Donna Nelson Heller Nominated to the Connecticut Superior Court

January 30, 2012

STAMFORD, CT – Donna Nelson Heller, a senior member of Finn Dixon & Herling’s Commercial Litigation group, is one of the six attorneys Governor Dannel P. Malloy nominated on January 19, 2012 to serve as judges on the Connecticut Superior Court.   A litigation partner since 1990, Ms. Heller has extensive commercial litigation experience, particularly in cases involving complex contract disputes, corporate governance issues, business torts, unfair trade practices and financial fraud. She has been recognized as a Connecticut Super Lawyer in the area of business litigation each year since 2007.

Ms. Heller is responsible for Finn Dixon & Herling’s employment litigation practice. She has defended employers against claims ranging from employment discrimination to violation of wage and hour laws. She has represented clients in actions seeking injunctive relief to enforce restrictive covenants or to protect trade secrets. Ms. Heller has litigated employment cases in the state and federal courts and before the EEOC and other administrative agencies. She has also represented clients in Department of Labor investigations and conducted state-mandated sexual harassment training sessions.

Ms. Heller has also represented clients in workouts, adversary proceedings and foreclosure actions, generally from the creditors’ perspective. In addition to her litigation practice in state and federal trial and appellate courts, Ms. Heller has significant experience in arbitration, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Ms. Heller is admitted to the Connecticut Bar and the New York Bar.  She is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the District of Connecticut, the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the United States Tax Court.

Ms. Heller's professional and civic activities reflect her commitment to the practice of law and the greater community. She has served as an attorney trial referee in the Connecticut Superior Court since 1998.  She is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association's Professional Ethics Committee. Ms. Heller is currently the Secretary of the Fairfield County Bar Association, having served as the Association's Treasurer from 2010 to 2011 and as a director since 2008.  She was the President of the Fairfield County Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Fairfield County Bar Association, from 2008 to 2010. She has been a member of the Foundation's Board since its formation in 2007.   Ms. Heller is also an active member of the Raymond E. Baldwin Chapter of the American Inns of Court, where she served as a member of the Executive Committee from 2006 to 2011.

In 2010, Ms. Heller was elected President of the Stamford Center for the Arts, after serving on its Board and its Advisory Council. She was an active member of the Naval Academy Parents Club of Connecticut for several years, serving as Co-President from 2006 to 2007. With a personal interest in the legal needs of veterans, active-duty military and their families, Ms. Heller became certified by the Veterans Administration in 2010 to advocate on behalf of veterans in benefits proceedings.

Ms. Heller received her J.D. cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and an M.B.A., with Distinction, from the University’s Wharton Graduate Division, in 1980.  She was an Arthur Littleton Legal Writing Fellow from 1979 to 1980.  Ms. Heller graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1976, receiving her A.B. magna cum laude, with Honors in her major of Fine Arts.

Ms. Heller resides in Riverside, Connecticut, with her husband Norman S. Heller, a partner in the New York office of Blank Rome LLP and the head of Blank Rome’s matrimonial practice group.  The Hellers have two sons.  Jake Heller lives in Washington, D.C., where he is the Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff for the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.  Lieutenant Shane Heller is a United States Navy pilot, flying the P-3 Orion.  LT Heller recently returned from deployment to Djibouti and Sigonella, Sicily, where he flew in support of the NATO mission in Libya.  He and his wife Lauren Heller live in Jacksonville, Florida. 

Prior to joining Finn Dixon & Herling as a litigation partner, Ms. Heller was a litigation associate with the firm of Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts, now known as Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, in its New York and Stamford offices.

About Finn Dixon & Herling

Stamford, Connecticut-based Finn Dixon & Herling LLP is a law firm with extensive experience providing corporate, transactional, financing, securities, bankruptcy, investment management and litigation counsel.  The firm’s clients include publicly traded companies, privately-held companies, substantial private equity and venture capital groups, banks and financial institutions, hedge funds, investment advisers, third party marketers, broker-dealers, entrepreneurs, start-up ventures and governmental entities.  The firm can be found online at  Finn Dixon & Herling LLP was named by Chambers USA 2011 to its top tier, “Band 1”, for Corporate / M&A law firms in Connecticut for the eighth straight year.