The Office of the Corporation Counsel oversees and manages all legal matters for the City of Danbury municipal government, providing legal advice and services to the Mayor and City Council, as well as other municipal departments, boards, agencies, and officials.
Attorney Daniel E. Casagrande and the law firm where he is a Senior Partner, Cramer & Anderson, LLP, serve as the Corporation Counsel for the City of Danbury. Attorney Casagrande was appointed by Danbury Mayor Roberto Alves following the 2023 municipal election.
The Office of the Corporation Counsel is also guided and supported by three in-house staff attorneys: Managing Attorney and Deputy Corporation Counsel Laszlo L. Pinter; Assistant. Corporation Counsel Robin L. Edwards, specializing in land use and contracts law; and Assistant Corporation Counsel Dianne E. Rosemark, specializing in labor and FOI law. They are joined by Legal Secretary Nancy Ballwig.
In addition to the Corporation Counsel and in-house legal staff, the City retains specialized outside legal counsel when needed, in cases dealing with such matters as labor relations and major or complex litigation. Attorney Casagrande, a highly experienced attorney in private practice in Connecticut since 1986, served as outside Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City from 1990 through his appointment as Corporation Counsel.
What the Office of the Corporation Counsel Does
The Office of the Corporation Counsel serves as the chief legal counsel for all aspects of municipal government – and for elected officials, commissioners, municipal employees, and staff regarding matters related to their official duties on behalf of the City.
This includes advising and representing the City and its agents in lawsuits and litigation, as well as handling a broad range of administrative and legal matters, including grants and contracts, tax appeals, foreclosures and other fiscal matters, providing legal opinions, and much more.
Notable Past Positive Outcomes
In his role as outside Assistant Corporation Counsel, Attorney Casagrande handled many highly impactful legal matters for the City. Notable examples include:
• The 1998 Union Carbide appeal of the municipal tax assessment valuation of its Danbury headquarters, equating to a $307 million market value. The trial court upheld the City’s valuation after a 24-day trial, Union Carbide appealed, and Attorney Casagrande ultimately prevailed before the Connecticut Supreme Court, safeguarding $10 million in tax revenue for the City.
• When Danbury was sued over landfill odors by 350 plaintiffs in Bethel, who hired attorneys affiliated with the firm made famous in “Erin Brockovich” and demanded $120 million, Attorney Casagrande secured a settlement of $3.5 million, with all but $900,000 paid by the City’s insurers.
• In the mid-1990s, a major developer was allowed to begin site work for high-end condos on municipal redevelopment property in Danbury before obtaining title or financing. After making $7 million in improvements, the developer couldn’t get financing. The City terminated the redevelopment contract and legal action ensued. In the end, an arbitration panel awarded the developer $0.
- Daniel E. Casagrande: Corporation Counsel
- Laszlo L. Pinter: Managing Attorney and Deputy Corporation Counsel
- Robin L. Edwards: Assistant Corporation Counsel
- Dianne Rosemark: Assistant Corporation Counsel
- Nancy Ballwig: Legal Secretary