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After Attorney Casagrande’s ‘Black Swan’ Argument, Southbury Officials Deny Fuel Tank Plan

The Waterbury Repubican's Facebook post for a story on Southbury officials denying a fuel tank plan after Cramer & Anderson Partner Dan Casagrande cited the Black Swan effect.
The Waterbury Republican newspaper’s Facebook post for its story.

Cramer & Anderson Partner Dan Casagrande, representing Southbury residents David and Patricia Short, warned the town’s Planning Commission that allowing a new above-ground municipal fuel tank across from the town garage in the center of Southbury could have a “Black Swan” effect—setting the stage for an unexpected event with potentially harmful results.

The argument, in conjunction with warnings from other residents, proved persuasive, as the Planning Commission voted 4-1 to deny the plan in a Jan. 28 meeting, according to a story in the Waterbury Republican newspaper. 

“We are very happy with the decision, and we’re grateful [to] the majority of the commission that they agreed that this was not the appropriate site for a project of this magnitude,” Attorney Casagrande said in the story.

Based in Cramer & Anderson’s Danbury office, Attorney Casagrande is the “Giant Slayer” among Connecticut counsel—a designation bestowed by the Connecticut Law Tribune for his high-profile Municipal Law work on behalf of towns and cities, notably in tax appeal cases. 

In July 2019, he won another prestigious award, being named a Marvin J. Glink Private Practice Local Government Lawyer of the Year by the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA).

A highly-experienced attorney in private practice in Connecticut since 1986, who also focuses on Planning & Zoning Land Use and Land Use & Environmental Law, Attorney Casagrande has been retained to represent Connecticut municipalities and land use agencies in specialized assignments such as charter revisions, affordable housing appeals, construction projects and disputes. Attorney Casagrande’s municipal work has also included drafting public works construction contracts and redevelopment contracts, land use appeals, construction claims, takings disputes, condemnations, assessment appeals, and tax foreclosures.

He has served as an outside Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Danbury from 1990 through the present, and has served multiple-year engagements as Town Attorney for New Milford and New Fairfield. Additionally, Attorney Casagrande has been retained for special counsel assignments on behalf of Ridgefield, Middlebury, Southbury, New Milford, Waterford, Cheshire, Bethany, Beacon Falls, and the City of Waterbury, for which he handled a complex and “historic change” in municipal government.

A signature example of Attorney Casagrande’s work is the 1998 Union Carbide appeal of the municipal tax assessment valuation of its Danbury, Conn., headquarters, equating to a $307 million market value. As outside Assistant Corporation Counsel, Attorney Casagrande represented the City of Danbury. The trial court upheld the City’s valuation after a 24-day trial, Union Carbide appealed, and Attorney Casagrande ultimately prevailed before the Connecticut Supreme Court, safeguarding $10 million in tax revenue for the City.

About Cramer & Anderson

Cramer & Anderson LLP serves clients from six offices in western Connecticut with a hometown sensibility and a worldly outlook. In addition to Municipal Law, Planning & Zoning Land-Use, and Environmental Law, the firm’s attorneys also handle Personal Injury, Divorce & Family Law, Workers’ Comp, Immigration, Elder Law, Estate Planning and more.

The flagship office is located in a historic structure on the Green in New Milford. Additional offices are located in Danbury, Litchfield, Kent, and Washington Depot, and Ridgefield, serving Fairfield County. For more information, see the website at or call the New Milford office at (860) 355-2631.

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