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Dove Burns

Conn.-Based Lawyers With Out-of-State Practices Can Run Afoul of UPL Rules

AMARIS ELLIOTT-ENGEL | November 13, 2015

Some lawyers are quietly voicing concerns that under Connecticut Practice Book rules they may be engaged in the unauthorized practice of law if they live in Connecticut but are licensed exclusively in New York.

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.

Joey Lee Miranda

Conn. Law Firm Launches New Team To Focus On Environmental Sustainability Issues


With many of Robinson & Cole's business clients focused on how to be more eco-friendly, the law firm has dedicated a new team to help with any legal matters associated with the quest to go green.

Miguel Roman is escorted past a battery of TV cameras and media as he leaves Superior Court in Hartford, Conn., Friday, Dec. 19, 2008. Roman, 52, who had been imprisoned for 20 years in the 1988 death of 17-year-old Carmen Lopez, was ordered freed and granted a new trial on the basis of new DNA evidence. (AP Photo/Bob Child)

State Awards $6 Million to Man Wrongly Convicted of Teen's Murder

By Christian Nolan |

One of the first men exonerated through the efforts of Connecticut's Innocence Project has been awarded $6 million by the state.

The Ebola virus under a microscope

Conn. Officials Face Class Action Over Ebola Quarantines


A Yale University Law School legal clinic has filed a federal class action against Gov. Dannel Malloy on behalf of people who were forced into quarantine after traveling from Africa during the Ebola outbreak.

Ben Brafman, right, counsels his client Martin Shkreli during his appearance before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Feb. 4.

Letter: Congress Versus Shkreli

Benjamin Brafman writes: I accompanied Martin Shkreli to a congressional hearing on pharmaceutical pricing that he was compelled to attend, despite advance knowledge that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege. Indeed, in my judgment, the only reason for the committee to force Shkreli to appear in person was to try to publicly humiliate him.

Lender Reaches Multi-Million Dollar Settlement With Government

By Christian Nolan |

Banking giant HSBC has reached a $470 million settlement with the federal government and 49 states including Connecticut over mortgage lending and foreclosure abuses that officials say contributed to the country's economic meltdown.

Alex Meyerovich

Belarus Immigrant Comes Long Way to Open Conn. Law Firm

By Christian Nolan |

Native of Belarus builds U.S. practice helping immigrants.


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.

Technician's Lawsuit Says Surgeon Hit Him During Operation


The first time Robert Beamon was elbowed by a colleague, he was working in the operating room during the brain surgery of a 7-year-old boy in June 2014. He was certain the head surgeon had hit him by accident.

Howard Altschuler

Updated: Tempers Flare at Grievance Hearing in Multimillion Dollar Fee Dispute

By Thomas B. Scheffey |

Grievance panel hears arguments involving multimillion-dollar dispute.

Barry Schaller

Conn. Judge's Novel Mixes Lethal Combat With Legal Intrigue

By Christian Nolan |

Former Supreme Court Justice Schaller turns focus to fiction writing.

Parental Rights of Mentally Ill at Stake in Conn. ADA Case


On one side is the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, whose mission is to protect the welfare of children. On the other are a handful of advocacy groups who object to DCF's handling of a long-running case involving two parents with mental health issues.

Governor Proposes $70 Million Cut in State Court System's Budget


In the aftermath of Gov. Dannel Malloy's call for across-the-board budget reductions, Judicial Branch officials are still mulling over what impact spending cuts will have on the state court system.

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.

Ryan Barry

Hundreds of Conn. Homeowners Could Join in Class Action Involving Crumbling Concrete Foundations


Potential class action says insurers won't cover damages.

Conn. Judge Says Blight Ordinances Can Cover Messy Farms


Anthony Straska's Rocky Hill farm is a mess and he must clean it up. That's the decision of a Superior Court judge who ruled that the town's municipal blight ordinance applies to agricultural settings as well as residential property.

Prep School Sex Abuse Suit Ends With $500,000 Settlement

By Christian Nolan |

A man who claims he was repeatedly sexually abused by a faculty member of a Western Massachusetts prep school has settled a federal lawsuit in Connecticut for $500,000.

Town's Mayor Steps Down After LEGO Legal Department Promotion


Scott Slifka has been a busy man. He's simultaneously worked in LEGO System's legal department in Enfield and served as West Hartford's mayor. But with a recent promotion within the global toy company, Slifka had to make a tough decision.

Judge Says Common-Law Doctrine Allows Tribal Business to Miss Filing Deadline


Nearly four years after the state Supreme Court invoked nullum tempus to Connecticut's benefit in a law library case, a tribal court is ruling that the same doctrine applies to the much smaller Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

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.

Glenn Formica

Woman's Fall on Sidewalk Leads to $416,000 Verdict

By Christian Nolan |

A woman who fell and broke her arm on a Bridgeport sidewalk has been awarded more than $416,000 by a Superior Court jury.

State Funding Boosts Small Real Estate Firm Staff


When George Holler looked to add new employees to keep his Milford-based real estate law firm running smoothly, he found a funding source not every small law firm leader would consider: the government.


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.

After Disbarment, Former Conn. Lawyer Again Accused of Financial Fraud


A disbarred Glastonbury attorney faces up to two years in prison for embezzling over $200,000 from his employer, a nutritional supplement company.

Skull Fracture From Fight Leads to $140,000 Verdict

By Christian Nolan |

A fight between neighbors resulted in a fractured skull, a lawsuit and most recently, a $140,000 verdict in New London Superior Court.


Last Day for 'New Partners Yearbook 2016' Submissions

The deadline to submit your new partners' profiles for inclusion in our "New Partners Yearbook 2016" is Wednesday, Feb. 3.


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.

Multimillion-Dollar Fee Controversy Heads to Statewide Grievance Hearing

By Thomas B. Scheffey |

In December 2014, a solo attorney representing two parents and a handicapped child made a shocking accusation: one of Connecticut's most successful plaintiffs firms had collected $4.3 million more in legal fees than it was entitled to following the settlement of a high-profile medical-malpractice case.

Global Firm Moves Into Conn. to Focus on Equity Funds, Corporate Law


Connecticut's large cluster of private equity funds has attracted the global law firm of Holland & Knight, which has opened a Stamford office which will initially be staffed by a group of Connecticut-based lawyers who had been working at Dickstein Shapiro.

Update: Conn. Justices Hear Arguments in DNA Databank Case

By Christian Nolan |

It's no secret that the use of DNA evidence and testing has become invaluable in solving crimes. But how far can authorities go in obtaining DNA samples from a known criminal? The Connecticut Supreme Court has been asked to answer that question.

Appellate Court Rejects UConn Health Worker's Discrimination Claim

By Christian Nolan |

A discrimination lawsuit filed against the University of Connecticut Health Center by a former employee with a back injury has been dismissed. The latest ruling in the case came from the state Appellate Court, which upheld a workers' compensation commissioner's decision to toss the case.

Attorney's 'Scarf Bombing' Project Warms Up New London's Needy


Notes are affixed to the scarves letting people know that the garments are meant for those who need extra warmth during the winter months. Often the scarves are draped over fence posts, or placed on park benches, or even wrapped around the necks of statues.

Lawyers Play Key Role in Shaping Youth Violence Prevention Plan


It's a complicated problem: how can the state help stop inner-city youths from getting ensnared in a cycle of violence, which can lead to incarceration or even death?

Student Awarded $40K Following Scissors Injury


A New Haven student who received a permanent facial injury when he was 11 years old was awarded more than $40,000 after a Superior Court judge found one of the city's magnet schools was negligent.

Editorial: Court Rulings Suggest That Police Should Consider Nonlethal Alternatives

As we see more and more innocent people being killed by police officers, we hear a recurrent question: should less intrusive means in use-of-force cases be required by law?

Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Plan Clears Hurdle


Mandatory continuing legal education is a step closer to becoming a requirement in Connecticut. At its meeting in January, the Rules Committee of the Superior Court approved submitting to a public hearing a proposal which would require 12 hours of CLE annually.

Donald Richter

Murtha Cullina Mourns Recent Deaths of Two Partners

By Law Tribune Staff |

Attorneys and staff at Murtha Cullina are mourning the deaths of two longtime partners, Michael McDonough and Donald P. Richter, who were both well-known for their contributions to the legal profession.

Jury box..Photo by Jason Doiy.2-9-11.054-2011

Court Upholds Conviction of Defendant Who Used Computer-Altered Voice to Tamper With Jurors

By Christian Nolan |

The state Appellate Court has upheld the conviction of a woman who called jurors on the telephone during her criminal trial and, using a man's voice with the help of computer "spoofing" technology, urged a not-guilty verdict.

Mark Kochanowicz

Plaintiff's Neck Injury, Wedding Plan Delay Lead to $200,000 Verdict

By Christian Nolan |

A woman who injured her neck in a car accident has been awarded $206,000 by a jury in Rockville. A key issue in the case was whether a fracture discovered in the plaintiff's neck was preexisting or was caused by the crash. Even her doctor was unsure.


