Bridgeport attorney named to Freedom of Information Commission

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Tuesday, 13 March 2012 13:56


Connecticut Speaker of the House Chris Donovan has appointed a Bridgeport attorney to the state's Freedom of Information Commission.

Sean K. McElligott, a Milford resident and partner at the law firm Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, was named to the commission for a two-year term.

"Sean brings to FOIC a solid background of civil rights successes and a comprehensive knowledge of law," said Colleen Murphy, FOIC executive director and general counsel. "We're thrilled to have his expertise and enthusiasm."

Connecticut's Freedom of Information Commission was established in 1975 to administer and enforce the provisions of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act and to thereby ensure citizen access to the records and meetings of public agencies in the state.

"I'm excited to become part of this vital piece of our state's democratic system," McElligott said. "Every resident has the right to know how our elected and appointed officials are running our cities, towns and state agencies. By the same token, municipalities and state agencies are entitled to clear and easy to follow rules regarding their responsibilities under the Act."

McElligott, who was named a partner at his firm just a few months earlier, is an experienced litigator with an impressive track record of obtaining verdicts for clients in complex personal injury litigation.

Besides his work in personal injury law, McElligott maintains an active civil rights and pro bono practice through the Civil Pro Bono Panel of the United States District Court. He also successfully represented the Guardians Black Police Officers Association in the longest-running employment discrimination case in Connecticut. Last year, McElligott won a $10.5 million verdict for a woman who was in a coma for nearly a month due to improperly administered anesthesia care during routine surgery. The verdict was the largest recorded verdict in the history of New London County.

Earlier in his career, McElligott practiced law in New York, where he donated time to indigent clients in New York City Housing Court and Queens Family Court. For his pro bono efforts, he received the Commitment to Justice Award for outstanding pro bono service from inMotion, an organization providing legal services to economically disadvantaged women.

McElligott earned his juris doctorate from Yale Law School, where he was a member of the Health Law Society and participated in the Temporary Restraining Order Project. He received a bachelor's degree from Trinity College, where he majored in philosophy.

"Global events - in Iran, in Syria - serve to highlight the need for basic freedoms for every individual," McElligott said. "Government transparency is crucial to maintaining a free society."

Named to the commission along with McElligott are Matthew Streeter, former mayor of South Windsor; and another attorney, Jonathan Einhorn of New Haven. The three new members join five existing members of the commission, Norma Riess, Sherman London, Amy Livolsi, Owen Eagan and Jay Shaw.