Top Stories

Conn. Man Sues Police After Three Mistaken Identity Arrests

MICHELLE TUCCITTO SULLO | May 12, 2016

Pedro Martinez of Bridgeport has the misfortune of having the same name as a wanted man out of Texas, a coincidence which allegedly led Bridgeport police to detain him three times.

Donald Trump

Yale Clinic Leads Legal Fight to Unseal Docket Tied to Trump Associates

By ROBERT STORACE |

The underlying docket involves alleged ties between Felix H. Sater, the Russian mafia and Trump insiders.

Monte Frank

Lawyers Warn Against 'Devastating' Cuts to Legal Services

By Michael Marciano |

Stunned by the news that President Donald Trump's proposed 2018 budget provides for completely eliminating federal funding for the nation's main source of legal aid for low-income litigants, members of Connecticut's legal aid community are taking the proposal seriously.

Lowe’s at 50 Boston Post Rd., Orange, Connecticut

Lowe's Suit Claims Shopper Suffered Traumatic Brain Injury

By ROBERT STORACE |

A Connecticut woman claims the store failed to keep its sidewalk clear of snow and ice, which caused her to slip and fall.

Law Tribune Seeks Submissions for Employment Law Special Section

The Law Tribune is seeking articles for a special supplement on employment law, which is scheduled to be published next month.

Connecticut Supreme Court.

A Look at the State Supreme Court Session That Kicks Off Monday

By ROBERT STORACE |

The Connecticut Supreme Court will hear 15 cases, including several criminal matters and two that deal with liability related to severe illnesses, in its seventh session, which begins on Monday and ends April 6. The eighth and final session of the court's season begins on May 1.

Kelly Reardon

$880K Settlement Reached in Nurse's New London Car Crash Case

By ROBERT STORACE |

Attorneys for a 31-year-old Ledyard woman and the city of New London have agreed to an $880,000 settlement package in the wake of a rear-end collision that left the woman partially disfigured.

The White House

Freedom of the Press Will Trump Excess and Abuse

"Don’t tread on me" should not be confused with treading on the press.

Mind the Line Between Jury Research and Tampering

Thorough and exhaustive research to learn more than the limited information a juror provides about himself is not only the lawyer’s right, it is his obligation. But ex parte attempts to influence an entire pool of potential jurors is to be condemned in the strongest terms.

Connecticut U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant

Navy Veteran Sues Connecticut VA for Missing Cancer Diagnosis

By ROBERT STORACE |

The lawsuit, which seeks $5 million, says the veteran's health history should have raised red flags prompting his doctor to seek a biopsy months sooner than he did.

Harry Mazadoorian

On Broadway Now, an Early Arbitration Fan

How ironic it is, in light of Hamilton's support for arbitration, that the final controversy in his life was resolved by a much more permanent and lethal form of dispute resolution.

Aaron Lewis

Manager of Former Staind Singer Aaron Lewis Sues Talent Co.

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The manager claims a business partner failed to turn over his half of proceeds related to Lewis' switch to country music.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Conn. Law Enforcement Should Hold Course Amid DOJ Tumult

So long as Connecticut’s officials continue to do their jobs as they have been, our citizens will be protected and assured there is no need for panic around the incidence of violent crime in our state.

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut

Doctors Urge Court to Reinstate Sandy Hook Suit Against Gunmakers

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The doctors, in an amicus brief expected to be filed Tuesday, argued that negligent entrustment should apply to Remington and Bushmaster.

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch

Exercise the 'Thermonuclear Option' on Filibustering

Anyone who grew up before the civil rights legislation of the mid-1960s will laugh grimly at any claim that the filibuster protects individual liberties.

Hussein Haeri, left, and James Nealon

Investment Treaty Arbitration Increasingly Utilized

By HUSSEIN HAERI and JAMES NEALON |

The nature of investment treaty arbitration is exceptional -- in the sense that arbitral jurisdiction derives from a treaty rather than a contract. However, the arbitration rights under these treaties are increasingly being utilized by U.S and other investors around the world to protect against political risk interference with their international investments, something that is increasingly commonplace as a global phenomenon.

U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly

In Reversal, Deirdre Daly Stays on as US Attorney in Connecticut

By Cogan Schneier |

Daly said the Trump administration is allowing her to stay on through October in order to complete 20 years with the Justice Department.

Mark Dubois

It May Be Wrong, But Is It Unethical?

Readers and colleagues have also reached out to me about allegedly false statements made by James Comey, Rudy Giuliani, Jeff Sessions and others, wondering if there might be some disciplinary consequences. The common thread in all of the discussions is whether lawyers should be held to a higher standard than others when engaging in public speech, and whether the disciplinary process is the proper place to police misconduct of this nature.

Big Law Heads Home—But Will It Work For You?

By Meghan Tribe |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius recently announced the implementation of a new policy allowing some of its associates in the U.S. and U.K. to work from home. Other large law firms have similar programs, and while they have been credited for improving workplace morale, some lawyers would be well-served to heed potential red flags.

Wal-Mart Hit With $5.5M Verdict for Retaliation

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

The case is one of three that involve allegations Wal-Mart fired African-American managers in retaliation for filing discrimination complaints.

Donald Trump

Courts Must Do Better on Immigration This Time

A century ago, the judicial system failed us. The courts bent and almost broke the Constitution to uphold exclusion and deportation. Today, judges, at the urging of volunteer lawyers across the country, are upholding constitutional values in the face of bigotry and fear.

