CBA member, Hon. Beverly K. Streit-Kefalas, was appointed probate court administrator, making her the first woman to serve as the head of the state’s probate court system. She will replace Judge Paul J. Knierim, who is retiring on August 31, after 11 years. Judge Streit-Kefalas will begin her new role on September 3.
CBA member and career prosecutor John Durham has been nominated to be Connecticut’s next US attorney. Attorney Durham was appointed by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to replace outgoing US Attorney Deirdre M. Daly.
Attorney Durham has worked in the legal profession for 40 years. In that time frame, he has put away mobsters and supervised successful prosecutions of more than a dozen corrupt Connecticut politicians. In 1982 he joined the US attorney’s office where he has worked as deputy US attorney for most of his career.
Assistant State’s Attorney and Connecticut Lawyer Supreme Deliberations column co-author Matthew Weiner, gives city teens the opportunity to practice baseball and play six months out of the year by volunteering as pitching coach of Hartford’s American Legion team.
American Legion baseball is a national institution that has taught hundreds of thousands of young Americans the importance of sportsmanship, good heath, and promotes equality by making teammates out of young athletes regardless of their income levels. The Connecticut league finished its 90th season this July.
Attorney Weiner spends his days representing Connecticut in criminal appeals and trying cases in the state’s highest courts. He has juggled his caseload with Hartford Legion baseball stating, “I couldn’t really think of a better way to be able to put the work down, at least for a certain period of time, and do something that’s fulfilling in a much different way.”
On August 10-15 the American Bar Association held their annual meeting in New York City, where thousands of lawyers from across the country came together to promote issues of importance of the legal profession and learn from leading colleagues in the field.
CBA members recognized at the ABA Annual Meeting include:
1. Monte E. Frank, Immediate Past President
2. Ndidi Moses, Vice President
3. Barry C. Hawkins, Past President (2012-2013)
4. Dana M. Hrelic, Assistant Secretary-Treasurer
5. Dwight H. Merriam, CBA Member
For more information, read the Latest News story.
B.E.E The Best (“Backpacks for Excellence in Education”), a program founded by CBA Secretary Alaine Doolan, is a nonprofit that provides donated backpacks and supplies to the Truancy Intervention Project, which is an organization that matches attorney volunteers with students from the New Britain school system experiencing problems with school attendance. Each volunteer serves as an advocate and role model for their student.
“Over the last six years the program has donated around 200 backpacks stuffed with supplies to some very worthy students,” Secretary Doolan said, who founded the program after years of mentoring where she noticed that one reason students didn’t go to school was because they didn’t have supplies.
Last year, backpacks and supplies were also provided to the Interval House, a shelter and center for victims of domestic violence. They provide a bridge to new life for individuals and families. This year, B.E.E The Best will be donating to both the Truancy Intervention Project and the Interval House.
If you are interested in donating, B.E.E The Best is looking for the following items: two pocket folders, backpacks, alarm clocks, calculators, pencil sharpeners, erasers, weekly planners, magic markers, pencil cases, 1 inch 3 ring binders, 8GB flash/stick drive, and plastic water bottles.
B.E.E The Best also accepts cash or check donations made out to B.E.E The Best, Inc. Please note that this program is a 501(c)(3) so your donations may be tax deductible!
Please send all donations by Thursday, August 17 to:
Robinson & Cole LLP
280 Trumbull Street
Hartford, CT 06103
CBA member John H. Driscoll, Jr. has been appointed as the senior vice president, regional market executive for Webster Private Bank’s Hartford and New Haven offices. Attorney Driscoll is a tax attorney with over 30 years experience in investment, financial, and estate and tax planning. He serves on the executive committee of the Estates and Probate Section and the Sports and Entertainment Section.
Prior to joining Webster, Attorney Driscoll was with the U.S. Trust Company, N.A. where he oversaw 10 financial and estate planning professionals, and was a Senior Tax Manager at Arthur Andersen LLP, where he focused on personal financial planning and family wealth planning.
