Todd A. Bussert
Practice Areas and Experience
Todd Bussert is a committed advocate who practices in the areas of federal criminal defense, Connecticut criminal defense, criminal appeals and post-conviction matters, federal sentencing and federal Bureau of Prisons issues. He has represented individuals at the trial level charged with major felony offenses including mail and wire fraud, capital felony murder, racketeering (RICO), violent crimes in aid of racketeering (VCAR), narcotics trafficking, possession of child pornography, and sexual assault, as well as other serious felonies and misdemeanors. Todd has briefed and argued direct appeals before the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second and Sixth Circuits as well as before the Connecticut Supreme Court and the Connecticut Appellate Court. He has also been involved in several hundred state and federal sentencings, either as lead counsel or as a consultant. And he has more than 15 years’ experience addressing issues related to the federal Bureau of Prisons.
Professional Experience Outside Frost | Bussert
After graduating from law school, Todd provided sentencing and post-conviction consultation services through the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives (NCIA). He left NCIA in 2001 and established a practice that centers primarily on federal trial, appellate and post-conviction representation.
Todd is active in sentencing and prison matters. In addition to assisting other attorneys in their representation of clients facing disposition in both state and federal courts nationwide, Todd has written and spoken extensively on these issues. He is past co-chair of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Corrections Committee and of the American Bar Association’s Corrections & Sentencing Committee, and he is a member of the Sentencing Commission’s Practitioners’ Advisory Group. Todd has also served as a Co-Visiting Lecturer in Law at the Yale Law School, supervising students participating in the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization’s criminal defense clinic.
Sample of Results in Practice
Most recently, in a federal post-conviction matter filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (a motion brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255), Todd identified a guideline calculation error that all parties before the trial court as well as appellate counsel had overlooked. The result was a re-sentencing for the client to a sentence of time served. Todd was also primarily responsible for successfully challenging a trial court’s announced intention to release the defense’s witness list in a high-profile capital murder trial.
Todd hails from a military family; his father, grandfather, two uncles and a brother-in-law have served. From very early in his legal career, Todd knew he wanted to be a defense attorney, believing that too often the government overreaches in its quest for justice and that, even if proven, people are not defined by the worst of their acts. Todd is married and a Cubs fan.
George Washington University Law School
Arizona State University
Admissions to PracticeConnecticut
District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (CCDLA)
U.S. Sentencing Commission-Practitioners’ Advisory Group
Connecticut Bar Association
Federal Practice Section
District of Columbia Bar Association
Awards and Recognitions
- In 2013, the publishers of Connecticut Magazine named Todd a Connecticut Super Lawyer in the field of criminal defense. In 2011 and 2012, Connecticut Magazine named Todd a Connecticut Rising Star in the field of criminal defense. For information on the selection process, click here and here.
Avvo.com, an on-line Q&A forum where people can ask questions of lawyers, has rated Todd in the field of Federal Crime. For information about Avvo's rating system, click here.
- United States Sentencing Commission’s Annual National Seminar on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Bureau of Prisons Issues (San Diego, CA May 2011)
- American Bar Association-Criminal Justice Section’s Second Annual Sentencing Advocacy, Practice and Reform Institute, What Re-entry Teaches Us About Alternatives (Washington, DC November 2009)
- United States Sentencing Commission’s Symposium on Alternatives to Incarceration, Alternatives in the Guidelines (Washington, DC July 2008)
- Connecticut Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, Federal Sentencing Today (New Haven, CT April 2008)
- Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Sentencing Pitfalls and Considerations in Dual Prosecutions: How To Ensure Concurrent State/Federal Sentences (Middletown, CT May 2007)
- "Federal Practice Update” sponsored by the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Bureau of Prisons Designations and Half-Way House Litigation (Brooklyn, New York February 2006)
- Principal author, Looking at the BOP’s Amended RDAP Rules, Criminal Justice (ABA Fall 2011)
- Author, The Road Less Traveled: Being a Sentencing Advocate in Careers in Criminal Law (Ellen Brotman, ed.) (ABA 2010)
- Principal author, Stemming the Tide of Postconviction Waivers, Criminal Justice (ABA Spring 2010) (reprinted in 16 Verdict 4 (NCCLP Oct. 2010))
- Principal author, The Federal Bureau of Prisons in Defending a Federal Criminal Case (Sarah Gannett, ed.) (Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. 2010) (reprinted in substantial part in Federal Sentencing for Business Crimes (LexisNexis 2010))
- Contributing author, Plea and Sentencing Procedure in Practice Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, 4th Ed. (Phylis Skloot Bamberger and David J. Gottlieb, eds.) (Aspen Publishers 2008)
- Co-author, New Time Limits on Federal Halfway Houses: A shift in correctional policy , Criminal Justice (ABA Spring 2006)
In addition to local and national media attention given to his cases, Todd is frequently called on to comment on federal sentencing and prison issues. Among other outlets, his comments and perspectives have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. Todd has also appeared on NBC 4 CT, CBS 3 CT, FOX CT and on CBC Radio.
Pro Bono / Community Service
- Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), Litigation Advisory Board