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There are no guilty clients, only lousy lawyers

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Walk the yard at any prison and poll the population. See how many really guilty people there are in the prison population. Most will tell you they were railroaded by some conspiracy among the prosecutor, the judge and most of all their lawyer. There are no guilty clients! Kennedy cousin, Michael Skakel is about to […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Still Crazy after All These Years

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Paul Simon, the poet laureate of my generation, penned this phrase in his 1975 hit album of the same name. In 1843 Daniel McNaughton, in a misguided attempt to shoot Robert Peel the British Prime Minister, wounded his secretary, Edward Drummond, who died shortly after. The case spawned the first rules to apply when an […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Policing the Legal Profession

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I have advocated for lawyers in prior posts. I firmly believe in the nobility of the practice of law. Not that I feel that there is something aristocratic about being a lawyer. What I believe in is the integrity and dignity of this profession. Like any other calling, however, we have our “bad apples.” Policing […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Judging Judges

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President Obama has nominated U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny to fill a vacant seat on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The nomination has caused a stir in Connecticut’s legal community, as an outgrowth of a controversial position Judge Chatigny took during the final months of litigation aimed at stopping the impending execution of […] [Read More]
Categories: General

The View from the Other Side of the Witness Box

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Trials often require expert testimony to provide opinons that only one possessing certain training and experience can describe. Although experts are most often highly credentialed PhD’s or doctors; an expert, however, can be anyone possessing knowledge in an area beyond that of the average juror. The classic comic example is mechanic/hairdresser girlfriend, Miss Vito, in […] [Read More]
Categories: General

State 5, Skakel 0: Is the Fat Lady Singing?

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In the world of opera and sports it’s a well known colloquialism that “It ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings!” The image conjured is the Valkerie, Brunhilde, adorned in Viking horned headdress, singing a final Wagner aria. Sports teams have rallied to this saying since the mid ’70’s. It has been attributed to a […] [Read More]
Categories: General

What Now For Shelton?

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The James Botti trial ended in split decision Thursday. Earlier in the day the court accepted a partial verdict. Botti was convicted on one count of the indictment with the crime of mail fraud. The jury reported they were deadlocked on the remaining two counts. Judge Haight then delivered an instruction known in the parlance […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Juror Misconduct

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The trial of Shelton developer, James Botti, hit a snag this week during jury deliberations. It was reported to the court that one of the jurors had brought her personal journal into the jury room and was persisting in reading passages from it. After a hearing that took precious time from deliberations the court excused […] [Read More]
Categories: General