The duty of care a tree removal crew owed to members of the general public was to keep them a reasonably safe distance away from the tree removal operation.
Practice Areas: Torts
For a claim of negligent misrepresentation, even if the misrepresentation forms part of a binding agreement, a plaintiff cannot reasonably rely on a contractual term he knows to be false and an attorney's knowledge regarding the falsity of a statement prevents his client from claiming he reasonably relied on that statement in an action for negligent misrepresentation.
To prevail in a premises-liability suit, a plaintiff may be required to prove that the defendants controlled the location, that there was a defect at that location and that the defendants received actual or constructive notice of the defect.
When ruling on compensation for an executor, a court may consider: the size of the estate, the responsibilities involved, the character of the work, special problems, results achieved, skill required, promptness of settlement and time required.
A worker who allegedly visits adult Web sites during work hours engages in "willful misconduct."
The "corrected affidavit doctrine" provides that if, after crossing out any allegedly false information and supplying any omitted facts, the corrected affidavit would have supported a finding of probable cause, then the police are entitled to qualified immunity.
A pro se plaintiff who files an Employee Retirement Income Security Act claim may be entitled to notice about the consequences of failing to respond to a motion for summary judgment.
Probable cause exists to suspend an operator's safe boating certificate, if the operator is observed at the helm, he fails field sobriety tests and he refuses to take a breath test.
The State Elections Enforcement Commission may elect not to penalize a campaign committee that fails to provide "paid for by" and "approved by" attributions," pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §9-621.
When genuine issues of material fact exist concerning whether corporate shares were furnished contingent on the receipt of a multi-milliondollar investment, a court can deny a motion for summary judgment in a declaratory judgment suit that requests the court to find that corporate shares are void.
Although domestic violence may qualify as a reason to leave suitable work involuntarily, lack of child care may not.
Allegations that a supervisor instructed a worker to use chemicals without adequate protective gear, after the worker was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery, may be adequate to allege that the employer intentionally created a dangerous condition that made the employee's injuries substantially certain to occur.
The Alien Tort Statute, 28 United States Code §1350, may not provide jurisdiction in a "foreign-cubed" suit over allegations that foreign plaintiffs were tortured by a foreign defendant in a foreign country.
A worker who is severely disabled at the time of discharge and who qualifies for Social Security disability benefits may not be able to prove he remained qualified for the job.
A teacher whose employment is reduced from full-time to part-time cannot state a cause of action for discharge under the Teacher Tenure Act, Connecticut General Statutes §10-151, and does not possess a due-process claim on which relief can be granted.
"[A]n agency's search may be sufficient under [the Freedom of Information Act] even if it does not uncover every record that a plaintiff believes is relevant and likely to exist in the agency's files," pursuant to Ferguson v. U.S. Department of Education, a 2011 decision of the Southern District of New York.
The administrative law judge is not required to furnish controlling weight to a claimant's treating doctor, if substantial evidence contradicts the treating doctor's opinion.
A court can vacate an arbitration award, if the arbitrator exceeds his powers, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §52-418(a)(4).
Allegations that a worker was discharged from a volunteer fire company after she criticized the volunteer fire company on social media may be insufficient to allege a cause of action for violation of the right to freedom of expression under the Connecticut Constitution.
To prevail on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, a petitioner must establish: 1.) counsel's representation was below an objective standard of reasonableness; and 2.) counsel's performance prejudiced the defense.
When insurance covers only a portion of damages from a motor-vehicle accident, a court can reach a ruling on each party's economic and non-economic damages and award a proportionate amount.
Precedent holding that an evidentiary hearing is required to resolve a disputed question of fact as to when the plaintiff in a foreclosure action acquired the note was inapposite when there was no dispute that the plaintiff was the holder of the note; where a jurisdictional determination is not dependent on the resolution of a meaningful factual dispute, there is no requirement that the court conduct a fact-based hearing.
Practice Areas: Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights
In a foreclosure action, title vesting in the purchaser does not strip the court of its jurisdiction over the sale proceeds and, here, the purchaser could intervene in supplemental proceedings to seek a return of the purchase price after title to the property passed when cumulative errors caused the purchaser to buy property that, unbeknownst by him, but known by the second mortgagee, was subject to a first mortgage foreclosed shortly thereafter.
Because the trial court did not err in instructing the jury, appellate counsel's decision not to raise the issue of instructional error on appeal did not rise to the level of ineffective assistance of counsel.
Practice Areas: Criminal Law
As explained in the 2012 Appellate Court decision in State v. Clark, a "Garvin agreement," one entered into pursuant to the 1997 Supreme Court case of State v. Garvin, "is a conditional plea agreement that has two possible binding outcomes, one that results from the defendant's compliance with the conditions of the plea agreement and one that is triggered by his violation of a condition of the agreement;" and the burden of proof for determining whether a Garvin agreement has been violated is minimum indicia of reliability.
