Legal Tidbit No. 1 For Journalists: Understanding Damage Allegations In A Complaint

One of the objectives of this blog is to help my friends in the media understand legal issues that aren’t always clear to people without legal training.  With that objective in mind, I’d like to take a moment to clear up some confusion about the meaning of allegations in a complaint concerning the amount of damages a plaintiff is seeking.  

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Final Judgments And Attorney’s Fees

Is a trial court judgment final, for the purpose of seeking appellate review, if all issues in a case have been resolved except the issue of attorney’s fees?  The United States Supreme Court is going to revisit that issue this term in Ray Haluch Gravel Co. v. Central Pension Fund. I say “revisit” because many of us thought that the Supreme Court had settled that issue long ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Appellate Judges: Umpires Or Gods?

OK, now that I have your attention with the admittedly over-the-top title of this post, I wanted to alert readers to a pending appeal (which I argued last March), the decision in which will reveal a great deal about how the justices of the Connecticut Supreme Court view their roles as appellate jurists.  In particular, it will tell us whether a majority of the Court believes that the proper role of an appellate court is to decide the issues that the parties have raised and argued–and only those issues–or, alternatively, whether the Court believes that it is appropriate to decide cases based on issues that appellate judges raise on their own initiative.   In short, can and should appellate courts raise and decide unpreserved issues sua sponte?

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