Mr. Connell holds degrees from Columbia University (A.B., 1978), New York University (M.P.A., 1982), and Rutgers University Law School (J.D., 1986). He was the Law Secretary to Hon. Thomas F. Shebell, Jr., P.J.A.D., Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, from 1986-1987. He has been admitted to practice in the jurisdictions of New Jersey since 1986, Pennsylvania since 1986, the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey since 1986, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania since 1986, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit since 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court since 1994, and the Middle District of Pennsylvania since 2006. He practices in the area of civil litigation as a trial attorney for both jury and bench trials, appeals, and ADR in State and federal courts. Mr. Connell has represented clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to individuals in an array of commercial, employment, civil rights, health care and communications law matters.
Mr. Connell’s employment and civil rights practice includes representation of management in litigation matters, involving the full range of employment issues, including age, gender, and race discrimination, hostile work environment, sexual harassment, employment-at-will, wrongful discharge, privacy/confidentiality, whistle-blower, workplace and employment defamation and speech, Section 1983, and ERISA. Mr. Connell works closely with employers, both large and small, in addressing issues that arise daily in the workplace, such as implementing corporate HR strategies and initiatives, enforcing company policies, and applying employee discipline. Since 1987, he has been appointed by the Office of the Attorney General of New Jersey to act as Special Counsel to the New Jersey State Police as well as other State agencies, including the Department of Banking and Insurance, to provide defense representation in various matters involving claims of racial, ethnic and gender employment discrimination and civil rights violations under federal and State laws. See, e.g., Pflaumer v. State, Div. of State Police, 2007 WL 2050303 (N.J. Super. Ct., App. Div. 2007) (affirming summary judgment for defense in NJLAD, disparate treatment, and hostile work environment action); Hill v. Algor, 85 F.Supp.2d 391 (D.N.J. 2000) (concluding in 3 week jury trial returning unanimous verdict of no cause for action in civil rights action); Orsatti v. New Jersey State Police, 71 F.3d 480 (3d Cir. 1995) (reversing denial of summary judgment for defense in civil rights action). Mr. Connell has also represented local, regional and national companies in their defense of employment litigation claims tried in both State and federal courts.
In addition, Mr. Connell has represented both media and non-media clients on a broad variety of communications law issues, including national, regional, and local newspaper companies in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, national and local wire services, national television companies and local affiliates, regional and local cable stations, radio stations, a regional professional association, as well as local commercial companies, government officials, politicians, and private individuals. Among other things, Mr. Connell’s work has resulted in precedential reported opinions on First Amendment jurisprudence as well as public records and access issues. See, e.g., Courier News vs. Hunterdon County Prosecutors Office, 378 N. J. Super. 539 (App. Div. 2005) (affirming fee application); Weber v. Lancaster Newspapers, Inc., et al., A.2d (Pa. Super. 2005), 2005 WL 1217365 (concluding in 7 day jury trial returning verdict of no cause for action for defense in defamation action); Courier-News v. Hunterdon County Prosecutors Office et al., N.J. Super. (App. Div. 2005) (affirming summary judgment for defense in public records action); DeAngelis v. Hill, 180 N.J. 1 (2004) (reversing denial of summary judgment for defense in defamation action); Rabbitt v. Gannett, 2003 WL 23519619, 32 Media Law Rptr. 1410 (N.J. Super., Law Div., Morris Cty. 2003) (summary judgment for defense in defamation action); Courier News v. Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office, 2003 WL 22022961, 31 Media Law Rptr. 2022 (N.J. Super., Law Div., Hunterdon Cty.), rev’d, 358 N.J. Super. 373 (App. Div. 2003) (summary judgment for plaintiff in public records action); Hopkins v. City of Gloucester, 358 N.J. Super. 271 (App. Div. 2003) (reversing summary judgment for defense in defamation action); Daily Journal v. Police Dept. City of Vineland, 351 N.J. Super. 110 (App. Div.) (affirming summary judgment for defense in public records action), certif. denied, 174 N.J. 364 (2002); Asbury Park Press v. Lakewood Tp. Police Dept., 354 N.J. Super. 146 (Law. Div. 2002) (summary judgment for plaintiff in public records action); Southern New Jersey Newspapers Inc. v. Township of Mt. Laurel, 141 N.J. 56 (1995) (affirming but remanding summary judgment for defense in public records action); Shuttleworth v. City of Camden, 258 N.J. Super. 573 (App. Div.) (affirming summary judgment for plaintiff in public records action), certif. denied, 133 N.J. 429 (1992). Mr.Connell has also testified at legislative hearings and provided legal counsel on legislative issues, including New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act, and lectured and written on these issues. E.g., A Legal Calculus Ignored, 10 N.J.L.J. 749 (2003); Access Law Has Teeth – But Blunts The Bite, 4 N.J.L.J. 267 (2002). He has also been retained as an expert consultant in communications law by Lloyds of London.
