Opinion

Columnists / OP-ED

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: Ban on Opening Statements Should Be Lifted

By Norm Pattis |

During the past year, I've been surprised by the number of times jurors have requested read backs of testimony they just heard only a few days earlier in criminal cases.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Mandatory CLE Is the Norm in Other Professions

By Mark Dubois |

The Superior Court judges recently met for their annual approval of Practice Book changes, including those dealing with the Code of Professional Responsibility.

Peter Benner

Peter Benner: Early Mediation Works for Lawyers as Well as Clients

By Peter W. Benner |

I have written and spoken regularly on the benefits of early mediation in a litigated dispute. The reasons for early assistance from a neutral third party are compelling: More than 95 percent of civil cases settle.

Michelle Cruz: Prosecutor's Bad Decision Puts Rice's Wife at Risk

By Michelle Cruz |

The recently released video of pro football star Ray Rice's vicious attack on his then-girlfriend Janay Palmer (they're now married) provides a rare window into the life of a domestic violence victim.

Goodusky: The Down Side of Legal Technology

By Amy Goodusky |

As some of you know, back when pterodactyls nested in New Haven, I was a working musician. I am wont to state, whenever anyone asks me about it, that there are circular slabs of grooved vinyl tucked into cardboard sleeves to prove that this actually happened.

Dubois-Mark

Dubois: Advocates Should Weigh In on Controversial Matters

By Mark Dubois |

I read that Tom Goldstein, the fella who started SCOTUSblog, filed a brief in the Supreme Court on behalf of no client which did not argue one way or the other on the merits of the case.

Gideon

Gideon: Producer's Arrest Illustrates Perils of 'Existing While Black'

By Gideon |

"Tall," "bald-headed" and "black male" are apparently the only identifiers of Charles Belk, who recently spent six hours in police custody because he fit the description of a bank robber.

Dan Krisch

Dan Krisch: Nation Paying Millions for Lock 'Em Up Strategy

By Dan Krisch |

The definition of insanity, Einstein supposedly quipped, is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. By that standard, our nation's criminal justice strategy belongs in Bellevue.

Attorney Dan Krisch

Krisch: No Easy Answer to CBA Gun Law Amicus Question

By DAN KRISCH |

To speak effectively, moreover, lawyers must speak collectively; to triumph, as Edmund Burke famously noted, "the good must associate."

Monique Ferraro

Legal Technology: Google Is Scanning Your Emails and Client Files

By Monique Ferraro |

The recent arrest of a known sex offender in Texas for sending child abuse images via Gmail caused a media stir focusing on the fact that our emails and internet content are not private.

Norm Pattis: The Vanishing Trial Puts Justice in Peril

By Norm Pattis |

"If you gaze long enough into the abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you." I think about this line of Friedrich Nietszche's more often than I care to admit.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: How the Legal Profession Is Like Amazon

By Mark Dubois |

My wife works in book publishing. Whenever I lament the changes overtaking the legal profession, she responds with something like, "You should try my business."

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: 'Unleashed Attack Dogs' Won't Help in Ferguson

By Norm Pattis |

I couldn't stop thinking about the allegory of the metals in Plato's Republic as I read the op-ed piece in The Washington Post written by Los Angeles Police Officer, Sunil Dutta.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Law Students Should Be Paid for Legal Work

By Mark Dubois |

If firms could employ law students who would be both paid and supervised, both by the firms and the schools, this might be a good way to fill what has been called the justice gap.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Should UPL Rules Adapt to 21st-Century Realities?

By Mark Dubois |

When I travel for bar business, I have taken to using Air BNB, an Internet matching service that hooks me up with folks willing to rent out a room or an apartment for a few days.

Dan Krisch

No Easy Answer to CBA Gun Law Amicus Question

By Dan Krisch |

I am still in vacation mode. After a week happily spent consuming equal measures of blueberry pancakes, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Rummikub, returning to work has left me with a severe case of the mental bends. And while my brain adjusts to the pain of no longer quiescing in Maine, all I can muster up are a few Random Thoughts™:

Mark Dubois

Mark Dubois: Legal Jobs Market More Complex Than Ever

By Mark Dubois |

Everyone in the legal profession, from law school administrators to bar association leaders, is going to have to consider the ramifications of a smaller pool of practicing lawyers in the future.

