Edward V. O'Hanlan


  • Overview


    Edward V. “Ted” O'Hanlan is former chair of the firm's Land Use Group, and he served as managing partner of the firm’s Stamford office from 2015-2017. His practice runs the full gamut of land use matters, from administrative applications and appeals to complex real property litigation.

    Land Use - Zoning

    Mr. O’Hanlan has over 30 years of experience representing property owners and developers before state and federal agencies and municipal land use panels. He handles planning, zoning, and wetlands permits and applications, and he helps clients secure all necessary approvals for their projects. He has assisted clients with getting hundreds of residential, commercial, and industrial developments approved.

    Land Use - Litigation

    Mr. O’Hanlan handles litigation related to land use and property rights, state and federal wetlands and environmental laws, real property law, title insurance claims and defenses, and constitutional law issues. He regularly handles appeals of zoning and permit decisions.

    Mr. O’Hanlan has achieved success on behalf of his clients. He won a defense verdict for a large defense contractor client after a seven week jury trial of a claim for leasehold damages in excess of $15 million, and then defended the jury’s verdict through two levels of appeals. Also, while representing a Connecticut conservation organization, he obtained an injunction against a neighboring property owner which had placed debris, stone, and gravel to create a river crossing on his client’s property. On behalf of an urban parish, Mr. O’Hanlan defeated a preservation group’s lawsuit which sought to prevent the church from demolishing a dilapidated rectory, so his client could lease the property to a developer under a long-term agreement expected to provide funding for the parish’s community outreach programs for decades. Mr. O’Hanlan opposed a water company’s facilities expansion that would have forced a neighbor who had become blind to leave his home and diminished the value of his property substantially. After prevailing at the local zoning board, the appeal went before the utilities commission, where a settlement was negotiated to scale back the facility and to screen it so the owner could remain.

    Mr. O’Hanlan has extensive experience handling jury and bench trials in state and federal courts, and appeals before the Connecticut Appellate Court, Connecticut Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He also serves as an attorney trial referee, fact finder, and arbitrator for the Connecticut Superior Court and in numerous private arbitrations.

    Pro Bono

    Mr. O’Hanlan is committed to doing pro bono work. He is pro bono counsel to three chapters of A Better Chance, an organization in southwestern Connecticut which helps academically talented minority children. He was the recipient of Robinson+Cole’s Pro Bono Award in 2009. Mr. O’Hanlan assists the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, which helps veterans overcome legal barriers to housing, health care, employment, and benefits. He currently serves on the center’s Board of Directors.

    Mr. O’Hanlan has served as an adjunct professor in real property law at Pace University School of Law, and he has taught trial advocacy for the Connecticut Bar Association and at the Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island. He is a barrister in the Raymond Baldwin Chapter of the American Inns of Court. Mr. O'Hanlan previously served as special land use counsel and special human services counsel to the Town of New Canaan, Connecticut. He is a retired Navy captain (JAG) after 25 years of active and reserve service. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Association and the Connecticut Bar Association.

  • Experience
    • Experience


      • Defended private owner against claims of a prescriptive "avigation" easement in air space by county government seeking to expand airport runway on abutting property. Adverse summary judgment decision by USDC was reversed in client's favor after U.S. Court of Appeals certified case for argument to and advice from state Supreme Court on issue of first impression under real property law.
      • Pursued successful appeal to Connecticut Supreme Court that reversed lower court dismissal and clarified right of private action under Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act and standing doctrine under Environmental Protection Act.
      • Represented a nonprofit human services organization in a dispute with another non-profit concerning title to a large parcel of real estate and the effect of a 1909 reverter in the deed. After suit was filed, R+C effectively steered the case to a court assisted mediation in which the client's interest was bought out under very favorable terms and the reverter extinguished.

      • Representation of major title insurer in dispute with commercial developer over some $200,000 in unpaid real property taxes. The client sought a declaratory judgment that it was not liable to reimburse the insured when the insured unilaterally refused cooperation with an investigation and paid over $200,000 to the municipality without the insurer's consent. The insured countersued, alleging breach of contract, bad faith, and unfair trade and insurance practices. The bad faith and unfair trade/insurance practices claims were dismissed on summary judgment. After a trial to the court, declaratory judgment was received in favor of the client, and the insured's breach of contract counterclaim was rejected. R+C then successfully defended trial court rulings in a collateral action in U.S. District Court and appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

      • Representation of an urban parish in defending its right to demolish a dilapidated building next to the sanctuary for a developer under a long-term lease agreement that will fund the mission of the church for decades into the future. After the demolition of the building was approved, an advocacy group formed to require the congregation to maintain and rehabilitate the building, at substantial cost and with little future value. Robinson & Cole defeated an injunction action intended to force the parish to preserve the building and prevent development of the property.

      • Successful defense of major aircraft manufacturer against contract claims arising from lease termination of construction facility. The plaintiff landlord sought $15 million in damages and the jury returned a defense verdict following a seven week trial. R+C successfully defended the verdict through two levels of appeal.

      • Represented trustee/steward of 100+ acre open space in action to enforce Inland Wetlands Act rights to injunction, restoration and reimbursement of fees against developer that destroyed a seven acre wetland to facilitate development of a private farm estate. Bench trial orders to restore wetlands and to reimburse attorney fees were upheld in two separate appeals.

