Elaine S. Amendola

Attorney Elaine S. Amendola is widely recognized as a pioneer for professional women. In 1962, she became one of the few women to graduate from the Yale University Law School.  Elaine was admitted to the Connecticut Bar Association in 1962 and has been a member in good standing for over fifty years.  Elaine graduated from Wellesley College in 1956 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and was employed in the structural engineering department at Sikorsky Aircraft programming their first computers prior to attending law school.

Elaine was admitted to the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut in 1963, the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court in 1967.  She was admitted to the United States Tax Court in 1974.

Elaine founded the law firm of Zeldes, Needle & Cooper in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1971 where she specialized in criminal and civil litigation.  Elaine was counsel in precedent setting cases before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and United States Supreme Court including U.S. v. Marchetti and U.S. v. Curcio.

In 1979, Elaine became one of the first attorneys to serve as a Guardian Ad Litem for a minor child in Connecticut when she was appointed by the federal court to serve in that capacity.  Throughout her practice she has been a dedicated advocate for children in contested custody cases serving as both an attorney for minor children and as a guardian ad litem.

Elaine is a strong advocate for gender equality; Elaine forced National Little League to allow girls to play, and invalidated the alimony to “wives only statute in Connecticut.  She was also a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers committee, which promoted same sex marriage nationally.

Elaine was lead counsel for the income bondholders in the decade long Reorganization of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad.

Elaine has been a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers since 1990, a past President of the Connecticut Chapter.   Elaine serves as a faculty member and panel speaker for the AAML at its annual seminars.  She is an active member of the American Bar Association, Family Law Section, Connecticut Bar Association, Family Law Section and Greater Bridgeport Bar Association, Family Law Section.  She served as a member of the Connecticut Task Force on Gender, Justice and the Courts and as a Fellow Member of the American Bar Foundation Lawyer to Lawyer Dispute Resolution Committee.  She is the Co-Author of “The Tax Payer Relief Act of 1997 and Related Provisions of Interest to Matrimonial Attorneys.”

Elaine regularly serves the Connecticut Superior Court as a Special Master in family cases including contested custody matters pending before the Regional Family Trial Docket.  Elaine has acted as a private mediator and binding arbitrator for family cases handling complex financial cases and contested custody matters.

Elaine has been awarded a Martindale-Hubbell AV rating, the highest rating awarded to attorneys for ethics and ability as rated by her peers.

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