Commercial Litigation in Connecticut
977 Farmington Ave, Suite 200, West Hartford, Hartford, 06107
Gfeller Laurie LLP is a law firm founded on the principle of doing things differently and better. The firm’s mission is uncomplicated – to provide “AmLaw 100” quality legal services with a more efficient and agile business model. In contrast to the traditional law firm model, focused on the billable hour and staffing matters based on a hierarchical “pyramid,” the firm’s focus is on obtaining results for our clients in the most efficient way possible and providing excellent client service along the way.
The firm is comprised of experienced and tenacious litigators from some of the largest international law firms. Gfeller Laurie LLP represents clients in complex litigation spanning a variety of business markets and jurisdictions, both nationally and internationally. We also advise clients on various aspects of their respective businesses.Show more +
Charles (“Charlie”) Gfeller practices primarily in the areas of complex civil and commercial litigation, insurance coverage, products liability, and risk management. Charlie represents and/or has represented numerous ski areas and resorts (locally, regionally, and nationally), ice arenas, National Hockey League teams and facilities, stadiums, stadium operators, stadium concessionaires, zip line operators, marine-based recreational operators, fitness centres (including franchisees), equine facilities and race tracks, golf courses and golf clubs, schools, colleges and universities, fairs, festivals, and carnivals, other recreational facilities, and manufacturers of recreational products, providing both risk management and litigation services. In the products liability arena, his experience includes matters involving the ski/snowboard industry, the recreational products industry, the automotive industry, manufacturing processes, as well as other areas. Charlie also represents and/or has represented musicians, a record label, recording studio, and screenwriters with respect to various aspects of their business.
Charlie manages and personally handles the litigation for several national insurance programs, which ensure sports and recreational facilities and operators, such as ice arenas, auto race tracks, parasail and jet-ski operators, and fitness centres. In fact, Charlie has played an integral role in launching some of these programs, by working with insurance brokers, managing general agents, and both domestic and London-based insurers. In this capacity, when not acting as defence counsel, Charlie is often asked to analyze complex coverage issues and provide coverage advice. Charlie also handles coverage disputes for insurers when necessary and appropriate.
Charlie has tried numerous cases (jury and courtside) in both state and federal courts across the United States, and he has argued before the Connecticut Appellate Court. He regularly participates in arbitrations, mediations, and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings on a national basis. He advises companies regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Products Safety Commission regarding product compliance, safety issues, advertising and collateral material reviews, and he has defended audits and agency investigations. Charlie has a broad range of experience in creating standard operating procedures for these types of companies.
Charlie is regularly invited to publish and speak, both nationally and internationally, on various subjects involving sports and recreational liability, risk management and products liability.
- Charlie successfully defended a ski resort through trial in a catastrophic terrain park ski injury case that was, at the time, the first defence verdict in the United States for such a case. The case involved a 15-year old skier who was rendered a quadriplegic after an accident on a jump. Plaintiff presented a life-care plan of $36 million. Jury selection took one month, and the trial took another month. In the end, the jury rendered a defence verdict in less than one hour.
- Charlie successfully negotiated the pre-suit settlement of a claim against a nationally known horse race track involving a Breeders Cup Champion horse who was injured off-track following training. In representing the race track, Charlie managed the demands of the horse’s owner against the risk management and public relations concerns of the race track to achieve a settlement that worked for all parties.
- Charlie successfully resolved a case involving an 11-year old girl who was horribly injured on a carnival ride in Omaha, Nebraska. The case garnered national and international media attention and involved issues relating to operational liability, as well as State and Federal regulatory issues.
- Super Lawyers® Connecticut Rising Star 2009
- Super Lawyers® Connecticut 2006
- Association of Ski Defense Attorneys – Member of Board of Directors
- National Ski Areas Association
- Sports & Fitness Industry Association
- International Society for Skiing Safety
- British Insurance Law Association
- ASTM International, Member of F27 (Snow Skiing) and F08 Committees (Sports Equipment & Facilities)
- Sports Lawyers Association
- Risk and Insurance Management Society
- Connecticut Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association
- Texas Bar Association
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Sport and Recreation Law Association
- Member, Growth Advisory Board, Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, Winston-Salem, NC
- Ambassador, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford, CT
- Board of Directors, St. Francis Foundation, Hartford, CT