Gideon: Bail Reform Should Be Next Step in State's Criminal Justice Reforms


As the new year dawned on us Gov. Dannel Malloy took to podiums to remind us of the tremendous strides Connecticut has made in the criminal justice arena, firmly putting us in the midst of a "smart-on-crime" era.

Stan Twardy.Day, Berry & Howard LLP.rec'd 08/02

Federal Judge Gives Conn. Libertarians Election Law Victory


A federal judge has issued an injunction allowing the Libertarian Party to use people who aren't Connecticut residents to collect signatures necessary to get party candidates on this year's state election ballots.

Mark Dubois

Mark Dubois: ABA's Anti-Discrimination Rule Could Be Problematic

By Mark Dubois |

The American Bar Association is going to be considering an amendment to Rule 8.4 making it an ethical violation to discriminate. How can anyone argue with that? On the other hand, how far down that slippery slope are we ready to go?


Norm Pattis: Best-Seller About Race Isn't an Easy Read

By Norm Pattis |

I have a confession to make: Try as I might to start and to complete a reading of Ta-Nehisi Coates' "Between the World and Me," I cannot. Like Peter, I've thrice betrayed the lord, apparently. I thought I was alone in my sin.

 Keepers Gentlemen's Club in Milford

Updated: Exotic Dancers Seek Class Action on Employment Status


Exotic dancers who perform at the Keepers Gentlemen's Club in Milford claim they haven't been paid fairly. They say they haven't received minimum wage and aren't even allowed to keep all the tips customers give them.

State Says Town Attorney Didn't Break Law by Barring Candidate's Dumpster Diving


A town attorney who sent a letter to a school board candidate admonishing her not to rummage through an elementary school dumpster did not violate election laws, according to the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

Conn. Court to Consider Whether Felons Can Be Forced to Give DNA Samples

By Christian Nolan |

The state Supreme Court will hear arguments this week on whether prison officials can use reasonable force to take DNA samples from convicted felons who refuse to provide them.

 Keepers Gentlemen's Club in Milford

Conn. Judge Says Exotic Dancers Must Arbitrate Wage Claims


Exotic dancers who perform at the Keepers Gentlemen's Club in Milford claim they haven't been paid fairly – they say they haven't received minimum wage and aren't even allowed to keep all of the tips customers give them.

Editorial: Proposed Bill a Dangerous Threat to LGBT Rights

The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), a bill sponsored in the House by U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, and in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is another dangerous effort by GOP lawmakers and social conservative groups to deal with the supposed threat to their religious liberty posed by the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage in 'Obergefell v. Hodges'.

Ex-Manager's Lawsuit Alleges Large Wholesaler Sold Expired Beer


A former manager of a major Anheuser-Busch distributor in Connecticut has filed a federal lawsuit, saying he was fired for investigating whether the boss' son sold beer that had passed its expiration date.

Court Says Conn. Ambulance Company Had No Grounds to Fire Union Official


An appeals court has upheld a National Labor Relations Board's ruling that a Connecticut ambulance company violated federal law by abruptly changing company policies without speaking to a local union leader, and then firing the union steward for arguing against the changes.

Keith Anthony

New Year Brings Many Changes to Conn. Law Firms


Often, the new year brings seismic change to Connecticut's legal community. Sometimes that manifests itself in firms merging or adding entire practice groups, occasionally at the expense of a rival firm. To date, it would appear, 2016 has not brought those sorts of major changes.

William Tong

Domestic Violence, Drones on Agenda as Judiciary Committee Gears Up for Legislative Session


It's a short legislative session this year. Nevertheless, the General Assembly's Judiciary Committee has a fairly ambitious to-do list.

Judge's Jury Instruction Omission Leads to Supreme Court Appeal

By Christian Nolan |

A defendant who was convicted of stealing items from his neighbor's toolshed argues that he should get a new trial because the judge, while charging the jury, didn't tell jurors they should not hold the defendant's failure to testify against him.

Editorial: Conn. Bar Groups Should Sponsor Access to Justice Campaign

We have often commented in these pages on the shortage of affordable legal services for low- and moderate-income individuals in Connecticut, and offered proposals for addressing that problem. Here is another idea: Why not a bar-sponsored access to justice fundraising campaign?

Jury box..Photo by Jason Doiy.2-9-11.054-2011

Conn. Court Rejects Defendant's Complaint that Mother Tampered With Jury

By Christian Nolan |

The state Supreme Court has upheld the robbery conviction of a man who complained that someone spoke with a juror about a witness during his trial. That someone happened to be his own mother.

Large Suspect Sues Over Allegedly Cramped Police Cruiser


A Vernon resident has claimed the town violated his rights by purchasing police cruisers that officials knew would be painfully small for larger suspects.

Ann Zucker

Large Conn. Firm Names New Managing Partner

By Law Tribune Staff |

With its announcement of Ann Zucker as the new managing partner, effective Feb. 1, the firm now known as Carmody Torrance Sendak & Hennessey continues to live up to its promise to enhance the careers of women lawyers and be leaders in gender diversity.

Large Suspect Sues Conn. Town for Reducing Size of Police Cruisers


Mark Sherman is a bigger than average man. On the night of his arrest in September 2012, the 6-foot-2 Vernon resident weighed in at 260 pounds and, he claims, he immediately knew there was no way he would be able to fit in the back seat of the Dodge Charger police cruiser that would be used to transport him to the Vernon Police Department for processing.

Editorial: Room for Compromise on Mental Health Reform

An opinion piece written by leaders of the Connecticut Legal Rights Project and published by the Law Tribune in December demonstrates how difficult it is to make any reform to our mental health system when advocates never see room for compromise.

Jeffrey Meyer

Judge Orders Insurer to Cover Policyholder Sued After Fistfight


Does an insurance policy cover you if you're sued following a fistfight? In some cases, yes, according to a recent Connecticut federal court decision.

State Awards $14 Million to Four Men Wrongly Convicted of Gang Shooting

By Christian Nolan |

Four men who were charged with a gang-related shooting and spent nearly two decades behind bars before being exonerated have been awarded $4.2 million each by Connecticut's claims commissioner.

Attorney Collects $30,000 After Falling on Sidewalk in Front of Courthouse


A lawyer recently won almost $30,000 in damages from the city of Hartford as compensation for injuries sustained when she tripped on an uneven sidewalk and fell on her face outside the city's Superior Court building.


Norm Pattis: Family Court Rage Revealed in Ugly Email About Judge

By Norm Pattis |

Criminal sentencings are a decidedly dismal affair, but rarely do they frighten me. The sentencing of Edward "Ted" Taupier in Middletown the other day did scare me.

Court Clears Conn. Officers Who Shot Plastic Bullets at Suicidal Firefighter


A federal judge has ruled in favor of Groton police officers who fired plastic bullets at a firefighter who was threatening to commit suicide near a college campus.

Medical Firm Reaches $600,000 Settlement Over Use of Unlicensed Technicians

By Christian Nolan |

A Connecticut medical equipment company accused of violating federal and state government health care laws with regard to the way it served customers with sleep apnea has agreed to settle the allegations for $600,000.

Judge Says Family Can't Claim Loss of Consortium on Behalf of Unborn Baby


When Brian Morillo died in a motor vehicle accident in Hartford in June 2013, his girlfriend was pregnant, and his daughter, Arianna, was born the following January. In the subsequent lawsuit against the allegedly negligent taxi driver who ran into Morillo's motorcycle, his loved ones claimed loss of parental consortium on behalf of Arianna.

James “Tim” Shearin

James T. Shearin: State Faces Continued Crisis in Legal Aid Funding

By James T. Shearin |

The title says it all. Nationwide, legal aid funding has suffered mightily since the recession.

David Meyers and Summer

State Supreme Court Focuses on Use of 'Comfort Dogs' in Sex Abuse Cases

By Christian Nolan |

Increasingly, dogs are being used to comfort children in therapy as well as those with developmental disabilities. The animals are also being used in nursing homes to address depression among the elderly.

James Glasser

Major Conn. Firm Opens D.C. Office, Plans Staff Additions


Wiggin and Dana has expanded its firm to include a new office in Washington, D.C., which opened on Jan. 15.

Conn. Court to Weigh Multiple Issues in Gastric Bypass Med-Mal Case

By Christian Nolan |

The state Supreme Court will hear the case of a woman who found out six years after weight-loss surgery that the doctor left a sponge inside her abdomen. Issues include whether the lawsuit was filed in a timely manner and whether a hospital can be held liable for the non-employee doctor's alleged negligence.

Paul Knierim

Paul Knierim: Probate Courts Are a Good Value


There can be no dispute that the increase in probate fees on decedents' estates enacted as part of the state budget this year is bad public policy.

Joshua Goodbaum

Firm Hires Replacement for Partner Who Left for Federal Bench


The start of the new year is a time of change for law firms. And while large law firms may be able to handle personnel changes without missing a beat, similar changes at a small firm can cause a bit of an upheaval.