Isaac Lidsky, corporate speaker, author, entrepreneur and the only blind person to serve as a law clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court

With ‘Eyes Wide Open,’ Blind Lawyer Recounts SCOTUS Clerkship, Unhappy Law Firm Life

By Tony Mauro |

Isaac Lidsky, who in 2008 became the first blind U.S. Supreme Court law clerk, writes in a new memoir that working for a Big Law firm after his clerkship felt like trading in a “legal joyride” for a job as a corporate chauffeur.

Letter to the Editor

The elected branches have constitutional duty to hold judges accountable to our constituents through the confirmation process, and where necessary, to serve as the only structural check and balance on the great powers of the Judiciary.

Allstate Lawsuit Blames Faulty Electrolux Dryers for House Fires

By ROBERT STORACE |

The lawsuit seeks at least $300,000 in damages from Electrolux to cover four claims in New England.

Heed Consequences of Changing Electoral System

It is highly unlikely that we will ever see a direct election of our president, but we ought to at least think of the consequences of different proposals before we alter the process.

Women and technology

How Can You Get Attorneys Amped About Legal Tech Training? Day Pitney Has a Plan

By Ian Lopez |

Law firm Day Pitney’s HR team of Carrie Kirby and Crystal Fernandes-Harris explain teaching lawyers about technology and making the knowledge stick.

Letter to the Editor

By STATE SEN. MICHAEL A. MCLACHLAN |

The recent editorial regarding the role of the Legislature in reviewing the reappointment of Justice Richard Palmer not only missed the mark of our state’s constitutional history and procedure, it actually contradicted itself in trying to argue for judicial independence and a rubber-stamp approval of a justice.

James K. Robertson, Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey

Giving 'The Mediator's Number'

By JAMES K. ROBERTSON JR. |

I warn the parties that my number is not intended to do justice, to reflect truth, to effectuate reasoned judgment, or to provide balm for the injured or damaged. I tell them that my only goal is to achieve a settlement, which is usually accomplished by making them all equally unhappy or outraged. Some parties are startled and offended when they hear that.

New Haven Superior Court

Couple Awarded $475,000 After Car Crashed Into Bedroom

By Robert Storace |

The couple's jury award, though, will be cut in half if it survives appeal due to the cap on their underinsured motorist policy.

Remembering Peter Costas

Our dear friend and colleague, former Connecticut Bar Association president Peter L. Costas, passed away earlier this year at the age of 85.

Clare Hannant

Estate of Woman Killed in Car Crash After Hitting Deer Agrees to $265,000 Settlement

By ROBERT STORACE |

Angela H. Vajda left her car in the roadway after hitting a deer. Moments later, her car was struck by another driver.

Attorneys Need Special Guidance on Cellphone Seizures

It is axiomatic that attorneys must not reveal information related to the representation of a client. How many client communications, confidential documents or related information are stored or accessible on a single cellphone?

Latest Effort Underway to Remake Arbitration Law in Conn.

By AMARIS ELLIOTT-ENGEL |

Legislation that would provide a wholesale update to Connecticut arbitration law for the first time in a half-century, an effort that's failed several times already, recently received a hearing in the General Assembly and appears ready to gain traction.

Mark Dubois

There's More to Winding Down Than Turning Off the Lights

There are few institutional supports for aging lawyers. I remember getting calls from senior lawyers when I was chief disciplinary counsel asking me to appoint a trustee to take over their practice and wind it up. I had to explain that trustees are few and far between.

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut

Sandy Hook Plaintiffs File Briefs Against Gun Maker

By ROBERT STORACE |

Attorneys for nine of 26 educators and schoolchildren killed in the school massacre assert that Remington was selling a weapon "without regard for its track record in facilitating mass murder."

Karen Dowd, partner with the Hartford law firm of Horton, Shields & Knox.

Attorneys Say Annual Judge Reassignments Throw a Wrench in Case Continuity

By Robert Storace |

Some attorneys and judges, though, counter that the practice of reassigning one-third of the state's Superior Court judges prevents them from getting too chummy with the local bar, and brings fresh ideas to old cases.

Connecticut attorney Mickey Sherman

5 Questions: Mickey Sherman Discusses Media Strategy, Handling Controversy at Trial

By Robert Storace |

The Greenwich native has seen his share of controversy during high-profile cases, especially after getting scolded by a judge in the wake of Michael Skakel's murder conviction.

Justice Palmer Must Be Reconfirmed

The criticism and questioning of Justice Richard Palmer’s qualifications to be a jurist based on his honest, good-faith rulings, on a matter of constitutional interpretation, should be shocking and abhorrent to all lawyers.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Additional Tips for Working With 'Contract' Attorneys

By J. RANDOLPH EVANS and SHARI L. KLEVENS |

Law firms cannot assume that legal malpractice insurers will specifically ask in an insurance application about the law firm’s use of contract attorneys and provide appropriate coverage. Thus, if law firms do not proactively address insurance coverage for contract attorneys, they can leave themselves open to risk.

Thomas Farrish, left, and Daniel Raccuia

Traps for the Unwary in Post-Arbitration Proceedings

By THOMAS O. FARRISH and DANIEL J. RACCUIA |

Because awards are so hard to overturn, the losing party often has little recourse if the arbitrator’s decision is irrational, nonsensical or just plain wrong.

Waterbury solo practitioner Leslie Gold McPadden

Doctor Faces $6.8 Million Verdict After Boy Dies of Cancer

By Robert Storace |

A Connecticut family who claimed a gastroenterologist failed to inform them of the dangers of two medications used to treat their late son’s Crohn’s disease was awarded a $6.8 million jury verdict.

