Columnists / OP-ED

Benjamin Daniels and David Roth

Second Circuit Had a Busy First Quarter of 2016


Other rulings focus on subject-matter jurisdiction, attorney obligations.

Michelle Cruz: Second Chance 2.0 Based on Myths and Falsehoods

By Michelle Cruz |

What might the "justice system" look like if Second Chance 2.0 is approved?

Donald Trump

Editorial: Trump's Views Show Disregard for Rule of Law

By The Connecticut Law Tribune |

Trump talks of loosening our laws to allow for such torture. Heeding him would not be loosening our laws, but a wholesale disregard for them and an abandonment of our enlightened moral stature in the world.


Mark Dubois: Who Is the Client? Uncertainty Can Cause Ethical Issues


A trio of cases arising out of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse mess at Penn State reminds us of the complexities associated with defining client identity when dealing with corporate entities.

Merrick Garland.

Editorial: Could Senate Consent to Garland Nomination Through Silence?

Gregory Diskant, a lawyer and member of the national governing board of Common Cause, recently made a novel suggestion for breaking through the gridlock on President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Norm Pattis: Police Often Reluctant to Return Property to Owners


Lawmen are plenty aggressive when it comes to seizing money, and prosecutors are often aggressive in perfecting these claims. By an odd twist of law, one needn't be convicted of a crime to lose assets.

John Bonee III

John Bonee III: Reflections on 20 Years as a CBA Delegate

By John Bonee III |

Twenty years ago, when completing my duties as Hartford County Bar Association president, I ran for the Connecticut Bar Association's House of Delegates from Hartford's District 12.

Yale Law School

Editorial: State Constitution Bars Taxation of Yale Endowment

With hundreds of millions of dollars of debt looming over them, state lawmakers came up with a brilliant plan: let's make income on university endowments taxable.


Mark Dubois: In Computer Age, Practice of Law Still Requires Human Touch

By Mark Dubois |

A Google computer program just beat one of the world masters at the game of Go. There's a lesson in that for us.

Patricia King

Patricia King: Dealing With Different Types of Problem Clients


The ability to recognize a problem client can allow you to make an informed decision whether to decline the representation, or to undertake the representation with an understanding that it is going to take some extra work to manage the client along with his case.


Norm Pattis: Civil Gideon Proposal Is A Bad Idea

By Norm Pattis |

While it sounds good in theory to say that no litigant should be kept from court on economic grounds, in practice, providing free, court-appointed counsel to all litigants is the equivalent of giving alcoholics carte blanche access to a gin mill.

Editorial: Firms Should Launch Residency Programs to Train Next Generation of Lawyers

We as members of the bar have an obligation to make sure that the next generation of lawyers is adequately trained, has had appropriate work experience, and will serve the public good responsibly.

Alan Schwartz

Second Circuit Says Not All Businesses Are Subject To Conn. Court Jurisdiction


Judges say business registration doesn't constitute 'consent' to state jurisdiction.


Norm Pattis: Disciplinary Authorities Go Too Easy on Prosecutors

By Norm Pattis |

Who holds prosecutors accountable when they err? The answer, surprisingly, is no one. That's one conclusion a recent study on prosecutorial misconduct nationwide reached.

Editorial: State Should Amend Laws Regulating Electroshock Therapy

Connecticut's shock therapy statutes raise serious due process concerns and need to be amended, especially because the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for people with psychiatric diagnoses is once again increasing in Connecticut.


Mark Dubois: Bar Members Need to Step Up and Help Legal Aid


If nothing is done, an already meager and woefully understaffed attempt at providing legal services to those who need it most and can afford it least will be further pared down. At some point, it will be so small and ineffectual that some will wonder why we even pretend to care.

Dan Klau

Dan Klau: Garland Nomination Likely To Set Off Epic Battle

By Dan Klau |

In the Supreme Court nomination battle, the stakes are enormous for both political parties and for the nation. When the stakes are that significant, we should expect nothing less than a battle royale.