Judge Says School Not Liable for Haunted House Injuries


An urban school board got a bit of a legal scare, but came through unscathed. A state judge has ruled that the Hartford Board of Education cannot be held liable for injuries sustained by a 14-year-old student during a school-sponsored haunted house.

James Pickerstein

Pickerstein May Face Prison Term Former Prosecutor Pleads Guilty To Federal Charge


About a year after he forfeited his law license amid questions about missing client money, former Connecticut U.S. Attorney H. James Pickerstein has pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud.

Editorial: Time to Euthanize the Probate Court System?

Connecticut's probate court system has limped along financially now for some years.

Law Firm Founded By Veterans Opens New Conn. Office


Over the past two years, the New Haven firm of Bansley Anthony has seen a growing number of cases coming out of the southeastern part of Connecticut. And so it should come as no surprise that the firm, which was founded by a U.S. Marine Corps veteran in the 1990s, has opened a new office just down the road from the Naval Submarine Base in Groton. After all, Bansley Anthony focuses, in part, on military law.

Attorney Sentenced to 45 Months in Prison After Taking $1.8 Million From Estate


A former Woodbury attorney who was convicted of embezzling over $1.8 million from the estate of an Oxford woman has been sentenced to 45 months in prison.

College Football Player's Family Awarded $2 Million After Fatal Crash

By Christian Nolan |

A Hartford judge has awarded $2 million to the estate of a Central Connecticut State University student who was killed in an accident on the Charter Oak Bridge in 2011.

Man Sentenced in Threat Against State Judge


A Cromwell man who made threatening statements in an email about the judge who was handling his divorce case was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison.

Attorney Dan Krisch

Dan Krisch: Gun Advocates Misinterpret Second Amendment's Meaning


I want to get textual so we can hear the Constitution talk.


Norm Pattis: Prosecutors Appear Bloodthirsty in Pushing for Death Penalty Reinstatement


Just why the office of the chief state's attorney is hell-bent on killing people is one of those deeper mysteries I am destined never to understand.

Real Estate Firm That Enforced No-Children Rule Settles Discrimination Claim

By Christian Nolan |

A woman who claims she was discriminated against during her housing search because she is a parent will receive $65,000 following a settlement agreement between a real estate company and the Connecticut Fair Housing Center.

Conn. Judge Says Food Wholesaler Was Justified in Firing Burger-Poaching Manager


A former manager was justly fired for taking boxes of hamburgers and other products from a wholesale foods company where she worked, according to a Superior Court judge who rejected the ex-employee's claims that she was terminated in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Hedge Fund Manager Settles With SEC Following Insider Trading Allegations

By Associated Press |

Steven A. Cohen will be barred for two years from managing other people's money after reaching a civil settlement with federal regulators who accused the billionaire hedge-fund manager of failing to prevent insider trading at his Stamford-based firm, SAC Capital Advisors.

Conn. Court Says Child Can't Challenge Decision to Remove Alleged Abuser From Registry

By Christian Nolan |

A minor lacks standing to challenge a state Department of Children and Families administrative decision removing the child's alleged abuser from the child abuse and neglect registry, the state's highest court has ruled.

After Years of Delays, Trial Starts in High-Stakes Education Funding Case


The trial in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding v. Rell is expected to be a long one, and Hartford Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher has reserved dates through May.

Forecast Edition: 2016

It’s the dawn of a new year, and the Law Tribune’s annual look-to-the-future Forecast edition digs into a wide array of hot-button topics. From immigration law, national security issues and data breaches to sex trafficking, mental health law reforms and alternative energy programs, guest authors from all sectors of the legal community have done their best to shed light on what’s likely to make news in 2016.

Jay Ruane

Criminal Defense: Bar Will Push for Trial Scheduling Changes


In 2016, the Connecticut criminal defense bar will continue to lobby the state court system to set specific trial dates in criminal cases.

George Jepsen

Attorney General: AG's Focus Ranges From Data Breaches to Health Care


Before looking ahead, I would like to acknowledge the impressive accomplishments of my dedicated and talented staff in the year just ended, under the guidance of Perry Zinn Rowthorn as deputy attorney general and my team of senior associates.

Andrew Glassman

Business Law: Ideas Promoted by Business Bar Paying Off for State


A New Year always brings with it the opportunity to wipe the slate clean, reflect back on the past year that was and look forward to the next.

Erin O'Neil-Baker

Immigration Law: Major Developments to Come From Courts and Congress


Who's coming, who's staying and who leaving? Answers to these questions are at the core of immigration law, and are up in the air for 2016.

Lee Hoffman

Environmental Law: State Agency Powers Up Alternative Energy Initiative


When Robert Klee took over as Connecticut's Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection in 2014, he viewed his role as that of an implementer.

Joette Katz

Child Welfare: Officials See Challenges Online and Overseas


The critical challenges of poverty and substance abuse, the importance of the community in shaping child welfare services, racial disproportionality in the system, the changing response of the system to LGBT issues, and services to ameliorate the difficulties of youth leaving the system are all grist for the mill when speaking about the work of a child welfare agency, and court cases reflect many of these challenges.

Chase Rogers

Chief Justice: Court System to Retool Civil and Family Dockets


The year 2015 ends with a series of accomplishments for the Judicial Branch and the ushering in of 2016 promises to bring more opportunities—and challenges.

Law Firm Management: As Partners Age, Law Firms Face Succession Challenges


The rapid expansion of law firms over the past few decades is coming home to roost, both in Connecticut and across the country.

Kathleen Flaherty, left, and Gina Teixeira

Mental Health Law: Legal Rights Group Wary of Federal Reforms


Turning the calendar to a new year provides the opportunity for reflection on accomplishments of the year just past, and consideration of goals and objectives for the year to come.

Monique Ferraro

Legal Technology: Credit Cards Lead the Charge for Cyberlaw Issues


Cyberlaw will be bustling in the coming year. It may take more than a year to see substantive developments, but 2016 promises to be rich with ideas.

U.S. Attorney: Feds Target Urban Crime and National Security


I remain deeply grateful to serve as Connecticut's U.S. attorney. It is a remarkable experience to work alongside so many dedicated professionals, all devoted to the safety of our communities.

CBA: New Task Force Will Examine Future of Profession


The Connecticut Bar Association starts the new year (2016) with significant positive momentum.

Kevin Barry

Commentary: Justices Were Right to Abolish 'Zombie Death Penalty'

By Kevin Barry |

Nothing says "black lives don't matter" quite like the death penalty. But here we go again—welcome to Groundhog Day.

Mark Rademacher

Updated: Justices Pepper Attorneys With Stare Decisis Questions at Death Penalty Hearing


State prosecutor Harry Weller stood in a packed state Supreme Court chamber and attacked the court's August 2015 landmark decision that found the death penalty unconstitutionally cruel and unusual and not in keeping with Connecticut's evolving standards of decency.

Botched Business Robbery Turns Into Long-Running Insurance Litigation


It all started a decade ago, when Sara Socci was tied up by a masked intruder at her workplace during a botched robbery.

Judge Upholds Reprimand of Conn. Attorney Who Ran for State Senate


In 2014, Waterbury attorney Karl Shehu was a Republican candidate for state Senate, but lost the election in a landslide. He's also not having much success persuading state disciplinary officials and judges.

Patricia King

Patricia King: Clinical Experience Is Vital for Law School Students

By Patricia King |

While there is a general agreement among students and members of the bar and bench that students need more practical training, there does not seem to be any movement on the horizon in that direction.

Driver Helping Disabled Vehicle Settles for $1 Million After Merritt Parkway Crash

By Christian Nolan |

A man who suffered 13 bone fractured when his car was rear-ended as he and friends helped a disabled vehicle on the Merritt Parkway has settled his lawsuit for just over $1 million.

Divided Conn. Court Hears Death Penalty Arguments Once Again


State prosecutor Harry Weller stood in a packed state Supreme Court chamber and attacked the court's August 2015 landmark decision that found the death penalty unconstitutionally cruel and unusual, and not in keeping with Connecticut's evolving standards of decency.

Conn. Judge Rules Tweets About Ex-Husband's Sexual Health Aren't Libelous


A judge has dismissed a libel suit filed by a man who said he was defamed when his former wife shared a tweet that suggested he had a sexually transmitted disease.


Norm Pattis: US Not Getting Money's Worth in War on Terror


The United States spends about $115 billion per year on deterring acts of domestic terror here in what we like to call the "homeland." Are we getting our money's worth?

Nina Pirrotti

Lawsuit Claims Yale Retaliated After Doctor Filed Gender Discrimination Claim


An associate professor with the Yale University School of Medicine has filed a federal lawsuit claiming the school repeatedly denied her job promotions after she filed a gender discrimination complaint and then refused to drop it.

Attorney J. Michael Farren, 57, of New Canaan, Conn, is on trial for trying to murder his wife.