Criminal Courts Need to Revamp Jury Trial Notice System

A week’s worth of notice would be sufficient for an attorney to reschedule their obligations and to prepare for trial. This would obviate the need for attorneys to rush around at the last minute to accommodate various courts and placate a number of clients.

U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill of the District of Connecticut

Aetna Claims HR Firm Failed to Repay $233,000 in Seed Money

By ROBERT STORACE |

Pursuit of Excellence received the seed money in order to administer COBRA benefits and flexible spending accounts for city employees in Fort Worth, Texas.

Mark Dubois

No Lie: Ethics Rules on 'Pretexting' Vary

Sometimes best intentions lead to bad results. There is a celebrated case where a state’s attorney pretended to be a public defender in order to get a barricaded murderer to agree to surrender himself without the loss of his life or others’. Despite feeling bad about it, the court disciplined him. Rules are rules.

Dan Blinn

Forced Arbitration: A Clear But Fragile Trend Favoring Consumers and Employees

By DANIEL BLINN |

Collectively, these regulatory actions represent significant gains for consumers and employees. However, these gains are not secured. Given the current political climate, it remains to be seen whether these consumer and employee protections will be secured.

Peter Benner

A Checkup for Dispute Resolution in Health Care

By PETER W. BENNER |

The health care system is built on a complex matrix of relationships: clinician to clinician, patient to clinician, device vendor to medical services provider, etc. Within and among those relationships there is vast opportunity for conflict, which happens every hour of every day.

Heather Gerken

Meet Heather Gerken, Yale's First Woman Law Dean

By Karen Sloan |

We caught up with the federalism and election law expert to discuss her new gig, the challenges that await, and her hobby as an amateur novelist.

Bridgeport Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy in Fraud Case

By ROBERT STORACE |

A Bridgeport-based attorney pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud related to a long-running scheme that targeted distressed Connecticut homeowners.

Hilary Miller

Drafting the Administration Clause: The Administrator

By Hilary B. Miller |

The choices made at the drafting stage may have significant consequences regarding the timeliness and cost of resolving future disputes of different sizes and types.

Jonathan Tropp

Why I Like Being a Mediator

By JONATHAN TROPP |

There is much truth in the old adage that a good mediated settlement is one in which both sides are a little unhappy. Nevertheless, because a mediated outcome is always optional, each side is, by definition, less unhappy than it was before settlement.

Allstate Corp.

Allstate to Pay $200K in Car Crash Settlement

By ROBERT STORACE |

The deal was reached in mediation on the day before trial, according to plaintiff's counsel Mark Kochanowicz.

Microsoft, Stripe Urge Federal Bank Regulators to Go Cautiously on Cyber Regs

By Joel Stashenko |

Microsoft and Stripe are urging federal banking regulators not to draw cybersecurity rules for the largest banks so narrowly that they exclude innovative technologies developed by innovative third-party providers.

Landlord Dispute Heads to Arbitration After $240,000 Judgment for Tenant

By Robert Storace |

Most of the award covered emotional distress after a Superior Court judge determined the landlord retaliated against the tenant for filing a complaint with the city of Hartford.

Heather Gerken.

Yale Names Heather Gerken as First Woman Law Dean

By Karen Sloan |

University officials announced Tuesday that Yale Law professor Heather Gerken, 48, will assume the deanship on July 1, replacing outgoing dean Robert Post.

Attorney Resigns From Bar for Life Over Client Grievances

By ROBERT STORACE |

Louis S. Avitabile was accused of mishandling settlement funds, failing to represent a client in a criminal matter and forging a client's name on a check.

Connecticut Supreme Court.

Injured Police Officers Ask State Supreme Court to Let Them Seek Damages

By ROBERT STORACE |

The officers claim two property owners were willfully or wantonly negligent in causing their injuries in separate incidents.

Joe Lieberman.

Connecticut Fires Back at Schaghticoke Tribal Nation's $600M Suit

By Robert Storace |

Connecticut claims the tribe lacks standing to bring a lawsuit seeking compensation for land allegedly taken from its reservation hundreds of years ago. The state also claims it has sovereign immunity.

Mark Dubois

It's True—All This Craziness Is Good

Like him or hate him (the Republic seems to be evenly split on that issue), you have to admit that President Trump's blunderbuss approach to the presidency has created a huge interest among the governed in what's happening in the government. We've gone from "No Drama Obama" to "Donald the Disruptor."

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Preserving Client Files When Moving a Law Firm

By J. RANDOLPH EVANS AND SHARI L. KLEVENS |

A key step for every law firm in limiting risk is to adopt a written document retention policy specifying the practices, procedures, and protocols for every employee in the law firm.

U.S. District Judge Victor Bolden of the District of Connecticut

'Love Them Both' Sparks Trademark Spat Between Pregnancy Nonprofits

By Robert Storace |

A Connecticut company's trademark application for "Love Them Both" was rejected in December for being too similar to Birthright's "We Love Them Both!"

Subway Wants $8 Million From App Maker for Trademark Violations

By ROBERT STORACE |

The lawsuit filed in Connecticut federal court Friday claims an Indian app designer is using the fast-food chain's likeness to make money.

Ron Etemi

Jury Awards Woman $54,000 After Struck by Underinsured Driver

By ROBERT STORACE |

A Connecticut jury found the woman's own insurance provider must cover the balance of medical costs not covered by the other driver's insurance company.

Point72 Asset Management.

Suit Seeks Reparations for Fire That Destroyed Billionaire's Artwork

By Robert Storace |

Two insurance companies claim negligence caused a fire that destroyed artwork that belonged to former hedge fund giant Steven A. Cohen.

Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse.

