Current Issues in the Workers’ Compensation System – A10

The Workplace Track
Workers’ Compensation Section

Session A: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.  

About the Program
This program will provide an informative annual review of workers’ compensation case law, a legislative update, and an address by the agency chairman on current issues facing the workers’ compensation system. 

 You Will Learn

      • The latest workers’ compensation case law from decisions rendered by the Compensation Review Board and Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts
      • About recent legislative developments
      • About issues of interests from the perspective of the chairman 


Francis “Bud” X. Drapeau, Leighton Katz & Drapeau, Vernon

Francis “Bud” X. Drapeau is a partner in the firm of Leighton, Katz & Drapeau with a principal office in Vernon.  His practice consists primarily of representing claimants in the workers’ compensation forum and on appeal.  He is currently chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the CBA.  Attorney Drapeau is a Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist.  He has lectured on various workers’ compensation topics for both the Connecticut Bar Association and the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association. 

Mr. Drapeau received his B.A. degree from Fairfield University and his Juris Doctorate from Western New England College School of Law.

He was admitted to practice in the State of Connecticut in 1991. He has been a contributor in both the Practice Tips and Point-Counterpoint sections of the Compensation Quarterly.

He is a member of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, and the Tolland County Bar Association of which he is past President.  For fourteen years he sat on the Examining Committee for Board Certification as a Workers’ Compensation Specialist.


Commissioner Stephen M. Morelli, Chairman, State of Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission, Hartford 

Chairman Stephen Morelli received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Connecticut in 1983 and his law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1986. He is admitted to the practice of law in both Connecticut’s and California’s State and Federal Courts. 

After graduating from law school he entered the Peace Corps as an ESL instructor in Thailand.  Subsequent to that service he was admitted to practice law in California and worked for a private practice in California.  In 1995 he returned to Connecticut, working in private practice, until his appointment as a Workers’ Compensation Commissioner, in August of 2012.  Chairman Morelli has also served four terms on the Berlin Town Council and three terms as Deputy Mayor of the Town of Berlin.   While his private practice in Connecticut was varied, the majority of Chairman Morelli’s experience was in the area of employment law.  Prior to beginning his current role as the Workers’ Compensation Commission Chairman in May 2018, Chairman Morelli served in the New Britain, Norwich, Hartford and Waterbury District Offices. 

John P. Clarkson, Law Offices of Cynthia M. Garraty, Hartford 

Jack Clarkson is the Workers’ Compensation Practice Group Leader at the Law Offices of Dean E. Weddal, the Travelers Staff Counsel office in Hartford. He received the BA in Religion and Greek from Connecticut College in 1976 and a JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1979. Attorney Clarkson stayed on at the law school for a one-year appointment as a Legal Writing and Moot court instructor from 1979 to 1980 after which he served as counsel to the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commissioner from 1980 to 1981. He joined his present firm, then known as the Law Offices of Geoffrey Naab, in 1981, where he handled a mixed caseload including auto, property, civil rights, product liability, uninsured motorist, subrogation and workers’ compensation claims in state and federal courts and administrative agencies at all levels. Attorney Clarkson left the firm in 1991 to join the Middletown firm of Poliner, Poliner & Antin, where he represented personal injury plaintiffs and workers’ compensation claimants for eight years. In 1999 he returned to Travelers to take his present position as Workers’ Compensation Practice Group leader. Attorney Clarkson has published articles in the Connecticut Law Review, Connecticut Bar Journal and the Compensation Quarterly and is a speaker on workers’ compensation issues at continuing legal education and insurance and human resources trade group seminars.  

Lucas D. Strunk, Strunk Dodge Aiken Zovas LLC, Rocky Hill

Lucas D. Strunk, a 1979 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, is a partner in the firm Strunk Dodge Aiken Zovas, LLC of Rocky Hill, Connecticut.  Attorney Strunk focuses on the defense of workers’ compensation matters.  A graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law, he was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1982.

Attorney Strunk is a member of the American Bar Association and the Mashantucket Pequot Bar Association.  He is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association and serves on the executive committee of the Workers’ Compensation Section.  He is currently the Committee’s Legislative Liaison.  Attorney Strunk has argued successfully on numerous occasions before the State’s Supreme and Appellate Courts.

Attorney Strunk also practices under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and is admitted to practice in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  He is further authorized to practice before the United States Supreme Court.

Attorney Strunk has contributed articles to the Workers’ Compensation Quarterly and has spoken on issues associated with workers’ compensation at various seminars, including those sponsored by the Connecticut Bar Association.  He regularly presents to clients on topical issues associated with the substance and procedures of the workers’ compensation system.

Attorney Strunk is certified by the Connecticut Bar Association as a specialist in Workers’ Compensation.  He has an AV preeminent rating by Martindale Hubbell and has been named to the peer nominated Best Lawyers and New England Super Lawyers.  Attorney Strunk is a fellow in the National College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers and is a contributing author to the continuing Connecticut Practice Series, “Workers’ Compensation Law.” (Thomson-West 2008).


CLE Credit: 2.0 Hours (CT: 2.0 General; NY: 2.0 AOP)