      • Represented the Nature Conservancy in action to stop abutting owner who built a ford across river to reach his property. Court ordered full restoration, removal of deposited rock, and full reimbursement of attorney fees and consultant fees/costs. R+C then successfully defended two appeals of the Court’s orders.

    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      American Bar Association

      Connecticut Bar Association
      Past Member of Board of Directors, House of Delegates

      Connecticut Bar Foundation
      James W. Cooper Fellow

      New Canaan Bar Association
      Past President

      Stamford Regional Bar Association
      Board of Directors

      Captain, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired)
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business in the state of Connecticut in the area of Real Estate for 2012 - 2015 and in Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use for 2016 and 2017

      Listed in Connecticut Super Lawyers® in the area of Land Use/Zoning Law since 2007 (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.)

      2010 Pro Urbe Award, St. Andrew's Parish, Stamford, Connecticut

      Robinson+Cole Pro Bono Award, 2009

      AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell™ in the areas of Land Use Law, Zoning Law, Real Estate Litigation, and Civil Litigation (Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings is a trademark. AV Preeminent is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc.)

       Robinson+Cole Mentor of the Year Award, 2016

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      New Canaan Community Foundation
      Sapienza Scholarship Committee (2008 - 2011)

      ABC New Canaan Inc.
      Pro Bono Counsel

      ABC Darien Inc.
      Pro Bono Counsel

      Philip Johnson Glass House
      Zoning Counsel

      Stamford Land Conservation Trust
      Board of Directors

      New Canaan YMCA
      Board of Directors (2004 - 2011)

      Waveny Care Center Health Services
      Board of Directors Chairman (2007 - 2009)

      Navy League of United States
      President, Stamford Chapter (1997 - 2000)

      Connecticut Veterans Legal Center
      Board of Directors
    • Publications


      "Why Access to Legal Services Matters," published in Report of the Task Force to Improve Access to Legal Counsel in Civil Matters, member of the committee tasked with drafting the section "Why Access to Legal Services Matters" (12/15/2016)
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      "Easements, Buddhists and Sexually Oriented Businesses: An Update on Real Property Law," published in Connecticut Law Tribune, co-authored with Tyisha S. Hovanec (9/2008)
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      "2007 Real Property Law Developments," published in Connecticut Bar Journal (7/2008)

      "2007 Connecticut Real Property Law Developments," published in Connecticut Bar Journal (3/2008)
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      "2006 Connecticut Real Property Law Developments," published in Connecticut Bar Journal (6/2007)
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      "Court Tackles Multiple Real Property Issues: Smorgasbord of Decisions Includes Eminent Domain, Sovereign Immunity," published in Connecticut Law Tribune (9/2006)

    • Presentations


      "Finding Solid Ground: Environmental and Land Use Dispute Resolution in Connecticut," co-presented with Dwight H. Merriam, at the 10th John A. Speziale ADR Symposium, hosted by Quinnipiac University's Center on Dispute Resolution and the Connecticut Bar Foundation, (3/17/2017)
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      "Jetties, Docks, Seawalls, Littoral Rights, Waterfront Homes, Spartina, and More," at Robinson & Cole's Coastal Considerations and Regulatory Reality Breakfast Seminar (7/14/2009)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • June 22, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Participate in THE RIDE For Our Vets

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      • March 24, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Present at John A. Speziale ADR Symposium

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      • January 3, 2017

        Ted O’Hanlan Participates in Connecticut Legislative Task Force on Legal Counsel in Civil Matters

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      • September 15, 2014

        Ted O'Hanlan to Serve on CVLC Board

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      • June 18, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Takes Part in Chamber Golf Tournament

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      • June 11, 2014

        Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Recognizes Robinson+Cole for Sponsoring Home Run for Heroes

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      • November 15, 2013

        LandLaw Lawyers Speak at SNEAPA Annual Conference

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      • April 23, 2013

        Stamford Lawyers Elected as Fellows of the American Bar Foundation

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      • December 20, 2010

        LandLaw Attorneys Receive Award for Pro Bono Work

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      • September 21, 2010

        Edward O’Hanlan Featured in the Connecticut Law Tribune’s “Wetlands Battle”

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      • December 9, 2008

        Robinson & Cole Land Use Attorneys Co-Author Article for Law Tribune

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      R+C News Releases

      • May 26, 2017

        Chambers USA Recognizes Robinson+Cole Lawyers and Practice Groups

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      • October 18, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • September 13, 2016

        Robinson+Cole Presents Annual Awards for Dedication and Outstanding Contributions

      • May 27, 2016

        Chambers USA Recognizes Robinson+Cole Lawyers and Practice Groups

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      • October 19, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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      • May 19, 2015

        Robinson+Cole Earns Six Practice Area Rankings in Chambers USA 2015

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      • October 17, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers

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      • May 29, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Earns Rankings in Chambers USA 2014 in all Connecticut Practice Areas

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      • June 21, 2013

        Local Organizations Recognize Robinson & Cole’s Pro Bono Service

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      • June 10, 2013

        Chambers USA Ranks Robinson & Cole in Five Practices, Names 17 Attorneys as Leading Lawyers

      • October 22, 2012

        Super Lawyers® Names 49 Robinson & Cole Attorneys to 2012 List and Recognizes 26 as Rising Stars

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      • June 7, 2012

        Chambers USA Ranks Robinson & Cole in Five Practices, Names 16 Attorneys as Leading Lawyers

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