CT Forum with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer

The Connecticut Forums’ 2017-2018 season debuts on Thursday, September 28 at The Bushnell with An Evening with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. In this rare public appearance, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will talk with moderator Norah O’Donnell about his life, career, and more than two decades in the Supreme Court. The evening, hosted by Day Pitney LLP, will include a moderated conversation and an audience question and answer session. All attendes will receive a complimentary copy of Justice Breyer’s book, The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities.


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An Evening with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer
When: Thursday, September 28
Where: The Bushnell

Time: 8:00 p.m.

To see the full version of this week’s Weekly Docket, click here.

Transgender and Genderqueer Public School Students: School Safety in an Era of Uncertainty

The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) is presenting the symposium, Transgender and Genderqueer Public School Students: School Safety in an Era of Uncertainty, on July 27 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. in The Old Judiciary Room at The Capitol. There is no charge to attend and light refreshments will follow the symposium. This program qualifies for CLE credit.

This event will provide educators and attorneys the opportunity to identify and discuss law which protects LGBTQA+ students from unlawful discrimination and discriminatory bullying in the schools.

Panelists will review and discuss best practices regarding education, advocacy, and protection for transgender and genderqueer students in public schools. In accordance with the mission of the CHRO, the event is intended to inform attendees about the protections afforded these students by human rights statutes in the state of Connecticut and to provide a forum of equal opportunity and justice that they establish. Panelists include:

Robin McHaelen, Executive Director, True Colors Inc. – Robin McHaelen has been an advocate for LGBTQ youth in Connecticut for many years, and regularly provides workshops and training on sexuality and gender diversity for students and professionals alike. Her talk will draw from her work with True Colors, and touch specifically on how schools might address the needs of transgender and genderqueer/nonconforming students (i.e. students who chose not to identify as either male or female).

Dustin Rader, English Teacher, Canton High School – Dustin Rader was named to NBC Out’s #Pride30 list for 2017 recognizing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer change makers nationwide. He will speak about transgender-related experiences in schools.

Michael Roberts, CHRO Human Rights Attorney; CT Equality Coalition member – Michael Roberts will give a short presentation on anti-discrimination protections on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Alix Simonetti, CHRO Human Rights Attorney; CT Equality Coalition member – Alix Simonetti will provide opening remarks on the historical context for the symposium’s discussion.

Karla Vasquez, President. CT Association of School Psychologists – Karla Vasquez will speak about the psychological resources available to transgender and genderqueer students in public schools.

If you require any further information or accommodations, please contact Thomas.Reid@ct.gov

Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel Needs Trustee Volunteers

The Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel files or appears in civil cases where trustees are needed to protect the clients of attorneys who are deceased, disabled, resigned, suspended, disbarred, inactive, or otherwise unable to practice.

The basic function of a volunteer trustee is to protect the interests of current clients, usually by notifying the clients of the attorneys incapacity, and forwarding their files to a successor counsel or returning the file to the client. The trustee may also be called upon to rectify the IOLTA account but may only disburse funds with court permission.

The number of cases requiring trustee appointments has risen over the past several years, and unfortunately there is a shortage of attorneys willing to serve as trustees. The Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel hopes to develop a comprehensive list of potential trustees from each judicial district, allowing the courts to appoint trustees who are located within the jurisdiction where the incapacitated attorney practiced, and who are familiar with the type of law that they practiced.

If you are interested in volunteering as a trustee, click here to fill out an information sheet.

Governor Malloy Nominates CBA Members for Judgeship

Governor Malloy has announced his 13 state resident nominations to fill vacancies for judgeships on the Connecticut Superior Court. Of the 13 nominations, eight are CBA members. Although there are nearly 40 vacancies on the Superior Court, these judges will provide critical judicial capacity in performing the essential duties of the court system.

CBA member nominations include:

  1. Barry F. Armata of Brown Paindiris & Scott LLP
  2. John L. Cordani, partner with Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP
  3. Matthew D. Gordon, past CBA treasurer and House of Delegates member
  4. Kimberly A. Knox, past president of the CBA and partner of Horton Shields & Knox PC
  5. Margaret M. Murphy, treasurer of the CBA’s Elder Law Section
  6. W. Glen Pierson, principal of Loughlin Fitzgerald PC
  7. Elizabeth J. Stewart, partner and past managing partner of Murtha Cullina LLP
  8. Thomas J. Welch of Teodosio Stanek & Blake LLC

Click here to read more information on the nominees.

Grant Applications for Foreclosure Assistance Work

The Connecticut Bar Foundation is accepting applications for grant funds. Grants must be used to provide funds to legal aid organizations in the state of Connecticut for foreclosure prevention legal assistance, and community redevelopment assistance.

The deadline for grant application and budget form submission is June 23. To obtain the application and budget form, please contact Connecticut Bar Foundation Assistant Director Liz Drummond at liz@cbf-1.org or visit ctbarfdn.org to download the application.

CT Attorneys Form First Collaborative Business Dispute Resolution Group in State

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 Appointed as a Supreme Court Justice

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.

Gregory D'Auria
Justice Gregory D’Auria
Connecticut Supreme Court