Our Attorneys

Molly Ackerly

Mary M. “Molly” Ackerly, Partner

Practice Areas:

  • Estate & Trust Administration
  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Law
  • Real Estate
  • Taxation

Professional Experience:
Molly has been a partner of the firm of Ackerly Brown since the firm was founded in 2001, having previously been associated with other Connecticut firms since her admission to the Connecticut Bar in 1977.

Professional Associations:
Molly was elected to the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel in 1995 , and currently serves on the Elder Law Committee. She is also a member of the American Bar Association and the Connecticut Bar Association, where she is a long-standing member of Executive Committee of the Estates and Probate Section.

She was appointed by the governor as a Connecticut delegate to Uniform Law Commission in 2013; she served on the drafting committee for the Uniform Trust Decanting Act (approved by the commission in 2015), and is currently serving on drafting committees for the Revised Principal and Income Act, the Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act, and the Parentage Act.

Other Professional Activities:
Molly served as a Probate Judge for the district of Norfolk from 1987 through 1994. While acting as Probate Judge, she served on the Executive Committee of the Connecticut Probate Assembly, and was the probate judge member of the Council on Probate Judicial Conduct from 1989 through 1994.

She serves on the special committee appointed by the Probate Court Administrator, to draft a comprehensive update of the Probate Practice Book, setting forth uniform rules of practice and procedure in the courts of probate. These rules were initially adopted by the Connecticut Supreme Court in November, 2012, and became effective on July 1, 2013. The rules were revised, effective in 2015, and the committee is currently working to consider additional revised.

Molly also served on the Probate Advisory Committee, Connecticut Law Revision Commission, until the commission was disbanded in 2004.

Civic Organizations:
Trustee, The Chore Service, Sharon, Connecticut
Chair, Ad Hoc Committee for “City Meadow” appointed by Norfolk Board of Selectmen
Alternate Member, Norfolk Conservation Commission
Former Trustee, CT Chapter of The Nature Conservancy; Norfolk Land Trust; Norfolk Library

Education:
Yale Law School, New Haven, CT
(J.D. 1977)

Barnard College, New York, NY
(B.A., 1970, magna cum laude)

Resident in Litchfield Office
Phone: (860) 567-0828

Louise Brown

Louise F. Brown, Partner

Practice Areas:

  • Real Estate
  • Estate & Trust Administration
  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Law

Professional Experience:
Louise has been a partner of the firm of Ackerly Brown since the firm was founded in 2001, having previously been associated with its predecessor firms since her admission to the Connecticut Bar in 1973.

Professional Associations:
Louise is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association and the Litchfield County Bar Association, for which she has served as treasurer and president. She also served as a member of the Litchfield Standing Committee on Recommendations to the Bar for many years.

Civic Organizations:
Louise has served on the Boards of Directors or Trustees of numerous local non-profit organizations including: The Hotchkiss Library of Sharon, Women’s Support Services, Indian Mountain School, Town Hill School, Housatonic Mental Health Center, and the Cornwall Conservation Trust.

She is a past member of the Ethics Committee of the Sharon Hospital and a member of the Advisory Board of the Martha Boschen Porter Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Association.

Education:
Boston University School of Law, Boston MA
(J.D. 1972 cum laude)

Columbia University, New York, NY
(M.A. 1966)

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
(A.B. 1965 cum laude)

Resident in the Sharon Office
Phone: (860) 364-5531

J. Michael Sconyers

J. Michael Sconyers, Partner

Practice Areas:

  • Family Law, including certification to serve as Guardian Ad Litem
  • Civil Litigation
  • Probate Litigation
  • General Civil Practice
  • Real Estate and Land Use Law
  • Criminal Law

Professional Experience:
Michael has been a partner of the firm of Ackerly Brown since the firm was founded in 2001, having previously been associated with other Connecticut firms since his admission to the Connecticut Bar in 1981. Prior to 1981, Michael practiced in Virginia and Washington, D.C. and was a Judge Advocate in the United States Marine Corps.
In addition to being admitted to practice in Connecticut, Washington D.C. and Virginia, Michael is also admitted in the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Military Appeals, and the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Professional Affiliations:
In addition to being a member of the Litchfield County Bar Association and the Connecticut Bar Association, Michael has long served the Litchfield County area at the Connecticut Bar Association as its representative in the House of Delegates and on the Board of Governors. He serves as a Family Master at both the Litchfield Superior Court and the Regional Family Trial Docket. He also serves as an Attorney Trial Referee, Attorney Fact Finder, and Attorney Arbitrator in the Litchfield Judicial District.

