• 136 Posts about Connecticut law Tribune Columns • More recent •
Almost everyone pleads guilty to a crime when prosecuted. Some estimates place those pleading guilty, rather than facing trial, at more than 90 percent of all cases. In order to force defendants through the plea bargaining machinery, the law accepts outright hypocrisy. You can, for example, plead...
Massachusetts Judge Joseph Johnson has imposed a gag order on the parents of Justina Pelletier, preventing them from raising public questions about why their daughter remains in custody in the Bay State. It is not at all clear to me why the parents have not contested this gag order. Perhaps they...
Former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim was convicted by a federal jury and served seven years in prison for his role in a racketeering conspiracy that extorted some $800,000 from contractors seeking to do business in the Park City. That verdict was returned in 2003. He's done his time. Now he...
It's Thanksgiving week as I write this, and who wants to work? Better to pull some anecdotes from memory, and entertain.
"Mr. Pattis, are you all right?" The judge looked concerned. She was sitting no more than six feet from me. I thought I was fine, actually. After all, I was...
News that the Supreme Court reversed the conviction of a former client of mine was a delightful surprise. He was convicted of sexually abusing a young child. At trial, we won acquittals of the most serious charges, but the jury convicted on two counts, enough to yield a six-year sentence on...
It's been awhile since I've written about my dogs, Odysseus and Penelope, but I swear they have been giving me tutorials in the law, teaching me about loyalty and zealous advocacy, the two most important qualities any criminal defense lawyer must have. I've learned more about lawyering from my dogs...
Expert testimony, we are taught, is intended to assist juries in deciding difficult factual issues. We permit the opinion testimony of folks who know things the rest of us don't because of their education, skill, training or experience, thus, a doctor on disease, or an electrician on circuitry. We...
Those skeptical about the efficacy of habeas corpus petitions in the State of Connecticut will be watching the Michael Skakel case carefully. Judge Thomas Bishop just granted the writ, a rare enough event, finding that the trial performance of Skakel's lawyer, Mickey Sherman, was deficient as a...
Against my better judgment, I've once again wandered into the family courts in yet another post-judgment war about who gets to raise a broken couple's children. Once again, I am dumbstruck as I watch experts opine about what is in the best interest of the children. The sheer wastefulness of...
I don't recall how many years ago it was that I pulled the plug on my participation on the federal Criminal Justice Act panel, but I do recall the cause: The folks administering the program thought nothing of rejecting requests for payment over the most trifling of things. I threw in the towel at...