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Kristen L. Zaehringer

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203-878-9800

With a diverse background in complex commercial litigation, Kristen L. Zaehringer represents businesses and individuals in court and advises business owners on questions about contracts, employees, and compliance obligations. She has handled cases involving disputes among members of closely-held businesses, helped investors who were misled by brokers, litigated employment discrimination claims, enforced commercial agreements, secured multi-million prejudgment remedy awards, and counseled corporate officers and attorneys on their fiduciary obligations.

Kristen's practice also involves resolving compliance and ethics issues on her clients' behalf. This work includes counseling attorneys and law firms in legal ethics and litigating malpractice cases in court. Kristen uses this knowledge in her role as a member of the Federal Grievance Committee, an appointment made by the judges of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut to a panel that hears grievance complaints against lawyers admitted to practice in federal court.

In the employment and human resources context, Kristen regularly counsels clients on a wide variety of issues. Her work includes employment contracts, restrictive covenants, severance agreements, and the implementation of employment manuals, policies and procedures. Kristen regularly represents clients before federal and state administrative agencies including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities.

Dedicated to public service, Kristen is a member of the Hamden Legislative Council and commits her time to a variety of non-profit entities, including the Board of Directors of Friends of New Haven Legal Assistance Association and the Quinnipiac School of Law Alumni Association. Kristen has served as an attorney volunteer at annual student mock trials sponsored by the District of Connecticut's Public Outreach Committee and has represented veterans and incarcerated individuals on a pro bono basis.

Kristen holds an AV rating with Martindale-Hubbell and has been repeatedly recognized by Super Lawyers in various litigation and employment contexts since 2013. She has also been selected as one of Fairfield County's 2015 Top 40 Business People under 40 and as one of the Connecticut Law Tribune's 2015 New Leaders in the Law. Kristen's service to the bar includes co-chairing the Federal Practice Section of the Connecticut Bar Association and serving as an appointed member of the Local Civil Rules Advisory Committee of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Past Positions:
  • Honorable Dominic J. Squatrito, United States District Judge for the United States District Court of Connecticut, Clerk
Classes/Seminars:
  • Gateway to Practice, 2020 to 2022
  • Connecticut Written Discovery, Panelist, 2020
  • Using Zoom in Federal Courts, Moderator, 2020
  • Using Zoom in Federal Courts, Moderator, 2019
  • Federal Court Discovery, Moderator, 2019
  • Intro. to Connecticut Practice, Panelist, 2018
  • Federal Court Pro Bono Appointments Part I, Moderator, 2018
  • Federal Court Pro Bono Appointments Part II, Moderator, 2018
  • Federal Practice 101, Moderator, 2018
  • Developments in Equal Pay Law, Panelist, 2017
  • Litigation for Non-Litigators, 2017
  • Essentials of Federal Practice, Moderator, 2016
  • Rediscovering E-Discovery, Moderator, 2016
Fraternities/Sororities:
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Practice Areas

  • Business Litigation
  • Legal Ethics and Professional Malpractice
  • Class Actions
  • Intellectual Property
  • Employment Counseling and Litigation

Education

  • Quinnipiac University School of Law, Bridgeport, Connecticut
    • J.D. - 2005
    • Honors: magna cum laude
    • Honors: Oral Advocacy Award
    • Honors: Excellence in Clinical Work Award
    • Honors: Four Distinguished Academic Achievement Awards
  • George Washington University
    • B.A. - 2002
    • Honors: summa cum laude
    • Major: Political Communication
    • Minor: Italian Language & Literature

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut, 2005
  • New York, 2006
  • U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 2006
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Honors

  • AV ® Preeminent ™ Peer Rating from Martindale-Hubbell since 2013
  • Selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers List since 2020
  • Named a Connecticut Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” Employment & Labor Litigation, Civil Litigation Defense and Business Litigation
  • Named a New England Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” Civil Litigation
  • A Recipient of the District of Connecticut's 2016 Pro Bono Award (prisoner rights case involving claims brought under the Eighth Amendment)
  • Fairfield County’s 2015 Top 40 Business People under 40
  • Connecticut Law Tribune 2015 New Leaders in the Law
  • Leadership Fairfield County Program