Class Action Targeting Pharma Giant's Fax Advertisements Reinstated

By Robert Storace |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that a fax from Boehringer Ingelheim inviting a chiropractic clinic's employees to a dinner promoting a drug is enough to state a valid claim.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where a three-judge panel heard arguments on the halting of the immigration ban.

Ninth Circuit, Asserting Its Role, Keeps Nationwide Block on Travel Ban in Place

By Ross Todd |

If there's a way to respond to a president who has taken aim at the federal judiciary, it's to speak with one voice. That's just what the Ninth Circuit did on Thursday with its per curiam opinion that struck back at the notion that a president's actions are unreviewable.

Hugh Keefe

5 Questions: Hugh Keefe Addresses Balancing Civil, Criminal Law

By Robert Storace |

Keefe was the first attorney certified for criminal and civil trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

Mark Dubois

Another Branch of Government Flexes Muscles on Lawyer Regulation

Maybe the thing to do is for each branch of government to send two or three emissaries to neutral ground (Providence? Newport?) where they could hash out who controls what, and which areas, if any, are matters of exclusive, coequal or overlapping authority.

Brendan Faulkner

No Collateral Source Reduction Is Permitted If Any Right of Subrogation Exists

By BRENDAN FAULKNER |

Ending his case before the president in Hamilton's "Cabinet Battle No. 2," Thomas Jefferson quips, "And if you don't know, now you know." That line could equally describe the Connecticut Supreme Court's recent decision in 'Marciano v. Jimenez,' which reversed the trial court's collateral source reduction and clarified the proper application of a statute many believed clear from the outset.

U.S. District Court in Hartford, Connecticut.

Sun West Hit with $800,000 Breach of Contract Suit

By ROBERT STORACE |

A Connecticut company claims the mortgage giant has refused to pay it for services rendered.

Law Tribune Seeking Articles on Alternative Dispute Resolution

Later this month, the Connecticut Law Tribune will publish a special section on alternative dispute resolution and is seeking submissions from contributing authors.

Richard Clifton, Michelle Friedland, and William Canby.

In Travel Ban Appeal, Judges Don't Accept 'We’re in a Rush' Excuse

By Scott Graham |

Lawyers prepared for Tuesday's Ninth Circuit arguments under extreme time pressure. But the judges wouldn't cut them any breaks.

Woman Injured During Taping of 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' Sues ABC

By ROBERT STORACE |

The woman was seriously injured when she tripped over television cables while being escorted to her seat.

MetLife.

MetLife Hit With $50M Class Action Alleging Unpaid Overtime

By GREG LAND |

A putative class action filed today in U.S. District Court for Connecticut charges insurance powerhouse MetLife Inc. with withholding more than $50 million in overtime pay to claims specialists since late 2013.

Stamford Superior Court

Jury Sides With Doctors, Neonatology Group in Boys Death

By ROBERT STORACE |

The parents of a 3-year-old boy said doctors were "negligent" in the treatment of their son, who was born with a rare respiratory condition.

ABA Rejects Stricter Bar-Pass Rule for Law Schools

By Karen Sloan and Celia Ampel |

A coalition of law deans and diversity advocates mounted a fourth-quarter campaign against the proposal.

President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, addressing media during a meeting with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), on February 1, 2017.

Gorsuch Supports Two-Year Law School, but Scalia Dissents

By Marcia Coyle |

Judge Neil Gorsuch and President Barack Obama agree at least on one thing: a third-year of law school should be optional. Gorsuch questioned the need for three years of law school in a September 2015 paper he presented at the United Kingdom-United States Legal Exchange in London. One of Gorsuch's legal heroes—the late Justice Antonin Scalia—vigorously objected to the notion of two-year law school.

Veteran Accepts $422,018 for Dog Attack on Eve of Trial

By ROBERT STORACE |

The Afghanistan veteran said an attack by two junkyard dogs that left him severely injured was worse than the combat he saw overseas.

Man Admits to Swindling $900,000 in Investment Ponzi Scheme

By ROBERT STORACE |

Anthony G. Sciarra, 53, used some of the money he took to repay victims after claiming they earned larger-than-average returns on financial investments.

50 Cent

50 Cent Goes After Reed Smith for $35 Million in Sex Tape Trial Loss

By Robert Storace |

The rapper, known as Curtis James Jackson III, claims the law firm's failure to represent him left him on the hook for a $7 million jury verdict.

Rachel Kushel of the Hartford law firm of Robinson & Cole.

Employees Forced to Quit Find Some Relief in Conn. Courts

By ROBERT STORACE |

Labor lawyers say they are seeing more cases where judges rule employees are still entitled to unemployment benefits if changes in work conditions force them to quit.

Protesters at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday.

Letters Protest Trump Actions on Immigration, Yates

By Mark Hamblett |

Former judges, prosecutors and defenders are protesting President Donald Trump's sweeping order restricting immigration from seven Muslim countries and his sacking of Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to defend it.

Mark Dubois

'I Am a Lawyer and I'm Here to Help.'

Suddenly, we who understand such concepts as due process, the supremacy clause, and separation of powers get attention at cocktail parties and dinners when asked the inevitable, ‘Can he do that?’ or ‘Is that even legal?’

Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Trump Chooses Neil Gorsuch, Ivy League Conservative, for Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

In choosing Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court, President Trump opted for a candidate with traditional credentials shared by most modern-day justices. A Colorado native with a degree from Harvard Law School, Gorsuch clerked for Justice Byron White and Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. "In our legal order, it is for Congress and not the courts to write new laws. It is the role of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people’s representatives," Gorsuch said at the White House.

