Mr. Parenteau represents employees in state and federal courts in the State of Connecticut. He was selected by peers to be listed in the 2013 “The Best Lawyers in America ” for the practice area of Labor and Employment Law. Like the firm itself, Mr. Parenteau has received an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest Peer Review Rating for legal ability and ethical standards. His practice focuses exclusively on employment litigation at the trial and appellate levels. On behalf of clients of the firm, he has presented and continues to assert employment related claims of wrongful discharge, age, gender, race and sexual orientation discrimination, sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination, whistleblower and First Amendment claims, breach of employment agreements, wrongful denial of academic tenure, defamation and invasion of privacy claims and termination without due process in municipal and state cases.
Mr. Parenteau received his education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, 1979) and the Washington College of Law at The American University, Washington, D.C. (Juris Doctor 1982). He is a member of the American and Connecticut Trial Lawyers Associations, as well as the Connecticut and National Employment Lawyers Associations. He is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in Connecticut and Rhode Island and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
In July of 2004, Mr. Parenteau represented two of the three physicians who won a $5.5 million jury verdict on the Waterbury Complex Litigation court against Yale University*. When punitive damages and attorneys’ fees were added, a judgment of nearly $10 million was entered against Yale in a case involving First Amendment free speech violations involving alleged Medicare fraud and patient safety. In May of 2003, a jury on the Norwich Complex Litigation docket awarded three plaintiffs represented by Mr. Parenteau $6.8 million. When punitive damages and interest were added to the verdict a judgment in excess of $14 million dollars was entered against the Pequot Mystic Hotel, LLC for intentional infliction of emotional distress resulting from the defamatory termination of three managers employed by the Mystic Hilton. In January of 1999, Mr. Parenteau won a $12.7 million jury verdict in the Hartford Superior Court against Trinity College. A denial of academic tenure case, the suit against Trinity College also involved claims of gender and age discrimination, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract.
According to an article published in the New York Times, the Trinity College verdict represented the largest jury award ever in an academic tenure case in the United States.
In October of 1999, Mr. Parenteau appeared on the panel in a seminar sponsored by the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association entitled, “Employment Law for Trial Lawyers,” where he delivered a paper on academic employment agreements entitled, ” Should Courts Blindly Defer to College and University Employment Decisions Regarding Tenure?” In 2001, Mr. Parenteau presented at two Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association seminars delivering advice on Closing Arguments in a “Nuts & Bolts: Litigation for the Trial Lawyer” series and presenting a paper entitled “After Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc.: Is Pretext Plus Still the Rule of Law in the Second Circuit?” (click to read the Reeves v. Sanderson PDF file) for a seminar devoted to “Proving Discrimination in the Workplace.” In 2002, Mr. Parenteau was invited to present a paper to the National Association of College and University Attorneys entitled, “How Universities and Colleges Undermine the Defense of Tenure Denial Cases.”
In addition to his more recent experience with employment law, Mr. Parenteau has had a wide range of trial experience handling personal injury, product liability, medical malpractice, criminal defense, commercial, and consumer issues in jury trials. In December of 1995, he secured the second largest verdict in a non-death case in New London County, in Wagner v. Clark Equipment Company, a product liability case, in which the jury awarded $3.5 million, including $500,000.00 for loss of consortium*. In July of 1997, he presented a paper at the American Trial Lawyers Association’s Annual Convention entitled “Clark Equipment Company Documents and Trial: Strict Liability and the Failure to Instruct.”
After the Wagner case was reversed by the Connecticut Supreme Court on appeal, Mr. Parenteau presented the case a second time and the second jury returned a verdict of $9.4 million in September of 1999, reported as the largest verdict in a product liability case in Connecticut.
Mr. Parenteau has represented clients in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals of the State of Connecticut in the following reported cases representing the wide range of trial and appellate court experience: Web Press Services Corporation v. New London Motors, Inc. , 203 Conn. 342 (1987), after remand 205 Conn. 479 (1987), State of Connecticut v. Brosnan , 221 Conn. 788 (1992), Wagner v. Clark Equipment Company , 243 Conn. 168 (1997) after retrial 259 Conn. 114 (2002), Daley v. Wesleyan University, 63 Conn. App. 119 (2001), Craine v. Trinity College, 259 Conn. 625 (2002) (on brief), Witczak v. Gerald, 69 Conn. App. 106 (2002), Neiman v. Yale University, (link to Neiman.pdf) 270 Conn. 244 (2004) and Jacobs v. General Electric Company, (link to Jacobs.pdf) 275 Conn. 395 (2005).
Mr. Parenteau has been selected by both Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers as one of the finest lawyers in his field.