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Monday, September 5, 2011

My Old Work Life (Which Eventually Sucked the Air Out of the Rest of My Life)--The Professional Resume of (the former) Attorney Robert Paul Dutcher, Esq., Trial Lawyer and Advocate for the Little Guy against The Big Bad Corporations and Insurance Companies

It's almost the witching hour of midnight and I haven't posted a blog post for the day.  To fulfill my comittment to post a new Bob's blog post every day, I thought some of you, My Dear Readers, might enjoy seeing what I looked like when I was a "clean-cut" lawyer, before I saw the light and converted my life to writer and enjoyer of all the beauty and wonder that is God's creation.

So, without further adieu, here's my professional resume, my lawyer's vita, my CV (curriculum vitae) when my work life, even a bit of my personal life (recommended by my former law firm's marketing consultant to be included in the law firm's website descriptions of our lives, in order to humanize the un-human-izable, An Attorney-at-Law, -at-the-Bar, whatever......


Robert P. Dutcher

Middletown, Connecticut

ROBERT P. DUTCHER grew up in Philadelphia. He became interested in becoming a lawyer while watching civil and criminal trials in the old Philadelphia City Hall courthouse during a summer job. Mr. Dutcher came to Connecticut to go to Wesleyan University in Middletown. Before going to law school, Mr. Dutcher worked many jobs--newspaperboy as a kid, railroad switchman in Milwaukee, factory worker and bartender in Middletown, and others. During law school in the District of Columbia, Bob worked for two years as a part-time criminal investigator for a law firm, working the streets of the toughest neighborhoods, alone and often at night, to develop information to defend the firm's clients from serious criminal charges.

Mr. Dutcher and his wife, Susie, live in Middletown and have four mostly-grown children. Mr. Dutcher is active in the First Congregational Church in Middletown, where he sings bass in the choir, acts in dramatic performances, and has served on boards and committees. Mr. Dutcher also serves as a trustee of Russell Library, the principal public library in Middletown. In his free time, he loves to ride his road bike, surf his sea kayak, and cross-country ski.

Professional Accomplishments:

For more than 30 years, Mr. Dutcher has represented people involved in all kinds of litigation -- plaintiff's personal injury cases, criminal defense, commercial cases, and domestic relations litigation. He represents injured victims in personal injury and workers compensation cases. He has handled all kinds of personal injury cases, including:

  1. After 9/11, Mr. Dutcher represented the family of a victim killed in the collapse of the Twin Towers, in a successful claim against the Federal Victim's Compensation Fund. **
  2. Mr. Dutcher successfully tried a six-week wrongful death case to a jury involving the death of a cement truck driver in a bridge collapse. **
  3. He has successfully represented two widows who claimed that work-related stress caused their husbands' deaths from heart attacks. **
  4. Mr. Dutcher has handled many uninsured and underinsured motorist claims, including a complex claim involving a teenage girl killed in the back of a pickup truck, which was successfully resolved in favor of the victim's estate after the two insurance companies forced a trial and an appeal which Mr. Dutcher successfully handled. **
  5. He has handled a wide variety of other injury claims -- car accidents; motorcycle accidents; bicycle accidents; uninsured and underinsured motorist claims; dog bites; slip and falls; work-related injuries; defective products; medical malpractice; and food poisoning. **
  6. Mr. Dutcher has also handled complex commercial litigation and estate litigation, including a case involving the probate of a will in a $7 million estate. *
  7. Mr.Dutcher successfully won a jury verdict following a trial against a bar, for the maximum amount recoverable under the Dram Shop Act.  The bar served alcohol to a patron who left the bar and killed Mr. Dutcher's client (her estate) in a head-on collision.  The jury found in favor of Mr. Dutcher's client (her estate), and against the bar, even though there were no eyewitnesses in the bar who testified that the patron was visibly intoxicated, and the bartender swore that the patron seemed sober.  Mr. Dutcher successfully used the testimony of toxicologists, and eyewitness testimony that the patron appeared drunk at the scene of the collision, as circumstantial evidence that the patron must have been showing signs of intoxication when the bartender served him alcohol earlier in the evening.**

(** The results of these examples are based on the facts and merits of each individual case and may not necessarily mean that the same results may be acheived in your case.)

