Letters To The Editor

Letter: Prosecutor Defends Judge Who Dismissed Juror in Murder Trial

A recent article about State v. Gonzalez in the Connecticut Law Tribune painted a picture straight out of the movies: a single, pro-defendant juror fighting to convince her fellow jurors to change their guilty votes.

Opinion: CBA Defense Of Family Law System Is 'Misguided'

Editor's note: The author of this letter is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, a former clerk for a federal judge and a former tax lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City. Last fall, he was involved in legal proceedings in which he and his lawyer challenged the fees and conduct of a GAL involved in his divorce case.

Opinion: CBA Engaged In 'Continuous Pursuit' Of Diversity

To the Editor: Although the commitment of the Connecticut Bar Association to maintain and expand diversity in fact and in spirit has been a pledge of all recent presidents, we acknowledge that the CBA could and should be even more diverse and that the creation of full diversity within the association is a work in progress.

Opinion: Defense Of DCF In Transgender Teen Case Is Misguided

Editor's Note: The following letter is in response to an opinion piece by Law Tribune columnist and appellate attorney Dan Krisch, who authored a recent column defending the transfer of "Jane Doe," a transgender teen, from the custody of the state Department of Children and Families to an adult prison.

Opinion: ABA Touts Benefits To Small Firm, Solo Lawyers

Dear Editor, As a solo attorney in Connecticut and the incoming chair of the American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division (GPSolo), I wanted to let Connecticut lawyers know that the ABA provides an incredible value for the Main Street lawyer.

Opinion: Racial Data Aids Cause Of Justice

To the Editor: Chris Powell writes that the tracking and reporting of traffic stops and police Taser deployment, as advocated by the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, constitute a distraction from more pressing problems, such as racially discriminatory drug-free zones. ("Traffic Stops, Stun Guns Aren't The Race Problem," Connecticut Law Tribune, June 23.)

Letter: Gun Bill Support Puts CBA on Path To Political Activism

Recently, the Connecticut Bar Association's House of Delegates (HOD) met and approved (by a 34-14 vote) a motion made by the chair of the CBA's Human Rights and Responsibilities Section to support and sign onto an amicus brief supporting the constitutionality of "An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety" that was enacted by the Connecticut Legislature last year.

XDM 3.8 Compact, 9mm pistol.

Letter: CBA Members Should Have A Social Conscience

I feel that it is unfortunate that certain members of the Connecticut Bar Association are now seeking to override the House of Delegates vote to take a position on Shew v. Malloy via referendum.

Letter: CBA Should Take New Vote on Gun Bill Amicus

I write to give voice to the discontent and frustration that I know many of us share. I write to express my dissent over the recent decision of the Connecticut Bar Association's House of Delegates authorizing the CBA to join an amicus brief in the Shew v. Malloy appeal over the clear opposition of a large percentage of the CBA's membership

Opinion: Litigators Often Abuse Freedom Of Information Law

The Connecticut Freedom of Information Act was intended to "open the public files" for the citizenry to gain access to information and records that were far more difficult to obtain prior to the law's enactment, and to see their government in action.

Defense Offered For 'Anonymous' Editorials

As a former member of the Law Tribune's Editorial Board, I was especially interested in Karen Lee Torre's January 14 column. No, not her criticism of a recent editorial that supposedly attacked the Catholic Church. My attention was instead drawn to her concern about those members of the Board who "exploit" their position in order "to throw darts from behind a veil."

Critical Article Unfair To High Court Nominee

As Chairman of Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparity in the Criminal Justice System, I take serious issue with the recent article in the Law Tribune ("Appellate Bar Split Over Hispanic Court Nominee," Jan. 14, 2013).

'Shadowing' Defense

Editor's note: This letter's author, Stratford attorney Kenneth Beck, had placed an ad on Craigslist inviting young lawyers to observe him at work — for a fee. The proposal, since withdrawn, sparked debate in legal circles, as the Law Tribune reported in the Jan. 21 issue. The email to which Beck refers is reprinted below his letter.

Sullivan's Triumphs Should Not Be Lost

To The Editor: Chief Justice William Sullivan's accomplishments during his tenure far outweigh the error of holding up the publication of <em>Clerk of the Superior Court v. Freedom of Information Commission</em>.

To The Editor: MJP Proposal Makes Sense

<i>To The Editor: </i>The multijurisdictional practice issue may be one of the most important issues the Connecticut Bar Association has confronted over the past few years.

