Columnists / OP-ED

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.

Editorial: Conn. Should Hire 'Court Navigators' to Help Pro Ses

In his recent annual report on the New York state judiciary, titled "Access to Justice: Making the Ideal a Reality," Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman called on the New York State Legislature "to pass a joint resolution that makes it unmistakably clear as a matter of policy and principle that low-income New Yorkers facing legal matters concerning the necessities of life are entitled to effective legal assistance in civil proceedings."

Gideon

Gideon: Legislative Pouting Disrupts Important Drug Law Debates

By Gideon |

In the last month, I have been interviewed by two high school classes. One was at a predominantly white, suburban prep school and the other at a predominantly minority urban high school. At both places, the students weren't interested in how to write a pseudonymous column for a local legal newspaper, but instead they wanted to know what it was like to be a public defender.

Norm Pattis: Judges Should Let Excessive-Force Claims Go Forward

By Norm Pattis |

Hard cases, the maxim goes, make bad law. So it is hardly surprising that the Connecticut General Assembly is poised to weigh in on the use of deadly force by police officers with a sloppy piece of legislation. I wonder, really, whether new laws are necessary. And if they are, I harbor doubts about the bill unanimously passed by the Senate.

Gideon

Gideon: Pouting, Posturing Disrupts Important Drug Law Debates

In the last month, I have been interviewed by two high school classes. One was at a predominantly white, suburban prep school and the other at a predominantly minority urban high school. At both places, the students weren't interested in how to write a pseudonymous column for a local legal newspaper, but instead wanted to know what it was like to be a public defender.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Another Lawyer Engages In Crime of Opportunity

By Mark Dubois |

The rules should be amended to require all lawyers' fiduciary accounts to be registered with the Statewide Grievance Committee. Probate judges should start demanding bonds from fiduciaries and routinely auditing accounts under their supervision.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: Voir Dire Secrecy Is Indefensible, in Any Form

By Norm Pattis |

I cannot help but wonder whether the public trial rights of criminal defendants are routinely violated in Connecticut when judges conduct sensitive voir dire by means of the dreaded sidebar. Consider the implications of United States v. Gupta, a 2011 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit case.

Patricia King

Patricia King: Many Lawyers Have Trouble Managing Money

By Patricia King |

We've all become well acquainted with "income inequality," a trendy term that describes the gaping disparity between the large percentage of the national wealth that is held by a small percentage of upper-income Americans and the paltry percentage that dribbles down to the middle and lower classes. But have you heard about income inequality's cousin: income volatility?

Kathy Flaherty

Commentary: Violent Actions of Mentally Ill People Aren't Predictable

By Kathleen Flaherty |

As the associate executive director of the Connecticut Legal Rights Project, which provides legal services to adults with mental health conditions, and a member of the governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, I must respond to the May 4 guest commentary "When Rights of the Mentally Ill Affect Public Safety."

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: Ignorance of Law Is Good Reason for CLE

By Norm Pattis |

I've never been a fan of arbitration and mediation. Loosey-goosey fact-finding is dangerous. The rules of evidence matter, and mastery of those rules best equips a lawyer to present reliable information.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Simplifying Divorce Is the Right Idea

By Mark Dubois |

Kudos to Beth Bozzuto, Connecticut's chief administrative judge for family matters, and the Judicial Branch for proposing a streamlined and fairly summary process for folks with limited assets and issues who wish to be divorced.

Patricia King

Patricia King: Mentors Can Help New Lawyers Avoid Ethical Lapses

By Patricia King |

The results of the February bar exam were just released, and another wave of young lawyers will be sworn in very soon. Unfortunately, the job market and student loan debt will force many of them into solo practice if they cannot find other employment.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: When Big Trials Turn Into Public Spectacles

By Norm Pattis |

I'm always amazed when I read press accounts of cases I have either tried, or am in the midst of trying: the reporter's gloss rarely reflects the complexity of the proceeding.

Commentary: False FBI Testimony Could Be Turning Point in Death Penalty Debate

By Duane Lueders |

On April 18, the Washington Post published an article headlined "FBI Admits Flaws in Hair Analysis over Decades."

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Attorneys Must Find New Ways to Monetize Services

By Mark Dubois |

I recently heard an interesting interview with Andrew Julien, editor of the Hartford Courant, and his colleague, digital editor Christine Taylor. The issue was how the reshaping of the media world was affecting the Courant, the nation's oldest continuously operating newspaper.

Monique Ferraro

Commentary: State Must Fix Flawed Process for Analyzing Digital Evidence

Every month or so we hear something about a crime lab or forensic examiner who compromised a case by lying, stealing, misrepresenting credentials or worse. And then there are cases when these experts just get it wrong.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: Jenner Interview Does Little to Advance Transgender Rights

By Norm Pattis |

I missed Bruce Jenner's interview with Diane Sawyer the other night, and, try as I might, I just can't seem to muster the will to go back and watch it. That the former Olympian regards himself as a woman is, no doubt, a highly significant struggle for him. But I am tone-deaf to its social significance.

Pattis-Norm

Norm Pattis: Courts Impose Far Too Many Life Sentences

By Norm Pattis |

I wasn't under any illusions about what the sentence would be. My client was convicted of shooting a man in a drive-by shooting, killing him almost instantly. There were other charges pending, charges involving other shootings. The maximum sentence for murder was 60 years. We expected the full monty.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: New Media, Old Lawyers—And a Bad Biking Accident

By Mark Dubois |

I had the recent pleasure of doing an in-service training for a state agency. When my daughter learned that I would be speaking on social media, she emailed me (because I don't tweet, snap, vine or text) and asked what I knew about this stuff that qualified me to be giving such a talk.

Commentary: Boston Bomber's Body Language Won't Win Over Jury

By Duane Lueders |

As the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial enters the penalty phase, several interesting issues regarding the government's attempt to impose the death penalty, and Tsarnaev's apparent attempt to avoid it, are presented.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: Faux Lawyers Succeed Without Attending Law School

By Mark Dubois |

I just saw where another lawyers was discovered never having gone to law school. Seems Kimberly Kitchens of the Pennsylvania bar kind of forgot to go to law school, but managed nevertheless to parlay her decade spent as a paralegal into a job with a Huntingdon firm where she made partner after 10 years of good work on estate and probate matters.

Ian McLachlan

Commentary: Former Conn. Justice Critical of Ex-Colleagues

By C. Ian McLachlan |

I disagree with the Connecticut Supreme Court's recent decision to overturn Richard LaPointe's 1992 murder conviction, but my principal disagreement has to do with the manner in which the result was reached, as well as the tone.

Dubois-Mark

Mark Dubois: The Gradual Acceptance of the Virtual Law Office

By Mark Dubois |

A few years ago, the American Bar Association ethics solons convened something called Ethics 20/20, which followed Ethics 2000 as an attempt to examine the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and determine whether circumstances might dictate the need for changes to the existing lawyer ethics regime or new rules to respond to new technologies or business methods.

Michelle Cruz: Offenders Already Have Plenty of Second Chances

By Michelle Cruz |

Gov. Dannel Malloy recently announced a "Second Chance" initiative for criminal offenders. However, at first glance, it seems Malloy's goal is not really to reform criminals.