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Best Lawyers In America®


Dale P. Faulkner, Shelley L. Graves and Kara M. Crismale have been selected for inclusion in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® in the category of Personal Injury Litigation. Best Lawyers is universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.

Dale P. Faulkner holds the unique distinction of having appeared in every edition of Best Lawyers for over 30 years. Shelley L. Graves has been chosen each year since 2010. Kara M. Crismale earned her place in 2020.

U.S. News Best Lawyers / Best Law Firms


Faulkner & Graves, P.C. is ranked as a Tier 1 law firm in New London in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs by U.S. News and World Report – Best Lawyers/Best Law Firms®.

Best Lawyers® Lawyers of the Year


This distinction is awarded by Best Lawyers to only one lawyer per legal community each year for having the highest ratings among their peers for their abilities, professionalism and integrity.

Shelley Graves has been awarded “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers for the field of Personal Injury Litigation in New London County in 2016, 2018 and 2020.

Dale P. Faulkner has been Named as “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America for the field of Personal Injury Litigation in 2011 and 2012.

National Board of Trial Advocacy


Dale P. Faulkner and Kara M. Crismale are both board certified as Civil Trial Advocates by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. This honor is reserved for lawyers who demonstrate an enhanced level of skill and expertise in their field and prove it through rigorous examination of witnesses at trial, and testing their experience and knowledge by the NBTA. To be eligible to take the test for this certification, you must have been lead counsel in a number of trials to verdict or judgment and lead counsel in 40 contested matters involving the taking of evidence, among other requirements.


Super Lawyers


Each year Connecticut Magazine publicizes a list of the Top 50 lawyers in Connecticut based on rankings by Super Lawyers, a respected rating service. Dale P. Faulkner and Shelley L. Graves have been included in the Top 50 list for the last five years in a row. They are also both named in the annual listings of the Top 100 lawyers in all of New England.

Additionally, all of the attorneys at Faulkner & Graves – Dale P. Faulkner, Shelley L. Graves, Kara M. Crismale, and Kevin G. Smith – have been repeatedly named as Connecticut Super Lawyers or Connecticut Rising Stars for numerous years. See our Attorney Profiles for more specific information.

Best Lawyers – Ones to Watch


The firm's youngest partner Kevin G. Smith has been selected for inclusion in the 2021 Edition of Best Lawyers – Ones to Watch in the field of Personal Injury Litigation. This list recognizes attorneys who have achieved notable successes in the earlier stages of their careers. According to Best Lawyers, recognition by Ones to Watch is based entirely on peer review and employs the same methodology that has made Best Lawyers the gold standard for legal rankings worldwide.

American College of Trial Lawyers


Dale P. Faulkner has been honored by admission into the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of North America’s most respected legal organizations. The American College of Trial Lawyers is an invitation only fellowship of exceptional trial lawyers from the United States and Canada. Only 1% of all trial lawyers in any state are offered admission as members into the College.

The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100


Shelley L. Graves has been honored by admission into The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100. It is an invitation-only organization and composed of the premier trial lawyers in each state or region who have demonstrated excellence and achieved outstanding results in their careers as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers.

United Way of Southeastern Connecticut


Faulkner & Graves, P.C. has been awarded Law Firm of Year from the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut multiple times since 2017. United Way of Southeastern Connecticut is a locally-based non-profit organization supporting a network of health and human services, programs, and initiatives in New London County that work together to help people in need and improve community conditions. United Way’s mission is to inspire and coordinate the generosity and commitment that sustains a united, thriving community. Faulkner & Graves has proudly supported United Way of Southeastern Connecticut each year as a corporate sponsor and through an employee campaign.