Civic Organizations:
Chairman, Norfolk Board of Finance
Donor, National Bone Marrow Registry
Donor, American Red Cross

Education:
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
(J.D., 1976)

Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
(B.A., 1973, Summa Cum Laude)

Military Experience:
USMCR (Ret) LtCol Active Duty 1965-1971; 1975 to 1978
Retired as Lieutenant Colonel in 1990 after 20 years of active and reserve service
Awarded Bronze Star with Combat V, Strike/Flight Medal (38)
Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnamese Air Cross of Gallantry,
National Defense Medal, and numerous unit awards and citations
Designated Naval Aviator 1967

Resident in the Bantam Office
(860) 567-0828

Charles C. Vail

Charles C. Vail, Partner

Practice Areas:

  • Estate & Trust Administration
  • Estate Planning
  • Charitable Organization Law
  • Planning and Zoning Law

Professional Experience:
Charlie joined firm of Ackerly Brown in 2015, having previously been a partner with the Connecticut law firms Vail & Vail, LLP and Warner, Vail & Brown, Attorneys, beginning in 1972. From 1983 through 2001, Charlie served as General Counsel, head of Human Resources and finally the Chief Administrative Officer for Benjamin Moore & Co., the nationally prominent paint company. He also was a member of its Board of Directors for many years, a member of its Executive Committee, Chair of its Pension Investment Committee, managing a $150 million pension plan, and Trustee of The Benjamin Moore Education Foundation. Prior to his retirement from Benjamin Moore, Charlie was a member of the negotiating team that guided the sale of the company to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Professional Associations:
He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Connecticut Bar Association, and the Litchfield County Bar Association and one of its past Presidents.

Other Professional Activities:
Charlie was elected Probate Judge for the district of the Northwest Corner from 2007 to 2011. While serving as Probate Judge, he worked on a committee to establish and implement a merit wage and salary program for all personnel of Probate Courts statewide. He also worked on Probate Court system consolidation in 2010.

While with Benjamin Moore, he was the company representative to the Conference Board.

Civic Organizations:
Trustee, The Sharon Playhouse, Sharon, Connecticut
Former Trustee, Salisbury Association Land Trust
Past Member, Planning & Zoning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals, Town of Salisbury, CT
Former Chair of the Sewer and Water Commission, Sharon
Past Trustee, North West Center for Mental Health, Lakeville
Former Trustee, Foundation of the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey

Education:
American University Law School, Washington D.C.
(J.D., 1969)

Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA
(A.B., 1966)

Professional Certifications:
Pension Management, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Finance, Columbia University Graduate School of Business
Human Resources Strategy, Harvard University Graduate School of Business

Resident in the Sharon Office
Phone: (860) 364-5531

Ruth Nadeau Dwyer

Ruth Nadeau Dwyer, Senior Associate Attorney

Practice Areas:

  • Family Law, including certification to serve as Guardian Ad Litem
  • Civil Litigation
  • Probate Litigation
  • General Civil Practice

Professional Experience:
Ruth graduated from William & Mary School of Law and was admitted to practice in the State of Connecticut in 2004. After completing a year-long legal research clerkship with the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, she joined Ackerly Brown LLP as a litigation associate. Ruth focuses her practice on all aspects of family law (including mediation, litigation, and GAL work), as well as civil and probate litigation. In 2016, she was appointed by the Judges of the Superior Court to the Litchfield Standing Committee on Recommendations to the Bar and named Chairperson.