Zarella Deserves Swift Consideration

I am writing this letter in support of the nomination of Justice Peter T. Zarella of the Connecticut Supreme Court to the position of chief justice. There is no good reason to delay his confirmation or to allow partisan politics to overtake the process.

Fee Suit Did Not Allege Malpractice

To The Editor: While Kroll, McNamara did assert a claim against the Aldermans for unpaid legal fees, that claim was <em>not</em> in the nature of a "malpractice case against A&A" as Mr. Scheffey writes.</p>

To The Editor: Lawyers Lack Good Manners

By Letter To The Editor |

To The Editor: Cutting in line is just so rude and as a profession we should stop.

Column Was An Insult

To The Editor: Upon reading attorney Susan Cartier-Liebel's June 26 article ("Real Estate Certification A Death Knell To Solos"), we were struck by her comment that "Representing a client in a residential real estate closing is not brain surgery.

Letter: Litigation Threat Inflated

To The Editor: As an attorney who represents organ procurement agencies and hospitals, I was disturbed by the recent article on the proposed changes to the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.

'Great Career' Overlooked

To The Editor: For the past few months, I've been reading what's been said in the papers about Justice William "Tocco" Sullivan. It's made me both sad and angry, because what's being said is so terribly unfair to someone who's truly a great man. People who don't know him are getting a completely false impression of who he is.

Letters To The Editor: CBA Members Kept In The Dark

To the Editor: The Jan. 8, 2007, article, "Turnover A Symptom of Strife," about significant internal staff challenges confronting the Connecticut Bar Association should concern all CBA members.

Letter: Sullivan Deserves Better

To The Editor: As a nation, particularly in trouble times like these, we desperately need our best young people to see public service as a worthy goal.

Commentary: Probate Court Administrator Needs No More Power

By Russell Kimes |

In emThe Law Tribune/em front-page report entitled "Probate Chief Seeks More Muscle" (May 7, 2007), I was surprised to read that Probate Court Administrator James Lawlor could only give two reasons for his quest for more power.

Zarella Deserves Praise

I wholeheartedly agree that the efforts of the Criminal Justice Commission in achieving greater diversity must be gauged upon the number of minorities hired in recent years.

Certification Can Only Enhance Bar's Image

emTo the Editor:/em

Letter To The Editor: Certification Will Help Fend Off Nonlawyers

bTo The Editor:/b In its attempt to convince us that certification for residential real property practitioners should be stopped, the Aug. 13th Advice of Counsel column ("Certification Bid Must End") perpetuates a number of old misunderstandings about the program and creates a few new ones.

Good Cause For Alarm

Columnist Robert Byron's piece on what he called a fearful small-minded Middletown (CLT, July 9, 2007, page 22) was I think unfortunate, insensitive, and symptomatic of that arrogant disease called my cause is so just that any means employed to advance it is okay.

Column Was Unfair Attack On Family Bar

bTo the editor:/b I read with great interest Norm Pattis's Sept. 24 column ("Parents At The Mercy Of For-Profit Overlords") regarding what he described as the "largely lawless" family court and how that court is, according to Mr. Pattis, either unable or unwilling to do much about it. Although Mr. Pattis is clearly an extremely bright and articulate attorney, and his columns are sometimes thought-provoking and interesting, he has clearly, in my opinion, missed the point in this instance.

Letter to the Editor: Yale Alum Responds

bTo The Editor:/bRegarding [the Associated Press] article on the decision by Yale Law School to now permit military recruiters access to its students ("Yale Opens Campus To Military," Sept. 24, page 13) and Karen Lee Torre's commentary ("Yale Elite Meet Military Defeat," page 27), I would add this paraphrase of an observation by Gen. William Butler, often, but apparently not accurately, attributed to Thucydides: "The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools."

Trustee System Isn't Fair

As a plaintiff suing a trustee attorney appointed under Section 2-64 of the Connecticut Practice Book, I read Douglas Malan's article "All Work And No Pay" in the Law Tribune's July 30, 2007, issue with great interest.

Leave Zoning Statutes Alone

iTo The Editor:/i I am writing in response to the comments of the Advisory Board (Nov. 19) regarding the Supreme Court decision in Pansy Road LLC v. Town Plan Zoning Commission of the Town of Fairfield. As trial and appellate counsel for the plaintiff, I offer a different perspective with regard to the decision of the court.

