Columnists / OP-ED

Harry Mazadoorian

Harry Mazadoorian: 'Deflategate' Ruling Offers Insights for Arbitrators

Deflategate certainly hijacked a lot of ink on sports pages this summer and provided a hot topic for football fans and alternative dispute resolution practitioners alike.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: Renovated Courthouse Looks Nice, But Lacks Basics

By Norm Pattis |

I'm not sure how much money was spent on the renovations to the Elm Street courthouse in New Haven, but it wasn't enough.

Patricia King

Patricia King: Successful Strategies for Answering Grievance Complaints

By Patricia King |

Every attorney dreads that certified letter from the Statewide Grievance Committee bearing news that a grievance has been filed against you. If you should receive one, do not give in to the temptation to bury it at the bottom of the pile farthest away from your desk and pretend that it doesn't exist. The best strategy is to do the opposite: put it at the top of your priority list.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Crowdfunding and Other Developments in Law Firm Investment

By Mark Dubois |

There has been an amazing confluence of events in the field of law firm financing in the last few weeks, and, for my money (no double entendre intended), what was already complicated and confusing may have become more so.

Robert Casale

Commentary: Justices Had No Choice But to Abolish Death Penalty

Much of the recent criticism of the Connecticut Supreme Court's decision in State v. Santiago, invalidating what was left of Connecticut's death penalty, follows a familiar path. In effect, the court is assailed for being a cabal of activist, unelected judges who arrogantly ignore the will of the people.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: Lawyer's Dog Bite Photos Raise Child Porn Concerns

By Norm Pattis |

My first instinct was to shrug the call off, to regard it as unnecessary alarmism. But the caller was a lawyer I respect, and would turn to in a heartbeat if a family member were injured. I told him I would mull the matter overnight and then get back to him.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Clients Can Reclaim Much of What's In Their Files

By Mark Dubois |

Clients fire lawyers and vice versa. The rub comes when the former client wants the file and the lawyer won't give it up. Sometimes it relates to outstanding fees, other times, hurt feelings are at the core of the dispute. Sorting out who owns what can be tricky. A recent American Bar Association opinion tried to offer some guidance.

Amy Goodusky: But Is It Really Products Liability?

By Amy Goodusky |

It was 10:30 a.m. I was starving. A new complaint had been delivered by a chagrined client. It was an interesting amalgam of vaguely described causes of action. One of the counts appeared to sound in products liability. I could not be certain what was alleged. A motion to strike was in order. The subject of the cause of action was not really a product, but not really a service, either. Research on the issue was less than revelatory.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: Report Reveals Alarming List of People Shot by Cops

By Norm Pattis |

The numbers are hard to believe, even if the source for them, The Washington Post, is highly credible. As of Aug. 10, 598 people had been shot and killed by police officers in the United States during 2015 alone. That's an average of almost 2.7 people killed each and every day.

Gideon

Gideon: State Gives Lawyers Too Little Time to Prepare for Trial

By Gideon |

"24" was one of the first TV shows that could have been an action movie. The concept was brilliant: let's follow the life of an exciting, dashing Kiefer Sutherland playing an anti-terrorism supercop for one day as he averts every contrived global crisis imaginable.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: It's a Tough Call When Suspended Lawyers Seek Readmission to Bar

By Mark Dubois |

It seems the pattern the state Supreme Court set in denying former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim readmission to the bar after his municipal corruption conviction is here to stay, at least for those applying for reinstatement after being suspended or disbarred. That's interesting, and I am not sure what it means.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Legal Profession Changing, But Glass May Be Half Full

By Mark Dubois |

I was at yet another symposium on the future of law schools and the practice of law the other day. The universal response from most participants seemed to be that while no one thought we would cease to be a relevant and viable part of the social and commercial fabric of our society, in years to come, things may be very, very different. And maybe that will be a good thing

Commentary: Legal Aid Resource Center Should Be Saved

Legal aid agencies in Connecticut are responsible for ensuring that high-quality civil legal services are available for low-income persons. Funding has rarely been stable, and when constrained, difficult choices must be made. These choices should ensure critical functions are maintained.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: Finding Trouble While Fighting Courtroom Boredom

By Norm Pattis |

It's been about 20 years since I was last locked up against my will. The other day, I thought I saw a cell in my future. My offense? Reading a newspaper in a courtroom. Oh, my.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Judge's Research Reveals Era When Courts Relied on 'Word of God'

By Mark Dubois |

Superior Court Judge Jon C. Blue has just published a gem of a book summarizing and commenting on cases before the General Court of the New Haven Colony from 1639-63.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: A Stunning Settlement in New York Chokehold Case

By Norm Pattis |

Toward the end of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird," the politically correct Atticus Finch—you know, the fellow who emerged after the more nuanced Atticus was rejected by publishers—utters the following to his children, Jem and Scout: "Don't fool yourselves—it's all adding up and one of these days we're going to pay the bill for it. I hope it's not in you children's time."

