Top Stories

Conn. Man Sues Police After Three Mistaken Identity Arrests


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.

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

US Supreme Court Overrules Connecticut on Sovereign Immunity

By Robert Storace |

The unanimous decision to overturn a Connecticut Supreme Court decision hinged on whether a tribe’s limousine driver was entitled to sovereign immunity in a personal injury claim.

Connecticut Supreme Court.

Bad-Mouthing Lawyer Readies for Conn. Supreme Court Hearing


The appeal of Zbigniew Rozbicki is among eight cases that will be heard by the court during its final term of the year.

Joanne Rapuano

Robinson & Cole Hires New Business Attorney

Hartford's Robinson & Cole has hired Joanne J. Rapuano to serve as counsel in the firm's business litigation and manufacturing industry groups, with a focus on international trade, federal regulatory compliance matters and government enforcement.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Litigating Debt Collections May Subject You to Liability

By Randy Evans and Shari Klevens |

Enacted in 1977 as an amendment to the Consumer Credit Protection Act, the FDCPA bans a "debt collector" from engaging in deceptive and abusive debt collection practices.

Call for Nominations: Connecticut Legal Awards

The Connecticut Law Tribune is accepting nominations in seven categories The Law Tribune is seeking nominees for its third annual Professional Excellence Awards.

Lawyer Gets 6-Year Suspension for 3rd Drunken Driving Offense


Jasmin Rojas was a labor lawyer who previously clerked for several Connecticut Superior Court judges.

Mark Dubois

Attorney's Imprisonment Should Serve as Lesson


Attorney Corey Brinson is going to prison, and that's a shame.

Kimberly Sudnick of the Haymond Law Firm in Hartford

Motorcyclist Struck by Pickup Truck Settles for $1.5M


The driver of the truck struck a bicyclist in a similar accident the year before.

Former IBM Director Takes $15M Accident Settlement

By Jason Grant |

The woman was in a crosswalk when she was struck by a delivery truck driven by a contracted employee.

Essex Financial Adviser Banned Over Securities Violations

By Robert Storace |

John W. Rafal attempted to conceal secret and improper referral payments.

Conn. 'Collaborative' Seeks Shift in Dispute Resolution

By Michael Marciano |

A satisfying expression for litigants may be "see you in court," but seasoned attorneys and judges will acknowledge some matters are better resolved before they end up on the docket.

Daniel Petroskey of the Law Office of Eugene DeFronzo in Waterbury, Connecticut.

Low-Speed Accident Settles for $390,000

By Robert Storace |

Two people injured in the rear-end collision initially sought $575,000 for medical costs.

State of Connecticut Superior Court Raymond E. Baldwin Courthouse in Middletown, Connecticut.

Law Firm Claims Managing Member Pilfered $2M in Profits

By Robert Storace |

McHugh, Chapman & Vargas filed the lawsuit in Superior Court against Sean McHugh.

University of Connecticut School of Law professor Alexandra Lahav

Litigation Gets Bad Rap, UConn Law Prof Argues


The idea for "In Praise of Litigation" came to University of Connecticut School of Law professor Alexandra Lahav when she went looking for a book to recommend to her students on the benefits of litigation, and came up empty.

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut

Law Profs Say Gun Makers Should Be Liable for Sandy Hook Shooting


Professors from some of the nation’s top law schools filed an amicus brief with the Connecticut Supreme Court saying case law clearly shows negligent entrustment applies, even in cases involving guns.

Harry Mazadoorian

Quinnipiac and Bar Association Event Knocks It Out of the Park


Increasingly sophisticated and readily available early processes have proven themselves to be highly effective, but they need to be further developed and refined in both the administrative and legislative arenas.

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

Town Accused of Using Tax, Zoning Laws to Block Home for Disabled


The lawsuit claims a home that was supposed to house six men with mental disabilities was forced to close its doors after the town violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act.

Joseph Rossetti of the Middlebury-based law firm Moore, O'Brien & Foti.

