Recent Decisions

Mashantucket Pequot Court of Appeals

Birmingham v. Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

Appellant Lacked Good Cause For An Extension To File Brief

An appellant is required to file an appellate brief within 30 days after filing the notice of appeal or to establish good cause for an extension.

Practice Areas: Native American Law , Appellate Law - Civil , Civil Procedure , Statute of Limitations

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

Shaw v. Yahn

Allegedly Reaching For Wallet Behind Driver's Seat Was Reckless

Allegations that the defendant, when driving 45 miles per hour after dark, turned to reach behind the front seat to retrieve his wallet, were sufficient to allege common-law recklessness.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury , Motor Vehicles , Transportation

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Denny v. Town of Hamden Bd. of Educ.

Mom Alleged School Teachers Did Not Prevent Student Bullying

Allegations that student-on-student bullying continued, despite numerous complaints to teachers, can be sufficient to allege negligence.

Practice Areas: Torts , Intentional Torts , Battery , Education Law

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Belinda v. City of West Haven

Plaintiff Failed To Prove Defect Was Sole Proximate Cause Of Fall

To prevail on a defective-sidewalk claim under Connecticut General Statutes §13a-149, a plaintiff must prove that: (1) the sidewalk was defective; (2) defendant knew or should have known about the defect; (3) defendant possessed actual or constructive knowledge of the defect and failed to remedy; and (4) the defect constituted the sole proximate cause of plaintiff's injury.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Comm'r of Transp. v. King

Court Assessed Damages From Taking Of Easement At $31,000

When the government takes property via eminient domain, damages are the difference between the market value of the property before the taking and the market value after the taking.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Constitutional Law

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Mauro v. Cashman

Client Failed To Prove Defense Attorney Committed Malpractice

To prevail on a claim that an attorney committed malpractice, because he allowed a client to elect a trial by the court, as opposed to a jury trial, the client must produce evidence he would have been acquitted, if he had elected a jury trial.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession , Criminal Law

New London J.D., at Norwich

Kelly v. Vengruscas

Tenant Won Double Damages For Forcible Entry And Detainer

A tenant who proves forcible entry and detainer can be entitled to double damages.

Practice Areas: Landlord/Tenant Law , Personal Property , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Stadler v. Town of New Canaan

Worker Alleged Director Of Human Resources Violated Code Of Ethics

No private cause of action exists for the alleged breach of a municipal code of ethics by the director of human resources.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing , Contracts , Breach

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Bentivegna v. Lall-Trail

Apparent Issue Of 1st Impression On Liability Of Medical Opinion Writer

Absent allegations of malice, Connecticut General Statutes §52-190a does not create a private cause of action against an expert who writes a medical opinion on behalf of a medical-malpractice plaintiff.

Practice Areas: Health Law , Medical Malpractice

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Zentek v. Zentek

Mom To Contribute $4,000 Per Year Toward College Tuition

A court can order the parent of a college-aged child to contribute less than 50 percent of the amount of tuition that remains unpaid, after college loans and direct aid.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Palmer v. Lampkin

Father Won Sole Custody Because Mom Is Compulsive Hoarder

A court can find that the home of a parent who is a hoarder is not healthy and safe for a minor child and award sole custody to the other parent.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Middlesex J.D., at Middletown

Marino v. Marino

Husband Who Believed In Apocalypse At Greater Fault

A court can find that a party who allegedly decided to give away his earthly goods, because he believed that life on Earth was going to end in 2014, is at greater fault for the breakdown of the marital relationship.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Danbury J.D., at Danbury

Brkich v. Brkich

Alimony Increased To $185 Per Week Because Of Wife's Back Surgery

A court can modify alimony as a result of a substantial change in circumstances, such as back surgery and loss of employment.

Practice Areas: Family Law

New London J.D., at Norwich

Archer v. Cassel

Husband To Decide Whether To Vaccinate Kids

A court can find it is in the best interests of minor children to appoint one parent as the final decision maker on medical decisions such as whether to vaccinate.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Callanan v. Comm'r of Pub. Safety

Plaintiff Challenged Sex Offender Registration Requirement

An individual who pleads guilty, indicates that he comprehends sex offender registration requirements and agrees not to "appeal or otherwise challenge [his] conviction or sentence," cannot raise constitutional claims that the sex offender registration requirement constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Constitutional Law

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Kamarre v. Yankee Auto Sales Inc.