Jeffrey Alker Meyer, professor of Law at Quinnipiac University School of Law, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, to be United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut. July 24, 2013. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Doctor Files Class Action Over Unwanted Faxes

By ROBERT STORACE |

The suit claims HMN violated federal law by using faxes to advertise its health-related television programming.

Group Home Employee Loses Appeal to Get Off Abuse and Neglect Registry

By ROBERT STORACE |

The woman was allowed to resign with $3,000 in back pay after an incident that left a resident injured, but that agreement did not keep her off the registry.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

What to Consider Before Taking On a Contract Attorney

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens |

The benefits to using contract attorneys are usually obvious in that they can assist firms with meeting client budgetary demands without sacrificing efficiency. However, as with many aspects of project management, the use of contract attorneys can create risks for the firms that hire them.

U.S. District Court in Hartford, Connecticut.

Filmmaker Accused of Stealing Money for PTSD Documentary

By ROBERT STORACE |

A lawsuit moved to federal court in Connecticut claims Michael King Productions misused hundreds of thousands of dollars earmarked for filming.

With Eyes on Trump, Legal Marijuana Warily Rolls Along

By Melissa Hoffmann |

For legal marijuana, business is booming—but the industry's rapid growth has resulted in landmines for proprietors and the attorneys who advise them.

Jeffrey Meyer

Woman Gets 4 Years in Prison for Defrauding Employer

By ROBERT STORACE |

Debra Biagi was also ordered to pay more than $700,000 and given three years supervised release.

Bill O'Sullivan

The Unexpected Lawyer Who Mastered the Law of Business

By ROBERT STORACE |

A few years out of college during the real estate boom of the mid-1980s, Bill O'Sullivan said he "developed the vague idea that I might want to be a real estate attorney." That changed in 1986 when O'Sullivan and his then-fiancee, now wife, Joy attended a wedding and chatted with a guest who was about to attend law school. "To that point, the idea of law school had been buried in my subconscious. The next day, though, lying on a large rock after hiking, I had the revelation I should go to law school." The next day he drove to the University of Connecticut Law School and picked up his application and the Norwalk native, an attorney since 1990, never looked back.

Connecticut Appellate Court in Hartford.

Upholding Governmental Immunity, Upends Verdict Against Town for Pedestrian Struck by Impaired Driver

By ROBERT STORACE |

The Connecticut Appellate Court has unanimously overturned a lower court jury verdict originally awarding $12.2 million, but later reduced to $5.9 million by the judge, against East Haven in favor of a teenage pedestrian who was severely injured after being struck by an alleged impaired driver detained and then released by local police.

Bradford Berenson

TGP Taps Connecticut In-House Lawyer as GC

By Sue Reisinger |

Bradford Berenson knows what it means to respond to pressure and power, having served as associate counsel to President George W. Bush during and in the aftermath of 9/11. Now Berenson is taking his first general counsel role, joining TPG, a global alternative asset firm.

Eric P. Smith of the Faxon Law Group

Hartford Hospital Hit With $5.8 Million Verdict in Patient's Death

By ROBERT STORACE |

The jury found hospital staff failed to reconnect the wires of the patient's pacemaker before giving him drugs that slowed his heart rate.

Federal Judge Rules Against Tribes in Cigarette-Tax Dispute

By Joel Stashenko |

State laws that tax tobacco sales by Native American vendors from two western New York tribes to non-Indians do not infringe on tribal sovereignty or other constitutional rights, a federal judge ruled.

New Haven Superior Court

Judge Awards $75,290 to Woman Hit by Uninsured Driver

By ROBERT STORACE |

Nancy Lydell was originally offered a $15,000 settlement for injuries that included a permanent ringing in her ears.

Mark Dubois

Consumer Protection Dept. Steps Back Into Attorney Regulation

By MARK DUBOIS |

My concern is, with many folks regulating the same thing, lawyers may be whipsawed between differing and competing interpretations of laws, rules and opinions. If I bring my ad to the Grievance Committee and obtain an advisory opinion that it is OK, does Consumer Protection still have power to say that it is not?

In PACER Suit, a Class Action Even Defense Lawyers Can Love

By Amanda Bronstad |

Paying too much for PACER? You could get an email notice later this spring to join a class action that seeks refunds for several hundred thousand people who allege the electronic court service has charged excessive fees.

Court Declines to Reconsider Microsoft Email Seizure Ruling

By Mark Hamblett |

Emails stored on a Microsoft server abroad remain beyond the grasp of U.S. law enforcement following the narrow defeat of the government's motion for rehearing en banc Tuesday.

Use of 'Edible' Sparks Foodie Trademark Spat

By Samantha Joseph |

Edible Arrangements is seeking damages and an injunction barring registration of a trademark belonging to Edible Commerce Consulting.

More Must Be Done to Ensure Safe Child Care

All these require money and attention. But more is needed. The problem of substandard and poorly funded day care should not fall solely on a state agency.

Alan Barry

How Trump Interview Brought Connecticut Lawyer's Photography Into Focus

By KAREN ALI |

Personal inury lawyer Alan Barry says there are parallels between his photography business and his law business.

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut

Sandy Hook Plaintiffs' Path to Trial Seen as Uphill

By Robert Storace |

As the Connecticut Supreme Court is expected to begin later this year to hear an appeal from several families whose loved ones were killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and who are seeking to hold manufacturers of the gun used responsible, legal experts, attorneys and law professors say the plaintiffs have a long, uphill battle.

Fund Mental Health

Treating mentally ill the same as people accused of crimes has had a catastrophic effect on our justice system: prison overcrowding is, in part, caused by the warehousing of the mentally ill.

