Acclaimed Appellate Lawyer Gallagher Dies

, The Connecticut Law Tribune


Pat King, the state's Chief Disciplinary Counsel, who worked for Gallagher for a short time about 20 years ago, said "he was among the best appellate lawyers in the state."

"You could ask Bill these obscure questions and the law, he knew the answer," King said.

King described him as a good strategist, who was always thinking ahead, like a good chess player. "I learned a lot about how to think about a case from him," King said.

Attorney Steve Ecker, of Cowdery, Ecker & Murphy in Hartford, who said he observed Gallagher in action for 25 years, described Gallagher as an "icon, a larger-than-life figure who provided a constant reminder to all of us of what it meant to be a lawyer."

"We have lost a truly great one," Ecker said. "He, and a few other members of his generation, were the real, complete, total package, general practitioners of law like they don't make any more. Bill could very ably handle everything from a real estate closing to a complex medical malpractice trial to a probate matter to a tax appeal to a zoning dispute to a criminal appeal, you name it. He was everywhere, knew everything, had done everything at least ten times, and never ever stopped serving his clients with commitment and dedication. He tried hundreds of cases, handled hundreds of appeals, in state court and federal court."

Ecker said that this was possible because Gallagher had an "almost superhuman work ethic combined with a deep passion for the law. He cared a great deal, not only about serving his clients, but also about serving his profession. He really wanted to get the law right, and help judges get the law right."

"Two other things I saw that made Bill special. One was his ethical backbone. He would never mislead the court or his opponent. He was a very honest person. That is a hard thing to be as a lawyer, at least if you are a fighter, yet Bill never wavered in his commitment to candor. The second, and related, trait I saw was his decency and respect for his opponent. One of the first cases I ever tried was a paternity case. Bill represented the defendant. I was a young, inexperienced nobody. He nonetheless treated me like a peer, a colleague."

The firm's website, states that Gallagher "has extensive experience handling appeals and is recognized by Best Lawyers in America for appellate practice, personal injury litigation, product liability litigation and medical malpractice matters. Many attorneys consult with Mr. Gallagher on appellate and liability issues and seek out his many published articles."

According to the firm's website, his law firm is located in a "restored 20-room Victorian house in a residential area in New Haven. It's a place where we can comfortably provide focused personal attention that recognizes our clients' diverse legal needs and concerns. Our clients feel most welcome here."

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