David W. Griffin

“When managing high net worth or high conflict cases, there are always challenges. At the outset, I meet with clients to set expectations, discuss goals and convey their pivotal role in helping to achieve success.”

David Griffin Photo

David W. Griffin

Partner
  • Profile
  • Credentials
  • Associations
  • Associations & Recognitions

David W. Griffin is partner at Rutkin, Oldham & Griffin, L.L.C. and is one of Connecticut’s and the region’s most highly respected family trial lawyers. He has dedicated much of his career to representing clients in divorce, custody, relocation and income and asset distribution cases, including alimony and support issues arising from complicated compensation structures and high net worth families, and has represented some of the region’s and nation’s most high profile and wealthy individuals. He has extensive experience with business valuation issues across a variety of industries, including closely-held companies, private equity, hedge fund and related holdings. David regularly interacts with family office representatives throughout all stages of a case. David is an experienced litigator in cases involving complex finances, electronically stored information (ESI) and manipulation of data files and recordings. He has negotiated to settlement, and litigated when necessary, complex financial and custody cases, including provisions for confidentiality, in various courts throughout Connecticut.

David is a Fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and was named AAML National Fellow of the Year in 2016. He is very active in that organization on the national and state levels, chairing or co-chairing, among other committees, the National Test Committee and the National Continuing Legal Education Committee in two separate years, providing highly advanced and cutting edge educational programming to the top matrimonial lawyers throughout the country. He currently chairs the AAML Communications Initiative and serves on the Budget and Finance Committee, the Institute For Family Law Associates Training Committee, the Education/Programming Committee, and the Board of Editors of the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. David lectures and writes extensively on both financial and custody topics in the area of matrimonial and family law.

David also has significant experience in representing individuals in custody disputes and routinely works with mental health and substance abuse professionals. David also accepts appointments to protect the best interests of children by serving as a Guardian ad Litem in selective cases, having done so on numerous occasions over many years.

David is also highly experienced in International Family Law. He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) and has engaged in and litigated cases seeking and securing the return of children abducted across international borders and advancing claims both under the Hague Convention as well as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. He has negotiated international prenuptial agreements covering multiple jurisdictions, working with co-counsel and translators in a variety of foreign countries, and has represented clients in the defense of, and settlement of, cases involving the enforcement of international prenuptial agreements.

David is the former Chairman of the Boards of Directors and Trustees of The Waterbury Hospital and chaired or served on a variety of committees addressing budgets, finance, compensation and reimbursement issues. His experience in handling budgets and financial reports has proved beneficial to clients, for whom he effectively reviews sophisticated financial reporting documents, tax returns, balance sheets, income statements and other complicated financial forecasts and reports.

Prior to focusing exclusively on matrimonial law, David started his career at a commercial law firm in New Haven, Connecticut, served as general counsel of a large regional real estate development firm, and practiced matrimonial law for many years in a law firm with his father and brother.

David has historically donated significant time as a Special Master in the Stamford Judicial District and at the Connecticut Regional Family Trial Docket, the high-conflict custody court established by the State of Connecticut, helping families try to resolve their cases through mediation with a lawyer and a mental health professional, rather than by conflict. He comes from a family that is dedicated to the legal profession — his father was an attorney for more than 60 years and both of his brothers are attorneys. David became a licensed private pilot in 1985. He enjoys time away from the office hiking and trail running above treeline and working in his (sea level) woodworking shop.

Education
  • University of Houston Law Center, J.D. - 1983
  • Ithaca College, B.A. - 1979
  • State of Connecticut Guardian Ad Litem/Attorney for Minor Children Training Course 2010, Instructor

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut, 1983
  • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, 1984
Awards
  • Best Lawyers 2023 - Griffin
    Best Lawyers 2023 - Griffin

Presentations

“The Communications Dynamic: What We Can Learn if we Reverse-Engineer the Different Facets of the Communications ‘Prism’” American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, Co-speaker with various speakers, November, 2022

“Digital Evidence in Family Law Cases – What You Need to Know Before it “Bytes” You in the 41 73 73” AAML-BVR (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers – Business Valuation Resources) National Divorce Financial Conference, Las Vegas, NV, Co-speaker with Michael Meehan and Nicholas Himonidis, September, 2022

