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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...

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...

April 2, 2019

In recognition of the upcoming Appellate Advocacy Institute (register here), Attorney Horton shares with us his memories from his own first appellate oral argument.  Enjoy!

In my 48 years of practice, I have orally argued 130 appeals to the Connecticut Supreme Court. Th...

May 12, 2017

Recently my partner Dana Hrelic mentioned to me that she had just returned from a conference with lawyers in Montreal. I responded that I had just returned from a conference with important lawyers in New Haven. This followed:

Dana: “Are you implying that the lawyers I s...

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...

March 23, 2017

Read Part 2 – Five Worst Decisions.  Last time I discussed the fourth worst decision in the history of the Connecticut Supreme Court, Cole v. Steinlauf, 144 Conn. 629 (1957). Today I will discuss the third worst decision, Buxton v. Ullman, 147 Conn. 48 (1959).

Buxton is...

February 28, 2017

Last week I said the fifth worst decision in the history of the Connecticut Supreme Court is State v. Clemente, 166 Conn. 501 (1974). Today I will discuss the fourth worst decision: Cole v. Steinlauf, 144 Conn. 629 (1957).

Cole concerned a deed that conveyed real prop...

February 22, 2017

At the monthly meeting for the Middlesex Bar Association on February 15, 2017, Justice Richard Palmer was the main speaker. He spoke about State v. Peeler and State v. Kono, the two most important state constitutional decisions of 2016. I was the warm-up speaker. I was...

February 14, 2017

Our firm recently won a reversal of an almost $12,000,000 judgment in a sexual abuse case. The case is Doe v. Boy Scouts of America Corp., 323 Conn. 303, and it provides an illustration of how appellate lawyers can help cases while they are still in the trial court.


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