About Ellen Plasil, J.D.

An image of a painter's palette and brushes.

Ellen Plasil graduated in 1982 from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Psychology, graduating with high honors and with membership in Phi Kappa Phi and Psi Chi. She obtained her Juris Doctorate degree in 1986 from Rutgers University School of Law.

Ellen’s legal career has followed the course she set for herself before she ever entered law school. Two areas of law were always of particular interest to her: divorce and representing victims of crimes. Divorce and Victims Recourse Litigation were her chosen areas of practice, but for the first thirteen years of practice, her chosen forum was the courtroom. Her firm's success was based on the complexity of the cases she undertook, her commitment to her clients, and her trial advocacy skills. 

Ellen's divorce practice always included simple divorce cases, i.e. divorces without children and without high-valued assets; but her reputation was built on her complex divorce cases. Her custody cases included, among other things: interstate and intrastate claims to sole custody; claims of parental mental illness or incompetence; parental abductions; spousal abuse; child abuse; termination of a parent’s right to visit with one’s child; and a grandparent’s rights to custody or visitation claimed during the parent’s divorce. Those cases that were financial disputes included, among other things: high value assets; contested real estate and personal property appraisals; fraudulent conveyances; alimony; imputed income and/or earning capacity; patents, family businesses, sole proprietorships, and partnerships. She also represented clients in matters arising from post-judgment disputes, i.e. actions seeking modifications to the underlying judgment, or allegations of contempt of the original orders. Additionally, she served for many years as a court appointed lawyer for children over whom custody cases were being fought. Ellen also served as a court appointed Special Master in both the Danbury and Litchfield Judicial Districts, helping attorneys and litigants resolve the conflicts standing in the way of a settlement of their divorce.

In addition to her divorce work, she devoted a portion of her practice to representing victims of crime, with a special emphasis on the representation of adults who had survived childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a parent, grandparent, doctor, teacher, or neighbor; as well as the representation of adults who had been sexually abused as adults by physicians or therapists. She litigated cases on behalf of victims beginning in 1989, including a successful argument to the Connecticut Supreme Court regarding the retroactive application of an extension to the statute of limitations governing lawsuits brought by adults who had survived childhood sexual abuse. Roberts v. Caton, 224 Conn. 483, 619 A.2d 844 (1993). 

After September 11, 2001, Ellen began to redirect the focus of her firm away from litigation, and moved it towards an alternative method for resolving disputes. Within a couple of years, her firm went from one with a focus on litigation, to one that became exclusively a divorce mediation law firm. Today, one hundred (100%) precent of Ellen’s practice is spent mediating divorces, or serving as review counsel for clients in mediation elsewhere.

Ellen’s litigation experience and her familiarity with courtroom procedure have provided her with a perfect and complimentary background for assisting couples who wish to avoid the battle of litigation, and who hope to settle their cases through guided dialogue. She is able to offer her clients examples of how judges have resolved conflicts similar to their own. She educates her clients about their legal options and alternatives, and guides them through the mediation process within boundaries set by law and policy, rather than by a subjective standard of what feels good to one spouse, or the other, or both. This, she believes, gives greater control to her clients than what they might otherwise have had with a mediator who never litigated divorce cases before electing to mediate them. 

In solo practice since 1989, she has had the privilege of selecting her areas of practice, as well as limiting her caseload to a finite number that permits personal and detailed attention to every client. Quality of service has always been of paramount importance to how she has run her law firm, and she will not take on more cases than what allows her to provide that quality. This was how she ran her litigation firm, and nothing has changed in that regard in her mediation practice. 

Current Areas of Practice

Divorce and Family Law Mediation, including but not necessarily limited to:

  • Dissolutions of Marriage
  • Dissolutions of Civil Union
  • Separations
  • Alimony Disputes
  • Custody and parenting matters including interstate custody, intrastate custody, parenting plans, visitation and child support
  • Third party (grandparent) rights regarding grandchildren in a child's divorce
  • Asset Valuation including family businesses, patents, rare collections, partnerships and sole proprietorships
  • Asset and Debt Allocation
  • Complex and Simple Divorces
  • Post-Judgment Modifications of Support
  • Post-Judgment Modifications of Parenting Plans and Custody Orders


Past Areas of Practice

  • Divorce and Family Law Litigation with a special emphasis on complex dissolutions of marriage
  • Victim’s Recourse Litigation


Education

  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey School of Law, 1986—J.D. Degree
  • University of South Florida, 1982—B.A. Degree
  • Major: Psychology

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut, admitted 1987—active
  • U.S. District Court District of Connecticut–admitted 1988—active
  • Pennsylvania, 1986—not active
  • New Jersey, 1986—not active
  • United States District Court District of New Jersey—1986


Pro Bono Recognition

Law Day Pro Bono Publico Award, 1994, for the pro bono representation of adults and children in complex divorce and custody cases

Past & Current Memberships

  • The American Bar Association — Dispute Resolution Section
  • The Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • The Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association
  • The Connecticut Bar Association


Forum Speaking Engagements

  • Litigating on Behalf of Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
  • The Perils of Litigation for the Victims of Sexual Abuse


Honors and Awards

  • Special Master, Superior Court, Judicial Districts of Danbury and Litchfield 1990–2000
  • Law Day Pro Bono Publico Award 1994
  • Phi Kappa Phi
  • Psi Chi (Honor Society in Psychology)


Areas in Connecticut Serviced by The Firm

Serving New Haven County, including Woodbridge, Guilford, Madison, Cheshire, Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Branford, Derby, East Haven, Hamden, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Naugatuck, North Branford, North Haven, East Haven, Orange, Oxford, Prospect, Seymour, Southbury, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Wolcott, New Haven and the surrounding communities. Also serving Fairfield County, including Danbury, Easton, Westport, Weston, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Ridgefield, Redding, Newtown, New Fairfield, Sherman, Shelton, Trumbull, Brookfield, and Monroe.

    The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.
No attorney-client relationship should be inferred from this web site. Visiting this web site does not create or commence an attorney-client relationship.  You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Located in Woodbridge CT 06525
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
203-553-9993


Copyright ©2002–2019 by Attorney Ellen Plasil. All rights reserved. You may reproduce materials available at this site for your own personal use and for non-commercial distribution. All copies must include this copyright statement.