News and Events
Read about what’s new at Collins Hannafin P.C.
April 2018 – Attorney DeFranco will be conducting the 40 Hour Basic Mediation Training with her training partners for mental health professionals, lawyers and divorce financial planners
Attorney DeFranco received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Ct Council for Non-Adversarial divorce for “meaningful and thoughtful contributions to best practices in the fields of mediation and collaborative divorce”.
January 2018 – Eva DeFranco has once again received the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell.
January 2018 – Attorney DeFranco has been named an advanced practitioner and received her certification of membership in the Academy of Professional Divorce Mediators.
August 11, 2017- Attorney Robert Opotzner has been appointed to the Executive Committee of the Education Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association! Attorney Opotzner previously served on the Board of Education for the town of Ridgefield, and has served his clients as an advocate in various school districts in expulsion and special education hearings. He looks forward to working with more of the best education attorneys in Connecticut in the year to come!
June 22, 2017- Attorney John Bowser has been elected President of the Greater Danbury Bar Association for the upcoming 2017-2018 year! After serving for two years on the Board of Directors, Attorney Bowser looks forward to serving Bar Association Members and the Public with honor in this esteemed position, as have many Collins Hannafin attorneys before him!
July 15, 2016 – Attorney Robert Opotzner appointed to the Executive Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Education Law Section for the 2016-2017 year! Attorney Opotzner has previously served on the Executive Board, and looks forward to contributing with attorney across Connecticut to this vital field!
April 27, 2016–Attorney Robert Opotzner will appear on the Connecticut Community Access Channel (Local Channel 23) on the program “Community Forum” to discuss statewide collaborative divorce initiatives, along with a panel of local collaborative divorce program advisors. Tune in on Wednesday, April 27th at 9 p.m. and again on Thursday, April 28th at 12:00 pm. See a preview of the video below!
April 1, 2016–Attorney Eva DeFranco, as part of the CT Mediation Training Group, will offer a 2 Day Training on Advanced Divorce Mediation at Quinnipiac University School of Law. For more information, visit www.gooddivorcect.com.
April 9, 2016–Attorney Thomas Beecher will address the Connecticut Federation of Lakes at their annual conference on the topic of Lake Community (Tax District and Community Associations) Governance.
July 16, 2015–Attorney Paula Boa Sousa has been named to the Board of Directors of Ann’s Place, a non-profit, cancer support services organization, located in Danbury, Connecticut.
July 16, 2015–Attorney John J. Bowser has been named Secretary of the Greater Danbury Bar Association for the upcoming term.
March 1, 2015–Attorney John Bowser was named to the Connecticut Bar Association 2014 Pro Bono Honor Roll, published in the March issue of Connecticut Lawyer Magazine.
April 1, 2015–Attorney Laura Goldstein has been appointed a Special Master by the Danbury Superior Court. In this role, Attorney Goldstein will act as a neutral mediator in domestic cases recommended to her by the Superior Court.
April 15, 2014–Attorney Eva DeFranco has once again earned the AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell for 2015 for legal ability and ethical standards.
April 24, 2014–Attorney Eva DeFranco is one of four professionals of the Ct. Family Mediation Training Group which offers mediation training for mental health professionals, lawyers and financial planners. The group held a 2 day mediation training at Quinnipiac Law School on April 24 and 25, 2015.
April 25, 2015–Attorney Laura Goldstein gave a guest lecture before the Town of Brookfield Commission on Ageing at the Brookfield Senior Center. Attorney Goldstein lectured about employment law issues facing the elderly.
April 28, 2014–Attorney John Bowser has published an article on homeowner liability for third-party injuries caused by ice on municipal sidewalks.
PARTNER NAMED SUPERLAWYER
November 17, 2014 – Attorney Thomas W. Beecher has been named a Connecticut Super Lawyer by New England Super Lawyers® magazine and Connecticut Magazine®. Attorney Beecher has previously received this prestigious honor in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
PARTNER RECEIVED PREEMINENT RATING
August 25, 2014- Eva DeFranco, whose primary area of practice is Divorce, has earned the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell. The Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rating is the highest possible rating for an attorney for both ethical standards and legal ability. This rating represents the pinnacle of professional excellence. It is achieved only after an attorney has been reviewed and recommended by their peers—members of the bar and the Judiciary.
SNAPSHOT: LAURA GOLDSTEIN
August 22, 2014- Attorney and Newtown resident Laura Goldstein was interviewed for the ‘Snapshot’ feature of the Newtown Bee newspaper. To read more about Laura, follow this link: https://newtownbee.com/node/ 225191#.U_d2C5CGhzk.email
PARTNER NAMED TO BOARD OF TRUSTEES
On June 26, 2014, Attorney Laura Goldstein was named to the Board of Trustees of the Cyrenius H. Booth Library in Newtown, Connecticut. For more information, visit https://www.chboothlibrary.org/
COLLINS HANNAFIN NAMES NEW PARTNER
Danbury, CT, April 1, 2014 – Local law firm, Collins Hannafin, P. C., has named Attorney Paula Boa Sousa as a principal of the firm.
