CCDLA Follow Up


Incoming president of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association Jennifer Zito called yesterday to give me a piece of her mind: I had maligned the group needlessly, mischaracterized her reaction to my request for help with over-reaching federal prosecutors, and otherwise behaved like a shmuck. What's more, the board members she spoke to adamantly deny having spoken to the feds about investigating Martin Minnella.

The board is not going to submit to a polling. If I want someone recused from consideration of whether to protest to the Justice Department the new-fangled practice of interviewing a lawyer's current clients, I can ask for it. Indeed, one board member told Zito I lacked the courage to confront the board member directly on this issue. Please, spare me the juvenalia. What next, bitch slaps at three paces in some Dunkin Donuts parking lot? A public denial is at least reliable and capable of rebuttal.

The CCDLA is free to do as it pleases. I accept Zito's representations that she was told there wasn't any footsie being played with feds at the expense of the membership. I am nonetheless disappointed that there will be no formal statement or poll. But I understand that dignifying a critic with a public response empowers the critic. Better to ignore the ants at the picnic: the potato salad simply tastes better that way.

But I, too, am free to respond as I will to a board and body to which I pay dues. I will not be attending the CCDLA annual meeting or speaking as planned on voir dire at the CLE event. I am just not feeling that I am among friends. My time will be better spent defending Minnella. He needs friends just now. I can do without the bright lights of Mohegan Sun.

Comments: (4)

  • CCDLA does not deserve your time. Let the gnats m...
    CCDLA does not deserve your time. Let the gnats mill around and pat each other on the back at Mohegan Sun. From what I hear Minnella needs your total attention right now.
    By the way, if Marty hasn't already done so, tell him to shut up for a bit and let Connelly flail about. The Feds will tire of Marty when the real prize is killed and stuffed. Marty ain't it.
    Posted on September 10, 2010 at 3:56 am by Shawanda
  • People have a right to speak their mind. Others h...
    People have a right to speak their mind. Others have a right to disagree and express a different view point. Society is degerating to a point where people generally have a problem with others expressing opposing view points. What offends me more than anything anyone says is someone who does not say what they truly feel or remains silent on an issue they feel strongly about for fear of offending someone. The attitude that "I am offended by what you say, so how dare you say it, is running rampant in society and if that keeps up I guess everyone can say goodbye to a free flow of ideas.
    Norm asked a question he felt needed to be asked and one that he wanted an answer to. If people stopped doing that I think everyone would be much worse off.
    Rumor and innuendo will hurt not only the CCDLA but anyone or anything the subject of such rumor an inuendo and it is always best to come out and just say things if they are bothering you or are important to you.
    To Norm, I commend your position on withdrawing from being a speaker at the annual meeting. It is clear based on the allegations that you are somehow looking to harm the group that your taking the stage will be the subject of worry and it is better off to just avoid the entire situation.
    Posted on September 9, 2010 at 5:53 pm by Rob Serafinowicz
  • Norm: I am safe in Italy. I agree with you that ...
    Norm: I am safe in Italy. I agree with you that we everyone should come to the plate, identify themselves and speak their mind. However, if over the years there has been some special relationship, should not that relationship be examined? I do not believe that the federal government examining a lawyer's files is the proper mechanism. Perhaps the grand jury appointing a special master to receive and report on the subpoenaed information is a middle ground?
    Mike Georgetti
    (someone who also has a vested interest)
    Posted on September 9, 2010 at 12:12 pm by Michael Georgetti
  • One thing I'm interested in--a fundamental point, ...
    One thing I'm interested in--a fundamental point, I believe--in this Minnella case and a probable CCDLA connection is the motive for someone for telling Federal authorities what he or she did about Minnella. Since it is presumed whatever was told about Minnella involved the CT state prosecutor Connelly in Waterbury, the motive may have been to ultimately get to Connelly to expose crimes and corruption in the state's attorney's system as I have been doing for several years now as an investigative journalist. Pattis is walking the line between reporting on the disturbing tactics used by the Federal authorities in this case and representation of his client Minnella.
    Posted on September 9, 2010 at 8:28 am by Henry Berry

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