, insurance issues, and both international and domestic tax issues. He has also gained experience in guardianship matters, having served in various capacities, including such roles as Guardian Ad Litem, Court Evaluator, Attorney for Alleged Incapacitated Persons, and Property Guardians for Incapacitated Persons.

Before entering private practice, Rich served as an Assistant District Attorney for six years in New York City (Bronx County), where he engaged in all phases of felony and misdemeanor prosecutions, including arraignments, grand jury investigations, pre-trial hearings and trials. While working for the District Attorney's Office, he participated in 24-hour coverage of complex felonies and homicides, including field response to crime scenes, arrest processing and financial investigations as a member of its Asset Forfeiture Unit, and served as the District Attorney's liaison to the New York City Department of Correction.
Education:
  • Princeton University, B.A., 1990
  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 1993

 Back To Top


William T.J. Salerno

Stamford, CT

Admitted
  • New Jersey, 2009
  • New York, 2010
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 2009
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, 2011
William's practice focuses on the areas of general liability defense, commercial and transactional law, and products liability defense in both state and federal courts. He is well-versed in matters involving international arbitration, premises liability defense, labor law, and insurance coverage disputes. He handles all phases of pre-trial activities, including pleadings, depositions, discovery, motion practice and mediation.


Prior to joining the firm, William owned and operated a domestic franchise automobile dealership for over fifteen years. William's practical business experience enables him to better understand his client's needs in today's changing marketplace. He often negotiates supplier agreements, commercial leases and employment agreements on behalf of his clients and he assists his clients with the formation of new corporate entities throughout the United States.

William received his J.D. from Pace University School of Law in 2009. He is admitted in the states of New York and New Jersey and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the District of New Jersey. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, American Bar Association and Westchester County Bar Association. He also serves on the arbitration panel of the National Center for Dispute Settlement hearing and deciding disputes relating to consumer claims against automobile manufacturers under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
Education:
  • University at Albany, B.A., 1987
  • Pace University School of Law, J.D., 2009

 Back To Top


John M. Socolow

Stamford, CT

Admitted
  • Massachusetts, 1986
  • New York, 1987
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, 1987
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 1998
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, 2009
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2009
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 2015
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2016
John's practice focuses primarily on litigation in a number of areas, including aviation and aerospace law, where he is responsible for all aspects of product liability defense of a major foreign helicopter manufacturer and its subsidiaries in state and federal courts across the country. He also provides counsel to clients on matters involving products liability, insurance coverage, premises liability, dram shop liability and commercial disputes. Earlier in his career, John was one of the national coordinating counsel for product liability matters involving a well-known consumer product manufacturer, and subsequently for a Japan-based automotive and truck manufacturer and its subsidiaries in the United States and the Caribbean. John is fluent in Spanish.


John earned his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. He received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. In addition to being admitted to the New York state and federal district courts, John is also admitted to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, the United States Courts of Appeal for the Second, Third and Fifth Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court, where in 2016 he successfully opposed a petition for a writ of certiorari. He has appeared pro hac vice in state and federal courts throughout the United States.
Education:
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1983
  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 1986

 Back To Top


Special Counsel



Joseph A. Franceski

Stamford, CT

  • Telephone: 203-580-4000, 212-937-4028
Practice Areas
  • Automobile Tort
  • Product Liability
  • Municipal Liability
  • Professional Liability
Admitted
  • Connecticut, 1976
  • New York, 1985
Education:
  • University of Connecticut, J.D., 1976

 Back To Top


Verdicts

 Back To Top


(See profile under New York, NY for additional information)


Contact Our Team | About Best's Insurance Professionals and Claims Resource