Michelle Cruz: Erin Andrews' Case Puts High Value on Privacy Rights


With the advancement of technology and the explosive use of social media and cellphones with video capabilities, the right to privacy has come under attack.

Editorial: Lawmakers Must Take Aggressive Steps to Protect Public Land

Will improved statutory or constitutional protections of state lands or giveaways of public lands win the day?


Mark Dubois: Should Legal Profession Embrace Change or Stand Firm?

By Mark Dubois |

Several events recently brought home the fact that, in the words of one wag, "this ain't our fathers' bar anymore."


Norm Pattis: Make the Plea Bargaining Process More Transparent

By Norm Pattis |

Last week's column on plea bargaining had more than a few heads shaking. One wag had this to say: Deprive judges of the fantasy of a bargain, and plea offers will go up. Leave well enough alone, I was advised. I was playing with fire. Really? Let's juggle the torches some, and see what happens.

Bar Exam. Photo By Hewlett Askew

Editorial: Requiring Professional Competency for Bar Admission

The skills competency provision requires law schools to certify that their new graduates have demonstrated basic competence in outcomes that the schools themselves have identified as essential to ensuring that the graduates are "practice-ready and prepared to meet the myriad—and emerging—demands of the legal profession in the 21st century."

John Cirello

John Cirello: Jesus, Jury Trials and Passing the Buck

By John Cirello |

When we think about our courts, many of us want to believe that the jury system is the purest form of democracy.


Norm Pattis: Plea Bargains, the Trial Tax and Judicial Candor

By Norm Pattis |

There are some judges in Connecticut who genuinely appear to believe that there is no such thing as the trial tax.

Editorial: Ruling Could Alter Dynamics of Document Review

There is a crack in the dam holding back the countless night and weekend hours expended by bleary-eyed associates who really just want to start "practicing law" and stop sorting documents.


Mark Dubois: Courts Will Feel Impact of Conn's Fiscal Train Wreck

By Mark Dubois |

Ben Barnes, the governor's budget director, recently described Connecticut government as being in a state of permanent fiscal crisis.


Norm Pattis: The FBI's Outrageous Attempt to Conscript Apple

By Norm Pattis |

Framing the dispute between Apple Inc. and the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the need to balance security and liberty tilts the debate in favor of the government. A more candid framing destroys the government's assertions: the conflict pits slavery against freedom. Who favors slavery?

Editorial: Eminent Domain Laws Provide Too Little Protection for Businesses and Homeowners

Connecticut should do better for its homeowners and small businesses. Economic development is desirable, but so is security in the ownership of private property.

Patricia King

Patricia King: Substance Abuse Among Lawyers Is No Joke

By Patricia King |

While many of our colleagues joke about the stress of being a lawyer, often followed by some reference to drinking, a recent study should cause us all to stop and take these so-called witticisms seriously. As Shakespeare said, "Jesters do often prove prophets."


'Yes Means Yes' Bill Would Eliminate Due Process on Campuses


What is an active agreement? What is an unambiguous agreement? What is an informed agreement?


Mark Dubois: Re-Thinking the Concept of Cross-Border Practice

By Mark Dubois |

A parting gift from Jonathan Lippman, New York's recently retired chief judge of the Court of Appeals, was the adoption of Model Rule 5.5, which allows New York lawyers to engage in cross-border practice.


Norm Pattis: Justice Scalia, Originalism and Dark Money

By Norm Pattis |

Antonin Scalia's death should, I suppose, have come as no surprise. All men are, after all, mortal, and Scalia, well, he was a man. But his death surprises me nonetheless. It's as though a dark star suddenly imploded.

Editorial: Obama, Senate Should Not Wait to Fill Scalia Vacancy

Suggestions that President Barack Obama should not fill the vacancy left by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's death and that the Senate should not confirm anyone should be rejected.

Editorial: Bar Should Take Note of Military Justice Reforms

The bar ought to gear up to review and comment on a legislative proposal that would make significant changes in the military justice system.


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.