Our firm has deep roots in Connecticut.
The genesis of the firm comes from two lawyers who began practicing together in 1918: William L. Hadden, Sr. and David E. Fitzgerald, with the latter being the senior partner.
David FitzGerald was a native New Havener. After attending local schools, he graduated from Yale Law School in the Spring of 1895, when college was not a prerequisite for admission to law school. (Then, the age of majority was twenty-one and not eighteen, as it is today, and one could not be admitted to practice without first having reached majority age.) So, FitzGerald had to wait until his birthday in the following Autumn to be admitted. Upon admission, FitzGerald began practicing with James P. Piggot, who was then serving in the Connecticut General Assembly and would later serve in Congress. FitzGerald’s relationship with Piggot did not last very long; the next year Atty. FitzGerald started his own firm with Walter P. Walsh, another New Haven local. The law firm of Fitzgerald and Walsh continued on with FitzGerald becoming Mayor in 1918—the same year that Atty. Hadden Sr. entered practice with them. It appears that Atty. Hadden Sr. was hired to pick up the slack of the firm’s legal work FitzGerald’s mayorship caused. But FitzGerald and Walsh ended two years later in 1920, with the new firm being named FitzGerald & Hadden. This relationship lasted for another thirteen years.
FitzGerald and Hadden each had politics in common, with FitzGerald being a decorated Democrat and Hadden a fledging Republican. Fitzgerald served on the Democratic State Central Committee, ran for governor in 1922, and acted as a delegate to various Democratic national conventions, and served on the Democratic National Committee. Fitzgerald was also close friends with presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
In 1933, FitzGerald and Hadden, Sr. split, and our firm is the direct progeny of Hadden’s new firm. It appears that nepotism had a part in the creation of this new firm, as FitzGerald’s son was also a named partner in his new firm: FitzGerald, Foote, and Fitzgerald. Interestingly, Thomas F. Keyes, Jr. practiced with the new FitzGerald firm and ended up serving as longtime probate judge in New Haven. And even more interestingly, Thomas Keyes’ son is John “Jack” Keyes, the beloved former probate judge of New Haven, to whom Attorney Andrew Knott owes much of his experience, as one of Judge Keyes’ appointed counsel.
David FitzGerald died in 1942. A plaque bearing his relief is on the wall of the New Haven Hall of Records at 200 Orange Street, and his memoriam is in found at 129 Conn 716.
Back to Hadden. William L. Hadden, Sr. also did not attend college and went to Fordham University School of Law out of high school; also, like FitzGerald, Hadden, Sr. had to wait for his next birthday to be admitted to practice. In the meantime, he worked as a reporter for the New Haven Register. But following practice with FitzGerald, he started Campner, Pouzzner, & Hadden, all of whom remained partners until their deaths. Atty. Campner died a year after they began the new firm. However, Daniel Pouzzner and William Hadden continued on, all the way into the 1960s together.
Atty. Pouzzner was the resident rainmaker, especially in the Jewish community in which he was active. Hadden was the duo’s courthouse powerhouse, who served as assistant town clerk, town attorney, prosecutor, judge, Connecticut house majority leader, attorney general, and lieutenant governor.
Pouzzner and Hadden grew. Throughout the years, several attorneys worked here--too many to list. Some went on to careers in legal aid or the judiciary. But for purposes of this history, the focus will be solely on the partners.
In 1953, Hadden’s son, William L. Hadden, Jr. joined the firm and made his mark on it. Politically, he served as a member of the Hamden Representative Town Meeting, Hamden’s Town Attorney, State Representative, member of the Connecticut Public Utilities Commission; professionally, he served as president of the Connecticut Association of Municipal Attorneys. Like his father, he handled primarily civil litigation and was respected for his trial and appellate abilities.