Our firm has deep roots in New Haven and we would like to tell you about them.

The genesis of the firm really 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, back in the days when college was not a prerequisite to entering 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 Fall to be admitted; he began practicing with James P. Piggot, who was then serving in the Connecticut legislature and later served 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 local. 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 FitzGerald’s mayorship. 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 Hadden being a Republican and FitzGerald being a decorated Democrat. Fitzgerald served on the Democratic state central committee, ran for governor in 1922, and acted as a delegate to various Democratic national conventions, as well as a committee member of the national party. Fitzgerald was also close friends with presidents Woodrow Wilson and FDR.

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 the 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 current probate judge of New Haven, before whom we all appear quite a bit.

David FitzGerald died in 1942. A plaque bearing his relief is 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 right to Fordham University School of Law; 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. Unfortunately, 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, while Hadden was the duo’s powerhouse, who served as assistant town clerk, town attorney, prosecutor, judge, state house majority leader, attorney general, and lieutenant governor.

Throughout the years, several attorneys worked at Pouzzner and Hadden—too many to list. Some went on to careers in legal aid or the judiciary. But for purposes of this history, we are going to focus just on the partners. But eventually, in 19??, Hadden’s son, William L. Hadden, Jr. joined the firm.


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