Professional Associations

  • District of Connecticut Federal Grievance Committee
  • District of Connecticut Local Civil Rules Advisory Committee (past member)
  • Federal Practice Section of the Connecticut Bar Association (past co-chair), Executive Committee Member
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation
  • Raymond Baldwin Inn of Court (past officer)
  • Judicial Subcommittee of the Connecticut Bar Association's COVID-19 Task Force
  • Federal Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut Bar Association
  • Board of Directors of Quinnipiac University School of Law Alumni Association
  • Hamden Legislative Council Member

Pro-Bono Activities

  • District of Connecticut Public Outreach Committee
  • Board of Directors, Friends of New Haven Legal Assistance Association
  • Gateway to Practice, Quinnipiac University School of Law

Published Works

  • Business & Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, 91 Conn. B.J. 224, 225 (2018) (book review), 4th Edition
  • U.S. District Court District of Connecticut Filings Checklist, Practical Law, 2016

Representative Cases

  • Represented business owners in bench trial involving competing claims over stock issuance and control of the board of directors
  • Represented minority members of LLC in arbitration proceedings challenging stock allocation agreement
  • Successfully moved for the appointment of a receiver for a closely-held business
  • Won a $1.6 million Prejudgment Remedy in connection with the enforcement of commercial guaranty
  • Defended against claims of breach of noncompetition and non-solicitation agreements
  • Represented members of closely-held LLC against accusations of breach of fiduciary duties
  • Defended guarantor against lender’s action to enforce $800,000 commercial contract
  • Represented investors in connection with breach of contract claims against hedge fund
  • Represented investors in connection with breach of contract and fraud claims against brokers
  • Represented investors in litigation against hedge fund owners and successfully won dismissal of collusive suit
  • Served as Connecticut counsel for relief defendants in a $95 million securities fraud action
  • Won $3 million Prejudgment Remedy in federal court case over breach of installment contracts
  • Represented medical practice in connection with dispute concerning asset purchase agreement
  • Represented manufacturer in breach of contract lawsuit and won dismissal of the case
  • Represented music management services company in federal lawsuit concerning a dispute over royalty payments
  • Successfully defend against business owner’s injunction to block co-owner from moving location of closely-held business
  • Successfully moved for the appointment of a receiver of a closely-held business
  • Litigated business torts asserted between members of closely-held businesses
  • Advise attorneys on legal ethics and law office risk management
  • Litigate legal malpractice lawsuits
  • Defend against claims alleging violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
  • Defend against claims alleging violation of the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act
  • Defend against claims alleging violation of state and federal wage and hour law
  • Served as Connecticut counsel for plaintiffs in $48.8 million patent infringement trial
  • Enforce license agreements
  • Defend against claims of trademark infringement
  • Counsel employers on the enforceability of noncompete and non-solicitation agreements and draft cease and desist letters
  • Represented executive against allegations of misappropriating trade secrets
  • Represented member of senior management in federal lawsuit alleging breach of noncompetition agreement
  • Defended healthcare provider against claims of tortiously interfering with noncompetition agreement
  • Represented business in connection with enforcing covenants set forth in asset purchase agreement
  • Conducted independent investigation into claims alleging sexual harassment by CEO
  • Defended employers against lawsuits alleging discriminatory conduct (i.e., age discrimination, race discrimination, national origin discrimination, gender discrimination, disability discrimination, and pregnancy discrimination)
  • Defended employer against equal pay claims
  • Defended employer against alleged violation of federal and state FMLA law
  • Defended employers in administrative proceedings before the CHRO and EEOC
  • Defended employer against claims of retaliation in violation of Connecticut’s Workers’ Compensation Act
  • Represented employees in whistleblower lawsuits against securities firms
  • Represented employee in claims against former employer for disability discrimination and unlawful disclosure of HIV status
  • Defended bank in whistleblower lawsuit
  • Drafted employee handbooks and policies and provided guidance on related procedures
  • Represented bank in New York lawsuit and won summary judgment on $1 million commercial note and guaranty
  • Represented bank in contested New York commercial foreclosure proceedings and secured $3.6 million deficiency judgment