John H. Driscoll, Jr.
Fifteen CBA members have come together to offer collaborative divorce resolution to the business community. The newly formed group, Collaborative Business Dispute Resolution (CBDR), provides an alternative to litigation, arbitration, and mediation. It is the first of its kind in Connecticut.
With a goal to avoid litigation and save time and money, this collaborative method differs from mediation when one neutral professional works with the parties to resolve disputes. The mediator assists in understanding each other’s points of view and developing settlement options. They cannot give legal advice or advocate for either party.
The benefits of collaborative business dispute resolution include:
- Saving money and time
- Reducing the risk and uncertainty of litigation
- Allowing each party to participate in structuring a resolution
- Allowing each party to take an active role in tailoring solutions to the particular needs of their business
- Accessing the skills, talent, and experience of other professionals who can make a difference
- Working in a respectful, private, and dignified environment, and preserve a relationship that may be worth keeping
- Keeping all options open
The fifteen attorneys involved in creating this new type of business dispute resolution are David M. Barry, Jr., Jacobs Walker Rice & Barry LLC; Mark Block, Block Janney & Associates LLC; Deborah L. Dorio, Pease & Dorio PC; Bridget C. Gallagher, Brown Paindiris & Scott LLP; Brian T. Henebry, Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP; Paul N. Iannone, Rogin Nassau LLC; John L. Laudati, Murphy Laudati Kiel Buttler Rattigan LLC; Frank A. Leone, Leone Throwe Teller & Nagle; David J. Markowitz, Markowitz & Mawhinney LLC; Justin L. Murphy, Kahan Kerensky & Capassela; Nicholas Paindiris, Brown Paindiris & Scott LLP; Michael A. Pease, Pease & Dorio PC; Margaret F. Rattigan, Murphy Laudati Kiel Buttler Rattigan LLC; James M. Saya, Rogin Nassau LLC; and Jonathan M. Shapiro, Shapiro Law Offices LLC.
Gregory D’Auria was sworn in as an associate justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court after a nomination by Governor Malloy. Justice D’Auria is filling the spot on the bench held by Associate Justice Peter T. Zarella prior to his retirement in December, and he is the third state Supreme Court justice to sit on the bench without prior judgeship experience.
Justice D’Auria has worked for the Office of the Attorney General for 23 years, where he served as an assistant general, associate attorney general for litigation, and head of the special litigation and charities unit. Attorney General George Jepsen appointed him the state’s first solicitor general in 2011.
Justice Gregory D’Auria
Connecticut Supreme Court
CBA Tax Section Executive Committee member and tax lawyer Dan M. Smolnik of Smolnik Law Offices in Hamden, has been named by the Internal Revenue Service to its Taxpayer Advocacy Panel.
Established by the Department of Treasury in 2002, the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, is a Federal Advisory Committee to the IRS that helps to identify tax issues of importance to taxpayers and to provide taxpayer perspective to the IRS on key programs, products, and services. The Panel consists of a group of 75 citizen volunteers who listen to taxpayers, identify taxpayers’ issues, and make suggestions for improving IRS service and customer satisfaction.
Attorney Smolnik stated, “I am honored and humbled to have this opportunity to serve the people of Connecticut and the country by helping to make the tax system more accurate and easier to use.”
Dan M. Smolnik
CBA member and Statewide Legal Services Pro Bono Attorney Peter Appleton, of Appleton & Appleton LLC, represented a low-income family who had been victimized by his landlord.
Attorney Appleton successfully utilized the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practice Act to secure $225,200 judgement in damages against the landlord who unlawfully locked out the the family from their vermin infested apartment, threw away the family’s belongings, and sent taunting text messages.
Judge Grant H. Miller, Jr. found that for all the countless acts of “callousness, mean spiritedness, and arrogance,” he had seen in his 38 years of trial and jurist experience, this case offended him the most. The judgement is now on appeal.