Customer Proved Owner Allegedly Refused To Repair Motor Vehicle

An owner of a motor-vehicle sales company who allegedly refuses to repair a motor vehicle, as required by the warranty, can breach the contract.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Consumer Protection

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Sylvester v. O'Connor

Litigant Sanctioned $100 For Allegedly Reading Counsel's Notes

A court can sanction a litigant who allegedly looks at and reads aloud the opposing counsel's notes, without authorization, during a court recess.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Parties

New London J.D., at New London

Novakowski v. Brown

Pedestrian Did Not Prove Probable Cause He Will Win More Than $250K

A court can grant a request for a prejudgment remedy, if probable cause exists that plaintiff will prevail at trial in the amount requested, after taking into account defenses, counterclaims and setoffs.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Provisional Remedies , Insurance Law , Automotive , Torts , Personal Injury , Motor Vehicles

United States District Court

Bray v. Ingersoll-Rand Co.

Estate Did Not Link Asbestos Exposure and Defendants' Products

To prevail on a product-liability claim, a plaintiff must prove: (1) defendants manufactured or distributed a defective product; (2) the defect existed when the decedent used the product; (3) the decedent was exposed to the defective product without adequate warning or protection; and (4) exposure to the defective product caused the decedent's death.

Practice Areas: Products Liability

United States District Court

Metro. Property & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Sisbarro

Parents' Policy Did Not Cover Child Who Resided With Them

A child who resides with his parents may not be covered by his parents' insurance policy, if the policy only provides insurance coverage for covered motor vehicles, non-owned automobiles and substitute motor vehicles.

Practice Areas: Insurance Law , Torts , Personal Injury , Motor Vehicles

United States District Court

United States v. Rowland

Ex-Governor Failed To Prove Transaction Was Worth Only $30,000

In connection with government allegations that defendant conspired to conceal $35,000 in payments and falsified records, a court can reject defense arguments that because defendant provided $5,000 worth of legitimate services, $5,000 should be subtracted from the $35,000 paid, and the illegal transaction should be valued at $30,000.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

United States District Court

Gen. Elec. Capital Corp. v. Anderson

Genuine Issue On Whether Liability Was Conditioned On Proof Of Fraud

An individual's legal responsibility as a guarantor can be conditioned on proof of fraud or wrongdoing.

Practice Areas: Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights , Banking and Financial Institutions

United States District Court

Fuller v. Smirga

Superior Court Judges Blawie And Devlin Sued For $50 Million

To prevail on a §1983 claim of conspiracy to engage in malicious prosecution, a plaintiff must allege that the underlying criminal case ended in his favor.

Practice Areas: Civil Rights

United States District Court

Beck v. Rayco Mfg. Co.

10-Year Limitations Period Barred Product-Liability Suit

A plaintiff may not file a product-liability complaint against a stump cutter manufacturer more than 10 years from the date that the stump cutter manufacturer last parted with possession or control of the product.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Statute of Limitations , Products Liability

Connecticut Appellate Court

AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Council 4, Local 2405 v. City of Norwalk

No Error In Applying Wright Line Standard Union Advanced For Claim

The Wright Line standard, from a 1980 National Labor Relations Board decision, typically applies in cases alleging that the employer took specific adverse employment action against the employee to encourage or discourage membership in a labor organization and not typically to claims that an employer's conduct is, regardless of any specified adverse employment action or the employer's intent, inherently coercive in violation of National Labor Relations Act §8(a)(1) at 29 U.S.C. §158(a)(1).