Further, Mr. Connell works in conjunction with our Intellectual Property Group as trial counsel in litigated matters. He has experience in litigation in the fields of patent infringement, unfair competition, false advertising, copyright and trademark actions. E.g., Innovative Patents, L.L.C., etc. v. Brain-Pad, Inc., Civil Action No. 07-680 (D. Del. 2007) (defense of patent infringement action); NESEA Construction, Inc., etc. v. Activar, Inc., Civil Action No. 07-4499 (D.N.J. 2008) (defense of patent infringement action).
Additionally, Mr. Connell is a member of the firm’s healthcare law section, in which he has represented hospital interests in a range of commercial, regulatory, and patient care matters. E.g., In re Application of Virtua-West Jersey Hospital Voorhees for Certificate of Need, 194 N.J. 413 (2008). This has included a first impression decision related to innovative neurohealth therapies. In re J.M., 292 N.J. Super. 225 (Ch. Div. 1996).
Mr. Connell is also active in the area of appellate advocacy, serving as co-chair of the firm’s appellate practice group. In this regard, Archer in one of the first New Jersey-based law firms to have a dedicated appellate group, handling both federal and State appeals. Mr. Connell has regularly represented clients before the New Jersey Supreme and Superior Courts, Appellate Division, the Pennsylvania Supreme and Superior Courts, as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In doing so, he has subject matter experience in numerous areas of legal practice. In addition to the appellate decisions cited above, he has acted as pro bono criminal defense counsel for appellant in State v. Brana, 127 N.J. 64 (1992), counsel for amici curiae in both George Harms Const. Co. Inc. v. New Jersey Turnpike Authority, 137 N.J. 8 (1994), and Tormee Const. Inc. v. Mercer County Imp. Authority, 143 N.J. 143 (1995), defense counsel for respondent in Lindenmuth v. Holden, 296 N.J. Super. 42 (App. Div. 1996), counsel of record for amici curiae in Koch v. Director, Div. of Taxation, 17 N.J. Tax 321 (App. Div. 1997), rev’d, 157 N.J.1 (1999), and special appellate counsel for the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct in State v. Clark, 191 N.J. 503 (2007).
Finally, Mr. Connell’s experience includes litigation and counseling in a variety of complex commercial matters, such as real estate actions, corporate dissolution suits, shareholder derivative actions, insurance coverage disputes, construction law, and general contract and tort issues. See, e.g., Koken v. Reliance Insurance Co., 846 A.2d 778 (Pa.Cmwlth. 2004) (denial of petition for injunctive relief and relief from stay to compel liquidator to submit to arbitration of setoff claim involving insurers and insolvent insurer under reinsurance treaties).
Professional And Community Involvement
- Member: Camden County and New Jersey State Bar Associations.
- Member and Former Chair, Board of Trustees, Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey (since 1988)
- Member and Former Chair, Board of Trustees, American Red Cross, Camden County Chapter (since 1990)
- Member, Past President, and Board of Directors, Rotary Club of Camden City, New Jersey (since 1987)
- Assistant District Governor at Large, Group Study Exchange Chair, Legislation Chair, and Counsel, Rotary International District 7640 (since 1996)
- Member and Former President, Haddonfield Civic Association (since 1994)
- Cofounder, member, and Chair, Board of Trustees, Camden Center for Law and Social Justice (since 1994)
- Member, Nominations Chair, Board of Trustees, Camden County College Foundation (since 2001); member and Chair, Board of Trustees, Haddonfield Foundation (since 2002)
- Chair, Haddonfield Municipal Alliance (since 2007)
- Member, St. Rose of Lima (R.C.) Church, Haddon Heights, New Jersey
- Member, Tavistock Country Club, Haddonfield, New Jersey
- Member, New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on the Rules of Evidence (since 2008)
- Founder, Former Chair and Member, New Jersey State Bar Association Media and Communications Law Committee; Member, New Jersey Media Lawyers Association
- Former Member, Corporate Board of Directors, The New Jersey Lawyer, New Jersey State Bar Association
- Member, Media Law Resource Center, New York City
- Adjunct Professor, Communications Law, Rowan University, School of Communications
Awards And Recognition
- Best Lawyers in America (Litigation, First Amendment, 2013, 2014)
- Named as “Super Lawyer” by New Jersey Monthly Magazine, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
- Named as “Top Attorney” by SJ Magazine, 2014
- A Legal Calculus Ignored, 10 N.J.L.J. 749 (2003); Access Law Has Teeth – But Blunts The Bite, 4 N.J.L.J. 267 (2002); Is the State’s Shield Law an Endangered Privilege?, 204 N.J.L.J.899 (2011).
- Author: “A Right to Emergency Shelter for the Homeless Under the New Jersey Constitution,” 18 Rutgers Law Journal 765-820 (1987) (cited in Moore v. Ganim, 233 Conn. 557, 660 A.2d 742, 805 (1995) (Berdon, J., dissenting); L.T. v. N.J. Dept. of Human Services, 134 N.J. 303, 324 (1993); Franklin v. N.J. Dept of Human Services, 111 N.J. 1, 6 (1988)); Book Note, 12 Rutgers Computer & Technology Law Journal 203-207 (1986).