Hartford, Connecticut, Superior Court

Attorney Who 'Stole Often and Much' Disbarred 20 Years

By ROBERT STORACE |

The disbarment marks the second time Craig Larsen, formerly of Craig Larsen Law Offices, has been disciplined for embezzling funds from a client.

Connecticut Appellate Court Judge Socrates Mihalakos

Appellate Court Rules Man Rightly Fired for Lying About Jury Duty Cancellation

By ROBERT STORACE |

The decision overturns a Connecticut Superior Court order that found the man was entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

Judge Sides With Woman Mauled by Dogs, Awards $132,295 for Injuries

By ROBERT STORACE |

The case focused on whether the woman was trespassing when she stopped her car to investigate a chair the dogs' owner left by the side of the road.

Neal Feigenson of Quinnipiac University School of Law

Little-Used Sensory Evidence Tackled in Quinnipiac Associate Dean's Book

By KAREN ALI |

Verbal testimony in personal injury and criminal cases can convey to a judge or jury the pain and suffering a plaintiff or victim has endured. But evidence that re-creates the person's subjective experience, in as much sensory richness as possible, seems to be much more dramatic and effective, claims Quinnipiac University School of Law associate dean and professor Neal Feigenson.

Fired GE Employee Files Age Discrimination Suit

By ROBERT STORACE |

The suit claims a supervisor repeatedly made disparaging remarks about older employees' ages, including call them a "bunch of old men."

Man Gets Prison for Using Fake Attorney to Scam Veterans

By ROBERT STORACE |

Vietnam veteran John J. Simon Jr. told his victims he could hire an attorney to increase their Social Security or veteran benefits.

Connecticut Supreme Court in Hartford.

Court Must Clarify Effect of 'Ostensible Concurrence'

These options grant some certainty to the lingering question: When the majority of the court speaks, are they speaking for the court?

Mandatory CLE Improves Access to Justice

Domestic violence protective order proceedings and summary process eviction proceedings are but two examples of cases involving essential human needs in which the majority of low-income parties are unable to afford legal representation. An attorney who has taken a CLE program in either or both of those areas of practice would be in a position to provide pro bono representation to needy litigants on these essential matters.

Andrew M. Eliot of Broder & Orland in Westport, Connecticut

Dividing Qualified Retirement Plan in Divorce Via a Qualified Domestic Relations Order

By ANDREW M. ELIOT |

As any divorce practitioner will tell you, a well-crafted divorce settlement should specifically address all retirement assets owned by either party to a divorce and, in particular, should contain detailed provisions regarding any QDROs that need to be prepared and submitted to the court for approval.

Judge OKs Fraud, Breach-of-Contract Suit Against Nationwide Insurance

By ROBERT STORACE |

A Connecticut woman claims the insurance company has increased the cost of two $500,000 policies to the point that they are worthless.

Mohegan Sun casino

Attorneys Can't Ignore Tribal Courts

A case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court on the narrow question of whether tribal employees share a tribe’s well-established immunity from suit. The answer to this question is unclear, but the responsibilities of lawyers are not. Those whose clients interact with tribal nations have no excuse for ignoring tribal courts.

John Cerreta

John Cerreta Talks Clerking for Alito, Commercial Litigation Changes

By ROBERT STORACE |

The Day Pitney partner said the experience clerking for a U.S. Supreme Court justice showed him which arguments work and which fail.

Jeffrey Wisner

UConn's First JD-MD Grad Confronts Talk of 'Betrayal'

By KAREN ALI |

It's safe to say that doctors view medical malpractice attorneys with a certain amount of skepticism. A good med mal lawyer can eviscerate a physician's reputation and decimate his or her assets. Attorney Jeffrey Wisner, the first person to graduate from the University of Connecticut with a dual medical and law degree, is well aware of the suspicion from the medical field.

Christopher J. Murray of the Haymond Law Firm in Hartford, Connecticut.

Woman Injured in Car Accident Gets $385,000 After Mediation

By ROBERT STORACE |

The woman's attorney said the case was complicated because she had a pre-existing back injury and was also involved in a motorcycle accident after the car crash.

Mark Dubois

New Connecticut MCLE Rule May Have Unintended Consequences

Now that we all have to take 12 hours of CLE anyway, my understanding is that disciplinary counsel are no longer interested in imposing any CLE as part of a plea bargain. For all practical purposes, that means the choices are to dismiss the case or impose a reprimand.

Appellate Court: No Pregnancy Discrimination in Dentist's Firing

By ROBERT STORACE |

The ruling agreed that the employer was willing to make accommodations, including limiting exposure to X-ray radiation and working around her morning sickness.

Legislature Gets It Right on Divorce, But Judicial Website Lags

With the amendment of the statute, our law allows all parties who take advantage of those valuable nonadversarial and collaborative professional resources to move forward with the final resolution of their cases without the additional outmoded impediment of an artificial “waiting period.”

U.S. Federal Courthouse in Bridgeport, Connecticut

Former Cop Claims He Was Discriminated Against for PTSD

By ROBERT STORACE |

A discrimination lawsuit says the former Rocky Hill officer was harassed and discriminated against by the chief, a lieutenant, the town manager and a neighbor.

Hartford, Connecticut, Superior Court

Conn. Attorney Suspended for Blowing Off Clients

By ROBERT STORACE |

Attorney Anthony V. Zeolla was suspended for five years and ordered to pay restitution for failing to represent three people in foreclosure proceedings.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

5 Questions for Jeff Sessions on White-Collar Enforcement, Regulations

By C. Ryan Barber |

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, the President-elect’s pick to lead the U.S. Justice Department, will face a host of questions Tuesday—at the start of his confirmation hearing&—about immigration policy, civil rights and voting laws. The Alabama Republican's positions on many of those issues are clear. What's less easily discernible is his record—and his plan—on white-collar enforcement.