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Negedu

Precedent Barred Retroactively Applying Larceny Act's Amendment

In the 2014 decisions of State v Cote and State v Kalil, the Supreme Court held that the 2009 amendment to the second-degree larceny statute in PA. 09-138, increasing the value of stolen property required for commission of that offense, does not apply retroactively.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Corringham

Evidence Supported Inference Butt Pat Was For Sexual Gratification

Sexual contact may occur through clothing and is not limited to contact with genitalia.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Damato v. Comm'r of Correction

Habeas Petitioner Showed No Error In Certification Petition Denials

Although different allegations supported his ineffective assistance of counsel claim, because the habeas petitioner made no claim that he was seeking different relief from relief sought in prior habeas petitions alleging ineffective assistance of counsel or that there were newly available facts or evidence not reasonably available at the time of his original petition, the habeas court properly declined to reach the merits of his successive petition.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Sharp Elec. Corp. v. Solaire Dev., LLC

Prejudgment Remedy And Unsigned Deposition Use Were Found Proper

If a court determines that the plaintiff has failed to serve its summons and complaint within 30 days of its order granting an application for prejudgment remedy as required by Connecticut General Statutes §52-578j(a), the court lacks authority to do anything but to "dismiss" the prejudgment remedy.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure

Connecticut Appellate Court

Moody v. Comm'r of Correction

Appeal Was Based On Ground Omitted In Certification Petition

A trial judge cannot be said to have abused his discretion when he was never on notice that he was being asked to exercise it.

Practice Areas: Appellate Law - Criminal

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Ruffin

No Conflicting Witness Argument Of Prosecutor Was Risky But Proper

The fifth amendment to the federal constitution prohibits prosecutors from commenting at trial on a defendant's right not to testify; but here, a reasonable jury would have understood the prosecutor's "no conflicting witness argument," viewed in context, as a commentary on the victim's veracity, not the defendant's silence.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Constitutional Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Johnson

Given Trial Court's Authority, No Need To Order Resentencing

Common sense and principles of judicial economy dictate that, where the reviewing court's judgment vacating a conviction and sentence for a lesser included offense on double jeopardy grounds leaving the remaining sentences intact, does not change the total effective sentence, the reviewing court should not order the trial court to resentence the defendant on the remaining convictions unless there is some evidence or other basis in the record to conclude that the reviewing court's judgment altered the original sentencing intent.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Appellate Law - Criminal , Constitutional Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

Planning and Zoning Comm'n of the Town of Monroe v. Freedom of Info. Comm'n

Pending Claims Exception Did Not Justify Executive Session

Connecticut General Statutes §1-200(6)(B) of the Freedom of Information Act allows public agencies to convene executive sessions as an exception to the general rule that meetings must be open to the public, to discuss "strategy and negotiations with respect to pending claims or pending litigation to which the public agency…is a party…" and for §1-200(6)(B) to apply, the agency either must be bringing or defending a prospective or pending lawsuit in court or some other legal action in an adjudicatory forum.

Practice Areas: Administrative Law

Statewide Grievance Committee

Lauria v. Krawitz

NY Attorney Allegedly Kept And Did Not Distribute Any Settlement Funds

An attorney who fails to protect and promptly distribute settlement funds to a client can violate of Rule 1.15(b) and (e) and engage in conduct that involves fraud, deceit and misrepresentation, in violation of Rule 8.4(3).

Practice Areas: Legal Profession

Citizen's Ethics Advisory Board

Advisory Opinion No. 2015-2

Former Green Bank Worker Can Direct Own Private Business

A former employee of a quasi-public agency qualifies as a former "state employee" and is barred from representing anyone other than the state for compensation before the agency in which the employee served for one year after leaving service.

Practice Areas: Election and Political Law , Administrative Law , Labor and Employment , Hiring/Firing

Board of Mediation and Arbitration

Town of Stratford and IFPTE, Local 136

EMT Worker Discharged For 'Grossly Insubordinate Conduct'

A municipality has just cause to discharge a worker who allegedly exhibits grossly insubordinate conduct, fails to be truthful during an investigation, and displays irrational and threatening conduct.

Practice Areas: Administrative Law , Labor and Employment , Labor Law , Collective Bargaining Agreements , Hiring/Firing

United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit

United States v. Azpurua

48 Months For Ponzi Scheme Was Substantively Reasonable

At sentencing, a court can consider the amount of harm allegedly caused to investors by the defendant's Ponzi scheme.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court

Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enter. v. Gallinaro

Debtor Alleged Credit To Gamble Violated Connecticut Gambling Law

Federal and tribal law, as opposed to state law, apply to gaming at Foxwoods Casino, and the tribal-state compact allows the Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise to extend credit to an individual.