Mr. Dutcher gets many personal injury cases on referral from other lawyers.

He has also represented medical professionals in licensing proceedings before the State Department of Public Health.

Mr. Dutcher has served as a faculty member at the Connecticut Trial Advocacy Institute.

Year Joined the Law Firm

  • 1975

Areas of Practice

  • Lawsuits
  • Litigation
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Personal Injury Claims
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Claims
  • Wrongful Death Claims
  • Worker's Compensation Claims
  • Fall-Down Accidents
  • Product Liability Claims
  • Medical Malpractice Claims
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Appeals

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut, 1975
  • U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 1975


  • Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., J.D. degree, 1975
  • Law Journal: The Georgetown Law Journal, Associate Editor, 1973 - 1975
  • Wesleyan University, B.A. in philosophy, 1971
  • Honors: Cum Laude

Published Works

  • Phase V: The Cost of Living Council Reconsidered, 62 Georgetown Law Journal 1663 (1974)

Representative Cases

[Editor's note: Dear Readers, to give the skeleton of the mere case  
   name some flesh and blood for you, and sometimes literally, in a 
  figurative sense, I've explained in parentheticals after each case,
what it was about.]
  • Loika v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., 39 Conn. App. 714 ( 1995)
  •      (2 teenage girls killed when pick-up truck driven by drunk driver hits tree 
  •       and overturns, throwing them both out of back of truck, and killed instantly;
  •       the insurance companies in Isis Loika's case, Allstate and Aetna, refused to 
  •       settle either at the trial or appellate level; Mr. Dutcher got the wrongful death
  •       judgment of the trial, unheld without a finding of error, on appeal to 
  •       the Appellate Court and later on denial of certification by the Connecticut
  •       Supreme Court)
  • Beach v. Regional School District Number 13, 42 Conn. App. 542 ( 1996)
  •      (woman custodian at Coginchaug slips on ice; $30,000 settlement offer 
  •       rejected by plaintiff; jury returns a defense verdict and the plaintiff and her
  •       lawyer's firm get no damages and no legal fee; Mr. Dutcher takes an 
  •       appeal, essentially pro bono, and almost gets the Connecticut Appellate
  •       Court to overturn the defense verdict based on alleged legal error by 
  •       the court below, and grant a new trial, but Mr. Dutcher loses 2-1 in 
  •       the appellate court; c'est la vie)
  • State v. Gonzalez, 210 Conn. 446 ( 1989)
  •       (very nice truck driver gets arrested for DWI in West Haven; Mr. Dutcher
  •         tries the case under the Tri-State Teamsters Union Legal Defense Fund
  •         Program; after lengthy deliberations, jury finds Gonzalez guilty and Dutcher  
  •         takes an appeal, pro bono, which goes to the Connecticut Supreme Court,     
  •         which upholds the conviction, 4-1)
  • State v. Gonzalez, 14 Conn. App. 216 ( 1988)
  •        (this is the same case, this time in the appellate court)
  • Stevens v. Leone, 35 Conn. Sup. 237 ( 1979)
  •         (unwed mother tries to prevent father from visiting their child, a daughter;
  •          trial is held at Tony's request, and the Connecticut Superior Court, upholds
  •          Judge Harry Hammer's Labor Day drivel about how we're all lucky to be in 
  •          the same boat, on some stormy seas.  

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • Faculty Member, Trial Advocacy Institute of the Connecticut Bar Association

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Connecticut Bar Association
  • Member
  • Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member

Birth Information

  • January 22, 1950, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
Copyright © 2011 by Dzialo, Pickett & Allen, P.C. Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution. All copies must include this copyright statement.

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