Man Awarded $1.4M After Roofing Accident


The award was reduced to $977,802 after the jury also found the man partially responsible for falling off a ladder while examining a roof covered in ice and snow.

Von Sanborn of Day Pitney.

Five Questions: Von Sanborn on Art Law, Insurance and the IRS

By Robert Storace |

Sanborn, an art attorney, recently joined Day Pitney in Hartford.

Allie Jacobs, left, and Silas Levine, right.

Sexual Orientation and Title VII: Defining Sex Discrimination


No federal law expressly prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. However, recent judicial trends have given credibility to the argument that such a prohibition exists within Title VII.

Jessica Wragg, left, and Padric F.S. Noonan, right.

Contractually Shortening Employee Filing Periods for Workplace Claims


Connecticut employment attorneys can easily recite the operative filing periods for the most common claims of discrimination that stem from terminations: 180 days under Connecticut's Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA) and 300 days under applicable federal anti-discrimination laws (Title VII and ADA).

Pamela Moore

Take Care When Offering Telecommuting as a Reasonable Accommodation


One of the thorniest legal issues facing employers today involves employee requests to telecommute.


When Water Cooler Talk Gets Political


There can be no doubt that the recent presidential election was extraordinarily divisive, causing real friction between even the closest friends and relatives.

Robert Brody, left, and Katherine Bogard

EEOC Updates Guidance on National Origin Discrimination


At the end of last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for the first time in 14 years updated its Guidance on national origin discrimination.

Social Media Video Leads to Copyright Fight


A clothing and accessories company claims another business stole a video posted on Facebook to promote sales of an incense burner.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Meyer. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Electrocuted Trespasser's Suit Against Metro-North Moves Forward


A federal judge in Connecticut has declined to dismiss a suit against Metro-North Commuter Railroad Co. and associated defendants on behalf of a man who was electrocuted while trespassing on railroad property.

Lawyer A. Twillie II of Hartford-based The Haymond Law Firm

Man Hit by Driver Changing Car Radio Awarded $46,722


The jury deliberated for six hours before handing down the award to a man who suffered injuries to his back, arms, legs and chest in a rear-end collision.

Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Gregory T. D’Auria

Newest State Supreme Court Justice Seen as Consensus Builder


This marks the first time Justice Gregory D'Auria has sat on a bench, but he does bring more than two decades of experience working for the state attorney general.

U.S. District Court in Hartford, Connecticut.

Sporting Good Supplier Sues to Block Threatened Patent Suit


The patent fight is tied to a shelter people can use to stay out of the weather during outdoor games.

Technology a Double-Edged Sword for Conn. Firms


Representatives of some of Connecticut's top firms said they enjoyed positive growth last year and are striving for greater successes, despite a national trend toward self-representation, spurred by rapid technological advances.

Connecticut Supreme Court.

Food Delivery Drivers Covered by Minimum Wage, Court Rules


The Connecticut Supreme Court rejected an argument that the drivers should be exempt from the $10.10 minimum wage law because they can receive tips.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Who Can Sue Independent Counsel?


When disputes arise out of an attorney's handling of a legal matter, the parties involved are generally the attorney and the client. It is a basic concept that attorneys are only liable to their clients for their errors and omissions. But, as is the case with most rules, there can be gray areas.

U.S. District Judge Victor Bolden of Connecticut

Aetna Sued for Axing Woman's Long-Term Disability Policy


The woman claims the insurance provider ended her policy after she was diagnosed with a degenerative disease.

Mark Dubois

Judging the Judges


When testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Neil Gorsuch pointed out that judges are supposed to be more than politicians wearing robes. Amen to that. Unfortunately, in most of the country, where trial and appellate judges and justices are elected, too many times they are just that.

Michael Shea

'No Deal' on Sherwin-Williams Separation Pact, Judge Rules


U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea has rejected an effort by Sherwin-Williams to use an unsigned separation agreement as the basis to dismiss a former employee's race discrimination and retaliation suit.