Attorney Sousa joined Collins Hannafin as an associate in 2009 and has practiced in the areas of Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Elder Law, including Medicaid applications.
Attorney Sousa is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Fairfield University and earned her J. D., with a Tax Law Certificate, from the University of Connecticut School of Law. She serves as Secretary of the Elder Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, and is a member of the Section’s Legislative Committee, advocating for changes in law to benefit the elderly. Other memberships include the Estates and Probate Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, the Western Connecticut Estate and Tax Planning Council, and the Portuguese Cultural Center in Danbury. Attorney Sousa also serves on the Board of Directors of Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western Connecticut.
Attorney Sousa is fluent in Portuguese and conversant in Spanish. She is a native of Danbury, and currently resides there with her family.
Attorney E. O’Malley Smith, the firm’s president, described Attorney Sousa as an integral part of the firm’s future. He noted the energy she brings for the continued growth of the firm, the compassion she has for her clients, and her extensive knowledge in the areas of Elder Law and Estate Planning.
FIRM SPONSORING RUN FOR RIDGEFIELD BOYS & GIRLS CLUB
Collins Hannafin will be sponsoring the Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield’s 32nd annual Turkey Trot 5k Run to be held on Thanksgiving morning, November 28th. The event will be run from the Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield facilities at 41 Governor Street in Ridgefield. The run starts at 8:30 a.m. The run supports the Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield, Inc., which is a national not-for-profit organization. The Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield is currently the leader in terms of number of youth served in Ridgefield for after-school activities including programs promoting education, personal development, athletics, and community and civic involvement.
PARTNER NAMED SUPER LAWYER
Attorney Thomas Beecher was named as 2013 Connecticut Super Lawyer and was recently rated by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review as AV Preeminent, the highest rating.
PARTNER NAMED SUPER LAWYER
Attorney Jack Garamella was named as 2013 Connecticut Super Lawyer in the area of business litigation.
PARTNER COMPLETES MEDIATION TRAINING
Attorney Laura Goldstein has recently completed the Quinnipiac University School of Law Mediation Training Program.
FIRM SPONSORS SPIRIT OF SPORTS PROGRAM
Collins Hannafin sponsored the Motivational Volunteers Promoting the Spirit of Sports 10th annual Celebration Dinner and Silent Auction. The event was held on October 26th at the Portuguese Cultural Center in Danbury. MVP SOS is a non-profit created to ensure a solid foundation for the future educational and personal success of our youth by keeping them involved in athletics and educational activities in our schools and our community.
PARTNER ELECTED PRESIDENT OF COUNCIL ON NON-ADVERSARIAL DIVORCE
Attorney Eva DeFranco has been elected President of the Connecticut Council on Non-Adversarial Divorce for 2013/14.
FIRM CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY
Collins Hannafin P.C. celebrates its 50th Anniversary of legal services to the Community by sponsoring a free Shakespeare in the Park Concert at Ridgefield Playhouse.
ATTORNEY NAMED TO THE CONNECTICUT BAR ASSOCIATION
March 1, 2015- Attorney John Bowser was named to the Connecticut Bar Association 2014 Pro Bono Honor Roll, published in the March issue of Connecticut Lawyer Magazine.
PARTNER APPOINTED A SPECIAL MASTER
April 1, 2015- Attorney Laura Goldstein has been appointed a Special Master by the Danbury Superior Court. In this role, Attorney Goldstein will act as a neutral mediator in domestic cases recommended to her by the Superior Court.
PARTNER EARNED AV PREEMINENT RATING FROM MARTINDALE-HUBBELL
April 15, 2014- Attorney Eva DeFranco has once again earned the AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell for 2015 for legal ability and ethical standards.
PARTNER IS ONE OF FOUR PROFESSIONALS OF THE CT. FAMILY MEDIATION TRAINING GROUP
April 24, 2014- Attorney Eva DeFranco is one of four professionals of the Ct. Family Mediation Training Group which offers mediation training for mental health professionals, lawyers and financial planners. The group held a 2 day mediation training at Quinnipiac Law School on April 24 and 25, 2015.
PARTNER GAVE LECTURE ON AGEING AT THE BROOKFIELD SENIOR CENTER
April 25, 2015- Attorney Laura Goldstein gave a guest lecture before the Town of Brookfield Commission on Ageing at the Brookfield Senior Center. Attorney Goldstein lectured about employment law issues facing the elderly.
ATTORNEY PUBLISHED ARTICLE ON HOMEOWNER LIABILITY
April 28, 2014- Attorney John Bowser has published an article on homeowner liability for third-party injuries caused by ice on municipal sidewalks.