Practice Areas: Native American Law , Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Lopez v. Cardenas-Mejia

Scooter Operator Argued Driver Did Not Keep A Reasonable Lookout

A court can find that an operator of a scooter failed to prove that a motor vehicle driver did not keep a reasonable lookout.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury , Motor Vehicles

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Hurley v. Rizk

Plaintiff Alleged That Co-Workers Used Computer Without Permission

Allegations that co-workers, without plaintiff's permission, opened and read the plaintiff's personal notes and materials on a workplace computer can be sufficient to plead a cause of action for invasion of privacy.

Practice Areas: Torts , Emotional Distress , Intentional Torts , Labor and Employment

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Bynam v. Tweed New Haven Airport Authority

Employee's Personal Friend Was Not A Business Invitee

A friend who visits an employee at work is a licensee who is not on the premises for a business purpose, and he must take the premises as he finds them.

Practice Areas: Torts , Premises Liability , Licensees

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Girard v. Wells Fargo Bank

Part Performance Did Not Apply To Partially Signed Contract

A "real estate purchase contract" that is unsigned by the purported seller may not be enforceable, and the doctrine of part performance may not apply.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Contracts , Interpretation

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Ballard v. Twin Lakes Condominium Unit Owners Ass'n Inc.

CUTPA Does Not Apply To Condo Association's Managerial Decisions

The Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act applies only to the entrepreneurial decisions of a condominium owners' association and does not apply to the managerial decisions.

Practice Areas: Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Contracts , Interpretation , Consumer Protection

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Lederle v. Spivey

Plaintiff Won $30,000 For Costs To Defend Bad-Faith Appeal

A court that find that a defendant who prosecutes an appeal that lacks a factual or legal basis can be held responsible for another party's attorney fees.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Disciplinary Counsel v. Bucci

Lawyer Who Has Been Disciplined 18 Times To Be Suspended Three Years

A court can suspend an attorney who violates the Rules of Professional Conduct and require that he obtain mental health treatment, before he applies for reinstatement.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession

New London J.D., at New London

Burgess v. City of Norwich, Zoning Bd. of Appeals

Substantial Evidence Failed To Support Decision To Deny Variance

A court can vacate the decision of a board of appeals, if substantial evidence in the record fails to support the board's decision to deny a request to grant a variance.

Practice Areas: Land Use and Planning , Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Danbury J.D., at Danbury

Arrowhead Point Homeowners Ass'n Inc. v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of the Town of Brookfield

1st Impression On Private Road That Was Omitted From Grand List

An owner who applies for a variance is required to perform title searches of all property adjacent to the subject parcel, including privately owned roadways, even if the roadways are omitted from the municipal tax map or grand list.

Practice Areas: Land Use and Planning , Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Civil Procedure , Statute of Limitations

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Rizzo v. Perez

Sole Member Of Former Tenant Argued That Tenant Was Dissolved

When a landlord leases its premises to a limited liability company and the LLC dissolves and distributes its assets without paying rent, a landlord can assert a claim against a former member of the dissolved corporation pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §34-214.

Practice Areas: Landlord/Tenant Law , Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Business Entities , LLCs and LLPS

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Yazar v. Yazar

Divorce In Turkey Was Entitled To Practical Recognition And Comity

A dissolution decree entered in a foreign country can be entitled to practical recognition and comity in U.S. courts.

Practice Areas: Family Law

New London J.D., at Norwich

Smith v. Smith

Court Ordered Dad To Take Class To Learn About Childhood Diabetes

A court can order that a parent take a class to learn about childhood illness, so that he can properly care for his minor child when he exercises visitation.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Litchfield J.D., at Litchfield

Robaczynski v. Robaczynski

Former Wife Requested 22 Percent Of Husband's Severance Pay

Severance pay may not qualify as bonus income.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Hartford J.D., at Manchester, G.A. 12

State v. Jones

Defendant Argued State Deprived Her Of The Right To A Speedy Trial

When calculating the 12-month period for a speedy trial claim, a court can exclude the time required to determine whether the defendant is mentally competent.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Constitutional Law

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Charbonneau v. N.E.B. Construction LLC

Homeowners Won $200,000 PJR Against Home Construction Co.