Farren Promises to Press Forward With Appeal

By Christian Nolan |

A former White House lawyer who was criminally convicted of brutally beating his former wife in Connecticut in 2010 and also ordered to pay a $28.6 million civil verdict is planning to continue his appeals in an effort to get a new civil trial.

Lori Alexander

National Firm Names New Leader for Conn. Office

By Law Tribune Staff |

The New Haven office of the nation's largest employment law firm has named a new managing shareholder.

Yale Archive Discovery Casts Light on Bluebook Origins


Almost 20 years ago, Fred Shapiro was leafing through the rare-books collection in the Yale Law Library when he was drawn to two very small blue booklets.

Coleman B. Levy, left, and David DeBassio

Longtime Lawyer Retires, Colleague Gets Promotion


While one partner at Hinckley, Allen & Snyder's Connecticut office recently announced his retirement, another local attorney was just promoted to partner.

State Supreme Court Upholds Conviction in Love Triangle Murder

By Christian Nolan |

Despite marital communications generally considered confidential in a court of law, the state Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a woman whose ex-husband testified at trial about incriminating statements she made to him in a love triangle murder case.

Time for Bail Reform?

The Connecticut Constitution, Article One, Section Eight, provides that "excessive bail" shall not be required in criminal prosecutions.

Rock Salt Company Sues Connecticut for $4.78M


A New York-based rock salt company sued Connecticut for $4.78 million after it claimed the state breached a contract and hired another company in 2014.

Former Attorney Hit With New Disciplinary Action


A longtime former attorney who recently completed a two-year prison sentence for a larceny conviction is the subject of a new disciplinary action.

Federal Court Turns Down Conn. Company's Offer to Build Houses for Homeless


A North Branford-based construction company has failed in a novel effort to receive an alternative punishment for several federal crimes. Instead of paying a possible $500,000 fine, Cherry Hill Construction had offered to build to homes for the Habitat for Humanity nonprofit group.

Indian Mountain School

Judge Allows Lawyers to Search Prep School Campus for Child Porn


Attorneys involved in sexual abuse lawsuits against a Litchfield County prep school literally dug for evidence after a federal judge allowed the parties to search the grounds of Indian Mountain School.

Editorial: Allowing Retired Conn. Justices to Vote Creates Unsettling Situation

We recently applauded the Supreme Court's complete abolition of the death penalty in State v. Santiago, and nothing we say today is intended to detract from our applause.

Stan Twardy.Day, Berry & Howard LLP.rec'd 08/02

Political Party's Lawsuit Challenges Conn. Election Law


The Libertarian Party has filed a lawsuit against the state of Connecticut, challenging laws pertaining to gathering signatures on petitions to place candidates on election ballots.


Commentary: World Problems Are Too Complex to Scapegoat Muslims

By Mark Dubois |

My friend and fellow Law Tribune columnist Norm Pattis has written lately on how the recent spate of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino drove him both to consider not representing Muslims and to buy and learn to shoot a pistol. It's unfortunate that smart people like him can get so rattled by unexpected and threatening events that they start saying and doing ill-considered things.

Commentary: US Under No Legal Obligation to Accept Refugees

By Laszlo L. Pinter |

Let us make one thing clear, and at the same time dispose of the erroneous title to a Dec. 7 opinion column in the Connecticut Law Tribune by Albany Law School professor Christopher Sundquist, "Laws Demand That U.S. Accepts Refugees": there is no law that demands that these United States accept refugees.

New Rules Should Improve Discovery Process


It is widely accepted that discovery is the most expensive phase of modern business litigation. It is also true that we lawyers have no one to blame but ourselves for at least part of the discovery plight from which we suffer.

The Clickable CLT

Readers of the Connecticut Law Tribune clicked a mixed bag of stories in 2015. An article about a high-dollar verdict, "Vertebrae Shattered in Tree-Cutting Mishap: $1 Million,” took top honors for how many readers it attracted. Other high-ranking stories looked at the changes affecting the practice of law in Connecticut—and lawyers who didn’t follow the law themselves. The list includes bright spots, too, showing lawyers at their best.

Attorney Predicts More Suits Abuse Against Conn. Pediatrician


​A retired New Britain pediatrician who died on Dec. 26 is the target of six state lawsuits which claim he sexually abused his young patients, and more claims are expected to be filed.


The Person of the Year is a Tiny, Drowned Refugee


At year's end, it is sometimes customary to name a person of the year, so let me add my nominee.

Two Big Conn. Law Firms Make Partner Promotions

By Law Tribune Staff |

Two of Connecticut's largest law firms have elevated a number of attorneys to partner status.

Editorial: Lawyers Should Weigh In on Email Privacy Act

In the wake of the tragic events in Paris and San Bernardino, Americans are increasingly concerned about their safety, and about the government's ability to protect them.

Conn. Agency Settles ADA Claim Following Complaints About Services for Deaf People


The state Department on Aging has agreed to make changes that will put it in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 Keepers Gentlemen's Club in Milford

Adult Entertainment Club Pushes Forward With 12-Year-Old Lawsuit Against City


The latest development is a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in which the city prevailed.

Conn. Lawyer's Racing Team Raises Money to Fight Genetic Disorder


Lawyer's racing team raises money to fight genetic disorder

Attorney J. Michael Farren, 57, of New Canaan, Conn, is on trial for trying to murder his wife.

Update: Mental Health Issues Were Focus of Farren Appeal


The Connecticut Appellate Court has upheld a $28.6 million civil verdict against a former White House lawyer who was accused—and criminally convicted—of nearly beating his ex-wife to death.

XDM 3.8 Compact, 9mm pistol.

Conn. Gun Maker Pleads Guilty to Violating Firearms Laws

A Connecticut maker of military-style rifles has pleaded guilty to violating federal firearms laws, and the owner has agreed to sell the company.

Conn. Law Firms Add Partners, Hire Associates

By Law Tribune Staff |

Trial lawyer Michael Stratton's return to Connecticut and the bolstering of the education practice at Pullman & Comley were probably the two biggest personnel moves at Connecticut law firms during the fall months. But other firms also made some hires. Here's a list of recent personnel moves reported to the Law Tribune.

Mark Dubois

Mark Dubois: Big Birds, Long Runs and Other Year-End Thoughts

By Mark Dubois |

As those few who read this column know, I occasionally stray from serious talk about ethics and the practice of law in an effort to entertain a bit and show that even wonks and bar-junkies have something of a life.

Thurgood Marshall

Conn. Lawyer Co-Authors Screenplay for New Thurgood Marshall Movie


When a friend mentioned how a long-ago criminal trial from Connecticut would make for a good movie, attorney Michael Koskoff was intrigued.

Robert Richardson

Employment Lawyer Named Federal Magistrate in Conn.


A well-known Connecticut employment lawyer has been chosen to become a magistrate judge in U.S. District Court in Connecticut.

Families of Newtown Victims Settle Lawsuit Against Lanza Estate

By Law Tribune Staff |

One of several lawsuits filed by families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 has been officially resolved.

Editorial: Screening Process Ensures That Syrian Refugees Pose Little Risk to U.S.

In recent weeks, we have witnessed several terrorist incidents: the bombing of a Russian airliner, the attacks in Paris and most recently, the shootings in San Bernardino. In the wake of these episodes, many Americans have turned inward, seeking to ban Syrian refugees from at least 30 states in a xenophobic version of "not-in-my-backyard."

Barbara O’Brien and Christian Tokpagnan

Small Legal Team Plays Big Role in Conn. Organization that Resettled Syrian Family


Small legal team vital to refugee resettlement center's mission

Conn. Court Upholds $28.6 Million VerdictAgainst Former White House Lawyer


The state Appellate Court has upheld a $28.6 million civil judgment against a former White House lawyer who has been accused — and criminally convicted — of nearly beating his ex-wife to death.

Matters of Life and Depth

2015 was a busy year for most of the Law Tribune’s readers. And so we appreciate everyone who took the time to read our newspaper and visit our website.

Day Pitney Names Two Managing Partners

By ALM Media |

Day Pitney has chosen two women attorneys for key leadership rolls.

Gary Mastronardi

Court Rejects Emotional Distress Claim Over Rings Stolen From Dead Woman at Hospital


When 93-year-old Anna Josephine Costello was rushed to Bridgeport Hospital in June 2011, she was wearing six valuable rings, which mysteriously disappeared after she died there hours later.

Attorneys Donate $50,000 Fee From Excessive-Force Case to ACLU


The year 2015 was filled with encounters between police officers and black men that did not having happy endings. But here's one that at least had a silver lining.

Conn. Plans New Prison Exclusively for Young Adult Inmates

By Associated Press |

A prison is being planned in Connecticut that officials say would be the first of its kind in the country to exclusively house and deal with issues unique to inmates between the ages of 18 and 25.

Advocacy Group Sues State Officials Over School Expulsion Policies

By Christian Nolan |

A Connecticut children's advocacy group has filed a lawsuit against the state, governor and educators claiming that students expelled from public schools are being denied their constitutionally protected right to an education.

