Blog Posts


Another Ho Hum Slap At The Fourth Amendment?

The Fourth Amendment prohibition against warrantless search and seizures sounds impressive. Standing alone, this looks like a mighty oak providing shelter against an overreaching government. However, the amendment more nearly represents a bush now overtaken with weeds. The various exceptions to the...

What's Wrong With Group Voir Dire?

Connecticut’s constitution is unique: Alone among its counterparts, it guarantees that each lawyer picking a jury will have the right to question potential jurors individually. But it does not follow from this right that all other jurors should be sequestered during that questioning....

Van de Kamp v. Goldstein: Two Down, One To Go?

Immunities from suit bother me, and not just because I sue people for a living. Immunities for public officials who violate the law seem inconsistent with a republican form of government. We the people created a government composed of folks who are immune from the consequences of their error? That...

Compulsory Jury Service At A Living Wage

I am picking a jury this week in a manslaughter case. It is heart-breaking. My client is charged with causing the death of two of her three small children in a head-on crash with another car. Blood-alcohol tests at the hospital, where my client had been resuscitated, yielded results consistent with...

Jus Cogens And Section 1983

My wife and I just returned from four days on the left coast, Seattle to be exact, where we were visiting a couple of our children who have migrated west. One of the benefits of trans-continental travel is uninterrupted reading time during long travel days. My return trip was consumed by time...


Parable Project: The Budding Fig Tree

The following is a short parable reported in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke. I rely on Mark's Gospel, which is generally acknowledged as the earliest. It is reported at Mark 13:28.
"From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you...

Whither Legal Aid?

The New York Times this morning reports that Legal Aid societies nationwide are feeling the pinch of economic necessity. As interest rates fall in an effort to jump start a lagging economy, revenue for Legal Aid drops. That is because these groups are heavily dependent on income derived from...

Time for a New Dream?

A little more than 45 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and dreamed aloud of a day when all Americans would live in a land where they would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. We celebrate King's legacy and his...

Drawing Swords In Connecticut; Appoint Judges For Life

Connecticut does not elect its judges, and for that I am truly grateful. Judges who bow and scrape for approval have a tendency to use their discretion in the service of the lowest common denominator. But every eight years, each judge in Connecticut does face reappointment by lawmakers. And that...

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