“My inquisitive nature helps me to understand what my clients do. Every business has a different story. I enjoy learning about the business and working with the client to resolve his or her problem.”
Rowena is a member of the Litigation practice group, where she practices in the areas of commercial, employment, real estate, land use, and probate litigation. Additionally, she is experienced in the areas of civil rights, bankruptcy, criminal litigation and appellate work. She has also successfully resolved claims prior to litigation through alternative dispute resolution procedures such as mediation and arbitration. Rowena regularly represents clients in contract disputes and has represented numerous employers in disputes over restrictive covenants.
Rowena was appointed by the Honorable Albert V. Covello, United States Judge for the District of Connecticut, to serve as a member of the Federal Grievance Committee (2004–2008), which reviews complaints and makes recommendations regarding alleged ethical violations by members of the bar. She was also appointed to serve on the District of Connecticut Magistrate Judge Merit Review Panel, which interviews current Magistrate Judges before their appointments are renewed. In 2014, Rowena chaired the District of Connecticut Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel, which interviewed applicants to fill the U.S. Magistrate Judge vacancy created by the retirement of Holly B. Fitzsimmons and recommended candidates to the District Court for its consideration in filing the position. Prior to joining the firm, Rowena served as a law clerk to the Honorable Dominic J. Squatrito, United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut (1998–2000) and to the Honorable Thomas P. Smith, United States Magistrate for the District of Connecticut (1997–1998).
Rowena received her J.D. with high honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1997, where she was an editor of the Connecticut Law Review and president of the William F. Starr Insurance Law Moot Court Competition. Rowena served as a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Connecticut School of Law Alumni Association from 2000–2009 and served as its President from 2005–2006. Rowena graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with distinction in 1989, where she majored in International Economics and minored in Spanish and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. She joined the firm in 2000 and became a principal in 2005. She is admitted to practice before the State of Connecticut, the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits, the United States Tax Court, and the United States Supreme Court.
- Defended start-up company and its employees against claims arising from employees’ departure from their former employment with One Beacon to start competing venture.
- Represented cell phone tower company in action against national gasoline company arising out of breach of services agreement. Obtained jury award in excess of $1.3 million.
- Represented federal savings bank in action against mortgage broker arising from the submission of fraudulent loan documents. Obtained judgment in excess of $400,000.
- Defended several individuals against claims arising out of their departure from insurance company to join competing company. Following expedited discovery, plaintiff former employer withdrew application for preliminary injunction.
- Represented recruiting and placement company in action against former sales executive alleging breach of restrictive covenant in employment agreement. Obtained preliminary injunction enjoining former employee from soliciting client’s customers.
- Represented a business owner in a case brought against former employee who opened competing business alleging theft of confidential information and violation of non-solicitation agreement. Obtained permanent injunction prohibiting solicitation and service of client’s customers.
- Represented the City of New Haven in its tax foreclosure actions.
- Served as counsel to a federal savings bank, representing its interests in matters affecting its secured interest in real estate.
- District of Connecticut Federal Court Public Outreach Committee
- New Haven County Bar Association, President (2016-2017) and Member of the Executive Committee since 2011
- New Haven Inn of Court, Secretary (2003-2005)
- Federal Bar Council
- Federal Law Clerk’s Society
- Connecticut/New Haven County Bar Association’s Pilot Mentoring Program (2011-2013)
- Guest Speaker Commercial Collections, 2013 and Pre- and Post-Judgment Civil Remedies 2011
- Connecticut Bar Association (Federal Practice Section)