Christopher Oliveira

Conn. Judge Rejects New Election in Race With One-Vote Margin


It was a nail biter of an election in Clinton this year, with incumbent First Selectman William Fritz ultimately losing by just one vote. Fritz went to Superior Court seeking to get an injunction to prevent his challenger from taking office.

Michael Stratton

Noted Trial Lawyer Makes Comeback With New Firm

By Christian Nolan |

Perhaps no trial lawyer in Connecticut has won more multi-million-dollar verdicts over the past decade or so than Michael Stratton. Yet his career hit a surprising bump in 2014.


Mark Dubois: Examining the Roots of Bias

By Mark Dubois |

I doubt few ever experience, up close and personal, how it can shape our perceptions and attitudes. Twice in my life I have been reminded of this.

Jeffrey Cooper, of Cooper Sevillano in Bridgeport

Crash at Shrub-Covered Stop Sign Yields $338,000 Verdict

By Christian Nolan |

A man who fractured his leg in a near head-on collision in Shelton after running a stop sign he claims he could not see due to overgrown vegetation has recovered more than $338,000 following a jury trial in Derby.

The courthouse in Bristol, Connecticut.

State Budget Deal Saves Courthouses in Meriden and Bristol


Courthouses in Meriden and Bristol are no longer in danger of being closed because of state budget woes, according to state lawmakers.


Norm Pattis: Second Amendment Skeptic Learns How to Pull Trigger


I felt much as a secret agent, or confidential informant, must feel, settling in among strangers, listening to them talk, wary of my surroundings. But I was one of them, wasn't I?

Delta Kappa Epsilon has owned this 10,000-square-foot house on the Wesleyan University campus since the 1880s, but members will be barred from living there this fall.

Judge Rules for College in Legal Dispute Over Coed Fraternities


A state court ruling has struck a blow to a college fraternity's attempt to challenge an edict that it must go co-ed. Middletown Superior Court Judge Elpedio Vitale has dismissed more than 30 counts in an action filed by Delta Kappa Epsilon against Wesleyan University.

Feds Sue to Seize Life Insurance Proceeds from Convicted Broker's Widow


The day after his death, the United States government seized the remaining balance of his life insurance policy from his surviving wife, Cathy Lee.

An orphaned kitten in a cage reaching out with a paw

Conn. Pet Food Company Settles Class Action Over Ingredients for $32 Million


A Connecticut-based pet food company has agreed to pay $32 million to a settlement fund to resolve class action litigation which challenged its claims about ingredients in its products

Donald Trump

Editorial: Irresponsible Politicians Play Upon Fears of Frightened Public

Donald Trump proposes to register Muslim citizens, surveil mosques and bar entry into the United States of non-native Muslims until some unstated future time when the government sorts out the threat of possible radical Muslim-inspired terrorism.

Hugh Keefe

Sale of Famous Conn. Pizza Parlor Spawns Complicated Litigation

Selling a famous pizzeria is not easy. The prospective sale of Sally's Apizza in New Haven has generated two lawsuits after the owners turned down a $3.1 million offer, with the decision on one of the suits now before the Connecticut Appellate Court.

Kelly Reardon

Couple Recover $900,000 for Injuries in Rear-End Collision

By Christian Nolan |

A husband and a wife from Quaker Hill will split a $900,000 settlement to be paid by a trucking company as a result of an accident on Interstate 95.

Kathleen Flaherty and Nancy Alisberg

Commentary: Board Offered Bad Advice About Mental Health Reform

By Kathleen Flaherty and Nancy Alisberg |

We are writing to address an editorial, "A Sane Approach to Improving Mental Health Treatment," in the Dec. 7 issue of the Law Tribune.

Richard Slavin, managing partner of Cohen and Wolf's Westport office and chairman of the firm's securities group

Second Circuit Decision in Conn. Case to Impact Future Securities Fraud Prosecutions

By Christian Nolan |

A federal appeals court has ordered a new trial for a Connecticut-based securities trader sentenced to two years in prison for allegedly lying to potential investors about mortgage bond prices. Experts say the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit changes the way future securities fraud criminal trials will play out and could potentially make the cases more difficult to prosecute.

SEC Lawsuit Accuses Conn. Companies of Running Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme


Virtual currencies have become a haven for black market entrepreneurs, for libertarians in love with privacy and, apparently, for those with a penchant for financial fraud. The federal government puts Homero Joshua Garza in the final group.

Don H. Liu

Scholar Program for Future Asian-American Lawyers Expands


As general counsel at Norwalk-based Xerox Corp. for nearly a decade, Don Liu has become known not only as a corporate leader but as an attorney who has gone the extra mile to mentor up-and-coming Asian-American lawyers. Now others are helping him with that effort.

Employee With PTSD Defends Workers' Comp Benefits

By Christian Nolan |

A FedEx worker who suffered a cardiac episode while delivering packages and later developed post-traumatic stress disorder is asking the state Supreme Court to reject his employer's challenge to his workers' compensation benefits.

Conn. Judge Criticizes Police Use of Cellphone Data

By Associated Press |

A Connecticut judge says police have been improperly using data from cellphones to track the location of suspects.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announced a number of criminal law reform proposals on Nov. 6 at a Connecticut Law Review symposium at the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Governor's Plan to Ban Gun Sales to Individuals on 'No-Fly' List Launches Constitutional Debate

By Paul Sussman |

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said he plans to sign an executive order that would ban those on the U.S. government's "no-fly" list from buying firearms in Connecticut.


Norm Pattis: A Changed Attitude Regarding Islam

By Norm Pattis |

"So, will you be voting for Donald Trump?"

Malloy's New Plan to Restrict Gun Sales Draws Mixed Reaction From Legal Community


Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said he plans to sign an executive order that would ban those on the U.S. government's "no-fly" list from buying firearms in Connecticut. The announcement comes just days after President Barack Obama made a similar proposal on national television and immediately raised legal concerns from Second Amendment advocates and constitutional experts.

Arbitration Is Underused in Family Law Cases


Connecticut statutes permit a family law arbitration procedure designed entirely by the litigants and their counsel. Indeed, a true streamlined, "designer" divorce.

Gregory J. Pepe

ADR Use in Multistate Managed Care Disputes


This consolidation is creating some of the largest health care provider groups this country has ever seen.

Robert Holzberg

Pre-Suit Mediation: An Alternative to the Alternative


While in its formative years ADR processes were typically invoked on the eve of or close to trial, there is an increasing recognition that "early intervention" should be on the parties' and counsel's checklist of options as a dispute begins to simmer.

Mark Soboslai

What Would the Court Do?


Whenever a client is presented a settlement proposal in a litigated case, the client looks to the attorney for advice and guidance which usually involves predicting what the court would do if they don't settle.

Jay H. Sandak

Identifying the True Subject of a Negotiation


Generations of lawyers have never been formally trained in the negotiation process, notwithstanding that much of their practice involves negotiating on behalf of clients.

Karen Jalkut, left, and Jeffrey Zaino

Software Helps Attorneys Evaluate Arbitration Cases


It enables users to receive an objective evaluation of their arbitration cases from experienced arbitrators not associated with their cases.

Peter W. Benner, right, and Michael J. Giordano

Solving the Med-Mal Riddle Through Co-Mediation


Before grasping for health courts as the solution, we should take care to examine whether that makes the most sense.

Jonathan E. Silbert

Judicial Settlement Efforts Versus Private Mediation


A few points deserve further consideration by bench and bar, which this article is designed to promote … or provoke.

Donald Trump

Editorial: U.S. Needs to Say No to Trump and His Muslim Witch Hunts

These actions defame the America we love, the America that we and our ancestors fought for and for which we will continue to fight.

Update: State Sets Training Sessions for E-Filing of Appellate Documents


The new year is bringing a new rule for the filing of court documents in Connecticut. Starting Jan. 1, attorneys must e-file Supreme Court and Appellate Court documents.

Small Businesses Brace for Litigation Involving Credit Card Processing Company


Customers often want the convenience of using a credit card to make purchases. That's prompted many a Connecticut business to lease equipment so they can handle these transactions.

Donn Swift

Family of Woman Who Froze to Death Settles Lawsuit for $237,500

By Christian Nolan |

A $237,500 settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed against the Naugatuck Housing Authority by the family of an elderly woman who allegedly slipped and fell on ice outside her apartment complex during the night and froze to death.

Inside trader

Second Circuit Overturns Conn. Securities Trader's Fraud Conviction

By Associated Press |

A federal appeals court has ordered a new trial for a former securities trader in Connecticut sentenced to two years in prison for allegedly defrauding the government bailout program.


Mark Dubois: Beware of Hackers, Ransomware and Cleaning People

By Mark Dubois |

I am not a social media person. I have only six friends on Facebook.

From left: Lenny Isaac, Henry Shook and Jim Nugent

World War II Vet Collects $1.8 Million After Red-Light Running Accident

By Christian Nolan |

An 89-year-old World War II veteran has been awarded nearly $1.8 million by a Hartford jury after breaking both hips when another driver allegedly ran a red light and hit his vehicle.