The Ripple Rug

Cat Toy Infomercial Leads to 'Bait-and-Switch' Lawsuit


The makers of the Ripple Rug claim a competing company didn't even bother to remove their trademark before selling their cat toy in infomercials.

Joel Faxon

Move to Freeze Assets Marks Start of Human Trafficking Litigation


The request to freeze $10 million in assets is meant to serve as an insurance policy for the alleged victims caught up in the trafficking ring.

Harry Mazadoorian

Connecticut Must Adopt Revised Arbitration Law

By By Harry N. Mazadoorian |

It's time to bring our state arbitration act to the next level and the RUAA provides the mechanism to do that.

Scaffolding Collapse Ends in $3.6M Jury Verdict

By Robert Storace |

A Superior Court judge will hear a motion to set aside the verdict next week, with both sides pledging to appeal if they lose.

Randy Evans and Shari Klevens, Dentons partners.

Enforceable and Effective Attorney-Client Agreements

U.S. Federal Courthouse in Bridgeport, Connecticut

NHTSA Safety Recall Sparks Breach of Contract Suit


The maker of the Terex Hi-Ranger, a truck with a hydraulic platform used to lift people into the air, claims a supplier's part can fail, which poses a safety hazard to anyone suspended in the air.

President Donald Trump

10 States Sue Trump Administration for Delaying Energy Rules

By Robert Storace |

The predominantly blue states include New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and California.

'Simms' Rule on Appellate Procedure Must Be Undone


The experience of the 23 years since ‘Simms’ shows it to be a disaster.

Tobacco Cases Missed Chances to Update Tort Law


Perhaps Izzarelli, which was an oddball factually, was not the most appropriate case to decide whether the Restatement (Third) should apply, but Bifolck, which was a case about ordinary cigarettes, certainly was.

Waterbury solo practitioner Leslie Gold McPadden

Attorney Accused of Poaching Clients From Former Firm


Attorney Leslie Gold McPadden is accused of soliciting three clients as she left Biller, Sachs, Raio & Zito. She claims the clients wanted to leave with her.

Judge Janet Bond Arterton

Man Denied Jobs Over Alleged False Report Files Federal Suit


A New Britain man who was denied job opportunities at two well-known businesses because a consumer reporting agency allegedly sent his prospective employers information detailing a false criminal background has filed a federal lawsuit.

Attorney Owes $447K for Chopping Down Neighbor's Forest


Attorney Jon B. Biller was seeking a better view of the Connecticut River. Instead, he was hit with a six-figure judgment after a judge ruled he should have known an old property easement did not apply to him.

Pamela Cameron of Moore, O’Brien & Foti

Delayed Glaucoma Diagnosis Ends in $2.2M Jury Verdict


Two ophthalmologists testified that Opticare Eye Health Centers repeatedly failed to order a test that would have diagnosed a Connecticut woman's glaucoma, a disease that eventually caused partial blindness.

As Connecticut Considers Expanding Marijuana Laws, Attorneys Watch DOJ


While some attorneys fear the Justice Department will crack down on states with legalized marijuana laws, few believe it will target attorneys who specialize in the field.


Detention and Deportation Will Open Foster Care Floodgates

We hope that child safety will remain a bipartisan issue in Congress, and that there will be bipartisan support for enforcing immigration law in a way that is not only humane, but that also upholds the safety and well-being of children.

Michael Skakel, left, Father Abbott Joseph Boyle, center, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at the Benedictine Trappist monastery.

5 Questions: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Talks Environmental Law, Skakel Murder


As Kennedy prepares to step down after 34 years at Pace University Law School, he discusses the future of environmental litigation under a Trump administration and his thoughts on the murder conviction of his cousin, Michael Skakel.

Mark Dubois

Jacoby & Meyers Case—Not Only Unsuccessful but Moot, Too


The Second Circuit just put to rest Jacoby & Meyers' lawsuit challenging New York's prohibition in Rule 5.4 on nonlawyer investment in law firms. It's not surprising, as the challenge seemed fatally flawed in some respects

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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'


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


MetLife Hit With $50M Class Action Alleging Unpaid Overtime


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.