As a reviewing court, the Appellate Court could not assess the merits of a witness' testimony to conclude that it was not credible and, then, conclude that the state lacked sufficient evidence as a result.
Connecticut General Statutes §7-148aa gives the trial court subject matter jurisdiction, the power to act, to determine whether it can treat an anti-blight lien as a property tax lien, and if so, whether the anti-blight lien may be discharged as such.
Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate
Connecticut's Fair Employment Practices Act, Connecticut General Statutes §46a-60, requires employers to make a reasonable accommodation for an employee's known disability; but the employee is not entitled to the accommodation of her choice, she is entitled to a reasonable accommodation.
To prevail on a claim of manifest disregard of the law, it must be shown that a particular interpretation of contract law was well-defined, explicit, and clearly applicable, and that it was appreciated as such by the arbitrator who, nonetheless, disregarded it.
As explained in the 1976 Supreme Court decision in Levesque v. D & M Builders, Inc., "[f]or a breach of a construction contract involving defective or unfinished construction, damages are measured by computing either (i) the reasonable cost of construction and completion in accordance with the contract, if this is possible and does not involve unreasonable economic waste; or (ii) the difference between the value that the product contracted for would have had and the value of the performance that has been received ….if construction and completion in accordance with the contract would involve unreasonable economic waste."
In the 2013 case of Chaidez v. U.S., the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that it announced a new rule in its 2010 decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, concerning the responsibility of competent counsel to inform a client whether a plea carries a risk of deportation and, consequently, "defendants whose convictions became final prior to Padilla therefore cannot benefit from its holding."
In Arizona v. Youngblood, the 1988 U.S. Supreme Court held that "unless a criminal defendant can show bad faith on the part of the police, failure to preserve potentially useful evidence does not constitute a denial of due process of law."
A prosecutor is not barred from urging the jury to draw reasonable inferences from the evidence that supports the state's theory of the case; but, here, statements alluding to facts outside of the record were improper.
When ruling on an education support order, a court may consider: 1.) the parties' income, assets and obligations; 2.) the child's need for support; 3.) availability of financial aid; 4.) reasonableness of higher education considering the child's academic record; 5.) the child's preparation for and commitment to higher education; and 6.) information about particular schools that the child plans to attend.
The Supreme Court concluded in its 2012 decision in State v. Guilbert, that a witness' familiarity with the perpetrator of a crime was sufficient reason to preclude expert testimony on eyewitness identification.
As discussed in the 2001 Connecticut Supreme Court case of American Heritage Agency, Inc. v. Gelinas, "[d]isqualification of counsel is a remedy that serves to enforce the lawyer's duty of absolute fidelity and to guard against the danger of inadvertent use of confidential information…"
The proper inquiry in determining whether interest may be awarded pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §37-3a, is whether the claim at issue involves a wrongful detention of money after it becomes due and payable.
Although the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in the 2010 case of Padilla v. Kentucky, that the sixth amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires an attorney for a criminal defendant to provide advice about the risk of deportation arising from a guilty plea, in the 2013 case of Chaidez v. U.S., the Court concluded that Padilla does not have retroactive effect.
The enforcement of an antenuptial agreement was not rendered unconscionable by the increase in income and net worth of the defendant, who was completing her dental residency at the time of the marriage and, as stated in the 2010 Connecticut Supreme Court decision in Crews v. Crews, the "circumstances of the parties at the time of the dissolution of the marriage" were not so far beyond the contemplation of the parties as to render the agreement unconscionable.
Practice Areas: Family Law
The Appellate Court could not draw an inference of impropriety from the trial court's silence regarding evidence in the record when it was not apparent from the oral decision that the court improperly disregarded that evidence.
The term "vacant" as used in the vandalism exception of a homeowner's insurance policy was susceptible to only one reading and, therefore, was not ambiguous.
Practice Areas: Insurance Law
Although abutting landowners are statutorily aggrieved in zoning cases, this action seeking a writ of mandamus and injunctive and declaratory relief to preserve a former mill located on town property, was not an administrative appeal from the decision of a zoning agency or a conservation commission and the fact that the plaintiff owned property abutting the mill, without more, was insufficient to confer standing.
The distinction drawn between continuing and permanent nuisances and trespasses for statute of limitations purposes, although not previously addressed by Connecticut's appellate courts, has achieved wide recognition in the Superior Court and other jurisdictions and, here, whether alleged nuisance and trespass by underground rhizomes and above ground bamboo were continuing or permanent presented a genuine issue of material fact.
In an appeal from the denial of benefits upheld by the Compensation Review Board, the Superior Court has no authority to try the matter de novo.
Social Security funds can be exempt from setoff by a financial institution, pursuant to 42 United States Code §407 of the Social Security Act.
A plaintiff may arrange for service of process on the defendant's last-known address, if the defendant failed to change her address at the motor vehicles department or the local post office.
A worker may not be able to prove she suffers a "chronic" disability under the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, if the worker is able to function at work and to perform household chores.
