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Welcome to our Appellate & Ethics Blog!

This blog will sometimes be scholarly, sometimes purely practical, and sometimes just musings by members of the firm on life in the appellate courts and on professional responsibility.

When we comment on cases, we do so with care, but you should always read the cases yourself before using them for any reason.

When one of us muses on matters, it may or may not reflect the innermost thoughts of the others. Feel free to ask.

If we talk about a case in which we represented a party, we’ll let you know it was ours.

We welcome suggestions, to a point, on relevant topics of interest and comments on the thoughts and suggestions we include on this blog.

But most of all, we hope that you learn from and enjoy these entries!

May 12, 2020

“Top” is a word of some ambiguity. One definition is the size of the newspaper headline the day after the decision came out. On that basis, Soto v. Bushmaster Firearms International, LLC, 331 Conn. 53, clearly is the #1 case of the year because it was front-page news i...

February 12, 2020

            The February 11, 2020 Connecticut Law Journal has an unpleasant surprise for appellate practitioners: an amendment to § 63-4 effective, guess when?, on February 11, 2020.

           The amendment is to the li...

June 25, 2019

Ten years ago I wrote an article ranking the justices on the Connecticut Supreme Court who had sat in the 1980s and 1990s from 1 to 16. I thought I would take another look at my rankings and see if I still rank those 16 justices in the same order.

What follows is my rev...

March 27, 2019

In March 2019, the Connecticut Supreme Court announced a new policy regarding the solicitation of amicus briefs.  Previously, the Court had issued invitations to specific organizations in some cases to submit amicus briefs.  Under the new policy, the Court will issue a...

            Each year the justices of the Supreme Court and judges of the Appellate Court make amendments to Connecticut’s Rules of Appellate Procedure.  Many of these are minor technical modifications.  The following highlights rule changes of which practitioners shou...

            Maybe it’s family cases. Or maybe it’s because the view on the difference between subject matter jurisdiction and the court’s authority to act has evolved somewhat.  Or maybe it’s that the courts tend not be consistent in their vocabulary, but for whatever...

April 27, 2017

I am frequently asked whether there is a statute of limitations applicable to grievances. My response has always been, “yes, but it has never been interpreted as being mandatory.” After the Supreme Court’s decision in Disciplinary Counsel v. Elder, (SC 19698), official...

April 7, 2017

This is it, the worst decision in the history of the Connecticut Supreme Court. And the winner is . . . State ex rel. Morris v. Bulkeley, 61 Conn. 287 (1892). The decision is so awful that it actually makes Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000), look good.

The State Register...

March 30, 2017

Last time, I said that Buxton v. Ullman, 147 Conn. 48 (1959), one of the four infamous contraception decisions leading up to Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), was the third worst decision in the history of the Connecticut Supreme Court. Today I report on th...

January 25, 2017

Among the cases the Connecticut Supreme Court worked furiously to complete before Justice Peter Zarella left the court to return to private practice was State v. Kono, 324 Conn. 80 (2016). The court held in a 6-1 decision that a warrantless canine sniff at the door of...

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