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The attorneys at a glance

Updated 11:13 pm, Wednesday, December 5, 2012
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ROLAND "LON" MOOTS JR

Specialty: Divorce and family law, personal injury litigation and criminal defense.

Mr. Moots may have been born in Ohio, but he definitely calls New Milford and the Greater New Milford community his home.

The attorney has been an integral part of the business community since the late 1960s, and has served in numerous civic capacities over the years.

Mr. Moots came to New Milford during his third year of law school. He recalled fondly attending church and then taking a walk down the Village Green and thinking, "'What a beautiful place this would be to raise a family."

It all came true.

He graduated from the University of Miami with an undergraduate degree and from Boston University School of Law in 1969. Upon graduation, he began his career at Cramer & Anderson -- located in an historic house on the west side of Main Street in New Milford -- in 1969 and became a partner there in 1972. He left in April 1983 to start his own business.

Mr. Moots and Fred Baker opened Baker Moots law firm in 1983, which became Baker, Moots & Pellegrini two years later when Terry Pellegrini joined the firm.

Mr. Moots and Mr. Pellegrini have worked together since.

Mr. Moots cited the "Perry Mason" TV show, which his parents watched, as being the source that sparked his interest in law at a young age.

His litigation experience includes state and federal courts in Connecticut and, with assistance of out-of-state counsel, such states as New York, Texas, Louisiana and North Carolina. He has argued appeals before the Appellate and Supreme courts of Connecticut.

Mr. Moots served as town counsel for more than five years and was formerly, as public defender based in New Milford, in the Connecticut Circuit Court.

TERRY PELLEGRINI

Specialty: Zoning and land use, commercial and residential real estate, commercial lending and business law.

Mr. Pellegrini is widely recognized for his experience in land use and zoning, having practiced in those areas for more than 30 years.

He represents numerous commercial and developer clients before the various boards and commissions in New Milford and surrounding communities.

He also practices in the areas of residential and commercial real estate and has served as general counsel to the Greater New Milford Board of Realtors for more than 30 years.

Mr. Pellegrini has been actively involved in the community for years, serving on the Board of Directors at New Milford Hospital, of which he is past chairman. He also served as town attorney and selectman for the town of New Milford and on the Board of Directors of the New Milford Bank and Trust Company for many years.

Some of his past and present clients include New Milford Hospital, New Milford Bank and Trust Company and New Milford Savings Bank.

Attorney Barbara McMahon Dratch describes her colleague as possessing "a wealth of information" and having an incredible memory.

BARBARA McMAHON DRATCH

Specialty: Residential and commercial real estate, business matters including foreclosures, probate law, including estate administration, and estate planning.

Mrs. Dratch, a New Milford native, said she always felt called to find a career that didn't fit the traditional gender role women were expected to follow.

To that end, she obtained her law degree from the University of Bridgeport, now Quinnipiac, School of Law.

Mrs. Dratch has worked at Moots, Pellegrini et al since 1989.

Prior, she was a paralegal, having worked at Cramer & Anderson in New Milford from 1961 to 1981, and was involved in fire protection regulatory work.

Mrs. Dratch is a member of the National Fire Protection Association and an elected affiliate member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.

LYNDA LEE ARNOLD

Specialty: Divorce and family law, personal injury litigation and real estate.

A New Milford native, Mrs. Arnold went to law school as a second career while raising her children.

She joined the firm in 2001 after being employed in Danbury Superior Court as a clerk serving in family matters, civil short calendars and personal injury jury trials.

A 1995 graduate of Pace University School of Law, Mrs. Arnold received her undergraduate degree from Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.

For a number of years before entering law school, she served as a sign language interpreter for the Danbury Board of Education.

She previously served on a committee for the Connecticut Bar Association Family Law Section committee.

DAVID GRONBACH

Specialty: Personal injury litigation, including wrongful death and serious motor vehicle accidents, business litigation, criminal defense, and criminal and civil appeals.

While driving around Greater New Milford several years ago, Mr. Gronbach and his wife fell in love with New Milford.

He and his wife, who is also an attorney, had a picnic with their children on the Village Green.

"I thought, `This would be a great place to live and raise a family,'" he said.

They later moved to town and have been here about five years.

Mr. Gronbach grew up in lower Westchester County, N.Y., graduated from the State University of New York at Albany and received a juris doctorate in 2001 from Pace University School of Law in White Plains, N.Y.

He said early on in his studies he knew he enjoyed the "research, writing and argumentative part of law, not realizing how much I'd enjoy the personal aspect."

He celebrates his second year at the local law firm this month.

DAVID ALBANESE

Specialty: Residential and commercial real estate and business law.

Mr. Albanese has roots in New Milford.

A native of the town, he joined the local firm this year after spending the initial years of his career practicing in New York City and Westchester County, N.Y.

"I think my New Milford upbringing and my New York training and experience give me a unique perspective, both in my practice and on matters concerning the town," he said.

"New Milford is a great place to live and work," he said, "and I'm very happy that the opportunity arose for me to come back and join this firm."

"So many young people have no choice but to move wherever it is they are able to secure a job," he explained, "so I consider myself very fortunate to have found a job with such a great firm in close proximity to my friends and family."

In addition to focusing on residential and commercial real estate sales and leasing, he also has extensive experience in corporate and small business matters, representing firms of all sizes in both their day-to-day needs and in formation, dissolution, sales and mergers.

Mr. Albanese, who earned his undergraduate degree from Fordham University and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School, is admitted to practice in Connecticut and New York.