State Set to Require E-Filing for Appellate, Supreme Court Documents


The new year is bringing a new rule for the filing of court documents in Connecticut. Starting Jan. 1, attorneys must e-file Supreme Court and Appellate Court documents.

Iconic Conn. Cookie Company Files Trademark Suit Against Supermarket


On Dec. 2, Pepperidge Farm sued Trader Joe's for trademark infringement, claiming that the California-based upscale grocery store chain is making goodies that are nearly identical to the famous Milanos cookies.

Judge Tosses Ex-Sikorsky Worker's Discrimination Case


Insubordinate behavior trumps potentially discriminatory comments made about an employee's age, even if such comments include being called "an old prunella" and "an old bag of bones," a federal judge determined in a Dec. 3 decision.

Shelton Teacher Challenges District's Nepotism Policy


A Shelton teacher is suing her school district, claiming it unfairly transferred her to another school after she married a fellow teacher.

Former Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano

Conn. Judge Rejects Request to Overturn Ex-Mayor's Sex Abuse Conviction


Former Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano, convicted of sexually abusing two young girls, was unsuccessful in his latest effort to get his 37-year federal prison sentence overturned.

Azia Jenkins, uncle to Shaneah and Shayanna Jenkins, points to the defendant during the murder trial for former NFL player Aaron Hernandez at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass., Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. Hernandez is accused in the June 17, 2013, killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating Shaneah Jenkins, sister of Hernandez's fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins. (AP Photo/Dominick Reuter, Pool)

No Pointing? Conn. Justices to Hear Challenge to In-Court Defendant Identification

By Christian Nolan |

An effort is underway by some members of the defense bar to put an end to pointing at defendant in the court room, which they say is unduly suggestive to a jury and is unfair to the defendant.

The U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society's gift shop website at carries unique court-themed gifts ranging from cufflinks to chess sets.

A Dozen Holiday Gift Ideas Tailored to Attorneys


With the holiday season upon us, we asked our readers for their ideas about what would make a good present for a lawyer. The answers ranged from books to briefcases to gadgets designed to make an attorney's hectic life easier. If you are stumped about what to buy for a colleague or friend, check out these suggestions from Connecticut attorneys.

Breach of Duty to Defend Exposes Insurers to Liability


It is well-recognized within the field of insurance coverage law that an insurer's duty to defend its insured is a broad duty imposed on an insurance company under the insurance policy it issues to the insured.

Robert D. Helfand, left, and Joseph J. Blyskal

Can Insurers Sue for 'Reverse Bad Faith'?


The insurance relationship is contractual, but when policyholders claim insurers failed to honor their obligations, they typically invoke the tort of "bad faith."

Regen O'Malley, left, and Steven Zakrzewski

Can You Smell That Smell? It's a Covered Loss!


The New Hampshire Supreme Court's April decision in Mellin v. Northern Security Insurance is getting some attention, and not just because it's fun to talk about cat pee.

William Goddard, left, and Daniel Raccuia

Insurers Look to Transfer Policy Liabilities


Recently, Connecticut's eastern neighbor—Rhode Island—made changes to its insurance regulations to provide a mechanism for insurance companies to transfer their policy liabilities off their books into a different corporate entity in appropriate cases.

A Little Knowledge of CGL Policies Can Go A Long Way


It's no secret that insurance companies have tremendous expertise and knowledge when it comes to drafting and interpreting insurance policies.

Brendan Faulkner and Michael A. D'Amico

Insurers Use Biased Records Review Companies


Creating the illusion of an independent "second opinion," insurance companies involved in personal injury lawsuits frequently contract with vendors to provide "records reviews," "peer reviews" or "paper reviews."

Jack Steigelfest

Summary Judgment Rules in Insurance Coverage Actions


The burden of proof on a party moving for summary judgment differs in Connecticut state court as compared with federal court.

Ryan M. Suerth, left, and Melissa A. Federico

The Policyholder's Right to Select Defense Counsel


Liability insurance policyholders likely feel a sense of relief when their insurer agrees to defend them in connection with an underlying liability claim.

Aaron Romano

Conn. Court Says Prosecutors Can Make Reference to Defendants' Prior Erased Arrests


For the second time this year, the state Supreme Court has ruled on cases involving the erasure of criminal records.

Ryan Veilleux

Crash Victim's Severe Dental Problems Lead to $825,000 Settlement

By Christian Nolan |

About a month after the collision, the plaintiff's teeth began to decay and fall out. When she was a teenager, she had jaw surgery that involved pins being put in. The collision caused the pins to come loose, resulting in extra space in her roots, which led to rot and decay.

Conn. Judge Rejects Request to Overturn Ex-Mayor's Sex Abuse Conviction


Former Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano, convicted of sexually abusing two young girls, was unsuccessful in his latest effort to get his 37-year federal prison sentence overturned.

Commentary: CLE Courses Are Not a Profit-Making Venture for CBA

In a recent opinion piece in this publication ("Statistics Show That There's No Need for MCLE," Nov. 30), a colleague trumpeted the high level of professional knowledge among Connecticut attorneys as a reason that mandatory legal education was not necessary.

City Bike rack at 175 West 13th Street..110513

Is a Culvert Part of a Highway? State Says No, Tries to Block Bike Rider's Suit

By Christian Nolan |

The family of a bike-riding teen injured when he fell into a culvert at the side of a state highway in Stratford is asking the Supreme Court to allow a lawsuit under the state's highway defect statute.

Longtime Conn. Lawyer Faces Arrest After Alleged Thefts From Disabled Client


For years, Michael Schless practiced law in Newington without any hint of wrongdoing. He's now 78, retired and living in Boynton Beach, Florida. And there is a warrant pending for his arrest.


Norm Pattis: Lawyers Should Retain Right to Challenge Online Trolls


I sometimes worry about U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Federal Government Designates Quinnipiac Law School to Resolve Disputes


Farmers and Connecticut residents with ties to agriculture turn to conflict resolution on myriad issues: Farm loan delinquency and foreclosure, conservation programs, wetlands determination, pesticide use, rural housing and development, and land use.

Nurse Collects $500,000 After Employer Violated Family Leave Law


A nurse has been awarded more than $500,000 after a federal court jury found that her former employee violated the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Plaintiff Collects $386,000 After Botched Vasectomy

By Christian Nolan |

A man who went in for a routine vasectomy but instead ended up losing a testicle has been awarded more than $386,000 by a Hartford judge after suing the state and the University of Connecticut Health Center.

Editorial: A Sane Approach to Improving Mental Health Treatment

While most mass shootings in America have been done by individuals with serious mental illness, no legislation has been passed by Congress since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut to address this issue.

Conn. Hospitals Consider Lawsuit Challenging State Tax

By Associated Press |

Connecticut hospitals have taken the first steps toward a possible legal battle with the state over a tax the medical centers claim is unconstitutional and is harming hospitals financially.

Conn. Judge Dismisses Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Against Online Company


When a Greenwich teenager went online and bought a video game with a debit card, he also unwittingly signed up for a membership in a discount program which meant an automatic $12 monthly charge to his card. The teen's mother later noticed the ongoing charges, and the 2009 incident led to lengthy, ongoing federal litigation that included claims of fraud, unfair trade practices, unjust enrichment and negligent misrepresentation.

Feds Drop Lawsuit Against Attorney Who Owes $4 Million in Restitution


Federal prosecutors are dropping a lawsuit against a convicted Stamford attorney accused of fraudulently transferring real estate to his girlfriend instead of selling it and putting the proceeds toward the nearly $4 million in restitution he owes.

 Stephan Seeger

Conn. Attorney Says White House Fence Jumper Is No 'Threat to National Security'

By Associated Press |

A college student from Stamford who jumped over the White House fence while draped in an American flag was committing civil disobedience and had no plans to harm himself or others, his Connecticut-based attorney said.

Mark Dubois

Mark Dubois: Sometimes Lawyers Get Too Close to Their Cases


In the legal profession where advocates take up the cause of the oppressed and devote themselves to representing those who have no voice, the calm, deliberative reasoning of lawyers can be overwhelmed by the emotionally charged circumstances of the clients they represent.

Conn.-Based Bank Settles Claim That It Discriminated Against Deaf Customers


The U.S. Attorney's Office and Waterbury-based Webster Bank have reached a settlement in an Americans with Disabilities Act dispute stemming from a complaint by a deaf customer.

Conn. Court Says Dead Inmate's Family Can Seek Compensation From State


At what point is a claim against the state officially filed? The Connecticut Supreme Court was asked that question in an unusual case involving the family of an inmate beaten to death in prison.

In 1998, in a high-profile case, David Messenger, center, killed his wife, Heather, in their Windham County home.

Lawyer Lobbies for Bill to Stop Killers From Inheriting From Victims

By Christian Nolan |

There's a loophole in Connecticut law that rankles attorney John Klar.