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

High Court Turns Down Case Against Classifieds Site Backpage.com, but Scrutiny Persists

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away a Communications Decency Act challenge to the operators of the Backpage.com online advertising site, but the company's owner and operators continue to face criminal allegations in California and increased political scrutiny in Washington.

Karen Jalkut, left, and Jeffrey Zaino

Services AAA's New Standalone Arbitration Services Explained

By KAREN JALKUT and JEFFREY T. ZAINO |

The appellate arbitral panel applies a standard of review more expansive than that allowed by existing federal and state statutes to vacate an award.

David Quatrella

Former Attorney Pleads Guilty to Insurance Fraud Scheme

By ROBERT STORACE |

David Quatrella, formerly of Quatrella & Rizio, faces five years in prison and has agreed to forfeit $272,000.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Break Bad Work Habits and Creating Good Ones in the New Year

By J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens |

A new year brings with it the opportunity to review the preceding 12 months and improve upon them. It is the time for personal and professional housecleaning and resolutions.

Mickey Sherman

Mickey Sherman: 'Nothing to Rejoice About' in Skakel Decision

By ROBERT STORACE |

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled there's no evidence the attorney failed to provide Michael Skakel with an adequate defense in the murder of Martha Moxley, a decision that means Skakel could end up back in prison.

Eve Runyon

Law Students Performed 2.2 Million Pro Bono Hours Last Year

By Karen Sloan, Law.com |

In between reading cases and studying for exams, law students found time in 2016 to take on volunteer legal work — a lot of it.

Mark Dubois

Liars Never Prosper

I’d like to work with those who disagree with me on things to find common ground and seek solutions to hard problems we all agree need attention. But making up stuff is not the way to do it.

David King was associate dean at the Quinnipiac University School of Law.

Remembering Our Friend, David S. King

For this board, and for all of us, his legacy is also in the archives of the Law Tribune and the hearts and minds and thoughts of the countless people who read his editorials without ever knowing he wrote them.

Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions.

Law Schools Pile on the Opposition to Sessions' AG Nomination

By Karen Sloan |

Professors and students by the thousands are pushing back against what they view as the senator from Alabama's hostility to constitutional rights and minority groups.

U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut in New Haven.

DMHAS Accused of Targeting Black, Unionized Employee

By Robert Storace |

A lawsuit filed in federal court claims the state Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services retaliated against the employee for her work with the union, and discriminated against her for being black.

diversity

Asians and Hispanics Make Small Diversity Gains in Firms

By Karen Sloan |

The percentage of minority lawyers in U.S. law firms crept up in 2016, but that progress was not across the board.

U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

Congress Takes a Step in the Right Direction on Opioid Epidemic

The 21st Century Cures Act, which provides $1 billion of funding for opioid addiction prevention and treatment programs over the next two years and calls for a “policy laboratory” for mental health and substance abuse to advocate for better treatment, is a step in the right direction.

Handcuffs with gavel on a wood background.

The Perplexing Dilemma of Too Many Crimes

A criminal justice system with more than a quarter-million estimated possible criminal violations, many of which do not require knowledge or intent, is flawed. It needs repair.

U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut in New Haven.

Ex-Attorney Pleads Guilty to Siphoning From Clients' Trust Funds

By ROBERT STORACE |

According to federal prosecutors, John O'Brien stole $824,000 from four clients.

U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut in New Haven.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Slapped with Class Action Securities Suit

By Robert Storace |

The suit accuses the company of overstating the strength of Soliris, one of the most expensive drugs in the world.

merger

Puffery vs. Lying in Mediation

By Jay H. Sandak |

Both the common law and the Code of Professional Conduct frown upon lying in the context of the negotiation of a settlement of a dispute. However, not every "lie" is actionable. Some lies are OK. If the misstatement is mere "puffing" by the party or counsel, the law will look the other way.

Appeals Court Reverses Judge's Dismissal of 'Bait and Switch' Suit

By Robert Storace |

A recent mixed decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a lower court's ruling in favor of a plaintiff who alleged he was the victim of a bait and switch.

Lawyer in JonBenet Ramsey Libel Case Calls Out CBS for Fake News

By R. Robin McDonald |

The Atlanta libel attorney representing the surviving brother of slain beauty pageant princess JonBenet Ramsey in a $750 million defamation suit against CBS says the network's retrospective on JonBenet's still-unsolved slaying has earned it a new reputation—as a generator of fake news.

L. Lin Wood.

$750M Suit Filed Against CBS Over JonBenet Ramsey Broadcast

By R. Robin McDonald |

A four-hour retrospective on the unsolved slaying of the 6-year-old beauty princess is the basis of a $750 million defamation suit filed Wednesday.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building

Ruling May Tee-Up Power of SEC ALJs for High Court Review

By Mark Hamblett |

A decision Tuesday by the Tenth Circuit declaring that the way the SEC appoints Administrative Law Judges violates the Constitution sets up a clean split among the circuits and may implicate the validity of administrative proceedings in other areas of government.

U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly

Conn.'s Top Fed Focused on Anti-Corruption, Police Partnerships

By Robert Storace |

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to replace Deirdre Daly as U.S. attorney in 2017 but lawyers say veteran prosecutor left her stamp on the office.

Mark Dubois

The Year Ahead for Lawyers

By Mark Dubois |

From the worst of times will come the best of times, and being a lawyer will continue to be an honorable calling.