Let Local Commissions Fight Overdevelopment

emTo The Editor:/em In emPansy Road v. Fairfield/em, our Supreme Court held that a local planning commission may not take into account the effects of off site traffic when deciding a subdivision application. em Pansy Road/em may be the law, but it is bad land use planning.

CCLU's Motives Misunderstood

bTo The Editor:/b As the author of the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union's (now ACLU of Connecticut) iamicus curiae/i brief in the Nina Wu case, I respectfully but vigorously deny iLaw Tribune/i columnist Karen Lee Torre's recent insinuation that the CCLU refused direct representation of Wu because her speech seemed homophobic. (See "The ACLU's Wrong Left Turn, Nov. 5, 2007, page 27.)

Web Site Criticism Upsets Civil Litigator

iTo The Editor:/iRecently, my partner decided to create a web site. He listed me as a trial lawyer, but received criticism from the bar, because according to the recently established audit committee, although it is an accurate statement that my practice is devoted 100 percent to litigation, to state this fact suggests an expertise in the area that I am not permitted to claim since I am not board certified.

Comments On Aliens Not Out Of Bounds

First, on behalf of our client, the Honorable John R. Downey, we comment the members of the iLaw Tribune /iAdvisory Board for reconsidering their prior editorial and now recommending the reappointment of Judge Downey.

Probate Court Workers Deserve Benefits

iDear Editor:/i Your recent Advisory Board commentary ("Hands In The Cookie Jar," March 24, 2008) presents an overly simplistic analysis of a complex governmental issue.

Lawsuit Is An Attack On American Values

iTo the Editor:/iBased on what I read in the January 14 issue of the iLaw Tribune/i, a Connecticut lawyer for convicted terrorist Jose Padilla is suing another attorney for writing a legal interpretation with which he disagrees.

Property Rights Ombudsman Also Offers Mediation Help

To say I was surprised when I read the Advisory Board editorial in the May 19th edition of the iLaw Tribune/i entitled "An Honorable Ombudsman" is an understatement of major proportions. I thank you for praising my work and especially for mentioning my executive assistant, Maryann Boord, without whom the state Office of Ombudsman for Property Rights would not function nearly so well.

MCLE Proposal Widely Discussed In Recent Years

In an April 14 commentary from your advisory board entitled "Better Communication From CBA," you state that proposed rules for mandatory continuing legal education "are not being widely circulated outside the sponsoring section for comments before implementation is sought," and that the "CBA [has proposed] new rules which affect many lawyers without the membership being aware and having an opportunity to comment." This is simply not the case.

Magistrate Was Professional, Competent In Former Job

I have read your April 14, 2008 article concerning Family Magistrate Christopher Oliveira and wish to write in his defense.I do not know what happened in 2004 concerning his job as a family relations counselor trainee at the Middletown courthouse. Prior to this time, however, he had served between three and four years in the Middlesex Judicial District's Civil and Family Clerk's Office as the temporary assistant clerk handling the family magistrate docket.

New Guilt Standard Needed For Capital Cases

After years of DNA evidence which has led to the exoneration of persons wrongly convicted and imprisoned, it is time to reevaluate the death penalty. There is little doubt that hundreds of innocent people have been executed and will continue to be executed as DNA is not always available.

CHRO Critic Is Civil Rights 'Warrior' And Not A Bigot

I recently read the letter from Robert Brothers, acting executive director of the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, in which he responds to a column by Karen Torre (Law Tribune, Sept. 8.). I do not know Mr. Brothers and he apparently does not know attorney Torre. How else could he respond to a column by her that is critical of his agency by suggesting that she is a bigot?

Undocumented Immigrants Aren't 'Raving Criminals'

I write in response to Karen Torre's column regarding sanctuary cities (Law Tribune, Sept. 15) and her follow-up column about animal rights (a transparent pretense for her appalling theory that animals are more worth saving than undocumented immigrants).

CHRO Director Says Criticism Was 'Malicious

As the acting executive director of an agency under attack in these pages, I would like to offer a few comments on the column, "Time To Confront A Useless CHRO," which appeared in the Sept. 8 issue of the Connecticut Law Tribune.

Minority Judges Equally Qualified

The Aug. 4 iConnecticut Law Tribune/i included a guest commentary from Chris Powell entitled, "Social Justice Doesn't Flow From The Courts." Although several weeks have passed, I have not seen any responses to the article, which I thought would be quick and furious.

