Richard F. Banbury
After graduating from Yale Law School in 1963, Richard F. Banbury worked in the Law Department of Aetna Life & Casualty in Hartford, where he counseled General Agents and administrators on the implementation of Group Life, Group Annuity and Group Health Insurance Programs. He was rescued from the boredom of that work in 1965, when he was chosen as the first Law Clerk to Associate Justice John P. Cotter of the Connecticut Supreme Court. During the following two years, Richard worked closely with Justice Cotter in the intellectual and esoteric field of appellate law and decision-making. He also had a unique opportunity to observe all facets of the Connecticut judicial system, since Justice Cotter, in addition to his work on the Supreme Court, was also the first Chief Court Administrator for the State of Connecticut.
From 1967 to 1970, Richard worked with a small general practice law firm in Hartford, where he primarily practiced in the field of insurance defense litigation. During that time, on a pro bono basis, he served as appellate co-counsel to Arthur James Davis, who had been sentenced to death by the Superior Court in New Haven. Richard authored that portion of the Appellate Brief dealing with the Eighth Amendment issue of cruel and unusual punishment, which he argued before the Connecticut Supreme Court. After the capital sentence was affirmed at that level, Richard filed a Petition for Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court, which was eventually granted and the death sentence of the Connecticut Courts was vacated on the Eighth Amendment issue, with the client receiving a life sentence.
During the period of 1970 to 1978, Attorney Banbury served as an Assistant State's Attorney and, from 1975 to 1978, as the Chief Assistant State's Attorney for Hartford County. During those eight years, he tried a large number of felony cases, including prosecutions for murder, manslaughter, armed robbery, sexual assault, kidnapping, and high-end drug sales. In addition to his many jury trials as a prosecutor, Richard also argued several criminal cases before the Connecticut Supreme Court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. One case which he argued in the Connecticut Supreme Court, State v. Charles Dukes, was subsequently the subject of oral argument before the United States Supreme Court. In the Dukes matter, John LaBelle, the State's Attorney for Hartford County, successfully argued the case, and Richard had the opportunity to co-author the Supreme Court Brief and was second chair during oral argument in Washington.
Since 1978, Attorney Banbury has worked for the firm of Rome McGuigan, P.C. and its predecessors, principally as a civil litigator. For many years, Richard has been engaged to defend professional liability cases, during which time he has represented surgeons, physicians, dentists, psychologists, insurance brokers, and members of his own profession. In addition, he acted as defense counsel in two murder cases, including one in which he was assigned by the Superior Court, and successfully defended both clients in those matters. Based on his experience and reputation, Richard has also been appointed in hundreds of cases to act in the capacity as an arbitrator or mediator. He also has been appointed by the Judges of the Superior Court as a member of the Bar Examining Committee for over twenty-five years, where he has been particularly active in character and fitness hearings.
In addition to his litigation practice, Richard has also served as the Executive Director and counsel to the Council on Probate Judicial Conduct, which investigates and adjudicates formal complaints of ethical misconduct against the elected Probate Judges in Connecticut. In that capacity, he successfully argued the case of Patterson v. Council on Probate Judicial Conduct before the Connecticut Supreme Court. He is often consulted on issues of professional responsibility and has been retained on various occasions as an expert witness on matters involving legal ethics.
For the past several years, Richard has also been defense counsel for the Mohegan Tribe of Indians and the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, defending hundreds of tort claims in the Mohegan Gaming Disputes Court and Appellate Court, including the first negligence case ever litigated in the Mohegan Trial Court.
Throughout his career as an attorney, Richard has been guided by the principle of communicating directly, honestly and frequently with his clients concerning all aspects of the matters they have entrusted to him.
Areas of Practice
- 20% Professional Liability - Defense
- 50% Indian Law - Defense of Tort Claims in Mohegan Tribal Court
- 20% Professional Ethics as counsel for Judicial Conduct Council
- 10% Arbitration and Mediation as Third-Party Neutral
- 70% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Connecticut, 1964
- U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 1965
- U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1970
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1972
- Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut
- J.D. - 1963
- Honors: Chair of Jerome Frank Legal Aid Society
- Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
- B.A. - 1960
- Honors: Dean's List
- Major: Economics
- Non-Cultural Determinants of Criminal Behavior, Connecticut Bar Journal, Vol.50, 1976
- Mediation: Overcoming Institutional Obstacles, American Arbitration Claims Forum, Vol.5, 1991
- Mohegan Tribe of Indians
- Travelers Ins. Co.
- American International Group
- Council on Probate Judicial Conduct
- Guggenheim Fellow - Co-Taught Criminal Law Seminar, Yale Law School, 1976 - 1977
- Speaker at Various Arbitration Seminars, American Arbitration Assoc., 1980 - 2000
Honors and Awards
- Nathan Hale Award-Yale Club of Hartford, 2001
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Connecticut Bar Examining Committee, Member, 1980 - 2009
- Connecticut Bar Association, Member, 1979 - 2009
Past Employment Positions
- Aetna Life & Casualty, Attorney, 1963 - 1965
- Connecticut Supreme Court, Law Clerk to Justice John Cotter
- State's Attorney for Hartford County, Assistant, Chief Assistant, 1970 - 1978
Pro Bono Activities
- Yale Club of Hartford-Board of Directors, 1970 - 2009
- Town of Marlborough-Multiple Boards and Commissions, 1989 - 2009