Since its founding in 1963, the firm of Tobin, Carberry, O'Malley, Riley & Selinger, P.C. has been dedicated to providing its clients a full range of legal services. The firm's members have diverse professional backgrounds and, through our individual practice concentrations, offer business and individuals experienced counsel in a wide array of legal matters.
From commercial transactions to criminal defense, personal injury litigation to estate and tax planning, intellectual property, patent, zoning and land use to government affairs counseling, in state and federal courts, and before local, state and regulatory agencies, we strive to meet our clients' every legal need--professionally, efficiently and successfully.
The law firm of Tobin, Carberry, O'Malley, Riley & Selinger, P.C. (TCORS) was founded in October, 1963, with a small office in downtown New London. The firm's clients primarily came to include, as they do today, businesses, professionals and their families residing in Southeastern Connecticut. The firm's representation extended chiefly to local businesses, including such long standing institutional clients as Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, Middlesex Memorial Hospital in Middletown, Cross Sound Ferry, Mitchell College, Connecticut College, and the Poquonnock Bridge Fire District. Over the years, the firm developed a strong interface with governmental agencies and legislators, resulting in nationally based clients with interests in Connecticut such as Scientific Games, Adelphia Communications and Boston Capital.
The firm's litigation practice expanded with Attorney Robert D. Tobin becoming a partner in 1970. The firm was engaged in a number of prominent cases in both the state and federal courts soon after. In Metzel v. United States, the firm obtained the largest state judgment ever rendered to that date in a personal injury action, a recovery of more than $1.4 million in a Federal Torts Claims Act for a swimming pool slide injury. This case was preceded by Robinson v. General Motors, a pioneering, strict product liability case tried to a Connecticut jury. The charge of the presiding judge, later a Connecticut Supreme Court Justice, is still the standard jury charge in a product liability case in Connecticut. Robinson, like Metzel, involved a defective product. In the Robinson case, the firm established that seat belts then in use in automobiles were unreasonably dangerous.
By 1977, the firm and its client base had grown to include the J.C. Penney Company; the Ella T. Grasso Trust and the Estate of Ella T. Grasso, late Governor of the State of Connecticut; and various New London commercial and banking institutions, including Connecticut Bank and Trust Company, Connecticut National Bank and members of the Naval and Coast Guard community. The Coast Guard Academy Foundation and Mitchell College of New London also became clients of the firm during this time.
In March 1983, the firm moved to its present quarters at 43 Broad Street in New London. The building was rehabilitated and expanded by the firm’s growing membership, with the addition of Attorneys Glenn Carberry and Jerry O’Malley in the early 1980s, Tom Riley in 1986 and Joe Selinger by 1987.
The firm has established a noteworthy reputation in its litigation practice. Among the personal injury verdicts or settlements after partial trial which exceed $1 million are: Metzel v. U.S. (U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut); Moore, Executor v. Velsicol (U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut); and in excess of $2 million: Sanderson v. Banigan (U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut). In commercial litigation, an award in excess of $1 million was made in Paul v. Connecticut National Bank (Superior Court, State of Connecticut, Judicial District of Fairfield). Numerous cases have reached the Supreme Court of the State of Connecticut or the United States Courts of Appeals, including: Schenck v. Pelkey; Sanderson v. Banigan; Washington Trust Co. v. Smith; and Poulos v. Pfizer, Inc.
In 1991 TCORS established its Governmental Affairs Department, utilizing its extensive governmental experience and contacts at the local, state and federal levels. With several of the firm’s partners having served in the Connecticut General Assembly, TCORS developed an expertise in the regulatory and legislative process. This experience enabled TCORS to effectively communicate our clients’ concerns regarding proposed laws and regulations affecting their businesses. TCORS has been privileged to represent the governmental concerns of organizations such as Scientific Games (Autotote), Stonington Fisherman’s Association, Connecticut Physical Therapy Association, Oracle, U.S. Water, Eastern Pequots, Mystic Color Lab, Connecticut Racetrack Coalition, Connecticut Employment Lawyers Association, American Red Cross, and Connecticut Association of Private Special Education Facilities. Presently our Government Relations Department consists of three registered lobbyists located at 330 Main Street, Hartford, Connecticut.
During the 1990's, the firm also expanded significantly its finance, regulatory and business practice. First, the firm became qualified to serve as bond counsel, underwriters counsel, or borrower's counsel on municipal, state, and other issuances. TCORS' attorneys have served in these roles on over 100 public finance offerings over the past decade involving the Connecticut Housing Financing Authority, the Connecticut Health and Educational Financing Authority, the State of Connecticut, City of New London, Town of Killingly, and underwriters, including Advest, Inc. TCORS is the only Eastern Connecticut firm which has this type of public finance experience, and has strong relationships with other professionals engaged in bond transactions in Connecticut and throughout the United States.
Another area of expansion for the firm in the past decade has been regulatory affairs and land use. The firm frequently represents clients before state and municipal agencies, including the Department of Public Utility Control, Liquor Control Commission, Department of Revenue Services, Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Labor, Division of Special Revenue, and other regulatory agencies. It serves as Connecticut counsel for many publicly traded companies, national corporations, and Connecticut businesses, including Scientific Games, Adelphia Communications Corporation, Level 3 Communications, Interstate Hotels and Resorts and Landry's Restaurants, Inc. At the municipal level, the firm has established a reputation for success in obtaining zoning approvals and other land use permits for complex projects in Eastern Connecticut. These specialized areas of practice, coupled with the firm's knowledge of general corporate law, bank financing, and real estate, have led to the firm's engagement as legal counsel by local businesses as well, including Cross-Sound Ferry Services, Flight Safety Technologies, Connecticut College, Mitchell College, Mystic Color Lab, the Eastern Pequot Indian Tribe, Levine Distributing, and the Norwich Navigators.
The services offered to individuals have also been expanded to include employment law. TCORS' attorneys frequently advise employees and companies on the laws governing employment termination, discrimination, wage and hour needs, and other labor issues.
Today the firm consists of 5 partners, 5 associates, 1 regulatory analyst, 3 registered lobbyists, 13 paralegals and 14 administrative and support staff.