James A. Wade

Partner

  • Overview

    Biography

    Jim Wade, a litigation partner, has tried numerous criminal and civil cases across the United States. He has been a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 1980. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury Litigation, and White Collar Criminal Defense since 1995 (Copyright 2012 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC) and in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business.

    For more than twenty years, Mr. Wade served as outside counsel to the Connecticut Democratic Party and has represented three Connecticut governors in litigation. He was responsible for the drafting of the procedural and substantive rules of the party and represented it before the United States Supreme Court in connection with a reapportionment case. Mr. Wade has represented numerous public officials in Connecticut in litigation involving constitutional election and voting issues.

    In the last several years, Mr. Wade has tried, on behalf of major corporations and their employees, complex criminal and civil cases involving antitrust, securities fraud, government contracting fraud, mail fraud, and public corruption. He has also represented numerous Fortune 500 companies on various compliance issues, including grand jury investigation compliance, securities regulation, banking issues, and environmental concerns as well as numerous contractual and business disputes.

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

        Constitutional and Regulatory

      • Represented a major political party before U.S. Supreme Court in connection with constitutional claims arising out of reapportionment and equal protection.
      • Successfully challenged an OSHA citation issued against a manufacturing company, resulting in withdrawal of the citation.
      • Represented The Hartford and a consortium of property and casualty insurers in challenge to the Department of Insurance proposed regulatory changes to rating practices.
      • Defended probate court judge in judicial impeachment proceedings and before the Connecticut Supreme Court in the only impeachment to occur in the history of the Connecticut House of Representatives.
      • Represented outdoor media advertising company in case before Connecticut Supreme Court involving governmental orders restricting advertising sign structures.
      • Substantially reduced the subpoena compliance burden for our client in a federal antitrust investigation of the explosives industry, and in a case that netted the largest criminal antitrust fines to that point, we persuaded the government not to prosecute our client.
      • Other Experiences

      • Obtained summary judgment on all counts in a case involving a multicount gender and disability discrimination matter in federal court for a Fortune 500 managed health care company.
      • Represented an ice cream manufacturer, employing approximately 500 people, that was in a difficult economic situation requiring a close down and shutdown of operations. Robinson & Cole represented the new employer and successfully negotiated a contract with the Teamsters union, allowing management the flexibility to change operations within a new union contract, to assert management rights, and to bring about a change in the method of compensation, all leading to avoidance of closedown and retention of jobs.
      • Constitutional and Regulatory

      • Obtained for a manufacturing client a declination of prosecution in a substantial environmental investigation by the Connecticut United States Attorney’s Office and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
      • Business Litigation

      • Represented major domestic life insurance company in Department of Insurance proceedings in connection with merger.
      • Other Experiences

      • Obtained an acquittal for a waste hauling corporation after an eight-week federal antitrust trial. The government had alleged a customer and geographic market allocation scheme.
      • Criminal Litigation

      • Obtained an acquittal for a corporate client after an eight-week federal antitrust trial. The government had alleged a customer and geographic market allocation scheme in the waste hauling industry in Connecticut.
      • Obtained the acquittal of an attorney charged with defrauding the Internal Revenue Service.
      • Other Experiences

      • Representation of the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut, for its regional sports and entertainment complex. Our services included drafting a redevelopment plan with city and neighborhood officials, negotiating and drafting stadium lease and financing agreements for a new baseball stadium, structuring tax-driven transactions to provide the city with funding for construction, and directing remediation and demolition activities.
      • Criminal Litigation

      • Successfully defended a corporate executive in a three-week federal criminal trial in which the government had alleged contracting fraud. The government claimed that client had engaged in a scheme to defraud the government in connection with the sale of rocket fuel. The jury took less than 30 minutes to acquit.
      • Business Litigation