In Support of Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

The United States accounts for 5 percent of the world's population and 25 percent of the world's inmates.

Vince McMahon

WWE Moves to Toss Another Concussion Lawsuit

By Robert Storace |

The WWE also asks a federal judge to reprimand the attorney behind the lawsuit for cribbing a concussion lawsuit involving the NFL.

Attorney Adrian Baron

Law Firm Tips for Avoiding the Year-End Cash Grab

By Robert Storace and Roy Strom |

Closing past-due accounts can be a pain. Here's how some law firms clean up their books heading into the new year.

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut

Sandy Hook, Education Funding Fight Top 2017's Cases to Watch

By ROBERT STORACE |

Here are five legal cases to watch for during the new year.

To Address Education Inequality, Fix Barriers to Income Integration

Our public school system is producing results that are the very best on average in the United States, and among the very worst for our poor students.

John Rowland

Political Corruption, Death Penalty and VW Scandal Among Top 2016 Cases

By ROBERT STORACE |

Here's a look at five of the top cases resolved in Connecticut during the past year.

Kim Rinehart

Supreme Court Confirms Expert Testimony Required to Establish Causation in Legal Mal Cases

By Kim E. Rinehart and David Norman |

'Bozelko' provides an important procedural safeguard for Connecticut attorneys facing legal malpractice claims.

Harry Mazadoorian

The First Tuesday After the First Monday

The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November came, catching so many of the stakeholders in this dispute off-guard. While substantial uncertainty exists about what the Trump administration agenda will bring forth, many believe the landscape and status of mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses would change yet again, perhaps dramatically, in several ways.

A dashboard camera

And Now to the (Police) Videotape

We need to rebuild trust between police and the public. We can only do that when government agencies share the information they have. Connecticut’s Legislature has chosen the right balance in favor of disclosure. Law enforcement must now comply.

Mark Kochanowicz of Trantolo & Trantolo

Auto Accident Involving Cellphone Yields $1.3M Settlement

By ROBERT STORACE |

A New Britain couple severely injured when their car was struck from behind by a distracted driver have agreed to a $1.3 million settlement, though the parties remain in dispute as to how significantly one driver's cellphone figured in the crash.

Hartford Engineer Pleads to Divulging Military Documents

By ROBERT STORACE |

A Chinese national and permanent U.S. resident pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to two counts of stealing sensitive military documents from United Technologies and transporting them to China.

Brendon Levesque of Horton, Shields & Knox.

'Be a Renegade': Five Questions With Appellate Attorney Brendon Levesque

By Robert Storace |

The Horton, Shields & Knox partner says appellate work takes a thick skin and history remembers lawyers and judges who forge new paths.

Insurance Coverage for Cyber Risks

By Joseph J. Arcata III and Elizabeth O'Donnell |

Given the varying nature of cyber risks, any number of different policies may respond to provide coverage for a cyber-related claim in some way, shape or form. Oddly enough, this now includes the commercial general liability policy.

Climate Climate Change for the Insurance Industry

By Key Coleman |

The burning of fossil fuels produces CO2 and other so-called greenhouse gases (GHGs) that scientists have linked to global warming and other changes in the Earth's climate.

Drones Game of Drones: Liability and Insurance Coverage Issues Coming

By Sean P. Mahoney and Geoffrey F. Sasso |

If the Night's Watch had been able to purchase a cheap camera-equipped drone, Jon Snow might have noticed the Night's King and his army of White Walkers before they surprised and overran the Wildings' camp in Season 5 of HBO's "Game of Thrones."

Courts Have Redefined Hospital Liability for the Malpractice of Independent Physicians

By Jeffrey R. Babbin |

Plaintiffs' efforts to transcend traditional norms of agency or vicarious liability in claims against hospitals have met with mixed results in Connecticut.

Marianne Monroy of Garfunkel Wild

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act: A New Frontier in Prohibiting Discrimination in Health Care Programs

By Andrew Zwerling and Marianne Monroy |

Section 1557 is the first federal civil rights law to proscribe discrimination on the basis of sex in all federally funded health care programs and is designed to enhance and amplify existing and long-standing anti-discrimination laws.

Masonicare in Wallingford, Connecticut.

Masonicare Settles Suit Over Injuries to Senior

By ROBERT STORACE |

The retirement health care and residence company will pay $120,000 to Margaret Mansfield for injuries sustained while riding in a Masonicare transport vehicle.

Chief judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Chief Justice Roberts Shuts Down Bid to Force Garland Vote

By Marcia Coyle |

A long-shot effort to force U.S. Senate action on the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland failed Monday at the hands of Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. Roberts, who, without comment, denied a New Mexico lawyer's emergency application for an injunction in Michel v. McConnell.

Robert Reardon

Connecticut Settles With Family of Unarmed Man Killed by Police

By ROBERT STORACE |

The state has agreed to pay $950,000 to the family of an emotionally distraught Salem man who was killed by police after burning his house down in 2013.

Mark Dubois

Keeping Confidences

One salvation many of us are not aware of, and which the ABA opinion ignores, is that many malpractice policies provide coverage for defending subpoenas and other demands. Yes, the first call should be to the client, but the second one might be to your insurance agent.

George Jepsen

Price-Fixing Suit Over Generic Drugs Is 'Tip of the Iceberg,' Says Conn. AG

By ROBERT STORACE |

Attorney General George Jepsen is leading a 20-state coalition that accuses generic drug makers of colluding to inflate the prices of antibiotic and diabetes medications.

Time for the Legislature to Step Up

In January, the newly elected Connecticut legislature will have to consider whether to reduce the amount of each annual payment due into the state’s pension fund from 2017 through 2032.