Lewis Chimes has dedicated his professional life to representing individuals who have suffered injury as a result of discrimination, negligence, or misconduct. His practice focuses primarily on individuals with employment issues.
A zealous advocate, Attorney Chimes has tried over fifty cases to verdict. In employment litigation, he obtained the largest individual verdict in Connecticut for race discrimination cases (Bakhit v. Safety Marking) ($3.4 million) and individual ERISA claims (Roberton v. Citizens Utilities)($1.3 million). In 2009, Attorney Chimes was lead counsel in Hardy v. Greenwich, a groundbreaking race discrimination case in which a jury determined that the Greenwich Police Department had engaged in a pattern and practice of race discrimination.
Attorney Chimes has been at the forefront of Connecticut employment law over the past twenty-five years. From his first employment case, shortly after the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, in which he filed an injunction on behalf of a teacher with severe cerebral palsy who had been wrongfully denied a position in her former school system, he has fought hard against difficult odds for his clients. In one of the first Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claims litigated in Connecticut, he successfully represented an industrial plant manager who had an emotional breakdown and was refused medical leave by his employer. He was one of the drafts persons for Connecticut's Equal Pay Act, which provides significantly greater protections against pay discrimination than federal law and most other states. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, he played a significant role in drafting and securing passage for enhanced protections against sexual harassment in the Connecticut legislature.
As a former prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office who handled both child abuse and sex crimes, Attorney Chimes has the experience and sensitivity to deal with difficult issues involved in sexual harassment and sex abuse claims. Representative cases include an alleged co-worker rape in a corporate office, a hostile environment claim by a state judicial marshal, a same sex harassment claim by a secretary in a parochial school, and a hostile environment claim against a Fortune 500 Company involving multiple plaintiffs.
Attorney Chimes is equally experienced in negotiation and alternative dispute resolution. He seeks creative solutions to difficult and complex disputes for his clients. Attorney Chimes has also represented senior executives and highly compensated individuals in severance negotiations, breach of employment contract claims, and in disputes over various aspects of compensation, such as bonuses, commissions, stock options, pensions, and deferred compensation. He has negotiated, mediated and arbitrated hundreds of cases, including numerous multi-million dollar settlements.
Attorney Chimes has been recognized as one of the leading employment lawyers in the state of Connecticut and nationally. In 2017, one of his clients was nationally recognized as a “Courageous Plaintiff” by the National Employment Lawyers Association as a result of their race discrimination verdict in Bakhit v. Safety Marking. In 2017, the Connecticut Law Tribune recognized him as one of Connecticut’s “Distinguished Attorneys.” In 2018, he was named Employment Lawyer of the Year in Stamford. He has been recognized for over fifteen years by Best Lawyers in America, a peer-reviewed listing of leading lawyers by specialties, in four categories: labor and employment, employment litigation: plaintiffs, ERISA litigation, and personal injury litigation: plaintiffs. In addition, he has been listed in Connecticut, New England, and New York Metro Super Lawyers for employment law since 2006. The Law Office of Lewis Chimes LLC also has been recognized as one of the best law firms in the United States in the field of employment law by U.S. News and World Report. Attorney Chimes has been selected as one of Lawdragon’s 500 leading employment lawyers in the United States, and was cited in Lawyers of Distinction in Employment Law.
Attorney Chimes also handles personal injury, criminal and civil rights cases.
- Connecticut, 1985
- New York, 1986
- Massachusetts, 1989
- U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 1990
- U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1997
- U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1999
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1999
- J.D., Columbia Law School, New York, New York
- B.A., Tufts University, Medford Ma.
Honors and Awards
- Best Lawyers, Lawyer of the Year, Employment Law, Fairfield County 2018
- CT Law Tribune, Distinguished Leaders in the Law, 2017
- Client Yosef Bakhit Recognized by National Employment Lawyers Association as "Courageous Plaintiff," at NELA Convention, 2017
- Board of Governors, Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association
- Co-Chair, Employment Law Section, Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association
- National Employment Lawyers Association
- Connecticut Employment Lawyers Association
- American Association of Justice
- Special Olympics of Connecticut, Board Member, Legal Advisor