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  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Distinctions
  • News & Media
  • Events
  • Affiliations

Overview

Giovanna Weller is a partner and co-leader of Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey’s Litigation Group. She is also co-chair of the Labor and Employment Subgroup and leads the firm’s employment litigation practice. Giovanna is a trial lawyer and has over 20 years of experience in counseling CEOs, senior management, and boards of directors of public and private businesses of all sizes. Described in Chambers USA as “a great trial attorney – tenacious and confidence-inspiring,” and “highly recommended for her trial work on employment matters,” Giovanna has successfully defended many significant employment cases in federal and state courts, including discrimination, trade secret and non-competition claims, whistleblower, as well as numerous cases before the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and the federal Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. She has successfully argued appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the Connecticut Supreme Court and the Connecticut Appellate Court. Her clients include large and small employers, manufacturers, schools, utilities, and insurers. Giovanna regularly trains management personnel on a wide variety of employment related topics.

As a member of the education law team, Giovanna advises heads of schools, educational institutions and their trustees on legal issues of particular interest educational institutions, including employment, governance and litigation matters. She is also a member of the firm’s product liability team and defends product liability cases in both state and federal courts through the United States. She has represented a broad range of clients on matters alleging product defect, personal injury and property damage.

Experience

  • Successful lead counsel in jury trial in November 2018 of sex discrimination and retaliation case involving current employee
  • Obtained defense verdict in January 2018 after a jury trial involving a claim of breach of contract brought by a former student against a large private university
  • Successful lead counsel on appellate team that secured employer-friendly federal appellate court decision providing novel interpretation of state jurisdictional statute in favor of employers with out-of-state former employees
  • Outside employment litigation counsel for several companies, including utilities and regional bank
  • Enforced covenants not to compete and non-solicitation agreements in state and federal courts
  • Obtained injunction and sanctions on behalf of herbal remedies company against former employee who had violated covenant not to compete and misappropriated trade secrets
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of employer in two matters in federal court brought by former employees alleging disability and sexual orientation discrimination claims
  • Presented customized, in-house training programs in several states for large manufacturing client

 

Before Carmody

Before joining Carmody & Torrance, Giovanna served as Clerk of the Energy and Public Utilities Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly.

Distinctions

  • Named both a Benchmark Litigation “Star” and Labor & Employment “Star”, 2020
  • Connecticut Magazine named Giovanna one of the Top 25 Women Lawyers in Connecticut, 2009, 2011, 2018-19
  • Selected for inclusion in Connecticut Super Lawyers® in the area of Employment Litigation Defense, General Litigation, Employment & Labor, 2007 – 2019
  • Listed as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in New England by Super Lawyers®, 2019
  • Selected for inclusion in New England Super Lawyers® in the area of Employment Litigation Defense, General Litigation, Employment & Labor, 2007 – 2019
  • Highlighted in the 2017 & 2018 edition of Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for placing in the Top Tier of Lawyers in Connecticut.
  • Recommended by Chambers USA in 2011 – 2015 and 2017, for contentious employment litigation matters, and noted for her trial work and “diligent application to client service” (Chambers USA 2012);
  • Rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell © Peer Review Ratings
  • Waterbury Young Lawyers’ Award, 2003
  • Appointed by Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court to serve as member of the Appellate Rules Advisory Committee, 2004-present
  • Judicial Law Clerk for Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Robert I. Berdon, 1991-1992
  • Editor, International Law Journal, 1990 and 1991

News

Alerts

Publications

Affiliations

  • Fellow, American Bar Association
  • Fellow, Connecticut Bar Association
  • Member, Connecticut Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Connecticut Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
  • Waterbury Bar Association

Community

  • Board of Trustees, Independent Day School, 2006-2015
  • Board of Directors, Midstate Medical Center, 2012-2015
  • Member, Connecticut Women’s Council
  • Board of Directors, United Way of Greater Waterbury, 2002-2011

Testimonials

Her ability to relate to clients, judges and juries is unparalleled. She has an innate ability to feel her client’s case and effectively communicate that feeling to judges and juries. She is definitely a go to litigator.

In-House Counsel for global producer of specialty chemical products

A fearless leader and tremendous advocate.

Chambers USA, 2015

She is a fierce trial attorney and a litigator through and through.

Chambers USA 2018

Events & Speaking Engagements

Maximizing Opportunity Zones and Qualified Opportunity Funds

12:00pm

2020 CT Employment Law & Human Resource Practices Update

8:00am Hilton Garden Inn