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, the Connecticut Defenders, and the Poquonnock Bridge Fire District. Over the years, the firm developed a strong interface with state government at all levels, resulting in nationally based clients with interests in Connecticut including Scientific Games, Sportech, Corcoran Jennison Company, Fiber Technologies, L.L.C., Level 3 Communications and Bank of America.
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.
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. Every case is unique and must be individually evaluated for appropriate expectation of results.
In 1991, TCORS established a Governmental Affairs Department, utilizing its extensive governmental experience and knowledge at the local, state and federal levels. In 2006, we reorganized and transferred our Governmental Affairs Department activities to TCORS Capital Group, LLC ("TCG"). We continue to coordinate and work closely with TCG on legislative and regulatory solutions to legal problems. Over the years, TCORS and TCG have 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, Connecticut Racetrack Coalition, Connecticut Employment Lawyers Association, American Red Cross, and Connecticut Association of Private Special Education Facilities. Presently TCG has 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, and the Town of Killingly. 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 federal, 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, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and other regulatory agencies. We have served as Connecticut counsel for many publicly traded companies, national corporations, and Connecticut businesses, including Scientific Games, Adelphia Communications Corporation, American Promotional Events, Inc., Level 3 Communications, Interstate Hotels and Resorts and Landry's Restaurants, Inc. At both the state and 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. TCORS' attorneys have represented employers in Southeastern Connecticut helping them contest, negotiate, and settle Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations. Our attorneys work with employers to navigate OSHA Commission procedures, appeal OSHA decisions and help negotiate penalties. These unique 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, the Norwich Navigators, and Edwards Wines, LLC.
The services offered to individuals also have been expanded to include employment law and intellectual property. TCORS' attorneys frequently advise employees and companies on the laws governing employment termination, discrimination, wage and hour needs, and other labor issues. In the intellectual property area, we are able to assist individuals and companies with a wide variety of needs, including preparation and filing of patents, trademarks and copyrights, licensing, and protection of proprietary information.
Today the firm consists of 5 partners, 3 associates, 3 of-counsel, 11 paralegals and 10 administrative and support staff.