Columnists / OP-ED

The Statue of Liberty

Illegal Immigrants, by Definition, Are Not Law-Abiding US Citizens

By CHRIS POWELL |

Both sides in the immigration controversy are destroying the law in their own way.

Mark Dubois

No Shortage of Subjects to Cover

By MARK DUBOIS |

Many folks ask me how I manage to come up with subjects to write about. My response is I wish I had more time, because I could do this full time. In fact, there's really too much to cover every few weeks in just 750 words. Here's some of what has come in since my last column.

Diane Whitney

Science and Evidence: The Future Is Now

By Diane W. Whitney |

If a manufacturer of a product knows that the product will, or could, cause harm to people with a genetic sensitivity to it, must it issue a warning? That question opens up a whole panoply of concerns.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Avoiding Minefields of Risks as Replacement Counsel

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens, Dentons US |

"If the statute of limitation has expired in a plaintiff's personal injury case and there are no other options, new counsel may compound the error by attempting solutions that have no chance of success."

Being Prepared Can Save Attorneys Major Headaches in the Long Run

By Suzanne B. Sutton, Cohen and Wolf |

My daughter recently graduated high school. She is off to college in a couple of months, and I am setting up a cot at my Cohen and Wolf office, where I will be working the rest of my life to pay her tuition. She may want to be a doctor. Can I bill in the afterlife?

Mark Dubois

Duty of Candor Can Make for Tricky Triangle

By MARK DUBOIS |

I recently had the privilege of working with two judges on different CLE programs, both dealing with the issue of candor to the tribunal. It's a sticky, tricky subject — both for the bench and the bar.

James I Glasser (seated) and Joseph W. Martini of Wiggins & Dana in New Haven Connecticut. .Photo by MIa Malafronte

Exploring the Boundaries of the Fifth Amendment

By Joe Martini and James Glasser, Wiggin and Dana |

The "act of production" doctrine gestated in the 1970s, when the absolute protection traditionally afforded "private books and papers" gave way to a more nuanced evaluation of whether the act of selecting and producing material, regardless of its content, could be construed as "testimonial" in nature.

Harry Mazadoorian

Recognizing Universal Alternative Dispute Resolution Techniques

By HARRY N. MAZADOORIAN |

One of Connecticut's oldest and most distinguished ADR organizations is Community Mediation Inc. Frequently operating without fanfare and appropriate recognition, CMI toils tirelessly to resolve those disputes which tear at the fabric of everyday life, such as domestic disputes, landlord/tenant conflicts, parent/teen misunderstanding, property line disputes and even barking dogs, just to mention a few.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Protecting Against Unexpected Conflicts of Interest

By Randy Evans and Shari Klevens |

Some attorneys are ignorant of the risks that can be created outside the traditional attorney-client relationship.

Mark Dubois

Nontraditional Representation Faces Latest Growing Pains

By MARK DUBOIS |

New Jersey lowered the boom on AVVO and LegalZoom the other day, finding their practice models violated a number of ethics rules, including fee sharing with nonlawyers and operation of an unlicensed referral service. I doubt this marks the end of them — it's more like a speed bump — but what our chief justice had to say the other day on alternative forms of dispute resolution is probably much more important.

Eric Wiechmann

Tips on Arbitration Advocacy, Part IV (Conclusion)

By Eric W. Wiechmann |

A quick way to lose credibility with the arbitrator is being too argumentative or trying to disparage opposing counsel or witnesses.

Eric Wiechmann

Tips on Arbitration Advocacy, Part III

By Eric W. Wiechmann |

As arbitration is meant to be relatively expeditious and inexpensive, arbitrators are generally reluctant to encourage or allow the use of prehearing motions. There are times when such motions may aid the process and should be considered. Motions in aid of prehearing exchange of information are often wanted but parties should confer with each other before contacting the arbitrator to see if there would be agreement on a discovery issue.

Harry Mazadoorian

Part II: Making Critical Decisions During Mediation

By HARRY N. MAZADOORIAN |

Early ex parte communications are permitted in mediation, and they can be extremely productive.

Making Critical Decisions in the Mediation Process

By Harry N. Mazadoorian |

As practitioners shift up to an expanded use of mediation and as increasingly sophisticated mediation nuances emerge, lawyers are faced with a wider range of decisions concerning how to proceed.

Three Tips for Avoiding Social Media Conflicts

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens, Dentons US |

While social media can be a valuable marketing tool, careless attorneys can undermine the benefits of social media in the time it takes to tweet.

Alex Jones being interviewed by Megyn Kelly of NBC News.

Sandy Hook Victims' Families Getting Too Much Deference

By Chris Powell |

Deference to the families of the schoolchildren and educators murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in 2012 has gone much too far.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Tensions Between Government Investigations and Attorney-Client Confidentiality

By SHARI KLEVENS and RANDY EVANS, Dentons |

What would you do if the FBI, or some other government agency, came knocking on your door asking questions about a client who is of interest, but not yet the subject of a formal investigation? Do you disclose details of your client's business? Do you show them financial documents and legal files?

Mark Dubois

The More Things Change ...

By MARK DUBOIS |

I feel like I'm caught is some weird, warped time loop — reliving, again and again, spectacular lawyer self-destructions. The last few weeks brought press reports of guilty pleas from several of our brethren. Change the names, and they could be any one of many, many I've seen before.

Home-Schooled Children Don't Escape Regulation

By DEBORAH G. STEVENSON |

It is unfortunate that before the Connecticut Law Tribune's editorial board published the article "It's Time To Regulate Home Schooling" the board did not reach out to those who know the most and have the facts about home schooling. Had the board done so, it certainly would have been more informed, and the article published would have reflected more accurately existing history, law and custom.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Guarding Against Misconduct, Mistakes and Ethical Violations

By SHARI KLEVENS AND RANDY EVANS |

Law firms cannot be expected to micromanage employees, and instead they rely on attorneys and staff members to perform their duties in a legal or ethical manner. However, while firms may be confident that employees will conform their behavior to applicable standards, there are inevitably times when even those most outwardly competent employees may conduct themselves with less-than-perfect ethics or otherwise make a mistake.

Joseph Martini, a partner at Wiggin and Dana, New Haven, Conn.

Fourth Amendment Exception Allows Customs to Search Personal Devices

By Joe Martini and James Glasser, Wiggin and Dana |

CBP agents can search cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices of those entering or leaving the country, regardless of citizenship.

Mark Dubois

There Ought to Be a Rule ...

By Mark Dubois |

A number of recent events have brought me to the conclusion that we'd all be better off with a rule that makes it mandatory that someone who has a beef with a lawyer first bring their complaint to the attention of whatever judge, court, board or body that has jurisdiction over the matter before going to the grievance committee. Here are some examples and why this might be a good idea.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Protecting Client Funds and Your Firm From Hackers

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens, Dentons US |

Cyberattacks can take many forms: phishing emails, greenmail attacks, Trojan Horses and others. Many law firms concerned about this issue focus primarily on safeguarding confidential information belonging to clients in an effort to meet their obligations under Rule 1.6 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. However, one recent trend in cyber scamming creates additional risks for attorneys: attacks that are targeted on law firm trust accounts.