Renée Dwyer

Renée Dwyer


Renée W. Dwyer is a trial attorney focusing on civil litigation. Her litigation practice involves the defense of serious premises liability actions for many, large, self-insured companies. She also has experience in sports and recreation litigation. Attorney Dwyer also represents employers in Federal and State Court in cases involving all forms of discrimination including sexual harassment. Attorney Dwyer routinely represents the daycare industry before the Office of Early Childhood’s Division of Licensing.


  • Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, J.D., 1991
  • Providence College, B,S., 1988, cum laude

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Connecticut
  • United States District Court, District of Connecticut
  • United States Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit

Honors and Publications

  • Connecticut Clarifies the “Mode of Operation” Rule, NRRDA Newsletter, December 2020
  • The “Mode of Operation Rule in Connecticut”, Connecticut Defense Lawyers Association, The Defense, Spring 2021
  • “General Liability Summary: Connecticut”, National Restaurant and Retail Defense Association, 2015-2021.
  • “Burdens and Bars to Biomechanical Experts: The Current Practice and Use of Biomechanical Expert Testimony in Connecticut”, NRRDA Newsletter, Dec. 2017 (co-authored by Renée W. Dwyer)
  • “A Nationwide Look at Premises Liability and the Mode of Operation Rule”, DRI, For the Defense, July 2017 (co-authored by Renée W. Dwyer)
  • “Collateral Source Comparison: An Overview of Connecticut’s Collateral Source Law Compared to Other States”, Connecticut Defense Lawyers Association, The Defense, Spring 2017 (co-authored by Renée W. Dwyer)
  • “An Update on the Applicability of the Mode of Operation Rule”, NRRDA Newsletter, February, 2016
  • “Social Media Etiquette: The Ethics of Collecting and Preserving Social Media Evidence”, Customer Connections, DRI, The Newsletter of the Retail and Hospitality Committee, Vol. 1, Issue 1 (3/26/15) reprinted with permission CDLA, The Defense, Spring 2015.
  • “Slip and Fall in Aisle Four: Modern Premise Liability Challenges to Retail Operations,” DRI – For the Defense, February 2012. Co-authored by Renee Dwyer.
  • Gore v. People’s Savings Bank, Renee W. Dwyer filed a brief for the Connecticut Defense Lawyers Association as amicus curiae
  • Orson D. Munn, III, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees v. Hotchkiss School, Defendant-Appellant, Renee Dwyer filed a brief submitted on behalf of American Camp Association, Inc. Broadreach, Inc., Ecology Project International, No Barriers US, National Outdoor Leadership School, Student Conservation Association, Inc., Where There Be Dragons, World Leadership School, Inc., and YMCA Camp Mohawk, Inc., in the Second Circuit from the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
  • Lead Paint Liability: For the Defense, Sidebar, Connecticut Bar Association Litigation Quarterly, Spring, 1997, 1995
  • Strict Liability Overturned, Sidebar, Connecticut Bar Association Litigation Quarterly, Spring, 1996
  • American Jurisprudence Award, Family Award, 1991
  • American Jurisprudence Award, Professional Responsibility, 1991
  • Trial Practice Award, 1991
  • Selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyer® List: 2019-2022

