Attorney Dennis Carnelli Elected to the Connecticut Bar Foundation James W. Cooper Fellows Program

February 23, 2024
Dennis M. Carnelli New Haven CT commercial litigation and contract law attorney in New Haven CT
Dennis M. Carnelli

The Connecticut Bar Foundation announced that Attorney Dennis M. Carnelli was elected a 2024 Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation James W. Cooper Fellows Program. Fellows are nominated by their peers based on their outstanding service to the profession and larger community and are elected by the CBF Board of Directors.

“We are pleased to recognize our new Fellows for their distinguished service to the legal profession, and for their commitment to the principles of equal justice and the rule of law,” said the Honorable Victoria Woodin Chavey, President of the Connecticut Bar Foundation.

Attorney Carnelli previously served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General, was an associate at O’Connell, Attmore & Morris, LLC. He also clerked for Justice Barry R. Schaller of the Connecticut Appellate Court.

He received a B.A. from Roger Williams University and a J.D. from Western New England School of Law, and was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut in 2016, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 2018.

Attorney Carnelli is an active member of the Connecticut Bar Association, where he has held several leadership positions. He is a member of the Veterans & Military Affairs Section and is its current Chair, serving in that role since 2021; he also served as Vice Chair of that Section from 2018-2021. A member of the Appellate Advocacy Section, Attorney Carnelli serves on its Executive Committee as well, a position he has held since 2020. Additionally, he is a member of the New Haven County Bar Association and the First Amendment Lawyers Association.

Attorney Carnelli serves on the Guilford Board of Fire Commissioners, and has been the Commissioner and Vice Chair since 2021. He was also a Forward Observer in the U.S. Army during the Iraq War.

The CBF’s mission is to facilitate systemic change that advances civil justice for all, regardless of power or resources, to achieve a more just and equitable society. The James W. Cooper Fellows Program, now in its 29th year, helps further that mission by developing and sponsoring projects and programs to promote a better understanding of the legal profession, the judicial system, and the role of law in society; to explore ways to improve the profession and the administration of justice; and to further the highest ideals of the legal system.

Fellows programs tackle topics of timely importance to the legal community, and include several speaker series, symposia, roundtable discussions, mentorships, a high school essay contest, and a fellowship for recent law school graduates. CBF programming, including the Constance Baker Motley Speaker Series on Racial Inequality, has received national attention.

The Fellows consist of lawyers in private practice, U.S. Court of Appeals judges, U.S. District Court judges, Connecticut Supreme, Appellate, and Superior Court judges, corporate counsel, attorneys in non-profit associations and legal services agencies, and government lawyers. The program also includes law school deans, former deans, and professors of law, past and current leadership of the Connecticut Bar Association and other bar associations, and present and former government leaders. In addition to the work of the Fellows program, the CBF pursues its mission by stewarding funding, volunteers, programming, data, innovation, and collaboration to lead and partner in integrated approaches to improving the administration of civil justice.

Specifically, the CBF administers several grant programs that fund the delivery of legal services for Connecticut residents who cannot afford an attorney, including the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts and the Interest on Trust Accounts programs, the Judicial Branch Grants-in-Aid, the Court Fees Grants-in-Aid, and the state’s Right to Counsel program.

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