By Robert Storace, Connecticut Law Tribune, STAMFORD, CT (June 26, 2019) — Paul Slager wanted to be an attorney since he was in first grade. Now, 44 years later, the 50-year-old trial lawyer has been named president of the nearly 1,500-member Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association.
While other peers wanted to be actors, musicians or ball players, Paul Slager knew at 6 years old what he wanted to be when he grew up: an attorney.
Slager, who grew up in Michigan, said he decided early on to pursue law from watching his parents. It was that appreciation of what they did in their own jobs helping people that made Slager want to do something similar in another profession.
“I wanted to be a lawyer from the time I could read and write,” said Slager, a member of the Connecticut Bar and inactive member of both the New York and Illinois bars. “It’s because my father was a social worker and my mother was a special education teacher. They both worked with disadvantaged members of the community, and I thought their work with people who were struggling was inspiring to me. I felt that, in law, I could work with a similar population and help in a different way.”
On Monday, Slager—who worked for a Chicago law firm for six years soon after graduating from the University of Michigan Law School and for the past 20 years with Stamford’s Silver Golub & Teitell—was installed as the new president of the nearly 1,500-member Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association. He said it’s an honor and privilege to take the reins of the 55-year-old trial advocacy group for the next 12 months. The post is nonpaying and volunteer.
Slager, 50, said he plans on spending a good part of the summer meeting members and formulating a member-driven agenda.
“I anticipate most of my time will be listening to members talk about their concerns. The mission of the CTLA is to try to ensure the courts provide a level playing field for litigants,” Slager said. “Part of my job will be to interface with the judiciary.” The association participates in the formation of practice rules with other attorneys.
“We also monitor what is happening in the Capitol in terms of legislation and watch, for example, to see if there are any bills that might be introduced that deprives people to pursue remedies in court,” Slager said.
Slager said special interest groups, such as insurance companies, “would benefit from creating as many barriers as possible to our civil courts. The CTLA’s thinking is that it’s fundamentally unfair and we believe that our courts are a vehicle for a level playing field.”
At Silver Golub, Slager represents plaintiffs in complex, high-value cases where, often, people have suffered life-changing personal or financial injuries. He has handled, according to his biography, medical malpractice cases, business litigation, sexual abuse cases, products liability and IRS whistleblower actions, among others.
Bridgeport-based attorney Eric Stockman was opposing counsel against Slager in two trials and at least 10 cases over the years. Stockman, a partner with Stockman O’Connor, told the Connecticut Law Tribune on Wednesday that Slager is “tenacious, intelligent and creative.”
“During trial, it was a knock-down, drag-out fight with him, but he’s also the kind of guy you can have a drink with and go to dinner with,” Stockman said. “He knows when to drop the gloves. The CTLA made a wise choice.”
Slager, a Fairfield resident, has also won several awards and recognition, including being named a New England Super Lawyer as one of the top 100 attorneys in the six-state region and a Connecticut Super Lawyer as one of the top 50 in the state.
Robert Storace covers legal trends, lawsuits and analysis for the Connecticut Law Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @RobertSCTLaw or reach him at 203-437-5950.