Professional Associations:
In addition to being a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, including the Family Law Section, since 2005, Ruth also served on the CBA Nominating Committee in 2015 and on the CBA Council of Bar Presidents from 2012-2014.

Since 2007, Ruth has held multiple offices and positions within the Litchfield County Bar Association. She was the Chair of the Law Day Committee from 2007-2014 and also held every officer position except treasurer, including serving as the second youngest President of the Litchfield County Bar Association from 2012-2014. She is currently serving in an advisory capacity as the Past President as well as chairing two committees for the organization, namely the Continuing Legal Education Committee and the Scholarship Committee. In addition to her work with the LCBA, Ruth has been on the Executive Board of the Litchfield County Association of Women Attorneys since 2007.

Civic Organizations:
Secretary, ARC of Litchfield County (2013-2017)
Board of Directors, ARC of Litchfield County (2012-present)
Member, Northwest Chamber of Commerce

Recognitions & Publications:
Named 2012 New Leader in the Law by the Connecticut Law Tribune
Published Article in Connecticut Lawyer Magazine, February-March 2016, entitled “History Comes Alive”

Education:
College of William & Mary School of Law, Williamsburg, Virginia
(J.D. 2004)

Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut
(B.A. 2001, magna cum laude)

Resident in the Bantam Office
(860) 567-0828

Emily D. Vail

Emily D. Vail, Associate Attorney

Practice Areas:

  • Estate & Trust Administration
  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Law
  • Real Estate & Land Use Law

Professional Experience:
Emily has been an associate of the firm of Ackerly Brown since 2015, having previously been associated with Vail & Vail, LLP. Prior to moving back to the Northwest Corner, Emily practiced environmental law in New York, New Jersey and Southern Connecticut. Currently, Emily primarily focuses her practice on estate planning, real estate and land use planning.

Professional Associations:
Emily is a member of the American Bar Association, the Connecticut Bar Association, and the Litchfield County Bar Association. She is licensed to practice in New York, New Jersey, as well as Connecticut.

Civic Organizations:
Vice Chair, Board of Directors, Women’s Support Services, Sharon, CT
Treasurer, Board of Directors, SOAR Educational Enrichment Inc., Salisbury, CT
Treasurer, Board of Directors, Salisbury Housing Committee, Salisbury, CT
Chair, Parks and Forest Commission, Salisbury, CT

Education:
Pace Law School, White Plains, New York
(J.D., 2004, Cum Laude with a certificate in Environmental Law)

Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
(B.A., 1997)

Resident in the Sharon Office
Phone: (860) 364-5531

Rebekah M. Burgio

Rebekah M. Burgio, Associate Attorney

Practice Areas:

  • Estate & Trust Administration
  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Law
  • Taxation

Professional Experience:
Rebekah graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Law and was admitted to practice in the State of Connecticut in 2006. Prior to joining Ackerly Brown LLP, she was an associate at Pullman & Comley, LLC, from 2007 to 2017. From 2006 to 2007, Rebekah was a staff attorney at the West Hartford Probate Court.
Rebekah focuses her practice on Trusts and Estates matters, including Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Trust Administration, and Probate Litigation.

Professional Associations:
Rebekah has been a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, including the Estates and Probate Section, since 2006. She is also a member of the Greater Bridgeport Bar Association, and served as Co-Chair of the Estate Planning/Probate and Elder Law Committee from 2010 to 2017, a member of the Board of Directors from 2015 to 2017 and a member of the Nominating Committee from 2015 to 2017.

Rebekah is also a member of the American Bar Association, Fairfield County Bar Association, and Litchfield County Bar Association.

Civic Organizations:
Junior League of Eastern Fairfield County 2012-2017 (Board of Directors 2015-2017; Assistant Treasurer 2015-2016; Treasurer 2016-2017)

Recognitions:
Named 2015 New Leader in the Law by the Connecticut Law Tribune

Education:
University of Connecticut School of Law, Hartford, Connecticut (J.D. 2006), Certificate in Taxation

University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
(B.A., 2001, summa cum laude)

Resident in the Litchfield Office
Phone: (860) 567-0828