“Negotiation: Is it Group Yoga, Ballroom Dancing, Weightlifting or Wrestling? Or is it All of the Above?” American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, Co-speaker with Andrew Soshnick, November, 2021

"How A Family Lawyer Can Understand a Valuation Expert's Exercise of Judgment", Connecticut Bar Association, Family Law Section, Co-speaker with Kenneth Pia, New Haven, CT - November 2019

"Valuing Complex Organizational and Capital Structures in Marital Dissolutions" BVR-AAML National Divorce Financial Conference, Co-speaker with Neil Beaton, Las Vegas, NV - May 2019

"Healthcare Valuation & Divorce" BVR-AAML National Divorce Financial Conference, Co-speaker with Mark Dietrich, Las Vegas, NV - May 2019

"Professional Judgment and Valuations of Start-Ups: On Your Mark, Get Set and Go" BVR-AAML National Divorce Financial Conference, Co-speaker with Ron Seigneur, Las Vegas, NV - May 2019

"East Meets West - The Continental Divide: Venture Capital and Private Equity Interests From Silicon Valley to Silicon Alley" BVR-AAML National Divorce Financial Conference, Co-speaker with Barry Sziklay, Las Vegas, NV - May 2019

"25 Hot Tips in 75 Minutes" BVR-AAML National Divorce Financial Conference, Co-presenter with Planning Committee Members, Las Vegas, NV - May 2019

“Income Isn’t Just What’s in the Paycheck: Executive Compensation and Other Employee Benefits”: AAML Webinar, co-presenter with Charles Meyer, delves into the “alphabet soup” of the forms executive compensation can take and provides insights into the clues to watch for – December 2016

“2016 National Conference on Divorce”: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants/American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Co-Chair, New Orleans, LA – May 2016

“Hot Topics in Health Care Valuation: Reasonable Compensation, HIPAA and a Surprise or Two”: 2016 American Institute of Certified Public Accountants/American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers National Conference on Divorce, Co-speaker with Mark Dietrich, New Orleans, LA – May 2016

“Advanced Financial Issues”: Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Biennial Seminar, Program Coordinator, Moderator/Producer, Quinnipiac University School of Law, North Haven, CT – April 2016

Practice Tip Video – Connecticut Bar Association on how to prosecute an Earning Capacity Case

“Show Me the Money! Uncovering Fraud and Tracing Offshore Assets”: AAML Midyear Meeting, Program Co-Coordinator, Nassau, Bahamas – March 2016

“How Lawyers Can Use Social Media to Make It Rain”: AAML Midyear Meeting, Program Coordinator, Nassau, Bahamas – March 2016

“Discovering Unreported Foreign Assets in a Divorce. What Do I Do Now?”: AAML Midyear Meeting, Program Coordinator, Nassau, Bahamas – March 2016

“A Question of Balance – Accidental Success”: AAML Midyear Meeting, Program Coordinator, Nassau, Nassau, Bahamas – March 2016

“Fast and Furious Two Minute Drill: 25 Hot Valuation and Financial Tips”: AAML Midyear Meeting, Program Coordinator, Nassau, Bahamas – March 2016

“Mediating a Custody Case”: Association of Family and Conciliation Courts/American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers 2015 Conference on Advanced Issues in Child Custody: Evaluation, Litigation and Settlement, Discussion Leader, Washington, DC – October 2015

Fairfield County Bar Association Custody/Psychology Seminar with Linda Smith and Eric Frazer

“Business Valuation and Use of Online Valuation Calculators – Do They Survive a Daubert Challenge?”: Co-Presenter with Ron Seigneur, Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Chicago, IL – November 2014

“Earning Capacity and Imputing Income for Child Support Calculations: A Survey of Law and Outline of Practice Tips”: Published in the Summer of 2014 in the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, this comprehensive article leads sophisticated practitioners (and judges) through the complicated body of law on how to litigate an earning capacity case – that is – a case when one parent fails or refuses to earn income up to the full amount they are capable of earning

“Data Acquisition and Digital Forensics (What Every Lawyer Should Know)”, New York, NY: Co-Presenter with Collin Bentley, USA-Canada Chapter Meeting of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, on the topic of how to collect and preserve digital data from iPhones, iPads, computers and other digital devices, New York, NY – May 2014

