CBA Names #1 CLE Provider Again

The Connecticut Bar Association has once again won #1 CLE Provider and #1 CLE Provider – Online as voted by Connecticut Law Tribune readers during the 15th annual “Best of”supplement.

“We thank the Connecticut Law Tribune readers for continuing to recognize our outstanding in-person and on-demand CLE seminars. The CBA is proud to offer our members and guests CLE seminars that advance the legal profession,” said Keith J. Soressi, CBA executive director. “In the competitive CLE marketplace, we pride ourselves on providing education events that meet the changing needs of attorneys to stay informed about the latest developments in law and to keep their skills sharp. We look forward to continuing to offer educational opportunities by Connecticut lawyers, for Connecticut lawyers.”

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Tax on Legal Services Removed from State Budget

On June 26, 2019, Governor Ned Lamont signed the most recent biennial state budget into law. The approved two-year budget does not include a sales tax on legal services as originally recommended by the governor. As you know, the CBA strongly opposed the proposal as it would unnecessarily tax people in times of their greatest need.

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CBF Announces Interim Executive Director

The following appeared in a press release distributed by the Connecticut Bar Foundation:

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The Connecticut Bar Foundation is pleased to announce that Natalie Wagner of West Hartford was named as the foundation’s interim executive director, effective May 28, 2019. Natalie has extensive legal experience in Connecticut’s public and private sectors. Her professional experience includes serving as the legal director to both the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management and State Department of Education as deputy counsel to the Office of Governor Malloy. Subsequently, she represented school districts and educational institutions throughout Connecticut as counsel at Shipman & Goodwin LLP. Natalie has also volunteered her time on numerous professional and community organizations. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College and the University of Connecticut School of Law, Natalie’s wide community reach and professional experience are an excellent fit for the foundation at this critical time in our tenure.

The Connecticut Bar Foundation works to increase access to justice by administering grants to legal services agencies that provide civil representation to those who cannot otherwise afford an attorney. Since 1952, the foundation also serves as an integral part of the legal community in Connecticut, working in partnership with judges, attorneys, and law schools to promote understanding and improvement of the law, legal institutions, and the legal profession.

CT Supreme Court Adapts Policy Regarding Solicitation of Amicus Curiae Briefs

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The Supreme Court has adopted a policy, effective with the eighth term of court, to govern the sua sponte solicitation of briefs of amicus curiae in specific pending cases. Under this new policy, rather than extend invitations to specific organizations, the Supreme Court will publish more generalized amicus invitations in specific cases on a new “Amicus Curiae Invitations” page that will appear under the “Docket/Calendar” tab on the Supreme Court homepage. The questions presented, briefing requirements, submission deadline(s), and any additional information related to the invitation will appear in the posted notice. When the court acts sua sponte to invite the submission of amicus curiae briefs though this invitation policy, the provisions of Practice Book § 67-7 requiring a motion for permission to file are waived.

The Supreme Court will also create an e-mail notification list to alert interested organizations when it has posted a solicitation of briefs on the “Amicus Curiae Invitations” page. When the Court is interested in soliciting amicus briefs in a pending case, a courtesy group e-mail will be sent to the organizations on the list notifying them that an amicus brief invitation has been posted on the Supreme Court’s website. Bar associations and other organizations are strongly encouraged to provide e-mail contact information to the Appellate Clerk at amicuslist@connapp.jud.ct.gov in order ensure their inclusion on this notification list.

Please contact (860)757-2200 with any questions about this policy.

A Message from the CBA President: Proposed Sales Tax on Legal Services

Dear Colleagues:

As you are well aware, Governor Lamont’s budget included a line item of $107 million in revenue for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 through the expansion of sales tax on legal services. Business to business will remain exempt from sales tax. I believe we all agree this will be damaging to our clients and our businesses. A hearing on the proposed tax has been scheduled for Friday, March 15, 2019 at the legislature.  This proposal affects us all and we are asking for your assistance in opposing this tax.

We are asking you to contact your State Representative or State Senator to voice your opposition to this proposal.  You can find your legislators HERE.  PLEASE take ten minutes to communicate with your legislators by Wednesday of this week. Since a number of professions are having their exempt status challenged, our goal is to express why legal services are unique from other taxable goods and services.

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Justice Richard A. Robinson Confirmed to Serve as Next Chief Justice

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Governor Malloy announced the final legislative confirmation of Richard A. Robinson to serve as chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, following Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers’ retirement from the bench on February 5, 2018. Chief Justice Robinson will be the first African American chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.

The Honorable Steven Ecker of the Bridgeport Superior Court will fill the associate justice seat on the Connecticut Supreme Court. Justice Ecker has been a judge of the superior court since 2014.

Read CBA President Karen DeMeola’s statement regarding Chief Justice Robinson’s confirmation.