A court can grant a request for a prejudgment remedy, if probable cause exists that plaintiff homeowners will prevail at trial against a construction company that built their residence, taking into account any defenses, counterclaims or setoffs.

Practice Areas: Contracts , Breach , Residential and Commercial Real Estate , Civil Procedure , Provisional Remedies

New Haven J.D., at New Haven

Wnek v. Benavioes

YouTube Tape Of Plaintiff Was Not Prepared For Litigation

A tape of the plaintiff that appeared on YouTube and that was not prepared for litigation may not qualify as work product, for purposes of a motion in limine.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery , Evidence , Admissibility

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Weinstein & Wisser P.C. v. Cornelius

Defendant Proved Marshal's 2007 Service Was Ineffective

Absent effective service of process, consent or waiver, a court does not obtain personal jurisdiction over a defendant.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Johnston v. Morgester

Attorney Who Alleged That Ex Made False Report Won $50,000 PJR

A court can grant a prejudgment remedy, if probable cause exists that a plaintiff will prevail on the merits at trial.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Provisional Remedies , Torts , Emotional Distress , Intentional Torts , Abuse of Process

United States District Court

Harty v. Bull's Head Realty

ADA Plaintiff Won $47,555 In Fees As 'Prevailing Party'

A reasonable client is presumed to hire a lawyer located near a courthouse, to minimize attorney travel time, and a prevailing party may not be entitled to compensation for a lawyer's time to travel to a settlement conference.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery , Civil Rights

United States District Court

Crawford v. City of New London

Civil-Rights Attorneys Won $200,154 In Excessive Force Case

A "prevailing party" in a §1983 civil-rights suit can be entitled to attorney fees.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery , Civil Rights

United States District Court

Barteca Restaurants LLC v. Milonga Arepas & Tapas Inc.

Restaurant Enjoined From Use Of Plaintiffs' 'Barcelona' Trademark

If plaintiffs establish that use of plaintiffs' well-established, registered trademark is likely to cause consumer confusion, loss of good will and irreparable harm, a court can grant injunctive relief and order defendant to refrain from use of plaintiffs' registered trademark on signs, menus, social media or marketing.

Practice Areas: Intellectual Property , Trademarks , Infringement (Trademark) , Consumer Protection

Connecticut Appellate Court

Bellini v. Patterson Oil Co.

Parties Correspondence Acted To Vary Terms Of Lease Provisions

Pursuant to their exchanges of correspondence, the parties effectively abrogated the terms of their original lease providing for automatic five year extensions of the lease term and formed a new agreement regarding the lease term.

Practice Areas: Landlord/Tenant Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Sargent v. Sargent

Removal Of GAL Rendered Orders Challenged On Appeal Moot

Once the relation of parent and guardian ad litem was extinguished, orders relating to the context of the relationship were of no effect and controversy regarding those orders was moot.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Light v. Grimes

Legal Fee Award Was Reversed But Modification Motion Denial Upheld

Under the trial court's inherent authority, attorney fees were improperly awarded for defending against a motion for modification found wasteful and bordering on frivolous, but where the trial court did not find the claims entirely without color and asserted in bad faith.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Legal Profession , Attorney Fee Recovery

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Houghtaling

Landlord's Standing To Challenge Search As Cotenant Was Not Shown

The trial court did not err in denying a landlord's motion to suppress evidence obtained from the search of leased property used to grow marijuana, because the defendant failed to establish a reasonable expectation of privacy in the property.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Constitutional Law , Evidence

Connecticut Appellate Court

Congress Street Condominium Ass'n, Inc. v. Anderson

Strict Foreclosure Was Based On Invalid Condominium Fines

Providing a condominium owner an opportunity to be heard before a condominium association may impose fines is expressly required by Connecticut General Statutes §47-244(a)(11) and because the plaintiff association undisputedly failed to comply with the hearing requirement in the general statutes and its declaration and by laws, fines were invalidly assessed.