“Valuation, Protection and Treatment of an Owner’s Dilutable Interest in a Rapidly Growing Business”: Presenter, AICPA-AAML National Conference on Divorce on the complex topic of valuations of business interests subject to dilution, early-stage investment conversion and uncertain revenues: Co-Presenter with Ron Seigneur, Las Vegas, NV – April 2014

“App Technology for Lawyers” Presenter, Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Advanced Technology Seminar, Quinnipiac University School of Law, New Britain, CT – April 2014

“Earning Capacity and Imputing Income for Child Support Calculations”: Presenter, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, New England Family Law Symposium, Boston, MA – April 2013

State of Connecticut Judicial Branch: Faculty member of the official Judicial Branch guardian ad litem training course, on the topics of "What to Expect at the Regional Family Trial Docket" and "How to Encourage and Assist Parents in Reaching Agreement in the Best Interests of the Minor Children" – June, 2012

“It's Nearly Always About the House” Published in the Spring 2010 issue of the American Bar Association Section of Family Law’s publication Family Advocate and concerning real estate issues in the context of divorce

Mr. Griffin has also taught continuing legal education seminars on The Hague Convention, Child Custody and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

Professional Associations and Recognitions

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

Fellow, 2013 – Present

National Fellow of the Year 2016

Chair, Communications Initiative 2021-Present

Member, Budget and Finance Committee - Current

Member, Education and Programming Committee – Current

Member, Institute For Family Law Associates Training Committee – Current

Member, Editorial Board, Journal of the American Academy Matrimonial Lawyers 2020-Present

Member, Planning Committee for 2019 BVR-AAML National Divorce Financial Conference

Co-Chair of the 2018 National CLE Committee

Co-Chair of the National Test Committee, 2015 – 2016

Co-Chair of the 2016 AAML/AICPA National Divorce Conference Planning Committee

Co-Chair of the 2016 National CLE Committee

Co-Vice Chair of the 2016 Sponsorship Committee

Member, Council of Committee Chairs

Former Member of the AAML/AFCC Conference Joint Planning Committee

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Foundation

Lifetime Member

Member – Billable Hour Donation Club

Board of Directors 2016 – 2021

International Academy of Family Lawyers

Fellow, 2013 – Present

Connecticut Chapter - American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

Fellow, 2013 – Present

Board Secretary and Member, Board of Managers

President, 2021 - 2022

State of Connecticut Commission on Child Support Guidelines

Member, 2011 – 2015

Co-Chair, 2014 – 2015

Connecticut Bar Association

Member, Family Law Section

Member, Executive Committee of the Family Law Section - Current

Family Law Section Chair, 2015 – 2016

Section Vice-Chair, 2014 – 2015

CLE Chair, 2013 – 2014

Section Secretary, 2012 – 2013

Section Treasurer, 2011 - 2012

Treasurer, Family Law Section 2011 – 2012

Member, Board of Editors, Connecticut Family Lawyer 2011 – 2014

Special Master

Connecticut Regional Family Trial Docket

Stamford Judicial District

State of Connecticut Guardian Ad Litem/Attorney for Minor Children Training Course

Instructor, 2009

Other Bar Associations

American Bar Association - Member, Family Law Section

Greenwich Bar Association

Fairfield County Bar Association

Waterbury Bar Association - Former Chair, Family Law Section

Honors and Recognitions

Connecticut Magazine

Top Lawyers in Connecticut 2011 – Present

“Top 50 Lawyers in Connecticut” (all practice areas) 2018 - Present

  • 5 consecutive years

Super Lawyers® 2011 – Present

Ten Leaders of Matrimonial and Divorce Law 2011 – Present

Best Lawyers® 2013 - Present

The Wall Street Journal

New England Best Lawyers 2015 - Present

The Wall Street Journal

Best Lawyers in New York Metro 2017 - Present

Community Service and Professional Experience

The Waterbury Hospital

Chair, Board of Directors and Board of Trustees 2009–2010

Member or Chair: Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Audit Committee, Governance and Nominating Committee, Executive Compensation Committee, CEO Search Committee, and Board liaison to Medical Staff Executive Committee (1998 – 2010)

Member, Waterbury Hospital Network Affiliation/Merger Task Force

Corporate Secretary of Network and Hospital corporations.