Wrong People Received Credit In Kerrigan Case

I disagree with your designation of attorneys Ken Bartschi and Karen Dowd in your "Dozen Who Made A Difference" section in the Dec. 22, 2008 edition of the Law Tribune.

Court Closure Called 'Thoughtless And Insensitive'

Now that I am in my 49th year of practice, it is refreshing to note that power and privilege are in good stead in various areas of Connecticut.

'Chumminess' Not An Issue With State Forensics Lab

iLaw Tribune/i columnist Norm Pattis is a magnificent lawyer and a clever writer; he is a "true believer." Perhaps, however, Norm has too often represented police officers accused of wrongdoing, like those who unfairly spin statements made by an accused.

ABA President Defends Policymaking Process

Replete with inaccuracies designed to make a point, columnist Karen Lee Torre's article ("No To ABA, Yes To CBA," Aug. 10) presents anything but a balanced view. Yes, the ABA takes positions that its members bring forward. Any member may propose a position to be taken - whether liberal or conservative - and any member may advocate his or her views to convince the 555-member House of Delegates to adopt that view as policy.

Lawyer Is Grateful For Support After Hostage Ordeal


Editor's Note: On July 7, Hartford attorney Nancy Tyler was allegedly kidnapped by her estranged husband, advertising executive, Richard J. Shenkman, from a parking lot near the Hartford law firm where she works. He reportedly took her to their South Windsor home which, after a long standoff with police, he allegedly burned down. Shenkman is currently being held without bail.

State Treasurer Opposes 'Raid' On Client Fund

As one who has served as a public fiduciary for more than 20 years, I was shocked and deeply disturbed to read your article entitled "Top Lawyers File Suit Against Governor." While the headline was accurate, the article implies that I support the proposed raiding of the Client Security Fund, when I do not.

Attorneys Live On 'Razor's Edge, One Step From Disaster'

By Kenneth J. Laska |

bEditor's Note:/b The following letter was in response to the recent suicide of James F. Ripper, an attorney for 37 years who operated a small Rocky Hill firm called Real Estate Resources LLC. In the Nov. 30 issue, the Law Tribune reported that the firm was apparently in financial distress because of the downturn in the real estate market.

Legal Aid Faces Fiscal Challenges In New Year

As the New Year begins, legal aid programs dedicated to the assistance of low-income state residents are faced with multiple challenges. First, the clients we serve are particularly challenged in this terrible economy. Jobs are scarce, especially for those with limited skills or education. As a result, the number of people relying on food stamps in Connecticut has almost doubled since 2007. People with disabilities, who cannot find work in a booming economy, need help even more when times are rough. And people facing discrimination or physical abuse have fewer options.

Three Ways To Make Legal Practice More Efficient

By Duane Lueders |

Having read Chief Justice Chase Rogers' Jan. 2, 2012 piece entitled "Taking Steps to Re-Engineer Court System," I would like to make three suggestions. However, before I do, I feel compelled to state the obvious: as a budgetary constraints increase, waste of time and/or money must decrease

UConn Law Has Added Many Programs, Clinics

It is too bad that in his commentary Law Tribune columnist Mark DuBois did not follow a basic rule for both law students and lawyers: find out the facts.

Judicial Pay Commission Would Violate Constitution

By Margaret A. Little |

Your publication has done a great public service in running Karen Lee Torre's recent column on our legislature's creation of an extra-constitutional commission to propose judicial salary increases that go into effect if the legislature fails to act on the commission's recommendations. This is not widely known to members of the legal profession or the public at large and deserves wide distribution and vigorous public debate.

Correction Chief Defends Guard

I am writing in response to your recent Law Tribune column entitled, "A Hostile Encounter at the Prison Gates" in which you recount a recent visit to the York Correctional Institution in Niantic.

Mentors Available For New Lawyers

By Kenneth Shluger |

The Connecticut Bar Association Mentoring Task Force is alive and well, as the Law Tribune's Editorial Board reminded its readers in a recent editorial, "If You Build It, They Will Come - Maybe."

Correction Commissioner Has Top Credentials, Good Character

There is little dispute that attorney Norm Pattis is an intelligent, skilled and talented criminal defense lawyer. But some of his recent "columns" in the Law Tribune should more appropriately be categorized as "chronicles" rather than "columns" of interest to the newspaper's audience.

Letter: Awards Aim Was Miscommunicated

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Letter: Protect Environmental Protection Act

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Letters to the Editor