Antonio Ponvert III
Antonio Ponvert III focuses on catastrophic injury, wrongful death, civil rights, and other complex cases in Federal and State courts in Connecticut and across the nation. He has represented plaintiffs in hundreds of high profile lawsuits, and has argued more than 40 appeals in State and Federal courts of appeals.
Since joining Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder in 1999, Antonio has achieved record-breaking verdicts and settlements for his clients, including: the second largest jury verdict in Connecticut history ($41.75 Million) for a young woman who contracted Tick-Borne Encephalitis on an overseas school trip; the only wrongful death settlement ever with the manufacturer of Skoal smokeless tobacco ($5 Million) for the surviving wife and children of a man who died from tongue cancer; a $2.5 Million settlement and substantial injunctive relief on behalf of female correctional officers who were victims of sexual harassment and discrimination at the Connecticut Department of Correction; a $9.3 Million verdict for a woman who overdosed with Lovenox while in the hospital; a $2 Million verdict for a female victim of covert video surveillance in her home; a $1.6 Million settlement for the family of a man shot to death by a New Milford police detective; a $1.2 Million verdict for a man who suffered hearing loss and tinnitus from the explosion of a defective tire; a $2.2 million settlement for a victim of sexual abuse at a facility for disabled teens; and a $900,000 settlement with a national property management company on behalf of a young woman who was sexually assaulted as a result of negligent security.
Ponvert currently represents victims of child sexual abuse in numerous cases against schools, churches, and others who harbor pedophiles.
Antonio has won numerous awards for prisoners and psychiatric patients, including the largest amount ever paid in Connecticut ($3.2 Million) for the death of a prisoner in state custody; a $1 Million settlement for the asphyxiation death of a prisoner who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia; a $1 Million settlement for the suicide of a mentally ill patient at a state psychiatric hospital; and a $700,000 settlement for a victim of a sexual assault on an in-patient psychiatric unit at a Connecticut hospital. He was the first to compel the State of California to provide organ transplants to prisoners.
For more than a decade, Antonio represented the Guardians Black Police Officers Association against the City of Bridgeport in one of the longest-running race discrimination cases in the nation.
In 2005, Ponvert represented the father of Michael Ross, a young man on Connecticut death row who had volunteered to be executed by lethal injection and whose mental competency was in doubt. In two separate cases, spanning a period of five months, Antonio sued the State to prevent the execution, he obtained a temporary injunction from the federal district court, and he then brought and defended appeals in the Federal Circuit Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Michael eventually was executed, despite his father's efforts to save him.
In 2014, the Judges of the Connecticut Federal District Court awarded Ponvert the District's 2014 Pro Bono Award "in recognition of outstanding contributions in providing legal services to indigent persons." Antonio received the award for his representation of pro se inmate clients in cases concerning excessive force, mental health care, and other conditions of confinement. In presenting the award, Chief Judge Hall noted that Antonio has a perfect record at trial in these very difficult court-appointed cases.
Ponvert is a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and is on the faculty of at Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyers College in Dubois, Wyoming. He has lectured and written on trial practice, constitutional law, civil rights, and class actions.
Areas of Practice
- Catastrophic Personal Injury
- Wrongful Death
- Civil Rights/Constitutional Law
- Sexual Abuse
- Pennsylvania, 1990
- California, 1992
- Connecticut, 1997
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1991
- U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1991
- U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1993
- U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 1997
- U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit, 2001
- U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1997
- U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 2001
- U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 2001
- U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 2000
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1993
- U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit, 2001
- U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 2000
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2002
Honors and Awards
- Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, 2016
- Connecticut Federal District Court Pro-Bono Award, 2014
- Best Lawyers in America, Civil Rights, 2011 - 2015
- Connecticut Super Lawyers, 2012 - 2015
- Martindale-Hubbell Rates AV
- University of Pennsylvania Law School Cum Laude
- Order of the Coif
- University of Rhode Island Valedictorian
- Trial Lawyers College Warrior of the Year 2005
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association
- American Civil Liberties Union
- Connecticut Civil Liberties Union
Past Employment Positions
- Tyler, Cooper & Alcorn, New Haven, CT, 1997 - 1999
- Law Offices of Amitai Schwartz, San Francisco, CA, 1992 - 1997
- O'Melveny & Myers San Francisco, CA, 1991 - 1992
- Judge Edmund V. Ludwig, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Law Clerk, 1990 - 1991
Pro Bono Activities
- Faculty, Trial Lawyers College, Dubois, Wyoming, 2008 - Present
- Member, Civil Pro Bono Panel, United States District Court
- Court-appointed representation of prisoners
- Lecturer at the Practicing Law Institute