Monday, April 9, 2012 | The Connecticut Law Tribune
What is the hottest training in Connecticut right now? The guardian ad litem (GAL)/attorney for minor child (AMC) training that is being given at Quinnipiac University School of Law.
Monday, April 2, 2012 | The Connecticut Law Tribune
Since the fall of last year, with little fanfare and even less notice, a remarkable effort to assist young lawyers just entering their chosen profession has been underway in most of the Judicial Districts around the state. More particularly, the Connecticut Bar Association's Mentoring Task Force II, co-chaired by Judge Kenneth Shluger and attorney Howard Klebanoff, has established a mentoring program for new admittees in Hartford, New Haven, New London, Tolland/Manchester, Stamford, Bridgeport and Waterbury judicial districts. The plan pairs the new admittee with an experienced member of the bar, who will be available to guide his or her mentee through the myriad issues and challenges inevitably encountered in that daunting first year of practice.
Monday, March 19, 2012 | The Connecticut Law Tribune
When was the last time a Fair Housing or Public Accommodations Act issue came across your desk? Never, you say. Let's think about that. Ever have a landlord inquire as to how to reduce his or her risk for claims because a child living in the apartment was poisoned by lead-based paint? Ever have a client selling his or her home who wished to meet every potential purchaser personally to be sure they would "fit in with the neighbors?" Shouldn't the landlord be able to enforce a requirement that potential tenants have a credit score of at least X? Must the landlord allow a housing inspection because the potential tenant is receiving the Section 8 housing subsidy? Each of these seemingly innocent situations presents a fair housing issue.
Monday, March 12, 2012 | The Connecticut Law Tribune
The mark of a good lawyer includes zealous representation of his or her client. Such commitment to the client's cause often includes speaking out when injustice has been done. But zeal can be carried to excess, and it has been in the recent guest commentary by attorney Bruce Matzkin entitled "Judicial Robe-itis: Confusing Power And Discretion" published in the Feb. 6, 2012 edition of this newspaper. It is inappropriate for a lawyer to criticize a judge as he has at any time, but especially so while the a decision by that judge is on appeal.
Monday, February 27, 2012 | The Connecticut Law Tribune
Originally conceived as a statute protective of public safety, the Connecticut sex offender registry has become so overly stringent that its original mission is no longer being achieved. It is time to amend the statute so as to promulgate regulations that classify crimes/offenders into categories of dangerousness, broaden the range of time periods for placement on the registry beyond the current periods of 10 years or a lifetime, and to allow greater mechanisms for past offenders to seek relief from the burdens of the registry.
Monday, February 27, 2012 | The Connecticut Law Tribune
The recent grant of more than 200 pardons by the governor of Mississippi on his "way out the door" is an example why the pardons process in many states should be changed. In the majority of states, pardons are the exclusive prerogative of the governor, who, like the president of the United States, has an unlimited authority to grant pardons for the commission of any crime. Some states do require a recommendation from a pardons or parole board. But in most of those states, the governors don't have to follow the board's recommendation.
Monday, January 30, 2012 | The Connecticut Law Tribune
Norm Pattis offers a useful perspective in his entertaining weekly column in the Law Tribune. The bar needs to be reminded of what criminal defense attorneys see and observe about people and the legal system. In particular, Mr. Pattis' independence and focus on the rights of the individual often provide a useful lest-we-forget in a complex legal system and world.
Monday, January 23, 2012 | The Connecticut Law Tribune
Judges and lawyers are in the business of proof. In the courtroom, assertion is meaningless without evidence, and any verdict based on mere speculation or anecdote is prohibited. Ironically, we now see judges and lawyers who demand rigid proof in the courtroom coming out in support of mandatory continuing legal education without a shred of empirical evidence demonstrating its efficacy. Instead these folks rest their position on amorphous concepts like "public confidence" and "consumer protection." These soft and unsupported arguments are analogous to a lawyer banging on counsel table when it becomes clear that neither law nor fact is on their side.
Monday, January 16, 2012 | The Connecticut Law Tribune
The Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly has considered the Revised Uniform Arbitration Act on seven occasions since 2002. It only made it out of committee once, in 2009, when it died on the House floor. Each bill had its problems, but so do the state's present arbitration statutes, which have not been significantly updated since 1949. In the meantime, arbitration has moved on and become more popular. It's time to fix the proposed bill and straighten out our statutes.
Monday, January 2, 2012 | The Connecticut Law Tribune
Congress has announced that among the many cuts within this year's federal budget is a significant reduction in Legal Services Corp.?A House-Senate conference agreement for fiscal year 2012 provides $348 million to the Legal Services Corp. (LSC). Of that, $322.4 million would fund basic field grants for the delivery of civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. This reduces LSC's overall funding by 13.9 percent and for basic field grants by 14.8 percent.