McKeen Law Firm To Sponsor The 2016 Race To Fill The Pantry

McKeen Law Firm’s mission is to help heal both our clients and improve our community. We’re trial lawyers who are committed to community.

Since 2013, we have been the naming sponsor of Glastonbury River Runner’s Race to Fill The Pantry. The event has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the local food bank. We have donated a number of our sponsorship race entries to Achilles CT athletes.  We are very proud to sponsor this wonderful race.

We are pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring the 2016 Race To Fill the Pantry. See you in November.

Announcement To Come In Farren v. Farren

Our client J. Michael Farren authorized us to speak to the Connecticut Law Tribune regarding the Appellate Court’s recent rulings in the civil case. Mr. Farren was involuntarily committed at the Institute of Living during the duration of his civil trial. We anticipate speaking with the Law Tribune shortly.

From last week’s Connecticut Law Tribune:

“The plaintiff and her counsel certainly benefitted from being unopposed at the proceedings. Conversely, the defendant lost nearly four times his life earnings without having the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses or present a defense,” wrote Allison McKeen. “The plaintiff may attempt to justify the trial court’s decision to proceed while the defendant was being held at the [Institute of Living] and physically restrained from attending trial, but this is not a circumstance in which the trial court was entitled to exercise judgment. A trial court has a great deal of discretion when conducting trial, but it never has the discretion to deprive a party of property without due process of law.”

On appeal, Farren asked the judges to adopt a rule stating that involuntary commitment is reasonable grounds to not be present for trial.

Read more:

We have received a number of press inquiries surrounding this case. However, the Connecticut Law Tribune is the only publication we will be making comments to at this time.

Dog Bite Verdict


CDC Dog Bite Prevention

On August 26, 2015, Ryan McKeen secured a dog bite verdict of $125,000 for a client who was bitten in the face by a dog. The verdict came after a one witness trial that lasted under an hour. The verdict was in Hartford Superior Court. Prior to trial, the pretrial judge believed the value of the case to be approximately $20,000. The client had 4 doctor’s visits and suffered facial scarring.

If you or someone you love was bitten by a dog, please contact Ryan McKeen at (860) 471-8333. We can help. Tell us your story.

The Stress of Practicing Law As Documented By Fitbit

Law is a stressful profession. Lawyers take on the most severe problems of their clients.

The two photos in this post show the strain of practice. They are screen shots from my fitbit. The first picture shows my heart rate at 142 beats per minute when I began my oral argument before the appellate court. I was standing still. A heart rate of 142 beats per minute is one that I acheive while running.


My heart rate at the beginning of oral argument.


The second picture charts my sleep at night. The fitbit shows that I awoke at 2:18 am. That is wrong. I was up at 1:48 am (the second to last blue line) but was just lying in bed. At 2:18 I decided that going back to sleep was not happening. I couldn’t sleep because I was replaying the argument in my head. Thinking of all of the questions. All of my answers. All I said. And answers that I wish I had thought of standing before the court.




Up early trying to process the argument.

This summer, I ditched my Moto 360 in favor of a fitbit because I needed to prioritize my health over incoming messages. It is a happy change for me. But these two pictures remind me of the physical stress the legal profession puts on me.

3 Reasons You Need A Law Firm Juris Number

Going solo?

You have a personal juris number. It’s perfectly fine. I mean, it works. You can file appearances, sign pleadings, and appear in court. It does all of the things you need it to do. cropped-DSCN0938.jpg

One of the rules of building your own practice is to build for success. If something is worth doing it is worth doing right – from day 1.

Here are 3 reasons you need a law firm juris number:

Read more

10 Rapid Fire Answers About Opening Your Own Law Practice

Here are 10 rapid fire answers about opening your own law practice:

1. What websites should I read? 

In no particular order: Lawyerist, Solo Practice University, Above the Law’s Small Firm Page.

2. Do I need an iPad?


3. What kind of scanner should I buy?


4. Where should I locate my office?

Near your clients or the clients you want.

5. When should I hire someone?

When doing so makes you money.

6. What should I ask my accountant?

Read more

What I’m Working On

This is a post only my Mom will care about. And maybe that’s stretching it.

First, I’m trying to reduce my caseload temporarily. I’m referring more things out. I’m very busy with what’s on my plate in terms of cases. More importantly, I’m working diligently to further improve systems and processes in the firm. I’m implementing some exciting new technology (really several new technologies) to improve the level of service we are able to provide our clients. Really exciting stuff and more to come on this.

We’ve also developed a column for Solo Practice University. The column is being co-written by me and Allison. It will debut this fall. Posts will be published on a monthly basis. We’re thrilled about this.

I am also working on a book. I’ve been working on this book for quite some time in my head. Recently, I finally nailed the concept. Fingers are getting put to keyboard and the ball is rolling. No idea on when it will be published. The book will fill what I think is a need in the literature on starting a law firm.

Along the same lines, expect more multimedia content in the future from this site. I also expect my work to be featured on more national outlets in the near future.

Finally, our office is now fully rented. I am so excited about the lawyer who has joined the collaborative. I think this person is a fantastic fit. But this is not my announcement to make.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you. I’ll stop navel gazing.

10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Going Solo

Deciding to hang your shingle is tough.

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself before going solo:

1. Am I better off working for someone else? Some very good lawyers benefit from the corporate structure of a firm and would be lost without it for a variety of reasons including support, money, and things being done for you.

2. Can I be my own boss? Being your own boss is hard. Sometimes you’ll be too hard on yourself. Other times not hard enough. 

3. Where am I going to get clients? Clients are the lifeblood of any practice.

4. What is my support system? Oh you’ll need help. Who in your family or circle of friends will be there to support your decision?

5.  Do I have enough money? Surviving the first year is tough. Undercapitalization will lead to loads of stress and bad decision making.

6. Does a partnership make sense? One the plus side having a partner feels like the safer decision and it can be. Having someone else to split the work with is great. However, entering into the “wrong” partnership can take a toll on your business and well being.

7. Is my spouse on board? Your spouse is your partner in this. Is she comfortable with going without a paycheck? Does she understand the risks/rewards?

8. What can I outsource? I built my firm’s entire back office, website, and social media presence. I knew I could do those things. Setting up quickbooks, figuring out taxes – I hired an accountant.

9. Am I prepared? You shouldn’t just go from idea to shingle. You should study, execute, and then hang your shingle. Follow good advice.

10. How am I going to deal with success? You will succeed. What’s your plan for dealing with it?


Ryan McKeen is A Connecticut Attorney he can be reached at (860) 471-8333