Notable Decisions/Cases

  • Camera v. Target Corporation, No.: 3:18cv-00095 (D. Conn. 2020) (Dooley, J.). Motion for Summary Judgment granted based on plaintiff’s failure to establish that Target had actual or constructive notice of any substance on the floor.
  • Cook v. USA Softball, AAN-CV-18-6030471-S (November 16, 2020). Motion for Summary Judgment granted where plaintiff could not identify a specific defect that caused his injury. (Tyma, J.).
  • Cersosimo v. Farrel, et al, Judicial District of Hartford, Docket #: HHD-CV-16- 6065726-S (August 25, 2017). Defense verdict in case brought by injured plaintiff pursuant to Connecticut’s dog bite statute (Connecticut General Statute § 22-357). Despite the statute’s rigorous strict liability standard, the jury ultimately ruled for the defense finding an applicable exception. The plaintiff’s motion to set aside the jury verdict was denied and the appeal was dismissed by the court.
  • Lewis v. Target Corporation, D/B/A Target Stores, Inc., Superior Court, judicial district of New Britain, Docket No. HHB-CV15-6029796 (June 29, 2017), (Defense verdict when the plaintiff could not show evidence of the specific condition causing her fall, nor could she show the defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of the same);
  • Ellis v. YMCA Camp Mohawk, Inc., 615 Fed. Appx. 697 (2d Cir. 2015), (Affirming the decision of the District Court that the negligence arguments raised by the plaintiff must be supported by expert testimony regarding horseback riding and instruction, and that the plaintiff failed to provide such expert testimony);
  • Barbara A. Dsupin (Dependent Widow) of Joseph Dsupin (Deceased) Claimant- Appellant V. Town of Wallingford, Employer, Self-Insured, Respondent-Appellee and Workers’ Compensation Trust, Case No. 5757 CRB-8-12-6 (November 1, 2013) (§ 31-306 C.G.S. benefits).
  • Digges v. Target Stores, Inc., Superior Court, judicial district of Hartford, Docket No. HHD-CV11-6025107 (November 15, 2013), (Defense verdict after a jury trial in a case where the plaintiff allegedly fell outside the retail location, tripped over a raised section of sidewalk, and refused to take the defendant’s last offer of $10,000, when her claimed medicals were only $8,000);
  • Massimino v. Target Corporation, Superior Court, judicial district of New Haven, Docket No. NNH-CV11-6017664 (September 24, 2012), (Defense verdict after arbitration in a matter where the plaintiff ran into the subject retail store and injured himself falling while running to cut the line on Black Friday);
  • Castro v. Target Stores, Inc., Superior Court, judicial district of Hartford, Docket No. HHD-CV11-6022554 (September 18, 2012), (Defense verdict after jury selection and after the filing of several significant motions in limine, the plaintiff refused to appear at court telling his counsel he no longer wanted to pursue the case);
  • Roundtree v. Securitas Security Services, Inc., No. 3:10-CV-778 JCH, 2012 WL 631848, at *1 (D. Conn. Feb. 27, 2012), (Motion for Summary Judgement granted as to plaintiff’s FMLA and CFLMA claims, as well as his hostile work environment claim. Summary judgment also granted as plaintiff could not show termination was a mere pretext for an impermissible retaliation);
  • Julian v. Securitas Sec. Servs. USA, Inc., No. 3:08-CV-1715 MRK, 2010 WL 1553778, at *1 (D. Conn. Apr. 19, 2010), (Motion for Summary Judgment granted in part in favor of the defendant on the negligent infliction of emotional distress count on the basis that he could not connect “undue delay” in the context of a pending investigation to his claimed injuries); and
  • Josey v. Filene’s, Inc., 187 F.Supp.2d 9 (D.Conn. 2002), (Motion for Summary Judgment granted in part, finding in favor of the defendant on the basis the plaintiff failed to make out a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, and that the plaintiff failed to prove there was state action required to have liability pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983).


  • IARP (International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals)/New England Spring Conference – Vocational Experts on the Stand.
  • Connecticut C.A.R.E.S. – Negotiating the Department of Public Health/How to Limit Your Civil Liability Exposure.
  • Holding the Bag: Who can end up paying – Indemnification Issues, Mealy’s Retail and Hospitality Conference.
  • Student Bullying and Sexual Harassment.
  • Sexual Harassment Training, Connecticut Companies as Required by State Statute.
  • Damages in Connecticut Civil Trial Practice, National Business Institute.
  • Basic Practice and Procedure.
  • Bad Faith Litigation in Connecticut, Lorman Business Center.

Professional Affiliations

  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association (NRRDA)
  • Statewide Lead Paint Defense Committee (Co-Chairperson of the Legal Issues Committee)
  • Connecticut Bar Association, Member
  • Connecticut Defense Lawyers Association
  • Business & Professional Women’s Club, First Vice President, Wallingford Chapter, 1998 – 1999
  • Business & Professional Women’s Club, Corresponding Secretary, Wallingford Chapter, 1997 – 1998