Danbury Accepts Donation of Cycling Safety Signs In Memory of Cramer & Anderson Partner David Burke

In a meeting on June 6, the Danbury City Council unanimously approved accepting Cramer & Anderson’s donation of cycling safety signs. The signs pay tribute to the late Attorney David P. Burke by helping foster a safer environment for a sport he loved in western Connecticut municipalities where he practiced law, cycled and lived with passion equaled by few peers. Danbury is the second community to accept a donation of 10 reflective yellow roadside warning signs saying, “3 feet – it’s the law,” a way of highlighting the Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-232(a) requirement that motorists must respect the rights of cyclists on public roads and grant them a “safe distance” of at least 3 feet when passing. New Milford Mayor David Gronbach and the New Milford Town Council accepted a donation of 10 signs in April. Town Engineer Daniel Stanton is working with the town’s Bike & Trails Committee to determine where the signs should be placed. Donations of signs will also be offered to Redding, where Attorney Burke lived with his wife, June Anne, and Litchfield, where the firm has an office. Litchfield is home to Bantam Lake and Route 209, where Attorney Burke was cycling on the morning of March 12, 2016, when his bike hit a pothole and he was propelled into a guardrail. Attorney Burke, who was wearing a helmet, was flown by Life Star helicopter to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, where he died March 15, 2016, his 63rd birthday. “If these signs help to avoid even one tragic accident they will be invaluable,” Cramer & Anderson Partner Dan Casagrande told the Danbury...

WFSB Update on Brookfield Woman Scammed by Home Improvement Contractor

WFSB Channel 3 Eyewitness News aired an update May 16 on the 11 p.m. newscast about the community effort to build a new home for Carol Degen of Brookfield. Watch the WFSB Story The mother of two adult children hired a contractor years ago to renovate the kitchen and bathroom of her modest house alongside Stony Hill Road—and wound up with the house gutted, deep in debt, and essentially homeless. Channel 3, the CBS affiliate in Connecticut, first covered Degen’s plight in an I-Team investigative piece by Eric Parker, broadcast as the lead story on the 11 p.m. news last Halloween (Oct. 31). For the May 16 update, Parker came to Brookfield Monday, May 15, and met with Degen, her daughter, Susan, and volunteers who are laying the groundwork for the old house to be razed and a new one to rise up on the narrow site between the busy road and the Housatonic Railroad tracks. Cramer & Anderson Partner John Tower filed suit against the Danbury contractor hired by the Degens and won a trial judgment of more than $471,000 that hasn’t been honored by the contractor. Attorney Tower turned to Parker, who is also an attorney, with the hope that publicizing the case would remind homeowners to beware and do their homework before hiring home improvement professionals—and also with the hope that a TV news story might inspire an effort to help a client who remains unlikely to benefit from the trial judgment. The reaction to the I-Team story was immediate and significant. News of the Degen family’s nightmare prompted Drew Scott from the HGTV show “Property Brothers” to...

Pro Bono Award Given to Attorney Rivas at Law Day in Danbury

Cramer & Anderson Attorney Lisa Rivas, an Associate in the firm’s Danbury office who focuses on Immigration Law, received the Pro Bono Award during Law Day in events in Danbury May 5 for providing free legal assistance and teaching citizenship classes to members of Connecticut’s immigrant community. The annual Law Day, celebrated in Judicial Districts around the country, featured a morning ceremony at Danbury Superior Court in which the Liberty Bell Award and Pro Bono Award were given. A luncheon followed at Terra Restaurant at Hotel Zero Degrees, featuring a keynote address by Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen. As part of Law Day in Danbury, sponsored by the Greater Danbury Bar Association, third-grade students from King Street Elementary School were introduced to the workings of the judicial system, according a story in the News-Times. Law Day was founded during the Cold War by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in response to military parades that took place in Moscow each May 1, Judge Dan Shaban told students, saying, “Eisenhower started Law Day to show that our strength was not in our military,” according to the News-Times’ story. Cramer & Anderson Partner Dan Casagrande presented Attorney Rivas with the Pro Bono Award, lauding her for devoting countless nights and weekends during her four-year tenure with the firm to advising newcomers about their rights and obligations on the path to citizenship, as well as giving numerous presentations at local churches, schools, and nonprofit centers on immigration-related topics. As a volunteer at the Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury for more than five years, Attorney Rivas teaches a citizenship course she made so popular it went from being offered...

