Attorneys Diane D. Duhamel and Joseph R. Passaretti, Jr. were inducted into The College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers (CWCL) on March 14 at the ABA Workers’ Compensation Midwinter Conference and CWCL Symposium in Coral Gables, FL.
The College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers honors attorneys who have distinguished themselves in their practice in the field of workers’ compensation; have been in practice for 20 years or more; and have advanced the future of the practice through lecturing, writing, or teaching on workers’ compensation or related fields of law.
Attorney Duhamel is a chair of the Examining Committee for Workers’ Compensation Certification in the State of Connecticut, a past chair of the CBA Workers’ Compensation Section Executive Committee, and was a member of the editorial board for the CBA’s Compensation Quarterly (1996-2000).
Attorney Passaretti is a board certified workers’ compensation specialist in Glastonbury and a past chair of the CBA Workers’ Compensation Section, past editor-in-chief of the Compensation Quarterly, and editor of Connecticut Workers’ Compensation after Reforms (4th-6th Editions).
CBA members previously inducted into CWCL are Robert F. Carter, Donna J. Civitello, John P. Clarkson, Jason M. Dodge, David J. Morrissey, James L. Pomeranz, Angelo P. Sevarino, and Lucas D. Strunk.
On March 20, the CBA Appellate Advocacy Section held an informal meeting with Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson at Robinson+Cole’s Hartford office. This session was one in a series, where the section invites judges of the appellate courts to its meetings to exchange ideas on issues of concern to the bench and bar. Forty members of the section attended the meeting, which was moderated by section Co-chairs Thomas Donlon and James Sexton.
Chief Justice Robinson began with thoughtful and engaging comments on appellate practice. In addition to the common exhortations to make briefs shorter and limit the number of issues, he spoke about the importance of managing client expectations–explaining what an appellate court can and cannot do in a particular case. Additionally, he addressed the issue of implicit bias, and the importance of advocates being careful their interactions with judges did not differ based on race or gender, sharing an example of an argument where an attorney constantly interrupted one of the female justices, but none of the male justices. On another topic, he stressed that an advocate’s credibility is key and that misrepresenting the facts or the law in a case can be devastating for that attorney’s reputation in the future. Finally, Chief Justice Robinson spoke of the the importance of section members reaching out to trial attorneys and including them in section discussions. Not only are trial attorneys handling an appeal less likely to be as experienced in the unique appellate procedures, but their decisions at trial on matters such as preservation of the record have, a critical impact on the likelihood of success on appeal, regardless of who writes the brief or argues.
Chief Justice Robinson then entertained questions from attendees. A wide range of issues were covered, including the Supreme Court’s new procedure for inviting amicus briefs, how to prepare a successful petition for certification, public response to high profile decisions, the challenges of self-represented parties, and how to question a trial court’s decision without appearing to personally attack the trial judge. Section members thanked Chief Justice Robinson for the opportunity to discuss issues that affect their practice, as well as to offer positive suggestions to problems that confront the Court. The chief justice graciously stayed after the general discussion concluded to talk with members individually.
The CBA Young Lawyers Section is excited to participate in a build for Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity again this year at a construction site in Hartford on March 30, 2019. Not only will they be volunteering time to help build a home here in Greater Hartford, they have also committed to fundraising in support of Hartford Habitat’s mission to provide safe, decent, affordable housing here in the Hartford community. Donate today to help reach their fundraising goal!
The Young Lawyers Section (YLS) Executive Committee is a fantastic opportunity for you to take a leadership role in the Bar, network with friends and colleagues, create avenues for potential new clients, and make a name for yourself in this early part of your career.
What is the CBA/YLS Executive Committee?
The Executive Committee is your chance to take a leadership role in the YLS. Pursuant to the CBA/YLS Bylaws, the YLS is governed by an Executive Committee comprised of four officers, a team of directors, and chairs of committees dedicated to varied practice areas made up of young lawyers from across the Association and state. These committees actively engage in planning and implementing programming catered to each area of the law, and they provide an excellent opportunity for young lawyers to explore the area of law in which they practice and begin to make a name for themselves there. The committee chair positions that may comprise the 2019-2020 Executive Committee are found on the application.
What are the duties of a CBA/YLS Executive Committee member?
The term for the 2019-2020 YLS Executive Committee will run from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.
The quality of each year’s educational, social and network programming is the direct product of the creativity and dedication of our Executive Committee members. Connecticut continues to have enthusiastic and outstanding members of both the Executive Committee and the Bar that devote their time and energy to produce first-class seminars, panel discussions, networking programs, dinner, and public service opportunities. We also develop programs designed to improve the practice of law in Connecticut with projects that provide public service and pro bono opportunities for our membership. We are able to invite top notch speakers from around the country and regularly receive recognition on a national level for the success we have achieved. To keep this tradition of excellent alive, we need your help in joining our Executive Committee!
With respect to time commitment, Executive Committee members are expected to attend monthly meetings from September through May. Some of these sessions will be dinner meetings held at the CBA Law Center in New Britain, CT. Other sessions will involve social and professional networking opportunities throughout the state. Executive Committee Members have responsibilities including planning and implementing CLE programs, social events for young lawyers, and public service/pro bono commitment. The responsibilities are better viewed as opportunities to tailor CLE programs to the needs of you and other similarly situated young lawyers, make valuable connections and provide pro bono/public service in a way that is personally rewarding to you. Once appointed to the Executive Committee, members are required to attend the Executive Committee’s Annual Leadership Retreat, which is a leadership training and strategic planning meeting in June. This year’s Retreat will be held on Friday June 28th and Saturday June 29 that the Foxwoods Resort Casino. The Retreat is a day and half long event and will require members to take a full day away from work Friday, June 28th. All meals and hotel accommodations as well as some scheduled resort activities will be provided by the YLS with a $35 registration fee.
