Columnists / OP-ED

Be the Force for Good in the World

The discourse into racial interactions gone wrong must be pursued vigorously, as difficult as those discussions can be, to heal generations of mistrust and oppression.

Saying Goodbye to Social Media

By Norm Pattis |
Harry Mazadoorian

Emotional Intelligence and Neuroscience: The Legal Profession Catches Up

The concept of emotional intelligence has been around for quite a while and has been used in business schools, diplomacy, the military, law enforcement and health care but has been slow to be embraced by the legal profession.

Mark Dubois

A Brave New World

Paris, San Bernardino, Dallas, Nice, Baton Rouge. As we reel from one horrific mass killing to another, many, on both sides of the political aisle, pronounce it time that something, anything, must be done to reverse the course of madness that seems to be gripping the world. Using the criminal law "categorical unity" of means, motive and opportunity, I'm afraid that when you unpack the options, none of us is going to like the alternatives.

A 1973 Book Rings True Today

What did I do on my summer vacation this year? I read a lot. One book haunts me, and will for a while. I pass it along with a grim sort of recommendation. Candidly, I am hoping that several of you will read it and then tell me why I ought not to be so disturbed by it.

Mark Dubois

The Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg Thinks Twice

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, aka the Notorious RBG, aka Darth Bader, set off a firestorm last week when she made some intemperate remarks about Donald Trump during an interview, doubled down on them when speaking with other media outlets, then reversed herself and apologized a few days later for saying anything in the first place. The whole mess is yet another example of how this election cycle will be one for the history books.

Desi Imetovski, Connecticut Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel

In Life, Tides Turn and Winds Shift

Joining the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel has been amazing. The work is incredibly challenging. It is important work. You may have heard me joke about 'culling the herd,' but really, I just shepherd the strays back to the flock.

Missing Persons

The federal government's announcement that some new faces are going to appear on the currency is a welcome one.

Mark Dubois

The Robots Are Coming

We need to find new ways to do these things or others will do them for free and we'll become less relevant than we already are to a great swath of consumers.

Strengthening Our Anti-Bullying Laws

The legislature should provide for a private cause of action against any board of education or school employee or official who allows bullies to harm our children regardless of their attempts to comply with the existing anti-bullying statute.

Mark Dubois

Not Your Father's Law School

No one should start a sentence any more with the words "the problem with law schools…" If anything, they have proved a lot more nimble and adaptable than many of us.

Michael Ratner: 1944-2016

It is with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of one of the greatest social justice lawyers of our time. Michael Ratner, who passed away on May 11, spent his life giving voice to victims of human rights abuses around the world.

The Fourth of July and the End of Ramadan


We all must pledge to remove hatred and intolerance from our midst, and to stay true to the principles of liberty, justice and equality that define America at its best.


Cutbacks May Hurt Confidence in Courts

The massive layoffs in the Judicial Branch threaten to undermine public confidence in the courts yet further. It will take uncommon creativity to keep the wheels of justice turning.

Patricia King

Language No Barrier for Traveling Law School Group


Law professors and students from Connecticut gain knowledge about American and Nicaraguan law and legal systems from trip to that Central American country.


Norm Pattis: Let Jurors Have the Last Word on Illegal Searches


If lawmen can't be trusted to make wise decisions about what laws to enforce and when, then why not let taxpayer's decide?

Hewlett-Packard HP 1040 Fax machine.

Editorial: The Good Old Days of Practicing Law

Many lawyers practicing today remember a very different profession that existed when they came to the bar.

Editorial: Pediatricians Aren't Violating Second Amendment By Asking Parents About Guns

In the first few years of a child's life, a pediatrician will ask parents a series of questions about household safety: Do you own a pool? Do you smoke? Do you own a gun? Doctor-parent conversations along these lines are not used to punish or intimidate parents; rather, they are intended for educational purposes regarding child safety measures.


Norm Pattis: Facebook Lawyers Thumb Nose at Conn. Subpoena

By Norm Pattis |

Experienced litigators learn the hard way that some institutions regard themselves as too big to comply with the humdrum requirements of the law.

The Bushmaster AR-15 rifle Adam Lanza used in the December 2012 shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooting killed 20 children and six adults.

Editorial: Yet Again Blood Stains Our Streets

The only thing worse than these events taking place in the first place, would be to leave conditions intact that permit others like them to happen again and again. We must, as a nation, enact effective gun control. It is the perpetuation of evil not to.

Editorial: Nativist Attacks on Judiciary Threaten Rule of Law

There seems to be no end to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's willingness to go "too far." His recent attacks on California U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, and, by implication and suggestion, other judges of diverse backgrounds, have reached a new low. All lawyers should condemn such unsupported nativist attacks.


Mark Dubois: Lawyers Should Beware of Mortgage Fraud Scams


Given that the last big meltdown in the housing market happened about nine years ago and some commentators are warning of a new bubble, watch out for a new round of mortgage fraud cases with the inevitable lawyer victims in the mix.


Norm Pattis: Assistant Disciplinary Counsel's Departure Raises Questions

By Norm Pattis |

Is it just me, or do you also get the sense that all is not well in the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel? It appears that a revolving door is spitting folks out of the top slots a little too quickly these days. Why?

Editorial: Federal Government Should Block Funds to States That Pass Discriminatory Laws

In separate letters to Gov. Patrick McCrory, the University of North Carolina and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, the U.S. Department of Justice is taking on HB2, North Carolina's sweeping anti-LGBT law.