Patricia King

Patricia King: How Lawyers Can Survive a Random Audit

By Patricia King |

It seems like a pretty good day until the mail arrives. You get a letter from First Assistant Bar Counsel Frances Mickelson-Dera on behalf of the Statewide Grievance Committee, and you might think it's the beginning of your worst nightmare. You've been selected for a random audit.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Judge Shouldn't Be Blamed for Baby's Death

By Mark Dubois |

Barry Pinkus is a good man and a good judge. It is beyond sad that he finds himself in the crosshairs of public opinion over the unfortunate death of the baby recently thrown from the Arrigoni Bridge in Middletown. He did nothing wrong.

Michelle Cruz: Judge Asked Wrong Questions to Baby's Abused Mother

By Michelle Cruz |

Obtaining a restraining order is not easy for a victim of abuse. Many times it takes weeks, months or even years for the victim to muster the courage and strength to ask the courts to protect her from an abusive partner.

William Clendenen

Commentary: Criticism of Judge Who Denied Restraining Order Based on Misunderstanding of Law

By William H. Clendenen |

The recent death of Aaden Moreno is a horrific tragedy. The circumstances that would drive a father to kill his child are unimaginable. However, the criticism leveled against Superior Court Judge Barry Pinkus by some because of what they perceive to be his failure in issuing a restraining order against Tony Moreno from seeing his child are unjustified.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: Peering Into the Abyss With a Fictional Judge

By Norm Pattis |

By the time you read this, I will have packed up after a summer's month on Cape Cod, where my wife and I hid away with boxes of books, our dogs and walking shoes. What will I recall best about this break?

Paul Knierim

Commentary: Legislature Forces Probate Courts to Dramatically Increase Fees

By Paul J. Knierim |

When the new fiscal year began on July 1, Connecticut's method of financing the operating costs of the probate courts changed dramatically—and for the worse.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: Court's Abrupt Ruling Another Twist in Long-Delayed Case

By Norm Pattis |

On a couple of occasions in recent years, I wrote here about a case of mine seemingly lost in the bowels of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. It involves a claim by a former police officer that she was retaliated against in violation of her First Amendment rights.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Job-Changing Attorneys Can't Grab Files on the Way Out

By Mark Dubois |

Virginia just joined Florida by adopting a rule that makes it an ethical violation for lawyers to grab firm files on their way out the door. Maybe we should do the same thing. It would save a lot of time and effort for everyone involved.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Attorney Sues for OT, Says Document Review Work is Clerical

By Mark Dubois |

The case of Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom made it to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit the other day, and should make for some interesting reading, though I doubt it will change the law any.

Commentary: Courts Should Publicize Pot Conviction Erasures

By Duane Luede |

The Law Tribune recently published a news item titled "Pot Users in No Rush to Clear Names." It was a follow-up to a story published a couple of months earlier in which the state Supreme Court, in State v. Menditto, ruled that a person previously convicted of possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana was entitled to have that conviction erased on presentation of the appropriate petition and supporting evidence.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: Delayed Case Is Like Something Out of a Novel

By Norm Pattis |

Were Charles Dickens alive, he might choose the case of Ricciuti v. Gyzenis as the topic of a latter-day "Bleak House."

Mark Sommaruga

Commentary: 'Deflategate' Offers Legal Lessons for NFL and Employment Lawyers

By Mark J. Sommaruga |

To begin with, full disclosure: I am a lifelong New England Patriots fan (and season ticket holder). However, as an attorney I am trained to be objective. The aftermath of the "Deflategate" investigation should be of interest to both sports fans and employers, and represents a cautionary tale for both a popular sports league and the workplace in general.

Noah J. Kores

Commentary: Ban on Depositions in Criminal Cases Unfair to Defense

By Noah Kores |

The rules of criminal procedure are unfair, dare I say unconstitutional, in Connecticut.

Dan Krisch

Dan Krisch: 'Serial' Shines Uncomfortably Bright Light on Justice System

By Daniel Krisch |

I am hesitant to "Serial"-ize our court system. Last week, my wife Sophia, brother-in-law Vlad and I joined a couple thousand other avid fans at the Bushnell for a Q&A with Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder, the host (Koenig) and producer (Snyder) of the wildly popular, addictively engrossing "Serial" podcast.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: Reckless Email Is Not True Threat Against Judge

By Norm Pattis |

Remind me next time I get a little ticked off about something a judge has done not to send an email to would-be supporters describing how one might sit outside the jurist's home, concealed, and fire a shot into a bedroom.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: The New World of Outside Investment in Law Firms

By Mark Dubois |

Our prohibition on using equity to raise capital for law firms is premised on the notion that lawyers in thrall of stockholders will be likely to do things and take chances that may disadvantage their clients. I don't buy it.