      • Defended a major metropolitan municipality against monopolization and related antitrust claims in connection with award of ambulance services contracts to private contractors. Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the city.
      • Obtained verdict for major manufacturer of information technology products in six-month federal court jury trial arising out of failed joint venture. Claims included unfair trade practices and trade secrets theft.
      • Criminal Litigation

      • Obtained the acquittal of a chemical manufacturing company that had been charged with criminal violations of the State Environmental Protection Statute.
      • Obtained the acquittal of a precious metals recovery company that had been charged with criminal negligence in the death of an employee.
      • Other Experiences

      • Represented client in multiday bench trial in construction-related dispute involving allegations of breach of contract and Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act violation.
      • Represented corporate officer during all stages of criminal investigation and federal prosecution by United States Attorney's Office. Argued for and obtained non-United States Sentencing Guidelines and nonjail sentence for corporate officer.
      • In conjunction with a vexatious litigation action against an international developer, collected, reviewed and produced ESI and paper materials related to 12 underlying lawsuits. Additionally, utilized Concordance to organize and conduct review and analysis of electronic data received from other parties for use in over 30 depositions.
      • Representation of a land developer in an arbitration hearing in Denver, Colorado, for fees due under a development services agreement for services rendered to a company that aborted building a new corporate headquarters on the western slope of the Colorado Rockies. Company counterclaimed, alleging breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation against our client. After a five-day hearing, our client was awarded $500,000 in contract damages and $160,000 in interest. The company's counterclaims were rejected. As the prevailing party, our client was entitled to recover its attorney's fees and costs.
      • Appellate

      • Reversed the criminal conviction of the president of a manufacturing company who the State of Connecticut prosecuted for allegedly violating Connecticut’s hazardous waste storage and disposal laws. The State convinced the trial court to charge the jury using the broader definitions of the “storage” and “disposal” in the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act instead of the definitions of those terms in the Connecticut General Statutes. The Connecticut Supreme Court held that the Connecticut definitions applied to the State’s charges, not the federal definitions. The court reversed the trial court and ordered a new trial. The decision is published as State v. Cote, 286 Conn. 603 (2008). The matter was favorably resolved without another trial.
      • Business Litigation

      • Obtained an $18.3 million jury verdict for Computers Plus Center, Inc. against the State of Connecticut. Computers Plus was a 16-employee computer reseller who sold computers primarily to state and local governments. In 2002-2003, the State Department of Information Technology accused Computers Plus of fraud, unfair trade practices, and breaching three state contracts. The Department reported these accusations to the State Police, pursued criminal charges against Computers Plus’s president, and sued Computers Plus and its president, personally. Computers Plus counterclaimed against the State claiming that State employees made several false statements about Computers Plus and its president that Computers Plus claimed ruined its reputation and destroyed its business. After a two and a half month trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Computers Plus and awarded it damages for the full value of its business. The trial court reduced the jury’s verdict. This matter is currently on appeal.
      • Represented a manufacturing company in an environmental enforcement action involving claims of illegal storage and disposal of hazardous waste.
      • Other Experiences