Even if an individual is unavailable to serve as a witness, a statement offered against a party who has engaged in wrongdoing that was intended to, and did, procure the unavailability of the declarant as a witness is admissible.
A court can find that although the Department of Children and Families offered a "heroic number of services," a biological parent failed to rehabilitate sufficiently, as to encourage a belief that, in a reasonable time the individual will be in a position to serve as a parent.
Disclosure of records of individuals who are deceased would not violate Connecticut General Statutes §1-210(b)(2), because, even if family members object, the deceased are not entitled to the right of privacy.
Even if sufficient hardship exists to grant variances, so that a homeowner can renovate or replace a building that is deteriorating, a court may enforce zoning regulations that prohibit enlarging the building, if that will increase the amount of nonconformity.
The Department of Developmental Services may place the name of a job coach who allegedly slaps a developmentally disabled individual on the department's abuse and neglect registry.
A court can find that the sales comparison approach to valuation of a furniture store that requires only 50 percent of the usual amount of parking for retail stores is more accurate than the cost replacement approach.
Practice Areas: Taxation
Allegations that a nursing facility wrongly claimed that a patient lacked a healthcare agent and conservator—although it knew that a patient had designated a relative as a healthcare agent and conservator—can be sufficient to allege misrepresentation and violation of CUTPA, the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.
If a party is a "public figure," a plaintiff who alleges defamation possesses the burden to prove that a defamatory statement was published with "actual malice," or with reckless disregard about whether a statement was false.
A grievance complaint that merely states "Violation of Section 4" and that requests that the city "Follow Proper Procedure" can be sufficient to state a grievance claim.
A municipal electric energy cooperative, which is created by concurrent resolutions of the governing boards of municipal electric utilities and that is exempt from taxation, may qualify as a "political subdivision of the state."
Registrars of voters may not be allowed to offer "curbside" voting, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §9-236(b), to all voters who are accompanied by young kids to a polling place that is under construction.
A chair, who is acting as a treasurer, and who allegedly does not provide an itemized accounting of each unpaid expense and terminates the committee, without paying a debt, can violate Connecticut General Statutes §9-608.
Automated telephone calls, which include only the time, date and place of a referendum, may not violate Connecticut General Statutes §9-369b, if the telephone calls were made before July 1, 2013.
Connecticut General Statutes §9-140b provides that an absentee ballot shall be cast at a primary, election or referendum only if mailed by the ballot applicant or a designee of an individual who applies for an absentee ballot, because of illness or disability.
Allegations that a registrar of voters offered a deputy moderator a key to an area where absentee ballots were kept may be insufficient to allege a violation of Connecticut General Statutes §9-140c.
In the future, the State Elections Enforcement Commission will require that candidate committees that obtain funds from the Citizens' Election Program include on their "cumulative itemized accountings" the employer and principal occupation for campaign contributors.
Connecticut General Statutes §9-602(c) requires that if a political committee lacks a deputy treasurer, and the political committee's treasurer resigns, the chair is responsible for ensuring that another treasurer is appointed within 10 days.
Federal courts do not adjudicate cases that involve the custody of minors and rights of visitation.
When the government and the defendant disclose out-of-state witnesses and the defendant will not have enough time to prepare for trial, in the absence of a continuance, a court can grant a continuance and exclude the time for purposes of the Speedy Trial Act.
A court may not order the government to pay money damages as compensation for property that has been seized and then has been disposed of as a result of forfeiture, even if the government incorrectly sent notice of forfeiture to a corrections facility where the defendant has never resided.
The introduction of constancy of accusation testimony for the purposes of corroborating the fact of a victim's complaint does not violate the constitutional fair trial rights of defendants in sexual assault cases.
Qualified immunity protects government employees from legal responsibility in a civil-rights suit under 42 United States Code §1983, unless their conduct violates a clearly established right, pursuant to Harlow v. Fitzgerald, a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision.
To obtain tax returns in discovery, a party may be required to prove that a compelling need exists, because the information is not freely available elsewhere, and that the tax information is pertinent.
Allegations in an amended complaint can be allowed, if the amended complaint adequately relates back to the original complaint or charge to an administrative agency.
A "collateral attack on a final judgment in a criminal case is generally available under §2255 only for a constitutional error, a lack of jurisdiction in the sentencing court, or an error of law or fact that constitutes 'a fundamental defect which inherently results in a complete miscarriage of justice,' " pursuant to Graziano v. U.S., a 1996 decision of the 2nd Circuit.
Practice Areas: Criminal Law
Even if an insurance agent claims that they are covered, insureds with standard flood insurance policies may possess the duty to know the policy terms, because the policies are codified under federal law.
Disqualification is required when "an objective, disinterested observer fully informed of the underlying facts [would] entertain significant doubt that justice would be done absent recusal," pursuant to U.S. v. Carlton, a 2008 decision of the 2nd Circuit.