Practicing Pure Law Is a Passion
Day Pitney Partner Elizabeth Retersdorf loves to practice what she calls "pure law"—the complicated analysis of what the law is, or should be, and how it applies in any given situation. Given that she is a self-described "Excel junkie," it makes sense that Elizabeth enjoys a practice that puts her analytical mind to work for clients.
Elizabeth represents insurance and reinsurance clients in commercial litigation. She also advises insurers and others in the insurance industry on regulatory issues. She loves the combination of taking rules and logic and applying a dose of creativity to successfully problem-solve and advocate for clients in unique situations.
"The real benefit of being in the insurance and reinsurance group," Elizabeth says, "is the sophisticated clients I get to work with day in and day out."
Empower Retirement's Brockett Hudson first began working with Elizabeth in the summer of 2021, when his company hired Day Pitney to provide legal guidance on the acquisition of a Connecticut-based insurance company. Because his company was from out of state, Brockett said Elizabeth's strong relationships with Connecticut's insurance regulators were invaluable during the transaction. "Elizabeth helped Empower create its own connections, which will be important moving forward," he notes.
"Elizabeth is better than anyone else I've ever worked with in this manner," Brockett adds. "She brings together her extensive, detailed and developed-through-practice knowledge of the law, statutes and regulators with a practical perspective to really help us achieve our goals."
Elizabeth grew up in upstate New York. Her father is a recently retired family physician and her mother was a stay-at-home mom with a significant presence in the community through local civic boards. Her parents were her biggest role models. They taught her to do what she can for the world, make the most of her opportunities and value success in whatever she chooses to do. With her own children, ages 6 and 4, Elizabeth tries to serve as a similar type of role model.
As a math and philosophy major, Elizabeth found her way to law through the discovery of her love of rules, logic and persuasive writing at Rice University in Houston. When she was accepted to Yale Law School, she jumped at the chance to return to the East Coast. There, she honed her analytical skills. An "accounting for lawyers" class introduced her to her love of Excel—a love that has proven beneficial to clients in identifying trends in claims data, performing insurance allocation analyses, and even dissecting privilege logs and preparing voluminous discovery responses.
But Elizabeth's real legal education came from practicing with great attorneys. She was drawn to Day Pitney by its reputation of being one of the premier law firms in Connecticut. "It was the obvious choice if I wanted to be practicing good law," she says.
One of her first experiences after joining the firm confirmed she made the right choice. "I was on a client call with a partner discussing a case when I had a thought. I put us on mute and told the partner. She took us off mute and asked me to share the idea with the client rather than sharing it herself," she recounts. "That defined Day Pitney for me—the firm puts value on ensuring that its associates develop the skills and have the experiences necessary to turn them into strong lawyers. Clients have, and can see that they have, a depth of bench supporting their matters."
Elizabeth has found wonderful mentors in all the partners she has worked with, all of whom recognize the distinct value each individual brings to the firm and its clients. Elizabeth is excited to join the ranks of the partners who helped her become the attorney she is today; further the firm's commitment to great client service, diversity and inclusion; and mentor the next generation of attorneys.
INSURANCE AND REINSURANCE
Yale Law School, J.D.
Rice University, B.A., summa cum laude