Practice Areas: Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights

Connecticut Appellate Court

Chase Home Fin., LLC v. Morneau

Foreclosure Was Not Barred By Claimed Interest In Property

Although technical terms are unnecessary to effectuate a valid deed, a document placed on the land records indicating that it was not intended as a deed but that a deed would be forthcoming was not a valid conveyance of an interest in the property to raise genuine issues of material fact regarding title and preclude summary judgment as to liability in this foreclosure action.

Practice Areas: Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights

Connecticut Supreme Court

Caraballo v. Electric Boat Corp.

Employers' Workers' Compensation Payments To Hospitals Considered

Prior to the effective date of Public Act 14-167, an employer's liability for hospital services is assessed based on the published rates the hospital is required to charge "any payer" under Connecticut General Statutes §19a-646a and not a determination by a workers' compensation commissioner of what it "actually costs" the hospital to render the services as provided in C.G.S. (Rev. to 2005) §31-294d(d).

Practice Areas: Social Services Law , Workers’ Compensation

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Taylor G.

8th Amendment Does Not Bar All Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years and five years did not violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment for crimes committed by a juvenile when he was 14 and 15 years old.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Juvenile Law , Constitutional Law , Criminal Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

State v. Menditto

Erasure Act Applies To Marijuana Convictions Now "Decriminalized"

Following Public Act 11-71, codified at Connecticut General Statutes §21a-279a, possessing less than one-half ounce of marijuana "now holds the same legal status as such minor civil violations as maintaining state records using unapproved paper, ink, or loose-leaf binders" and the change from a crime to a minor civil violation constitutes a decriminalization for purposes of the erasure statute in C.G.S. §54-142d.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Supreme Court

Finkle v. Carroll

With One Right Defendant, Wrong Defendant Statute Did Not Apply

The wrong defendant statute, Connecticut General Statutes §52-593, did not apply to save an untimely second action, where the plaintiff could have recovered from the defendants in the original action based on the factual allegations and causes of action in the original complaint.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure

Statewide Grievance Committee

Glick v. Krawitz

NY Attorney Allegedly Did Not Promptly Distribute Settlement Fund

An attorney who allegedly misleads his client about the status of settlement proceeds and misuses his funds can violate Rule 8.4(3) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession

United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit

Principe v. Holder

Petitioner Failed To Prove That Former Marriage Was Bona Fide

A marriage is bona fide if the marriage is genuine and one in which the parties intend to share life as husband and wife, as opposed to a marriage of convenience, intended to confer an immigration benefit.

Practice Areas: Immigration Law

United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit

United States v. Castelin

Defendant Argued Jury Lacked Enough Evidence To Convict

Sufficient evidence exists to convict, if a reasonable jury could conclude as a result of testimony from the government witnesses that defendant knowingly joined and participated in a scheme to distribute drugs.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Evidence , Witnesses

United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit

Chirag v. Mt Marida Marguerite Schiffahrts

Complaint Alleging Injuries From Somali Pirates Properly Dismissed

A court may dismiss a complaint brought by foreign citizens against foreign defendants when an adequate forum exists in another country and both private and public interests favor litigation in the other country.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Jurisdiction and Service of Process , Venue , Admiralty , International Law (Public)

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court

Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise v. Gallinaro

Debtor Alleged Credit Extension Violated Connecticut Gambling Law

Federal and tribal law, as opposed to state law, apply to gaming at Foxwoods Casino, and the tribal-state compact allows the Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise to extend credit to an individual.

Practice Areas: Native American Law , Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights

Ansonia/Milford J.D.

Stewart v. Ciccaglione

Disinheritance Clause In Decedent's Trust Was Void Ab Initio

A court can find that a disinheritance clause in a trust was void ab initio, because the decedent was not particularly sophisticated and did not fully comprehend its ramifications and repercussions.

Practice Areas: Trusts and Estates

New Haven J.D., at Meriden

Howard v. Marion

Court Found Plaintiff's Unexpected Driving Maneuver Caused Collision

A court can credit testimony that the defendant, who was familiar with the location and could describe all the motor vehicles in the vicinity, was an alert and competent driver who was not responsible for a motor-vehicle accident, although his speed was elevated.