      • Representation of Connecticut client in which an employee of the client died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning after a severe storm cut off power and allowed carbon monoxide to accumulate throughout the building. Negotiations with OSHA resulted in no citation issued against the client on the theory of “act of god.” State's attorney indicted company for negligent homicide. OSHA resisted involvement in local criminal matter, but we obtained an order from the district court compelling its attendance in the state court criminal action. The result was a not guilty verdict.
      • Provided on-site response within one hour of explosion in Connecticut that resulted in the death of three employees and damage throughout the town, handling all on-site investigations and dealing directly with OSHA investigators. Worked with privately-retained expert to determine the cause of the explosion. Negotiated the citation at local level and regional office, minimizing the number and severity of the sanctions and settling the case.
      • Representation of a company where a fire and explosion on a new assembly line facility being installed at its Connecticut site resulted in burns and shrapnel damage to company employees. Robinson & Cole was on site within hours after the incident, dealing with local OSHA investigators; state police; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives personnel. All investigators agreed that the incident was not caused by the company or its personnel but rather by an inherent, unknown defect in the newly designed equipment being installed, and no citation was issued. We assisted the insurer’s subrogation lawyer in the civil suit to recover the company’s losses from the installer.
      • Representation of a company where a failure of compressed gas tank at its Connecticut facility resulted in significant injuries to several employees. Robinson & Cole was on site within hours and dealt with local OSHA personnel; state police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the FBI. No citation was issued.
      • Representation of a Connecticut town in litigation regarding a public and private retail, office, and residential development project. A competing developer, a shopping mall, initiated litigation to block the project by filing nine separate lawsuits against the town and the project developer. Robinson & Cole enabled the project to move forward despite ongoing litigation and later prevailed on all nine lawsuits. Following the first round of litigation, Robinson & Cole went on the offensive and sued the competing developer for abuse of process, vexatious lawsuit and frivolous litigation. After a year of litigating, the competing developer settled with the town.
      • Representation of a Dutch company that manufactured and sold beer taps. Robinson & Cole was involved in a criminal investigation resulting in Robinson & Cole having another U.S. company and its officers arrested. In addition, Robinson & Cole brought a civil action against that U.S. company, which resulted in the payment of significant civil damages.
      • Business Litigation

      • Represented major elevator and escalator manufacturer in eight-week trial against industry competitor alleging civil fraud, theft of trade secrets, and unfair trade practices arising out of appropriation of diagnostic technology.
      • Represented manufacturer of specialty chemical products in unfair competition lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions and obtained injunctive relief preventing competitor’s deceptive marketing practices and misappropriation of proprietary product information.
      • Constitutional and Regulatory

      • Represented an explosives manufacturing company in various administrative actions brought by Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) at the local and regional levels.
      • Represented major brewing company in its effort to overturn the Connecticut Department of Liquor Control ruling suspending company’s license to sell product in Connecticut.
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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      American College of Trial Lawyers

      American Bar Association

      Connecticut Bar Association

      State Capital Group
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Listed as a Litigation Star in Connecticut in Benchmark Litigation, 2011, 2012

      Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® since 1995. Most recently he has been listed in the areas of Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Criminal Defense: White-Collar-Defendants; Antitrust-Litigation; Banking & Finance-Litigation; Construction-Litigation; Intellectual Property-Litigation; Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)-Litigation; Tax-Litigation; Personal Injury Litigation

      Ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business in the state of Connecticut in the area of Litigation: General Commercial

      Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® as Hartford Lawyer of the Year in the area of Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants for 2014, in the area of Litigation - Antitrust for 2013, and in the area of Bet-the-Company Litigation for 2011 (Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC)

      Listed in Connecticut Super Lawyers® in the area of Criminal Defense for 2006 to 2009, 2011, and 2012 (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.)

  • NEWS + PRESS
    • News

      R+C in the News

      • January 2, 2014

        Robinson+Cole's Business Litigation Group Receives Top Ranking in Benchmark Litigation 2014

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      R+C News Releases

      • August 16, 2013

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in National Peer Review Survey

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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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      • September 14, 2012

        Ten Robinson & Cole Attorneys Selected as “Lawyers of the Year”

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      • August 28, 2012

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in National Peer Review Survey

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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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      • December 16, 2011

        Benchmark Litigation 2012 Recognizes Six Robinson & Cole Attorneys

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      • September 12, 2011

        Robinson & Cole Receives Top Listing in Connecticut Attorney Count in National Peer Review Survey

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      • June 17, 2011

        Chambers USA Ranks Robinson & Cole in Six Practices, Names 12 Attorneys as Leading Lawyers

      • November 10, 2010

        Best Lawyers Names Five Robinson & Cole Attorneys as Lawyers of the Year, Most Chosen in the Hartford Community

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      • October 28, 2010

        Benchmark Litigation 2010 Recognizes Four Robinson & Cole Attorneys

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