People and the community.
That's what the law firm of Moots, Pellegrini, Arnold & Gronbach, PC in New Milford is all about.
"We are committed to making a difference in people's lives," said attorney Lynda Lee Arnold in a recent interview with four of the six attorneys at the firm.
Whether a client needs representation for a divorce, a personal injury claim, a business transaction or litigation, the attorneys can provide counsel.
"What we do here has profound impact on people and people's lives," said attorney Roland "Lon" Moots Jr. "All the attorneys here show compassion for the people we represent. We don't take people for granted."
Terry Pellegrini, Barbara McMahon Dratch, David Gronbach and David Albanese join Mr. Moots and Mrs. Arnold at the practice housed in the historic 46 Main St. house, the northern-most building on the east side of Main Street.
"There are few general practice law firms," said Mr. Gronbach, who emphasized the diverse legal services available to clients at the local practice.
Each of the attorneys has his or her own specialty (see related story). Mr. Gronbach said that is one of the things making the firm "unique," because that means the practice can "serve everyone."
"We live in a complicated society," Mr. Moots said. "That's why we're all specialized."
The firm has a reputation in the community for providing high-quality legal services.
Mr. Moots has been involved in numerous high-profile and historic cases during his 40-plus years as an attorney.
In January 2006, he won a state-record jury award of $26.5 million for a paraplegic client. At the time, the award was reportedly a record amount for an injury case in a federal court in Connecticut.
"You become a surrogate advocate for their family," Mr. Gronbach said of the relationship he and the other attorneys develop with their clients.
He said working in the same town in which he lives -- all the attorneys live in New Milford or a neighboring town -- is one of the aspects of his job he enjoys and in which he finds value.
"We know our clients personally," said Mr. Gronbach, who noted he sees clients in the grocery store.
Mr. Albanese cited the attorneys' "depth and breadth of experience and expertise" and their "acute (sensitivity) to the client's needs, both personally and professionally" as reasons why residents may chose Moots, Pellegrini et al.
"I handle almost all of the cases I have personally from beginning to end," the attorney related, "whereas, at most other firms, clients get bounced around between the support staff and rarely, if ever, get to speak or meet with the actually attorney who is representing them."
"Here, our clients can speak or meet with their attorney any time," Mr. Albanese said. "We strive to always make ourselves available, because, while the ultimate resolution of their particular matter is paramount, at the end of the day a client's experience with the firm makes a significant impact as well."
Mrs. Arnold said she, too, enjoys the personal interaction with clients.
"I like helping clients and getting them through a difficult process," she said.
New Milford chiropractor Dr. Arthur Klein of New Milford has worked with the attorneys at the firm for years and recommends the firm professionally.
"They have good communication with (my) patients and me," Dr. Klein said. "They are available to answer questions and they show a concern and sensitivity to the needs of their clients and mine."
The firm's competency isn't the only reason Dr. Klein respects the firm. He said he appreciates the staff's involvement in the community; it shows they care.
The attorneys said they appreciate every day being different because it keeps their minds and their jobs fresh.
"No two cases or clients are exactly the same," Mr. Albanese related, "so although lawyers tend to specialize in a few practice areas, there are always new issues and challenges that arise, even in matters that seem routine or mundane on the surface."
"You never know what's going to walk through the door," Mr. Moots said.
Selecting an attorney can be intimidating, often due to the doubt of one having a legitimate case, as well as the cost of hiring an attorney.
"Make an appointment with an attorney," advised Ms. Dratch, who said she prefers to meet with someone in person rather than having a phone consultation.
Mr. Gronbach agrees.
"A lot of people are hesitant, are reluctant to get an attorney," he said. "It doesn't cost anything to get information and advice."
"It's so important to get advice early on," Mr. Gronbach pointed out. "The longer it goes on, the less ripe it becomes."
Clients who come to Moots, Pellegrini et al can rest assured the advice they will receive at their firm has "been vetted... and is not given in a vacuum," said Mr. Gronbach, who cited the extensive career of several of the attorneys.
Mrs. Arnold added, "We're not a mill. We don't expect clients to come in, then churn them out."
Providing quality client care and helping one another professionally is a top priority at the firm.
"Everyone (at the firm) has such a compassionate side," Mrs. Arnold said. "I could go to anyone with anything -- professionally or personally -- and feel comfortable."
Mr. Moots reflected "if one of us has a legal problem we're wrestling with (for a case), we bounce it off the other attorneys."
For more information, call the law firm, located at 46 Main St. in New Milford, at 860-355-4191 or visit www.mootslaw.com.