Editorial: Judges, Do the Right Thing and Approve MCLE

When the Superior Court Rules Committee conducted a public hearing last month on the rule it had earlier approved and then made only minor, insignificant changes, the penultimate step was taken in the long-running effort to implement Minimum Continuing Legal Education in Connecticut.

Editorial: Altering the Law to Affect Individual Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court's April 20 decision in Bank Markazi v. Peterson was widely noted because it upheld the right of American nationals to seek damages from foreign state sponsors of terrorism in American courts. It's an important case from that perspective. But it's also important for what it says about the interaction between the judicial branch and the political branches of the federal government.

Editorial: Communities Need Better Way to Probe Police Misconduct

The persistent eruption of violence and protest by our citizens who confront and attack law enforcement attempting to enforce laws or subdue unrest cries out for a new approach to dealing with the ultimate outcomes of needless fatalities, the unjustified use of deadly force and civil rights violations


Norm Pattis: Judges' Conference Offers Intriguing, But Unrealistic Ideas

By Norm Pattis |

I was a stranger in a strange land late in May, when, at the invitation of U.S. District Judge Warren Eginton, I attended the 2016 Second Circuit Judicial Conference in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Ian McLachlan

Conn. Switches to National Bar Exam Without Consulting Judges

By C. Ian McLachlan |

The 23-member Connecticut Bar Examining Committee (CBEC) recently voted 8-6 to adopt the so-called Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), which is, in effect, a national bar exam, beginning with the February 2017 exam. However, the CBEC also voted 8-5 against submitting the question of whether Connecticut should adopt the national bar exam to the annual meeting of the judges of the Superior Court.

Editorial: State Should Make Amends for Witchcraft Executions

During the course of the 17th century approximately a dozen men and women were judicially murdered by the colony of Connecticut in witchcraft prosecutions. These killings remain a grievous blot on the judicial history of this state.


Norm Pattis: Reassessment Needed in Freddie Gray Prosecutions

By Norm Pattis |

Two criminal trials now completed, one to a jury, the other to a lone judge, and still no conviction. Will no one be held accountable for the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore?


Proposal Means Showdown on Who Can Practice Law


A few days ago a proposed change to the pro hac vice rule was forwarded to the full judges' meeting by the Rules Committee. If passed this June, it may set the stage for a showdown between the branches of government that has been brewing for some time. Maybe that's a good thing.

Stemming the Rising Tide of Immunities

We need to stop increasing the number and scope of immunities that protect scores of industries, products, institutions and people from exposure to civil liability.

U.S. Postal Service truck.

Banking Services Needed for Low-Income Families

While the Federal Postal Court is best left closed, another, more recent federal postal institution, the U.S. Postal Savings System, may be due for reopening.

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

By Amy Goodusky |

In law school, no one gives students much pertinent information about the practical vagaries of life as a lawyer. In particular, no one mentions that the lawyer will spend approximately 74.46621 percent of his or her time in suspended animation.


Physical Office Requirement Is a 19th-Century Relic


A fascinating case in New York reached an unexpected (though perhaps not final) point the other day when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a law that requires New York-licensed lawyers who have a primary office elsewhere to have actual, physical offices in New York if they want to practice there.


Norm Pattis: Senior Citizen Fugitive Shouldn't Be Returned to Prison


Gov. Dannel Malloy will soon be given an opportunity to demonstrate his commitment to the Second Chance Society which he unveiled more than one year ago.

Editorial: Echoes of Jim Crow Era Heard in Transgender Restroom Debate

In what some see as the backlash against last summer's Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision, bills restricting the use of bathrooms have been introduced in dozens of state legislatures and in cities and towns across America.

Editorial: Does End Justify the Means in Justice Department's Battle With Apple?

Connecticut's lawyers and citizens should be concerned about the recent battle between Apple and the Department of Justice during which the DOJ tried to force Apple to develop a method to break its own encryption system.


Norm Pattis: Social Media is Changing Jury Dynamics


One rule of the road for potential jurors is a commitment to follow the law wherever it leads. It is a juror's job to find facts; the court instructs on the law and ensures, at least in theory, a fair trial. That's the theory.

XDM 3.8 Compact, 9mm pistol.

Editorial: Time to Examine Gun Storage and Safety Laws

We urge the General Assembly to update gun storage laws and require firearms to be safely stored whenever they are not carried by or within close proximity of a person licensed to carry a firearm.

Paying for Legal Counsel in Eminent Domain Cases

There is no provision in Connecticut and many other states for someone whose property is taken by eminent domain to be compensated for the cost of their legal representation. That is patently unfair.

John Parese

Bar Association Expresses Opposition to Conn. MCLE Proposal

By John M. Parese |

The New Haven County Bar Association (NHCBA) has not historically advanced formal positions on controversial issues affecting the legal profession. The matter of mandatory or minimum continuing legal education, however, has inspired the attention of so many of our members that we thought it appropriate to publicly articulate our position.


Mark Dubois: It May Be Time to Allow Nonlawyers to Offer Some Legal Services

By Mark Dubois |

The question for us is whether we embrace it all, and find ways to make it work for us, or fight a rearguard action until our friends in the courts and the legislature settle the question, with or without our objections.


Norm Pattis: Rocket Docket Needed to Address Conn. Federal Court Delays

By Norm Pattis |

Resolving our disputes in courtrooms is far better than doing so in street brawls or violence. But even the rule-bound character of the courts sometimes seems to resemble the world of the Hatfields and McCoys

Editorial: Rule of Law Jeopardized by Political Acts

There is a dangerous accumulation of acts and incidents that have the effect of undermining the notion that our nation is one of laws, and not men. We, as a profession, must speak out against this at every turn, every day.