Practice Areas: Torts , Personal Injury , Motor Vehicles

Fairfield J.D., at Bridgeport

Colon v. Autozone Northeast Inc.

Plaintiff Failed To Prove Owner Did Not Provide Adequate Security

To prevail on allegations that defendant failed to provide adequate security, a plaintiff may be required to prove, by a fair preponderance of the evidence, that: (1) he was an invitee; (2) defendant was in control of premises; (3) defendant possessed notice of the risk; and (4) defendant's conduct placed plaintiff within the scope of the risk.

Practice Areas: Torts , Premises Liability , Invitees

New Britain J.D., at New Britain

Office of Consumer Counsel v. Pub. Util. Regulatory Comm'n

Evidence Failed To Support Decision To Award Rate Increase

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority can grant a premium rate of return to a water company that acquires a "nonviable" water company.

Practice Areas: Public Utilities

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Rousseau v. Statewide Grievance Comm.

Grievance Complainant Lacks Right To Appeal Grievance Decision

Connecticut law does not permit an individual who files a grievance complaint to appeal the decision of the Statewide Grievance Committee to the Connecticut Superior Court, if the grievance committee dismisses the complaint.

Practice Areas: Legal Profession

Middlesex J.D., at Middletown

Lamar Centr. Outdoor LLC v. Middletown Zoning Bd. of Appeals

Advertiser Sought To Replace Billboards With Electronic Boards

It is not arbitrary, illegal or an abuse of discretion for a zoning board of appeals to find that proposed electronic message boards constitute "flashing signs."

Practice Areas: Land Use and Planning

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Ciasullo v. Comm'r of Dep't of Envtl. Protection

Private Parties Lack Right To Seek Injunctive Relief On Overtime

Only the secretary of the Department of Labor can file an action under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, to request injunctive relief for failure to pay overtime.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Employee Benefits , Wages and Hours

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Rodriguez v. Estefano

Apparent 1st Impression On Magistrate's Sanction Against State

A magistrate court exceeded its powers when it awarded financial sanctions against the state and ordered it to pay $300 to defendant.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Windham J.D., at Willimantic

In Re: Santa

Bi-Polar Mother Lost Parental Rights To Youngest Kids

A court can find that a mother with bi-polar disorder, who allegedly threatened to blow up a psychiatric facility in the past and more recently screamed at a therapist and threatened to harm a social worker, has not made adequate progress in recovering from mental health problems.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Fustini v. Fustini

Court Denied Wife's Request To Enforce Postnuptial Agreement

Absent evidence of financial disclosures and consideration, a court can deny a request to enforce a postnuptial agreement.

Practice Areas: Family Law , Custody and Child Support

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Zimmerman v. Padilla

1st Impression On Out-Of-State Nonparty Witness's Objection

A nonparty witness who resides in another state possesses standing to object to a defendant's application to appoint a commission to take her deposition in the other state and to seek a protective order, pursuant to Practice Book §13-5.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery , Family Law

Hartford J.D., at Hartford

Peterson v. Bornhorst

Former Family-Law Client Waived Attorney-Client Privilege

A client can waive the attorney-client privilege when he files a legal-malpractice action.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery , Family Law , Evidence , Witnesses , Privileges

Waterbury J.D., at Waterbury

Mastropietro v. Am. Med. Response

Defense To Pay $1,370 To Plaintiff's Expert For Deposition

When ruling on the reasonableness of an expert's fee, a court may consider: (1) the area of expertise; (2) the expert's education and training; (3) prevailing rates; (4) the nature, quality and complexity of the discovery response; (5) the amount that the expert charged; (6) the amount that the expert charged in related matters; and (7) any other factors likely to assist the court.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery , Evidence , Expert Witnesses

Stamford/Norwalk J.D., at Stamford

Deutsche Bank v. Sebastian Holdings Inc.

Bank Alleged Sole Shareholder Drained $1 Billion From Company

Under the law of Turks and Caicos, a plaintiff who seeks to pierce the corporate veil must prove control of the company by the individual defendant, and an impropriety that constitutes a misuse of the company as a device or façade, to conceal wrongdoing.

