A History of the Firm

Joe Garrison circa 1980

Jon Silbert circa 1980


Sketch of the founding partners, by Jon Silbert’s wife, Bonnie McHale


Attorneys Joe Garrison, Gerry Kahn, Tom Wies, Lanse Crane, and Jon Silbert join forces, and the law firm of Garrison, Kahn, Wies, Crane & Silbert opens its doors at an 1860s brownstone on New Haven’s Orange Street, where the firm’s successor – now Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti – remains today.

The Honorable Janet Bond Arterton and her former partners (including Ethan Levin-Epstein and Joe Garrison) at her investiture in 1995

Portrait of Judge Arterton by Steve Brennan, unveiled in 2017


Janet Bond Arterton joins the firm as its first associate and first female lawyer. Over time, as partners leave, the firm renames itself Garrison, Silbert & Arterton. Janet Arterton remains a named partner until her 1995 confirmation as a United States District Judge.

Amanda and Linda DeMatteis in the late 1980s

Amanda DeMatteis circa 1990

Amanda DeMatteis circa 2017


Amanda DeMatteis is born to the firm’s first employee, paralegal Linda DeMatteis, and her husband, Bill. Amanda grows up, goes to law school, and in 2016, she joins the firm as an associate attorney, becoming a partner in 2020. Linda remains at the firm to this day.

Attorney Richardson circa 2000

The Honorable Robert A. Richardson with his Garrison Law colleagues at his swearing-in in 2016

Judge Richardson in 2017


Robert Richardson joins the firm as a summer law clerk. After he graduates from law school, he joins the firm full time, and he remains a partner until 2016, when he is sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Connecticut.

As it appeared in The New Haven Register, 1996


Although the firm started as a general services law firm, by the 1990s, its attorneys have developed a reputation as employment lawyers who represent employees, including in precedent-setting cases such as D’Ulisse-Cupo v. Notre Dame High School, Heller v. Champion, and Persky v. Cendant Corp.

Ethan Levin-Epstein circa 1995

The Honorable Jonathan E. Silbert circa 2012


Ethan Levin-Epstein joins the firm after two decades as a prosecutor, including as First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut. The next day, Jon Silbert leaves the firm to become a Superior Court judge. (Judge Silbert retires from the bench in 2012 and returns to the firm as Of Counsel.)

Ethan Levin-Epstein and Steve Fitzgerald circa 2002

Steve Fitzgerald and Ethan Levin-Epstein at the firm’s 40th anniversary celebration in 2017


Steve Fitzgerald joins the firm after a decade with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. He becomes a partner in 2006 and the managing partner in 2018.

Nina Pirrotti circa 2008

Nina Pirrotti in 2021


Nina Pirrotti joins the firm after 15 years as a prosecutor and civil rights lawyer. She becomes a partner in 2011.

As it appeared in The Connecticut Law Tribune, 2012

Josh Goodbaum in 2021


Josh Goodbaum joins the firm, becoming a partner in 2016.

The lawyers and staff of Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti

Joe Garrison and Linda DeMatteis


The firm celebrates 40 years of advocacy on behalf of individuals with a party at New Haven institution, the Union League Cafe.

Client Experiences

During a very difficult employment situation, I was referred to Joe Garrison. Recognizing the volatile and time sensitive nature of my employment situation, Mr. Garrison met with me immediately (on the weekend no less). He listened to the details of my case, was able to think through possible creative solutions to offer the employer, and was responsive to my myriad of questions. He understood my concerns about litigation versus settlement, and he worked to find the best resolution possible. I am grateful to have had his support at a very difficult time. —J.C., New Haven, CT

You will never meet a more knowledgeable and compassionate professional than Steve Fitzgerald. My employment situation was very complex, and Attorney Fitzgerald kept me focused while remaining extremely adept and “thinking on his feet.” Should the need present itself again, I would never seek anyone else’s counsel regarding employment issues. I cannot recommend him highly enough. — J.R., New Haven, CT

Nina Pirrotti provided outstanding legal advice and was trustworthy, dependable, and responsive. From the start, I was confident that her knowledge and experience would obtain favorable results. On a more personal note, I enjoyed working with her and her staff and felt I was included in every part of the process. The dedication, concern, and interest in me as a client was greatly appreciated, and Nina has earned my highest recommendation. — J.H., Monroe, CT

I recently found myself in need of a lawyer in handling a dispute with my former employer. I was fortunate to retain Josh Goodbaum as my legal counsel. His legal skills knowledge and professionalism shone through in every step of the process resulting in a very positive result. I highly recommend Josh if you find yourself in need of legal counsel. — S.R., Guilford, CT

When I go to a lawyer for advice, I am usually anxious, particularly the first meeting. Amanda DeMatteis was clear in describing my options and immediately set me at ease. Realistic assessment is important, and Amanda was clear as to how to set up the case and the direction she felt we should go. I had total confidence in her abilities and knew I was being well represented against a large corporation. More importantly, we were successful! —N.M., Haddam, CT

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