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.