New Movie Leads Conn. Lawyers To Reflect on Priest Sex Abuse Cases


The movie "Spotlight" tells the story of the Boston Globe's investigation into sexual abuse of children by priests. Its release has refocused the general public on a scandal that, by some measures, reached its peak nearly a decade ago.

Conn. Hospital Settles Patient Data Breach Case

By Christian Nolan |

Connecticut has reached a $90,000 settlement with Hartford Hospital and a contractor over allegations that private patient information was compromised three years ago, leaving nearly 9,000 residents to worry if that data had gotten into the wrong hands.

Dori B. Hightower

In Our Minds, In Our Hearts, Implicit Bias Exists


Think about Ferguson, Missouri, think about George Zimmerman, and then think about stereotyping. One would hope this is not an issue in the family courts.

Lynda B. Munro

Early Mediation Can Facilitate Divorce Cases


Family lawyers should embrace early mediation as a creative tool that makes them more attractive to clients and helps them cast a net for a wider client base.

Livia Barndollar

Alimony Ruling Reflects Changing Attitudes


In this past year, the state Supreme Court family law decision that most departed from its predecessors was Dan v. Dan, 315 Conn. 1 (2014), a postjudgment alimony modification case.

Mary Cushing Doherty, left, and Stephanie A. Henrick

College Savings Plans Can Complicate Negotiations


Confidentiality Agreements Can Keep Cases Moving


Family cases almost always involve private matters that at least one party would prefer not to make public.

Elizabeth I. Tylawsky

Tax Code Provisions Assist Divorcing Parties


Understandably, there are occasions in a marriage when one spouse is unaware of certain income earned by the other spouse, or situations when moneys provided by one spouse to pay taxes are misappropriated by the other spouse. It is for these legitimate situations that the "innocent spouse" regulations of the IRC were implemented through three forms of relief: innocent spouse relief, separation of liability and equitable relief.

Kenneth Laska

Commentary: Statistics Show There's No Need for Mandatory CLE in Conn.

By Kenneth Laska |

There is absolutely no need for mandatory continuing legal education in Connecticut. For many years, the state has had one of the most educated bars in the United States.

Felice Duffy, left, and Paul Thomas

New Conn. Firm to Focus on College Campus-Related Cases


Felice Duffy didn't know it at the time, but her law career was set on course when she was 18 years old.

A Bridgeport jury has sided with the town of Redding in a lawsuit brought by a man who fell off of this six-foot high retaining wall and sustained a traumatic brain injury.

Brain-Injured Plaintiff Loses $3 Million Lawsuit Against Town

By Christian Nolan |

The retaining wall was constructed as a part of a federally funded Streetscape Project, which was designed to promote pedestrian safety and make easier to walk to businesses in the Redding section of Georgetown.

A slew of subcontractors complaining—and at least a few suing—over $5 million in unpaid bills for work on service plazas.

Highway Service Plaza Project Marred by Pay Disputes


Not long ago, the 23 service plazas along Connecticut's highways were shabby and out-of-date. Kevin Nursick, a state Department of Transportation spokesman, said they were "dilapidated hellholes. They were dungeons. They were disgusting."

A photo taken on a surveillance camera during an undercover meeting in June 2011 shows software pirate Xiang Li, left, with two undercover agents.

Cybersecurity Attorney's Book Details His Pursuit of International Software Pirate


David L. Hall, co-chairman of Wiggin and Dana's cybersecurity group, was an assistant U.S. attorney who helped bring a Chinese software pirate to justice.

Editorial: Implicit Racial Bias Stands in Way of Truly Diverse Bar

A Washington Post article published earlier this year, written by a Stanford law professor and supported by Bureau of Labor statistics, announced that "law is the least diverse profession in the nation."

Connecticut AG Alleges $17 Million Scam by International Tech Support Company


For frustrated computer users, Click4Support seemed like a godsend.

The Meriden courthouse, on West Main Street, serves Cheshire, Hamden, Meriden, North Haven and Wallingford.

Updated: Attorneys Say Proposed Courthouse Closings Could Be Costly to Towns, Law Firms


The state's latest budget reduction proposals would include the closing of court facilities in Meriden and Bristol.

Court System Puts Guardian Ad Litem Training Sessions on Hold


Any attorneys who would like to add guardian ad litem work to their practice need to undergo training first, but the state hasn't offered it in two years and no new trainings are scheduled.

Brooke Goff of the Reinken Law Firm

Updated: Former Conn. Scoutmaster Named in Lawsuit Allegedly Molested Some Boys Hundreds of Times


As a scoutmaster in Ridgefield in the 1960s and 1970s, Donald Dennis went on frequent camping trips with young boys. And, according to a Stamford attorney, he molested them time and time again. One young scout was allegedly assaulted more than 1,000 times.

Robert Reardon Jr. of the Reardon Law Firm in New London

Conn. Attorney General Unhappy With Handling of Lawsuits Against State

By Christian Nolan |

Calls for reform sounded as claims commissioner misses dozens of deadlines.

Editorial: New Ideas Needed to Fix Police-Community Relations

When, during public comments last month, FBI Director James Comey linked increased scrutiny of police conduct to an increase in violent crime, the White House almost immediately fired back that there was no evidence to back up his assertion.

Leonard Orland

Ex-UConn Prof Now Helps Decide Compensation For Holocaust Survivors

By Christian Nolan |

Leonard Orland taught at the University of Connecticut School of Law for more than 30 years. He recently came back to his old stomping grounds to reveal what he has been up to in his retirement years.

Kimberly Sudnick of the Haymond Law Firm in Hartford

Crash Victim Collects Surprising $1.4M in 'Conservative' Judicial District

By Christian Nolan |

A woman who was involved in a head-on car crash and sustained multiple injuries, including a severely fractured wrist and several herniated discs, has been awarded $1.4 million by a jury in Litchfield County.

Tanya Bovée

National Firm Names Asian Pacific Bar Leader To Head Conn. Office

By Law Tribune Staff |

Tanya Bovée has been named the new managing shareholder in the Hartford office of Jackson Lewis, a national firm whose 800 attorneys represent management in employment matters.


Norm Pattis: Grisham Misses Mark in Portrayal of 'Working-Stiff Lawyer'

By Norm Pattis |

I imagine John Grisham, the best-selling author of plot-driven legal thrillers, channel surfing late one night on his 100-plus-acre farm in Oxford, Mississippi, and settling on an episode of "Better Call Saul."

Court Says Workers Left Jobless by Power Plant Explosion Can't Sue for Lost Wages

By Christian Nolan |

About 50 workers who were not physically injured in the 2010 explosion at Middletown's Kleen Energy power plant, but who lost their jobs in the aftermath of the blast, will not be allowed to sue for lost wages, according to a unanimous state Supreme Court ruling.

Amanda DeMatteis

Puerto Rican Manager Sues Conn. Supermarket, Claims Discrimination in Firing


A Connecticut federal judge's ruling will allow the discrimination lawsuit of a supermarket manager to move forward.

Conn. Judge Disbars Lawyer Who Has Never Been Licensed in State


Stephen Krawitz has never been licensed to practice in Connecticut. Nevertheless, he's been disbarred by a state judge.

Court Rules That Police Officer Who Kicked In Door Can't Sue Homeowner


Should police officers and firefighters be permitted to sue people they encounter in the line of duty for negligent acts?

Stewart Casper

Stamford Personal Injury Firm Sues Ganim Brothers Over Fee Dispute


A Stamford law firm is suing two lawyers from Bridgeport's Ganim family, claiming it deserves a bigger share of the $2.55 million in attorney fees from personal injury litigation that ultimately settled for $10.65 million.

Lawsuit Claims 17 Former Conn. Boy Scouts Were Molested by Troop Leader


Seventeen former Boy Scouts have filed a lawsuit on claiming they were sexually assaulted by a Ridgefield troop master in the 1960s and 1970s.

John Darer

Med-Mal Cases Suited for Structured Settlements


Plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases are generally good candidates for structured settlements because such cases often involve a need to replace future income loss, a concomitant loss of future benefits such as retirement plans and a need to finance future medical needs or cash flow needs.

Nora Engstrom

Should Med-Mal Cases Be Removed From Court System?


The tort system is frequently criticized for the unpredictability of its judgments, the stinginess (or, some say, profligacy) of its awards, and the slow pace, exorbitant cost and adversarial nature of its operation.

Experts Should Not Be Allowed To Lie Under Oath


There can be no greater blight to the pursuit of justice. Unfortunately, it is apparent that some witnesses do not take the obligation of an oath seriously.

Michael D'Amico

Making Wrongful Death Claims Against Nursing Homes


All residents of nursing homes in Connecticut are protected by a bill of rights specifically enumerated in Connecticut General Statutes §19a-550. This statute allows for both compensatory and punitive damages for its violation.

Erika Amarante, left, and Benjamin Cheney

Double Trouble: The Dilemma of Duplicative Damages


Measuring the value of a person's life, and the appropriate damages for the loss of that life, raises many ethical and philosophical dilemmas.

