Charles D. Ray
McCarter & English, LLP
185 Asylum Street
Hartford, CT 06103
Charlie has more than 30 years’ experience representing clients in both trial and appellate litigation. He appears regularly in the Connecticut Supreme and Appellate Courts and has participated in numerous appeals before the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Ninth, and Federal Circuits. Over the course of his career, Charlie has argued or assisted in more than one hundred appellate cases covering a broad range of subject matter, from commercial business litigation to criminal and matrimonial cases.
In addition to his extensive appellate practice, Charlie has also first-chaired a number of trial court cases, including challenges to the valuation of real property for local taxation purposes, defense of a number of local land use decisions on behalf of a national retailer, tax matters challenging decisions made by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, and a successful breach of contract claim on behalf of a national retailer.
Charlie is an active member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. His work includes supervising the firm’s collaboration with The Veterans Consortium, a charitable organization that represents veterans unjustly denied benefits or compensation earned from military service. For this project, firm attorneys review adverse claim decisions and prepare screening memos for use by attorneys appointed to represent the veteran in the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Charlie’s pro bono work also includes serving as local appellate counsel for the Innocence Project, whose mission is to free the staggering number of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment. In this capacity, Charlie has filed a number of friend of the court briefs with the Connecticut Supreme Court, in cases involving issues related to eye witness and firearms identifications.
Lead trial counsel in taxpayer’s challenge to the Town’s assessment of its real property for purposes of taxation. The trial court reduced the valuation of the property by more than $36 million, resulting in significant tax savings for the client. Digital 60 & 80 Merritt LLC v. Board of Assessment Appeals, Docket Numbers HHB-CV14-6025041-S and HHB-CV15-6029300-S (Conn. Superior Court 2020).
Appeared as pro bono amicus counsel on behalf of the Innocence Project and the Connecticut Innocence Project in a series of cases involving procedural issues related to identifications made in criminal prosecutions. State v. Tyus, SC 20462 (ready for argument); State v. Raynor, ___ Conn. ___ (Dec. 4, 2020); State v. White, 334 Conn. 742 (2020); State v. Dickson, 322 Conn. 410 (2016), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 137 S.Ct. 2263, 198 L.Ed.2d 713 (2017); State v. Artis, 314 Conn. 131 (2014); State v. Johnson, 312 Conn. 687 (2014); State v. Sanchez, 308 Conn. 64 (2013); State v. Guilbert, 306 Conn. 218 (2012).
Successfully defended the district court’s reduction of a relator’s attorneys’ fee request in a qui tam action. United States, ex rel. Donald Palmer v. C&D Technologies, Inc., 897 F.3d 128 (3d Cir. 2018).
Successfully defended the trial court’s decision to confirm an arbitration award in a matrimonial matter. Toland v. Toland, 179 Conn. App. 800, cert. denied, 328 Conn. 935 (2018).
Teamed with Greater Hartford Legal Aid in a pro bono matter in which our client sought predicate findings to be used in an application for special immigrant juvenile status. The probate court and trial court refused to consider our client’s requests because he had turned 18 during the proceedings. The Connecticut Appellate Court affirmed those rulings. The Connecticut Supreme Court reversed and ordered further proceedings on our client’s application. In re Henrry P.B.P., 327 Conn. 312 (2017)
Successfully defended the trial court’s decision not to treat a significant trust created by our client’s father as a marital asset in a dissolution action, as well as the trial court’s decision not to require our client to undertake litigation in order to resist actions of the trustees in decanting the original trust. Powell-Ferri v. Ferri, 326 Conn. 457 (2017).
Successfully defended the state’s claims that its action against a contractor for defective construction was not barred under the doctrines of issue or claim preclusion. State v. Bacon Construction Co., Inc., 160 Conn. App. 75, cert. denied, 319 Conn. 953 (2015).
Clients rely on McCarter’s appellate lawyers to present the best possible case by choosing the right issues and arguments in this challenging phase of litigation at the state and federal levels. Involved throughout every step of the litigation process, we provide clients with the opportunity to work with a single, cohesive litigation team for both trial and appellate work.
McCarter’s appellate team delivers outstanding results by applying the most strategic and effective litigation tactics. Several of our appellate lawyers have served as law clerks for state or federal appellate judges and justices, bringing an intimate knowledge of the particulars of judicial decision-making. Clients also seek our outstanding oral and written advocacy skills for a wide range of appellate services, including full briefings and oral arguments, advice on appellate matters and emergency matters, interlocutory appeals, and significant motions in major litigation. Cases are often referred by other lawyers who recognize the specialized skill set that our experienced advocates bring to the table. We handle appeals for other firms in matters being litigated in lower courts, and we appear as amicus curiae on behalf of organizations to bring a voice to the issues that may significantly impact their industries.
Clients benefit from the firm’s relationship-driven approach, deep understanding of their businesses and legal needs, lean and efficient service model, and determination to help them move their businesses forward.
In 2020, McCarter was recognized as Law Firm of the Year by the New Jersey Law Journal, and in 2019 received the prestigious ABA Pro Bono Publico award.
“Clients benefit from Charlie Ray’s writing and advocacy skills and his intimate knowledge of appellate practice and procedure“