Don’t Forget To Object To Unpreserved Arguments

Notwithstanding significant recent developments in the law concerning appellate review of unpreserved arguments and issues, the general rule remains that a party cannot raise an issue on appeal unless she has preserved it in the trial court. That rule, however, is not self-executing; it can be waived.  If a party raises an issue for the first time on appeal and the opposing party does not object, the Appellate Court can go right ahead and review the unpreserved issue on its merits.

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Can A Judicial Decision Be Both Right And Wrong At The Same Time?

On Monday the Connecticut Supreme Court released its unanimous decision in an important Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) case, Comm’r of Public Safety v. FOICwhich involved a 2008 request for arrest records by the New Haven Register.  The media and open government advocates, myself included, have expressed considerable disappointment with the decision, which holds that the police (both local and state) need only disclose the barest minimum of information about an arrest.  (Disclosure: I supervised several students from the Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic, which wrote a fantastic amicus brief in the case on behalf of a multitude of media and open government organizations.) Read the rest of this entry »

Hobby Lobby Flowcharts!

Click here for my first stab at trying to make the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision a little bit more understandable. I’ll be adding more information to the flowcharts in the coming days. Read the rest of this entry »

Two Points Make A Line (And Suggest A Troubling Trend)

On June 3, the Connecticut Supreme Court officially released its decision in State v. Elson, one of less than a handful of cases in Connecticut history in which the Supreme Court reversed a trial judge after concluding that he had not committed an error of law or fact. (State v. Ubaldi and State v. Santiago are the only other cases of which I’m aware.)  No trial judge likes to get reversed, but all trial judges understand that the potential for reversal comes with the job.  However, for an appellate court to reverse a trial judge after concluding that he or she did not commit a legal error must really hurt.

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Legal Health Break

The son of Marion Ross (Richie Cunningham’s mom) is a great impressionist. I promise he will bring a big smile to your face. Enjoy!


That’s One Hell Of An Accusation Hubie

Hartford attorney Hubert “Hubie” Santos is one of the most respected criminal defense attorneys in the State of Connecticut.  Rightly so. When he makes a representation in open court about a fact that he believes to be true, people listen. Judges listen.  And the media reports what he says.

The Hartford Courant reports today that in a hearing before Superior Court Judge Julia Dewey on Monday, Attorney Santos accused Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz of intentionally interfering in a criminal prosecution by using her power to have a prosecutor removed from the case.  Santos said:

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Judicial Selection And Incumbent Judges

The Hartford Courant has reported that Superior Court Judge Curtissa R. Cofield, who has received two serious disciplinary suspensions in recent years, is going through the Judicial Selection Commission (JSC) process for reappointment as a judge when her current eight-year term expires in June 2015.

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The Plain Meaning Rule And The FOI Exemption For Homicide Photographs

This post is about how General Statutes section 1-2z, which codifies the “plain meaning rule” of statutory interpretation, can lead to judicial interpretations of statutes that are completely at odds with what everyone knows the legislature actually intended when passing a law. To illustrate my point, I examine legislation enacted in 2013 concerning homicide photographs.

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Moment Of Awe For Jaded Lawyers

We lawyers are a jaded bunch.  We think we’ve seen it all.  We are control freaks.  And just when we really believe that we’ve seen everything and are in total control, something like this pops up on our screen.  All I can say is, “Wow.”

Click here for more about this video.

Judge Releases Detailed Memorandum In Jane Doe/DCF Case

Last Friday I posted about the obstacles that the confidentiality of juvenile court proceedings and DCF records have posed to an informed public debate about DCF’s supervision of Jane Doe.   Although prior news reports noted an April 8, 2014 order of the Superior Court judge who granted DCF’s request to transfer Jane Doe to the York correctional facility in Niantic, the judge subsequently articulated his reasoning in greater detail in a 22-page memorandum released on May 6, 2014. (I have posted a copy that redacts the references to Jane Doe’s first name.)  An appeal from his initial decision was filed in the Appellate Court on April 16, 2014.

To the best of my knowledge, no one has reported on that memorandum yet.  [See Update at end of this post.]  If you are truly interested in Jane Doe’s case, PLEASE READ IT.  And be prepared to reevaluate many factual assumptions you have had about the case. Here is a selection from the beginning of the decision:

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