How do I sign up?
Complete and return the application electronically to Carol DeJohn at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, April 5, 2019. Submission of an application is a prerequisite to appointment to the Executive Committee and space on the Committee is limited. This is true for both new and current members alike. The application process is designed to aid the YLS Selection Committee in creating and Executive Committee that is diverse, inclusive, and responsive to the needs and demands of the entire membership.
The Young Lawyers Section (YLS) held its eleventh Diversity Award Dinner on February 7 at Amarante’s Sea Cliff in New Haven. The honor was presented to Asha Rangappa—former FBI agent, CNN contributor, and senior lecturer at Yale University—for her outstanding efforts on behalf of diversity.
YLS Chair David A. McGrath introduced the event and provided the background of the award. The YLS Diversity Award is presented to a person in the legal field who has shown both a personal and professional commitment to the elimination of bias in the legal profession as well as the principle that all people should have full and equal protection in the justice system.
YLS Senior Advisor Suphi A. Philip introduced Attorney Rangappa, noting that the recipient is “the embodiment of a creative, persevering spirit.” To illustrate this point, Attorney Philip shared an anecdote about Attorney Rangappa’s FBI physical fitness exam. After suffering contused ribs in a car accident, Attorney Rangappa continued her training and was able to complete the required running, push-up, pull-up, and sit-up drills to stay in the program beyond the required minimum.
Asha Rangappa is a director of admissions and senior lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and a former associate dean at Yale Law School. Prior to her current position, she served as a special agent in the New York Division of the FBI, specializing in counterintelligence investigations. She was one of the first Indian-American female recruits to the FBI after the agency began a post-9/11 push for diversity and inclusion. Her work involved assessing threats to the national security, conducting classified investigations on suspected foreign agents, and performing undercover work. While in the FBI, Attorney Rangappa gained experience in intelligence trade craft, electronic surveillance, interview and interrogation techniques, and firearms and the use of deadly force.
In her previous role as Yale Law School’s dean of admissions, she was a part of the school’s efforts to increase diversity, which resulted in the most diverse class in Yale Law School’s history, in 2017.
Consistently involved in the Connecticut legal community, Attorney Rangappa has served on the boards of the South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut (SABAC), the Connecticut chapters of the Society of Former Agents of the FBI, and the National Organization for Women (NOW). She has long supported Young Lawyers Section programs, including its Annual Women’s Professional Golf Event.
Attorney Rangappa graciously thanked the CBA and the organizations in attendance in support of her, stating: “Both [Yale] Law School and SABAC have played important roles in both shaping my career and offering me different perspectives on diversity and how it intersects with the legal profession.” She shared that she receives calls from South Asian girls and women each week who want to discuss a potential career in law enforcement or national security; many of them say that this career path had simply never occurred to them as something that they could do until they saw it in front of them.
She concluded the evening with a nod to the future of diversity and inclusion: “We as underrepresent[ed] groups in the legal profession in this country have a responsibility to paint a picture where our communities can’t see this path as one that they belong in and can belong in, and not only because doing so reflects the America we live in, but because it protects it as well.”
On Tuesday, January 22, the Young Lawyers Section held its Pro Bono Hour program at Herd Restaurant in Middletown. More than 50 members in attendance learned about pro bono opportunities in a variety of practice areas for ten different Connecticut organizations. Representatives from each of the pro bono organizations detailed the current projects, time requirements, and available training.
“The Pro Bono Hour was a wonderful opportunity for YLS members from a range of organizations—both in-house council and those at firms—to learn about the pro bono opportunities available throughout the state,” said YLS Assistant Pro Bono Director Alexandra J. Cavaliere. “It is my hope that those in attendance will take these opportunities back to their firms to expand the reach of the messages shared by the pro bono representatives that night.”
Attendees were encouraged by many of the pro bono representatives to examine their availability and passions and to approach an organization to see how they can help. Currently the need for pro bono service is great, any volunteer assistance is appreciated. For more volunteer opportunities, visit ctbar.org/probonoorganizations.
The Young Lawyers Section’s Horn of Plenty Food Drive collected over 30,000 meals for Connecticut residents struggling with hunger this fall. Food drive participants’ monetary donations were matched two to one by Feeding America’s Give a Meal with Bank of America program. The YLS also collected food items for Connecticut Foodbank and Foodshare at law firms across the state.
The Horn of Plenty Food Drive was organized by YLS Public Service Co-directors Joanna M. Kornafel and Linda A. Bulkovitch. Cindy M. Cieslak, Sara J. Dickson, Jonathan E. Friedler, Ron J. Houde, Jr., Meredith F. McBride, and Molly C. Sanford assisted with the food collection.
“This year’s Horn of Plenty was a huge success because of the team of volunteers that helped collect food and monetary donations as well as the greater Connecticut bar community that supported our efforts,” shared YLS Public Service Co-directors Linda A. Bulkovitch and Joanna M. Kornafel. “Together we all made a difference in fighting hunger in our home state. Thank you to everyone. We know that we really made a positive difference.”
Monetary donations were made by Attorneys Austin Berescik-Johns, Patricia M. Carreiro, David A, McGrath, and Diane W. Whitney, as well as Green & Sklarz LLC, Polinsky Law Group, and Rose Kallor LLP.