Mr. Cassone was a principal in the law firm of Bello, Lapine & Cassone, LLP since 1984, a small litigation firm where he has concentrated in a variety of litigation in state and federal courts, including arbitration, court and jury trials and appeals, in personal injury, contract, employment, construction, commercial, products liability, municipal liability, medical malpractice, civil rights, civil RICO, bankruptcy fraud, insurance and asbestos defense, land use and matrimonial. He also handles civil and criminal appeals to the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts. He has as served as arbitrator, mediator and counsel in construction, commercial, labor and underinsured motorist arbitrations. He also has experience representing clients before and/or against municipal, state and federal agencies including Environmental Protection Boards and commissions, Zoning and Zoning Boards of Appeals, Boards of Tax Review, and Department of Consumer Protection, to name a few. He also has experience handling a broad array of commercial and residential real estate transactions, commercial leases, and the purchase and sale of businesses.
Mr. Cassone served as the Director of Legal Affairs for the City of Stamford, Connecticut from 1995 to 1999, and then again from 2002 to 2009. In his government position he supervised the Law and Human Resources Departments for a City with 123,000 residents and 3,000 employees. Also known as the Corporation Counsel, Mr. Cassone acted as counsel to all City Boards, Commissions, Departments and Agencies, including the Boards of Finance and Representatives, Planning and Zoning, Operations (Public Works, Transportation, Parking, etc.), Police, Fire and the Board of Education, rendering over 300 legal opinions annually. He supervised a staff of 30 employees including 8 attorneys representing the City and its Board of Education in litigation, contracts and collective bargaining with all 9 municipal employee unions. He was also charged with settlement authority for all causes and claims by and against the municipality, which included an average of 300-700 pending lawsuits and 200-300 new claims annually. Mr. Cassone also oversaw the drafting of local legislation and prepared and approved all City contracts, which numbered 300-400 annually.
Among Mr. Cassone’s accomplishments with the City of Stamford were the implementation of two Tax Incremental Financing infrastructure zones, the assembly of land and road relocation for the Royal Bank of Scotland, and the facilitation of many major developments during an unprecedented period of growth in the downtown and south end.
Mr. Cassone also served as the Acting Director of Public Safety from 2000 to 2001, where he headed the search for a permanent Director and had budgetary oversight of Police, Fire, Health & Social Services and related departments, including the Smith House Skilled Nursing Facility. He also chaired Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing that lead to several successful housing initiatives, notably inclusionary zoning.
Professional Organizations, Accreditations & Activities
Connecticut Bar Association, Fairfield County Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association.
Admitted to Practice in the State of Michigan - 1981 (All courts-Inactive); Admitted to Practice in the State of Connecticut - 1982 (All courts);U.S. District Court; U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Member, Board of Trustees, Ferguson Library, Inc., 1997- present; Chairman, Board of Trustees, Ferguson Library, Inc., 2001, 2008; Trustee Ferguson Library Foundation 2002-present; Member, Board of Directors, St. Lukes Lifeworks, 2010, a not-for-profit organization that provides transitional and supportive housing, life-long learning and emergency aid to individuals and families affected by homelessness, HIV/AIDS, and mental illness; Trustee, Stamford Museum and Nature Center 2001-2004;