Practice Areas and Experience
With more than 20 years’ professional experience, Todd Bussert has appeared in courts across Connecticut and the United States, including before the United States District Courts for the District of Connecticut; the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York; the District of Massachusetts; the District of Rhode Island; the District of Maryland; the District of the District of Columbia; the District of West Virginia; and the Northern District of Florida. Todd’s committed advocacy extends beyond the courtroom, as he regularly writes and presents on federal sentencing and prison issues.
Federal Criminal Defense
Todd has represented individuals at the trial level charged with serious federal offenses including mail, wire, bank and mortgage fraud; aggravated identity theft; trafficking counterfeit goods; theft of federal funds; interstate transportation of stolen property; tax evasion; possession, distribution and production of child pornography; arson-related murder; kidnapping-related murder; possession and distribution of controlled substances (cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, oxycodone and marijuana); firearms possession; robbery that interferes with interstate commerce; racketeering (RICO); and violent crimes in aid of racketeering (VCAR). Todd also represents individuals who are targets or subjects of federal investigation, as well as individuals the government believes are witnesses to suspected criminal misconduct. Given the nature of his practice and experience, Todd also serves as local counsel for attorneys seeking to appear pro hac vice in the District of Connecticut.
In December 2015, a federal jury sitting in Hartford returned a not guilty verdict in a case concerning Todd’s client’s alleged involvement in an arson-murder. As reported, Mr. Bussert’s client left the courthouse a free man, surrounded by his family. In July 2013, Todd secured a judgment of acquittal in a triple-murder prosecution.
Connecticut Criminal Defense
Attorney Bussert also represents individuals in Connecticut charged with serious felonies and misdemeanors. He has appeared in New Haven County (New Haven, Milford, Waterbury, Debry and Meriden), Fairfield County (Bridgeport, Stamford and Danbury), Litchfield County, Middlesex County and New London County. Todd’s cases, which have attracted media coverage, include:
- The 2019 acquittal of a New York resident accused of domestic assault in Connecticut.
- A 2018 not guilty verdict in a prosecution of an alleged sexual assault. Read more
- A 2016 jury verdict finding a young New Haven resident acted in self-defense during a stabbing incident resulting in death. Read more
- A 2014 not guilty verdict in a prosecution involving the alleged receipt of a $1 million worth of cocaine. Read more.
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.
Federal Sentencing / Bureau of Prisons
For five years, before entering private practice, Todd worked as a sentencing advocate. In this capacity, he consulted on several hundred sentencing matters across the country, drafting sentencing reports/memoranda and developing community-based alternatives to incarceration. During this period, particularly working on federal criminal cases, Todd gained significant knowledge of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), its policies and practices—knowledge used to advocate for placement and programming. Todd continues to consult with attorneys and their clients on federal sentencing and prison issues, assisting with sentencing mitigation and presentations, advising regarding location and program opportunities (e.g., RDAP, compassionate release, elderly home confinement, FIRST STEP Act), and drafting responses in administrative remedy appeals and, where necessary, litigating related claims. Additionally, beyond 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.
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
- Panelist, Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers-White Collar Practice Seminar, The FIRST STEP Act Takes Its First Steps (Philadelphia, PA Nov. 21, 2019).
- Presenter, What The FIRST STEP Act Means for Federal Prisoners sponsored by The Federal Public Defender for the District of Massachusetts (Boston, MA June 12, 2019).
- Panelist, Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Voir Dire in Sex Cases (Waterbury, CT Apr. 24, 2019).
- Presenter, Federal Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and American Bar Association’s 27th Annual National Seminar on Federal Sentencing, Bureau of Prisons Issues (Orlando, FL Sept. 7, 2018).
- Panelist, Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Trial Preparation and Theory Development (North Haven, CT June 14, 2018).
- Presenter, Bureau of Prisons Issues: How to Navigate Classification, Drug Treatment and Eligibility sponsored by The Federal Public Defender for the District of Vermont (Burlington, VT May 20, 2016).
- Presenter, Ins & Outs of the BOP: From Designation to Programs to Early Release sponsored by The Federal Public Defender for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York (New York, NY Mar. 11, 2016).
- 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)
- Author, What The First Step Act Means For Federal Prisoners, The Champion (NACDL May 2019)
- Author, The Federal Bureau of Prisons in Defending a Federal Criminal Case (Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. 2016).
- Co-author, How Federal Prisoners Are Placed: Shedding Light on the BOP’s Inmate Classification and Designation Process, Criminal Justice (ABA Spring 2016)
- Principal author, Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program, Criminal Justice (ABA Winter 2016)
- Contributing author, Alan Ellis’s Federal Prison Guidebook Revision 3 (James Publishing 2015)
- 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))
- 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)
Pro Bono / Public Service
- Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), Litigation Advisory Board
- Criminal Justice Act Panel Standing Committee
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.
- George Washington University Law School
- Arizona State University
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