Amy Goodusky: Taking Aim at an Obstinate Opposing Counsel

By Amy Goodusky |

Lately, it seems that there is a lack of collegiality in the profession. When I began practicing, it was possible to forget one's concerns with another's behavior or the dilemma du jour on the courthouse steps, and to adjourn with an opponent for a cup of coffee after having vigorously disputed his position moments earlier.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: The Pros and Cons of Giving New Powers to Paralegals

By MARK DuBOIS |

The field of paralegal enterprise is getting a lot of attention today. A recent report by a Connecticut Bar Association committee on the "problem" of law schools included a suggestion that some of what folks call the justice gap — the lack of access on the part of many to resources necessary to meet their basic legal needs, could be met by empowering paralegals to offer direct-to-the public service.

Monique Ferraro: Ruling Limits Cell Phone Searches — But Not Enough

By MONIQUE FERRARO |

Lady Liberty rejoiced recently when a rare unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held that police may not rummage through an arrestee's cell phone without a warrant. For years now, police officers have riffled through arrestees' mobile devices with impunity. That is, until June 25, 2014 when the decisions in David Leon Riley v California and United States v Brima Wurie were issued by the court.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: Blogging Judge Should Not be Muzzled

By NORM PATTIS |

Richard Kopf, a U.S. District Court judge in Nebraska, writes a blog. The other day, he vented about the Supreme Court's recent decision in Hobby Lobby, the decision that extended the fiction of corporate personhood to the point of now offering the law's protection to "corporate" beliefs. The owners of Hobby Lobby can have their corporation opt out of providing contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: From the Office of the President

By Mark Dubois |

To those of you who have better things to do than keep track of my career, I just became the president of the Connecticut Bar Association. Some will wonder as to the wisdom of any organization that would choose me to lead it. Point well taken. It may have had something to do with supply and demand. I am as surprised as anyone.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: An Outcast's View Of A Patriotic Holiday

By Norm Pattis |

Over the many years I've written this column – I think it is now 14, but who is counting? – I've taken pride in never missing a week. (Except for the couple of months years back when I impetuously quit, and then returned.) Only once has a column been spiked, or not used by the editor, and that was a wise call as I had more than the usual intemperance when it came to describing a certain clerk of the Superior Court.

Attorney Dan Krisch

Dan Krisch: Court Takes Leap of Faith into Hobby Lobby Land

By Dan Krisch |

I'm 0 for 2. Earlier this year, I wrote of my fear that the U.S. Supreme Court would permit the warrantless search of arrestees' cell phones and my hope that the court would reject a company's faith-based challenge to the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act. As it happens, I feared for naught, but hoped in vain: With the court's recent decisions in Riley v. California and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, both the secrets in our iPhones and the religious beliefs of our corporations are sacrosanct.

John Browning

Opinion: Researching Jurors On The Internet Is Not Just Permissible, But Necessary

By JOHN G. BROWNING |

On June 30, the Law Tribune published an editorial "A Troublesome Opinion Regarding Juror Internet Research," in which it lamented recent American Bar Association Formal Opinion 466. This opinion concluded that there was nothing wrong with a lawyer reviewing a juror's internet presence as long as the lawyer does not initiate contact with the juror (such as by sending him or her a "friend" request).

Opinion: Funding Issues Threaten Community Mediation Centers

It's often difficult to watch the local news on television. Tales of conflict and breakups of relationships leading to unfortunate, often violent, conclusions seem commonplace. How could this be we ask as we watch or read about a terrible outcome? How did the situation get so out of hand? Was there no one there to intervene we wonder?

Gideon

Gideon: Hillary Clinton And The Act Of Defending Guilty People

By Gideon |

People hate lawyers. That's a scientific fact. While some 65 percent of people will, at some point, need a lawyer, 100 percent of them will always make lawyer jokes and consistently rank us between corporate fatcats and congressmen on the "most hated people in America" list.

Opinion: Abolish The Attorney-Client Privilege

By Eugene R. Licker and Amanda J. Sherman |

One of the great myths of the legal profession is that the attorney-client privilege promises absolute confidentiality to ensure clients' full disclosure to their counsel. However, as most lawyers know too well, clients have a natural propensity to engage in self-protective selective disclosure, which may be justified given the many exceptions to the supposedly clear, certain and reliable rule and the vigor with which most counsel attack their adversaries' invocation of the privilege.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Mortgage Scams Are Bad Risk for Lawyers

By Mark Dubois |

One of the many things I do a lot lately is talk. I am the floor show for many bar meetings. I recently did two of these with a very nice lawyer from the U.S. Attorney's Office, David Huang. They were both about mortgage fraud and how easily some lawyers got ensnared in a federal criminal prosecution.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: State Endorses Accused Killer's Goofy Defense

By NORM PATTIS |

There is something perversely delightful about the state Supreme Court's decision in the case of State v. Lishan Wang. Call it the revenge of informed consent in legal ethics.