Member Spotlight: Thomas J. Saadi

Thomas J. SaadiGovernor Malloy announced that he is nominating Thomas J. Saadi to serve as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). The mission of the DVA is to provide care for the approximately 200,000 veterans living in Connecticut and their dependents.

Prior to joining the DVA in 2015 as its general counsel and eventually becoming chief of staff, Attorney Saadi served as an assistant attorney general and special prosecutor, in which he litigated numerous cases and supervised investigations to stop false and deceptive practices and recover funds for the State of Connecticut.

Attorney Saadi is also a Major in the US Army Reserve, serving with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion. He received his commission in the Army Reserve in 2005, completed officer basic training in 2006, officer advanced training in 2014, and Command and General Staff College in 2016 where he graduated in the top 20 percent of his class.

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Member Spotlight: Robinson+Cole

Fourteen volunteer attorneys and staff members of Robinson+Cole taught Junior Achievement curriculum to kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students at Parkville Community School in Hartford. CBA member and a firm partner, Christine E. Bromberg, coordinated the efforts. This was the firm’s 13th time volunteering for Junior Achievement Day.

The firm’s volunteers used stories, hands-on activities, and discussions to teach kindergarten classes about the concept of helping, working, earning, and saving; taught first grade students about needs, wants, jobs, tools and skills, and independence; and discussed communities and the work they perform to the second grade students.

Junior Achievement Day is an annual volunteer opportunity to make students financially responsible, prepared for the workforce, and entrepreneurially savvy.

Robinson+Cole Junior Achievement DayRobinson+Cole attorney and staff volunteers at Junior Achievement Day.

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5 Things to Know About the MCLE Rule

  1. You Must Earn 12 Credits
    • All attorneys must complete 12 hours of continuing legal education (CLE).
    • Of those 12 credits, two must be ethics.
    • If you earn more than the required 12, you may carry over two credits into the following year.
  2. How to Earn Credits
    • In-person CLE programs: The most common way of earning credits. View the CBA Education calendar for a full list of seminars.
    • On-demand: Access a wide variety of video and audio CLE products through our Education Portal from the comfort of your home or office.
    • Alternative ways to earn: Teaching a CLE program, writing and publishing articles in publications like the Connecticut Lawyer, or by teaching courses by an ABA accredited law school.
  1. Tracking Your Credits
  2. How to Report your MCLE Credits
    • There is no requirement to send in written proof of your MCLE compliance – the program is a self-reporting system. For the full MCLE rule, visit the Connecticut Judicial Branch website.
    • The CBA does not report any credits to the judicial branch and is not affiliated with Connecticut Judicial Branch in any way.
    • Each attorney must keep track of the courses and hours accumulated, and must maintain these records for seven years. Check your CLE Credit Tracker to view the courses you have taken!
  3. MCLE is Easy with the CBA!
    • After earning your 12 credits, all you need to do is indicate that you have complied with the rule on your annual attorney registration form filed with the judicial branch. MCLE is easy with the CBA!

 

Volunteer for the High School Mock Trial Competition

The regional rounds of the 2017-2018 High School Mock Trial Competition will take place in early December. High school students from across the state have been busy preparing to try this year’s case, United States v. Storm, a murder case arising from an alleged drug smuggling operation on the Long Island Sound. At the regional rounds, teams compete to qualify for a playoff tournament, leading to the final round before the Connecticut Supreme Court in the spring of next year.

To help make this year’s competition a success, students will need assistance of the bench and bar in courtrooms across the state. Civics First CT is seeking volunteers for the following regional rounds:

  • Stamford (December 1) (10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.)
  • New Haven (December 4 and 11) (2:00 p.m.)
  • Danbury (December 5) (12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.)
  • Manchester (December 5 and 12) (5:00 p.m.)
  • New Britain (December 6 and 13) (3:00 p.m.)
  • Waterbury (December 7 and 14) (11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.)
  • Middletown (December 8 and 15) (2:00 p.m.)

If you are interested in volunteering, please register online to select your dates and times. Civics First CT will follow up with you to confirm availability and provide you with a link to the case and rules, as well as a bench memo to help you get started. Please contact info@civicsfirstct.org with any questions.

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

Seventh Annual Federal Tax Institute of New England

On Friday, November 10, over 150 attorneys gathered at Saint Clements Castle in Portland, CT for the 2017 Federal Tax Institute of New England. Founded by Frank S. Berall in 2011 and chaired by tax law veteran Deborah J. Tedford, attendees spent the day receiving a comprehensive education from national speakers presenting on cutting edge tax and estate planning issues that may have occurred within the past year, as well as ideas to improve their practice and service to their clients.

Seminar topics varied from how to achieve tax free compounding, important issues in special needs trusts, ethics in tax practice, and a Washington update of tax changes ten months into the Trump administration.

This year’s CBA faculty speakers included: Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan, Marcel J. Bernier, K. Bradoc “Brad” Gallant, Rebecca A. Iannantuoni, Daniel G. Johnson, Peter S. Jongbloed, Katherine A. McAllister, Lisa E. Perkins, Daniel M. Smolnik, Michael P. Spiro, and Barbara Taylor.

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For more photos from the event, visit our Facebook album!

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

Member Spotlight: John Durham

John Durham Member SpotlightCBA 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.

Member Spotlight: Matthew Weiner

Matt Weiner

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.”