Practice Areas: Business Entities , Civil Procedure , Choice of Law

United States District Court

Martin v. Bailey

Part-Time SCSU Prof Failed To Prove 1st Amendment Retaliation

To establish a prima facie case of First Amendment retaliation, a plaintiff must prove: (1) he engaged in protected activity; (2) he suffered an adverse employment action; and (3) a causal connection existed between protected activity and the adverse employment action.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Constitutional Law

United States District Court

Dymskaya v. Orem's Diner of Wilton Inc.

Waitress Alleged Co-Worker Exposed Himself And Threatened To Shoot Her

A worker who alleges that a co-worker allegedly exposed himself and threatened to shoot her can possess a claim for hostile-work environment.

Practice Areas: Labor and Employment , Discrimination , Sexual Harassment

United States District Court

United States v. Malcolm

Court Authorized Transportation And Lodging For Defendant Who Was Ill

A court can authorize transportation and lodging for a defendant who suffers from significant health problems, pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Health Law

United States District Court

Steginsky v. Xcelera Inc.

Minority Shareholder Plaintiff Sought To Certify Class Action

If the named plaintiff admits that she suspected a fraud before she sold her stock and sold anyway, because she needed the money, and no evidence exists that other class members suspected fraud, the named plaintiff's allegations will not be typical of those of the proposed class, as required to meet Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 requirements for class-action certification.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Class Actions , Securities and Federal Corporate Law

United States District Court

Briganti v. Connecticut Technical High Sch. Sys.

Plaintiff Did Not Waive Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege

A plaintiff who alleges only "garden variety" emotional distress may not waive the psychotherapist-patient privilege.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Discovery , Health Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Saggese v. Beazley Co. Realtors

Real Estate Agent Did Not Violate Duty To Disclose Facts To Buyer

A real estate agent has no duty to follow the direction of an attorney representing a third party.

Practice Areas: Torts

Connecticut Appellate Court

Verrillo v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of the Town of Branford

Variances Lacked Legal Basis For Coastal Nonconforming Home

A variance is not a tool of convenience, but one of necessity and variances are not to be granted when a reasonable use already is present, or plainly is possible under the regulations, but an owner prefers otherwise.

Practice Areas: Land Use and Planning

Connecticut Appellate Court

Havis-Carbone v. Carbone

Plain Error Found In Granting Motion To Leave State With Child

The court's decision to permit the plaintiff to relocate to Texas with the child prior to conducting a hearing without emergent circumstances severely prejudiced the defendant and constituted plain error as it tended to undermine the public's confidence in our judicial system.

Practice Areas: Family Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

Yerinides v. Comm'r of Correction

No Prejudice Shown From Alleged Errors Of Trial Counsel

In the 2013 case of Carraway v. Commissioner of Correction, the Appellate Court declined to follow the prejudice standard articulated in the Connecticut Supreme Court's 1995 decision of Copas v. Commissioner of Correction, determining that the standard from the 1985 U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Hill v. Lockhart was controlling as a matter of federal constitutional law as recognized by the Connecticut Supreme Court, including in its 2008 decision in Washington v. Commissioner of Correction.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

State v. Nowacki

Conviction For Emailing Nanny Violated 1st Amendment Rights

Criminalizing an email, even a contentious email, occurring within the context of a contract dispute simply because one party does not wish to communicate with the other violates the free speech rights of the email writer.

Practice Areas: Criminal Law , Constitutional Law

Connecticut Appellate Court

City of Norwich v. Norwich Harborview Corp.

No Plain Error In Approving Sale Occurring Without Filed Appraisal

The purpose of the appraisal procedure in foreclosure matters prescribed by Connecticut General Statutes §49-25 is to give the trial court guidance on the subsequent question of whether to approve the committee sale.

Practice Areas: Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights

Connecticut Appellate Court

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Trustee v. Treglia

Motion For Summary Judgment Did Not Supplant Motion Upon Default

Summary judgment is inappropriate when the nonmoving party is in default.

Practice Areas: Civil Procedure , Creditors’ and Debtors’ Rights