Columnists / OP-ED


Norm Pattis: Practicing Law In an Era of Diminished Returns

By Norm Pattis |

There's a reason Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are doing so well in the polls: both men speak to the frustration of a people who know something is broken.

Patricia King

Patricia King: How to Break Bad News to Your Clients

By Patricia King |

If you are like most lawyers who have been practicing for any length of time, you have had the unfortunate assignment of being the bearer of bad news.

Editorial: Conn. Supreme Court Should Make Quick Decision on Death Penalty

Once again we wait for a death penalty decision from our Supreme Court. Hopefully, we won't have to wait two-and-a-half years as we did in 'State v. Santiago'.


Editorial: The Death Penalty and Stare Decisis

In our view the reason 'Santiago' should be followed is that it was correctly decided, not because of stare decisis.


Mark Dubois: Practicing Law in the New 'Gig' Economy


These are crazy times, and some parts of law and lawyering seem to be moving in very different directions.

Paul Iannaccone and Sean Stokes

Attorneys Encounter Ethical Issues As They Sift Through Social Media Posts


Bar groups reach different conclusion on exactly what's acceptable.

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during a caucus night rally, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. Cruz sealed a victory in the Republican Iowa caucuses, winning on the strength of his relentless campaigning and support from his party's diehard conservatives. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Is Ted Cruz a 'Natural Born' Citizen? Founding Fathers Wouldn't Think So

By Robert M. Casale |

In 2016, there is no compelling reason why a person born of American parents should not satisfy the 'natural born' requirement of Article II, Section I, but that is decidedly not how the framers of the Constitution understood that qualification.


Norm Pattis: Lawyers Should Be Free to Say 'No' to Clients

By Norm Pattis |

Lawyers sell their services on an open market. Lawyers also have a duty to be zealous advocates for their clients. That means that lawyers should be free to say "no" when a potential client poses a conflict.


Religious-Themed CLE Not Necessarily A Bad Thing


I read the other day about a tiff between Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas state bar president Allan DuBois over whether a class offered by St. Mary's University School of Law should get state continuing legal education credit. Much as it pains me to criticize a guy with such a proud name, I have to say that DuBois is wrong.

Editorial: Court Rulings Suggest That Police Should Consider Nonlethal Alternatives

As we see more and more innocent people being killed by police officers, we hear a recurrent question: should less intrusive means in use-of-force cases be required by law?


Gideon: Bail Reform Should Be Next Step in State's Criminal Justice Reforms


As the new year dawned on us Gov. Dannel Malloy took to podiums to remind us of the tremendous strides Connecticut has made in the criminal justice arena, firmly putting us in the midst of a "smart-on-crime" era.

Mark Dubois

Mark Dubois: ABA's Anti-Discrimination Rule Could Be Problematic

By Mark Dubois |

The American Bar Association is going to be considering an amendment to Rule 8.4 making it an ethical violation to discriminate. How can anyone argue with that? On the other hand, how far down that slippery slope are we ready to go?


Norm Pattis: Best-Seller About Race Isn't an Easy Read

By Norm Pattis |

I have a confession to make: Try as I might to start and to complete a reading of Ta-Nehisi Coates' "Between the World and Me," I cannot. Like Peter, I've thrice betrayed the lord, apparently. I thought I was alone in my sin.

Editorial: Proposed Bill a Dangerous Threat to LGBT Rights

The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), a bill sponsored in the House by U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, and in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is another dangerous effort by GOP lawmakers and social conservative groups to deal with the supposed threat to their religious liberty posed by the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage in 'Obergefell v. Hodges'.


Norm Pattis: Family Court Rage Revealed in Ugly Email About Judge

By Norm Pattis |

Criminal sentencings are a decidedly dismal affair, but rarely do they frighten me. The sentencing of Edward "Ted" Taupier in Middletown the other day did scare me.

Paul Knierim

Paul Knierim: Probate Courts Are a Good Value


There can be no dispute that the increase in probate fees on decedents' estates enacted as part of the state budget this year is bad public policy.


Norm Pattis: Prosecutors Appear Bloodthirsty in Pushing for Death Penalty Reinstatement


Just why the office of the chief state's attorney is hell-bent on killing people is one of those deeper mysteries I am destined never to understand.

Attorney Dan Krisch

Dan Krisch: Gun Advocates Misinterpret Second Amendment's Meaning


I want to get textual so we can hear the Constitution talk.


Norm Pattis: US Not Getting Money's Worth in War on Terror


The United States spends about $115 billion per year on deterring acts of domestic terror here in what we like to call the "homeland." Are we getting our money's worth?

Commentary: US Under No Legal Obligation to Accept Refugees

By Laszlo L. Pinter |

Let us make one thing clear, and at the same time dispose of the erroneous title to a Dec. 7 opinion column in the Connecticut Law Tribune by Albany Law School professor Christopher Sundquist, "Laws Demand That U.S. Accepts Refugees": there is no law that demands that these United States accept refugees.

New Rules Should Improve Discovery Process


It is widely accepted that discovery is the most expensive phase of modern business litigation. It is also true that we lawyers have no one to blame but ourselves for at least part of the discovery plight from which we suffer.


Commentary: World Problems Are Too Complex to Scapegoat Muslims

By Mark Dubois |

My friend and fellow Law Tribune columnist Norm Pattis has written lately on how the recent spate of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino drove him both to consider not representing Muslims and to buy and learn to shoot a pistol. It's unfortunate that smart people like him can get so rattled by unexpected and threatening events that they start saying and doing ill-considered things.


Norm Pattis: Second Amendment Skeptic Learns How to Pull Trigger


I felt much as a secret agent, or confidential informant, must feel, settling in among strangers, listening to them talk, wary of my surroundings. But I was one of them, wasn't I?


Mark Dubois: Beware of Hackers, Ransomware and Cleaning People

By Mark Dubois |

I am not a social media person. I have only six friends on Facebook.


Norm Pattis: Lawyers Should Retain Right to Challenge Online Trolls


I sometimes worry about U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Mark Dubois

Mark Dubois: Sometimes Lawyers Get Too Close to Their Cases


In the legal profession where advocates take up the cause of the oppressed and devote themselves to representing those who have no voice, the calm, deliberative reasoning of lawyers can be overwhelmed by the emotionally charged circumstances of the clients they represent.


Norm Pattis: Grisham Misses Mark in Portrayal of 'Working-Stiff Lawyer'

By Norm Pattis |

I imagine John Grisham, the best-selling author of plot-driven legal thrillers, channel surfing late one night on his 100-plus-acre farm in Oxford, Mississippi, and settling on an episode of "Better Call Saul."