Cycling Safety Signs Honor Law Firm Partner Who Died After Accident Near Bantam Lake in March 2016

A little more than a year after Cramer & Anderson Partner David P. Burke died as the result of a cycling accident near Bantam Lake, the law firm is donating bicycle safety road signs to Connecticut municipalities that had significance for Burke. Reflective yellow signs saying “3 feet – it’s the law” are being given in memory of Burke to New Milford, home to the firm’s flagship office, Danbury, where Burke helped establish the Cramer & Anderson office, Redding, where he lived with his wife, June Anne, and Litchfield, where the firm has an office and home to Bantam Lake and Route 209, where the cycling accident occurred. Each town is to receive 10 signs. In an April 24 meeting, the New Milford Town Council unanimously accepted the signs, which remind drivers that Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-232(a) requires drivers to respect the rights of cyclists to use public roads and grant them a “safe distance” when passing. “For the purposes of this subsection, ‘safe distance’ means not less than three feet when the driver of a vehicle overtakes and passes a person riding a bicycle,” reads the Connecticut law, whose bicycle passing requirements were enacted in 2008. At the meeting Cramer & Anderson Partner John D. Tower displayed one of the signs, along with a photograph of Attorney Burke riding on part of the Tour de France route with his daughter Victoria, a world-class rower. Attorney Tower and Partner D. Randall DiBella, who also attended, serve as Town Attorneys for New Milford. “David was a terrific person, an excellent attorney, a devoted father and bicyclist, and a close friend...

Attorney Weinshank to Discuss Charitable Planned Giving at Ridgefield VNA

Attorney Joshua Weinshank, a Trust and Estate Partner with Cramer & Anderson LLP, will present a program on the benefits of charitable planned giving May 11 at the Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association (RVNA). Certified Public Accountant Greg Pepin of Reynolds + Rowella, the accounting and consulting firm with offices in Ridgefield and New Canaan, will join Attorney Weinshank in a presentation covering the benefits of charitable giving, how to maximize charitable bequests through tax efficiency, and other issues related to planned giving. The program, which begins at 5:30 p.m., is free and open to the public. Complimentary light food and refreshments will be provided. The RVNA is hosting the event in part to enhance its role as a community resource, especially given that it opened a large new outpatient rehabilitation center this past December at its 22,000-square-foot Center for Exceptional Care at 27 Governor St. in Ridgefield. The RVNA, a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1914, has a Planned Giving page on its website, which says in part: “Planned giving involves providing for a future gift to a charity through your financial and estate plans. Choosing the right planned gift depends on your personal circumstances and financial goals. Whatever option you choose – a simple bequest, a beneficiary designation, a charitable gift annuity, or a charitable trust – planned gifts offer you a creative, strategic way to support RVNA far into the future while also providing you with tax and other benefits.” Those who plan to attend the May 11 presentation are asked to RSVP by calling Alice Meenan, Director of Donor Relations for the RVNA, at 203-438-5555, ext. 1028....

Attorney Taylor Steps Up for VFW Out of ‘Great Respect’

When his country needed him, Jim Delancy stepped up. It was 1968 and the Tet Offensive by the North Vietnamese had weakened support for America’s involvement in Vietnam, but Delancy, Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1672, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He served in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971, and was honorably discharged in 1972. “I never had to serve in the military, but have great respect for those who did,” said Cramer & Anderson Partner Ken Taylor. One way he shows that respect is by representing the thriving VFW Post 1672 in New Milford on a pro bono basis. “I am happy to do it,” said Attorney Taylor. “These veterans were willing to sacrifice when their nation called and we are more than happy to assist them when they need some help. Every few years something pops up related to the building or the operation over there and they come to me for assistance.” “I can call him anytime. He’ll talk me through the questions I have without too many problems,” Delancy said of Attorney Taylor. Delancy is also the State of Connecticut VFW Junior Vice-Commander and the Post Service Officer for Post 1672, whose 270 members come from New Milford, Roxbury, Bridgewater, Gaylordsville, Kent, Washington, and Warren. The post is located at 11 Avery Rd. in New Milford. As Service Officer, Delancy helps veterans obtain and access benefits, including medical, or “whatever they need.” His role with the Connecticut VFW has Delancy at the Capitol in Hartford, and recently he was in Washington, D.C., with other VFW leaders, lobbying for better benefits for veterans. Under...