Anthony B. Corleto Partner

     

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Tony Corleto focuses on commercial litigation, lawyers’ professional liability and sports risk matters. His experience covers intellectual property, corporate, construction, insurance coverage and bad faith, environmental and employment practice liability issues. Tony regularly tries cases and argues appeals in the state and federal courts of Connecticut and New York.

Before his legal career, Tony worked as a commercial casualty underwriter and risk management consultant. He also has served as general counsel for a software company where he handled copyright, trademark, trade secret and licensing matters. Tony also serves as general counsel for a nationwide sport governing body and for a nationwide environmental consultancy.

Whether Tony is managing a data breach for a gaming company or litigating traumatic brain injury claims, he looks beyond the issue of immediate concern to better understand how it originated. This allows him to help clients avoid similar problems in the future.

Areas of Focus

Commercial Services
In commercial litigation and transactions, Tony represents a wide range of clients, including consulting organizations in the technology, environmental and market research sectors; general and trade contractors; insurance companies and brokers; and software developers.

Tony has handled branding/identity projects, franchise matters, and transfers of environmentally impaired properties. He has litigated commercial disputes involving trademark, copyright, trade dress and patent infringement claims. Tony also has managed numerous transactions involving licensing, executive employment, spin-offs, mergers, buy-backs and technology transfers.

Tony's recent commercial engagements also include a trademark dispute over machine tool parts, a copyright dispute involving a housewares designer, and various trade secret matters between competitors.

Complex Tort: Sport Concussion
As general counsel and lead litigator for a nationwide sport governing body, Tony advises on strategic matters and leads the defense of high exposure cases, including CTE class action cases.  Tony co-chairs the firm’s Sports Concussion practice team and regularly lectures or leads panel discussions on the medico-legal issues surrounding CTE litigation.

Municipal Liability
Tony has successfully defended property rights claims brought by developers and landowners, wrongful arrest claims brought by detainees, defective road claims, drainage and sewer claims, employment claims, and claims under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. He has secured defense verdicts, summary judgments and other favorable outcomes for a number of towns and villages. In addition to his litigation work for municipal clients, Tony consults and works on insurance coverage disputes.

Representative Matters

Commercial
Won summary judgment dismissal of tortious interference, unfair trade practice and breach of contract claims in federal court in the District of Connecticut on behalf of an insurance company client. Plaintiff, an independent adjuster, commenced this action to recover payment of unpaid invoices and for breach of an alleged agreement to use the adjuster's services exclusively in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. Defendant withheld payment and ended the relationship when an internal audit revealed a pattern of fraudulent billing by plaintiff, and brought a counterclaim for affirmative relief. Court dismissed plaintiff's breach of contract claims; defendant's counterclaims and plaintiff's claim for unpaid invoices also were resolved favorably for the client.

Resolved a commercial dispute between a landlord client and a tenant that was chronically delinquent in paying rent and was preparing to vacate the premises prior to the expiration of the lease. In a rare move, the court granted the Writ of Attachment in an amount $240,000, which covered both back rent and the remaining balance of the lease.

Obtained a defense verdict in a trespass/property damage claim brought in Connecticut Superior Court by the owner of a Greenwich, CT, estate home against the owner and builder of the adjacent property. Plaintiff claimed that the construction company, while doing work on the adjacent property owned by the co-defendant, trespassed on her property, damaging a vintage rock wall and disrupting the grade. Successfully argued that plaintiff failed to meet her burden of proof.

Represent a national nonprofit youth football organization as a defendant in a variety of matters arising from league operations across the country, including defeating injunctions brought by three disqualified teams seeking to gain post-season berths in regional championships.

Municipal
Obtained dismissal of a Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) case in the Eastern District of New York against an environmental engineering consulting firm. Plaintiff, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, acquired a 97-acre parcel of land in the Village of Old Westbury to develop a cemetery. After the Village denied a permit because cemeteries were not within the building code, the diocese sued, claiming the cemetery would be used for religious purposes and therefore would be allowed under RLUIPA. The diocese prevailed on appeal, with the stipulation that the project be subject to State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process. Our client, the environmental consulting firm, was hired by the Village to establish ground water monitoring and management criteria under which a cemetery could be developed, if feasible. The firm recommended stringent criteria to avoid contamination of the main source of water on Long Island. The diocese claimed the firm violated RLUIPA and the first and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution because its criteria for the cemetery were more stringent than regional criteria for similar non-religious uses (e.g., golf courses). We successfully argued that plaintiff failed to articulate facts demonstrating religious animus or an interference with the exercise of religious beliefs.

Won defense verdict for a Connecticut municipal Board of Education and its officials in a student "bullying" case. Complainant initially leveled claims of common law negligence and violations of the Connecticut "bullying" statute. Court granted defendants' initial motion to strike the bullying claim on the grounds that the statute did not create a private cause of action. Motions for summary judgment based on governmental and qualified immunity were denied for "questions of fact."

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