Dennis Donnelly

How to Overcome Damage-Reduction Defenses


Who better than doctors and medical-malpractice carriers to create alternative medical excuses for avoiding 100 percent responsibility?

Jonathan Rosenfeld

The Myth of Frivolous Litigation


The constant refrain from politicians, doctors and the health care industry is that medical malpractice litigation is out of control.

The Meriden courthouse, on West Main Street, serves Cheshire, Hamden, Meriden, North Haven and Wallingford.

Conn. Considers Closing Two Courthouses Due to Budget Deficit


Gov. Dannel Malloy's recent budget reduction proposals would include the closing of two state courthouses — facilities in Meriden and Bristol.

Donald Houston, left, and Stephen Sedor

Major Conn. Firm Expands Education Law Practice

By Law Tribune Staff |

Competition for school district and college legal business continues to heat up in Connecticut with one of the state's largest law firms announcing another expansion of its education law practice.

Naomi Fetterman

Conn. Court Vacates Manslaughter Sentence After Defense Lawyer Agrees to Maximum Penalty

By Christian Nolan |

The victim's family requested that Douglas Davis receive the maximum prison term, as did the prosecutor. But the other person who agreed that Davis deserved 25 years in prison came as a surprise.

Dove Burns

Conn.-Based Lawyers With Out-of-State Practices Can Run Afoul of UPL Rules


Some lawyers are quietly voicing concerns that under Connecticut Practice Book rules they may be engaged in the unauthorized practice of law if they live in Connecticut but are licensed exclusively in New York.

Michael Lawlor

Legal Experts Say Governor's Proposed Juvenile Reforms Raise Constitutional Issues


When Gov. Dannel Malloy recently announced ambitious plans for juvenile justice reform, he said he wanted to start a conversation. And while there seems to be little consensus on his proposals, there is certainly plenty of discussion.

Dead Firefighter's Family Cites Air Tank Problems in Suit Against City

By Associated Press |

The family of a firefighter who died when he ran out of air while battling a house fire last year has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

Editorial: Solitary Confinement Should Be Used on Limiited Basis

While many jurisdictions are reviewing solitary confinement's use, Connecticut is being used as a model. (The Department of Correction uses the term "administrative segregation.")

Mitchell Garabedian

Attorney Files Dozens More Conn. Lawsuits in Haiti Sex Abuse Case


Two years ago, it appeared the sordid saga of Douglas Perlitz was winding down.

A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter similar to this one crashed into a Georgia airfield in 2014.

Sikorsky Sued After Fatal Black Hawk Helicopter Crash


Families of three U.S. Army soldiers have filed a lawsuit against Sikorsky Aircraft.

School Board Member's Request for Teacher Evaluation Data Launches Legal Dispute


A New Milford school board member has turned to the state Freedom of Information Commission to try to get the information, in a case which likely will impact whether school districts around the state have to release this data.

Editorial: Governor's Juvenile Justice Proposal Makes Good Sense

Gov. Dannel Malloy recently announced two new criminal justice proposals, one of which examines how we treat people aged 18 to upward of 24 in our system.

William Bloss

Couple Injured by Drunk Driver Win $1.3 Million Verdict

By Christian Nolan |

Feds Claim That Attorney Who Owes $4M in Restitution Sold Condo for $1

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo |

Months before a judge sentenced Stamford attorney Christopher Brecciano to prison and ordered him to pay millions of dollars in restitution for his involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme, he sold his interest in a condominium for $1.

In ADA Lawsuit, Deaf Walmart Worker Claims Manager Mocked Squeaky Sneakers

By Megan Spicer |

A federal judge has ruled that a deaf former employee at a Connecticut Walmart store can move forward with his claim that coworkers and supervisors mocked him about his disability during the nine months he was employed.

Mark Dubois

Mark Dubois: Is the Phrase 'Lawyer Ethics' an Oxymoron or Common Sense?

By Mark Dubois |

Lots of people I meet at cocktail parties and other events roll their eyes when I say that I work in lawyer ethics.

Connecticut to Get $320K in Pharmaceutical Case

By Christian Nolan |

Conn. Supreme Court To Consider Issue of Shackling Defendants in Courtroom

By Christian Nolan |

The question of whether a defendant should wear shackles while standing trial poses a conundrum for judges and lawyers.

Professional Excellence Awards 2015

This year, for the first time, we are honoring lawyers who, over the course of their outstanding careers, have left an indelible mark on the Connecticut legal community.

Conn. Judge Says Racial Slur Didn't Create Hostile Workplace

By Megan Spicer |

A Connecticut federal judge says the "isolated" use of the N-word in the workplace is not enough to create a hostile work environment.

The Grace Farms Foundation community center in New Canaan is a hub in the fight against sex trafficking.

Former Prosecutor Leads Foundation's High-Tech Fight Against Sex Trafficking

By Megan Spicer |

Just south of the New York state border in New Canaan sits a long, flowing glass building that seemingly blends into the hillside. From above, it would look like a river twisting and turning with the natural terrain.

Governor's Proposal Calls for 'Confidential' Trials for Some Young Defendants


Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has proposed a number of criminal justice reforms, including raising the age when criminal offenders are treated as juveniles and revamping the bail bond system so arrestees aren't incarcerated for low-level offenses while awaiting trial.

XDM 3.8 Compact, 9mm pistol.

Commentary: Gun Control Debate Shouldn't Focus on the Mentally Ill

The Editorial Board of the Connecticut Law Tribune recently expressed a position in favor of universal background checks for gun buyers ("Enough Is Enough: Constitution Is No License to Kill," Oct. 19). I do not disagree with that premise.

Fred Ury

Conn. Bar Leaders Consider New Mandatory CLE Proposal

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo |

A new proposal to require Connecticut attorneys to complete continuing legal education courses is under consideration.

Conn. U.S. Attorney Promotes Five Prosecutors to Key Posts

By Christian Nolan |

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Connecticut has named new leaders of units and task forces that combat political corruption, financial misdeeds, cybercrimes and terrorism. Additionally, the office has announced the formation of a new human trafficking task force which aims to crack down on sex trafficking of minors.

Dead Man's Family Settles Excessive Force Complaint for $150,000

By Christian Nolan |

The family of a Connecticut man who died shortly after he was released from the police custody has reached a settlement for $150,000.

The Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn was flooded during Hurricane Sandy.

Editorial: Hurricanes Prompt Needed Laws Regarding Pets

The nation recently marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which wiped out much of New Orleans and other communities along Louisiana and Mississippi's Gulf Coast, leading to physical devastation and many deaths, particularly among the underprivileged citizens of the region.

Kevin Kane

Updated: Public Defender, Prosecutors Continue to Spar Over Conn. Death Penalty Rulings

By Thomas B. Scheffey |

A Connecticut public defender who represents two former death row inmates is unhappy with continued efforts by prosecutors to persuade the state Supreme Court to reconsider a recent decision to abolish the death penalty in Connecticut.

Partners Report Lawyer to Conn. Officials, Allege $3 Million Theft From Client's Estate

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo |

State attorney disciplinary officials are seeking an interim suspension for a Southbury attorney, claiming he collected exorbitant fees of more than $3 million while acting as executor and trustee for a now deceased client's estate.


Norm Pattis: Jury Selection Strategies Are Far From Color Blind

If the recently argued case of Foster v. Chatman teaches anything, it is that there probably is no fail-safe way to police the conduct of lawyers during jury selection.

Tim Hollister

Son's Death Leads Conn. Attorney to Write Parenting Book

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo |

After his 17-year-old son died in a car crash, questions haunted attorney Timothy Hollister in the months that followed.


Editorial: Conflicting Death Penalty Rulings Hurt Conn. Supreme Court's Reputation

Respect for the judiciary is a battle that has been fought since Chief Justice Marshall's decision in Marbury v. Madison.

Pro Se's 'Disturbing' Attacks on Attorney Result in $4,380 in Sanctions

By Megan Spicer |

After a while, Nicole Walsh felt she had taken enough abuse.

Injured Car Passenger Collects $200,000 in Claim Against Bar

By Christian Nolan |

A woman who was seriously injured in a car accident has been awarded nearly $200,000 by a Hartford jury after suing the bar she claims served alcohol to her noticeably intoxicated friend.

Yale Law School

Yale Law Students Says Military Won't Release Records Linked to PTSD Lawsuit

By Megan Spicer |

Yale Law School students who are trying to help military veterans are continuing to do battle with the U.S. Defense Department.

Mark Dubois

Mark Dubois: Books Not Always Bullish on Future of Legal Profession

By Mark Dubois |

If you buy a book on Amazon, its "you-might-like" algorithm sends you a list of others that you might find interesting.

Personal Injury Firm Opens New Offices in Danbury, Waterbury

By Michelle Tuccitto Suillo |

The Stamford-based law firm of Silver Golub & Teitell has expanded to the north by opening up offices in Waterbury and Danbury.