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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