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New CBA Prez Seeks “Justice For All”

by marcia chambers | Nov 23, 2015 10:15 am | Comments (2)

Paul Bass Photo“Super-lawyer” William H. Clendenen Jr. has taken on a series of heavy-duty cases ranging from sex-trafficking to the poor’s right to counsel—not in the courtroom, but as head of the Connecticut Bar Association.

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Neighbors Say No to Vigliotti Housing Project

by Diana Stricker | Nov 23, 2015 7:03 am | Comments (2)

Diana Stricker PhotoA plan by developer Alex Vigliotti to build a 115-unit apartment complex under new affordable housing regulations met with disapproval from residents living near the Summit Place site. At least 20 percent of the units would be for “work force” housing.

The neighbors voiced their concerns at a public hearing conducted by the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission Thursday night.

Vigliotti is seeking a zoning map amendment under the new Incentive Housing Overlay District (IHOD) regulations. The sites at 14, 21 and 22 Summit Place are currently zoned Commerce Park, which is a commercial designation.  The IHOD designation would allow the developer to build a denser project with more residential units per acre.

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Foote Memorial Park Moves Toward Town Ownership

by marcia chambers | Nov 20, 2015 6:13 am

Marcia Chambers PhotoThe Foote Family Charitable Trust, the Town of Branford, and two churches have agreed on major changes that will enable the trust to donate Foote Memorial Park to the town and will enable the town to oversee the operation and maintenance of the park. The agreement also greatly expands the Trust’s annual funding to Trinity and Zion Episcopal Churches, both named in the Foote will.

The agreement of the parties, announced yesterday morning at a hearing in Branford Probate Court, came about as a result of a series of meetings requested by Probate Judge Frank J. Forgione. It is dependent upon the approval of the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance, and the Representative Town Meeting. The judge took the first steps after the hearing, authorizing the Bank of America, N.A, the Trustee of the Foote Trust to convey or transfer the park lands to the town of Branford along with park equipment and a pickup truck. 

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Judge Orders Forced Meds For Wang

by marcia chambers | Nov 18, 2015 2:13 pm | Comments (1)

With PermissionSaying it was “with great reluctance that I order this,” Superior Court Judge Thomas v. O’Keefe, Jr., today ordered Dr. Lishan Wang to be forcibly medicated so that he could be restored to competency and face trial on charges that he murdered Dr. Vanjinder Toor more than five years ago.

Dr. Wang was arrested in April 2010, and charged with the shooting death of Dr. Toor, a Yale doctor who previously had been Dr. Wang’s supervisor at a New York hospital. Dr. Wang believes Dr. Toor was responsible for his firing in 2008. Dr. Wang travelled from Georgia where he lived with wife and children to Branford and lay in wait for Dr. Toor as he left his Branford condo one morning. He is also accused of attempting to kill Dr. Toor’s wife, a probable cause hearing in the case has found.

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Foote Trust, Town & Two Churches Begin Talks

by marcia chambers | Nov 9, 2015 7:05 am

Marcia Chambers PhotoAt a Probate Court hearing last week on the future of the Foote Memorial Park, the elders of the Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green and the Zion Episcopal Church in North Branford made it clear that it was time for the churches to get their due.

The voices of the pastors, attorneys, and directors of the churches made their thoughts known at a second hearing before Probate Judge Frank Forgione (pictured above) and other interested parties at a hearing at Town Hall. The judge is now weighing a request by the Wallace H. Foote Family Charitable Trust Foote to divest itself of the park and deed it to the town of Branford. 

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Dow: Ease Up On Child-Pornography Sentences

by marcia chambers | Oct 30, 2015 6:12 am | Comments (5)

A person can view more than 50 photos on the Internet in a matter of minutes—and if those photos involve child pornography, that can lead to at least five years in jail. Whether or not a judge sees a reason to be more lenient.

That’s an example of how Connecticut has a rigid system for dealing with child pornography, much to the dismay of Willie Dow.

Dow (pictured), whose law firm is based in New Haven, has represented many high-profile clients, including former Gov. John G. Rowland, numerous attorneys, judges, physicians in disciplinary proceedings, and corporations accused of crimes. He also represents defendants whose names do not appear on the front page. These are the men—and they are usually men—who find themselves in the jaws of the legal system, charged with crimes that are tied to mandatory-minimum sentences and are designed to destroy the person, his family, his job, and his reputation.

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Defying Order, Wang Continues As Own Attorney

by marcia chambers | Oct 26, 2015 6:42 am

WTNH-PoolDr. Lishan Wang, who has lost his right to represent himself at his murder trial after having been declared mentally incompetent, continues to act as his own attorney. At least that’s what motions filed this month in court show. 

In anticipation of a “health care” hearing to be held today in New Haven Superior Court in which testimony will be taken “for the involuntary medication of a defendant,” Dr. Wang filed motions seeking a second opinion from an expert witness about a previous diagnosis “of the defendant’s schizophrenia.” He also filed a motion to subpoena his own medical records from the Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital, where he is now a patient. He has said in no uncertain terms that he is opposed to receiving anti-psychotic drugs against his will

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Foote Trust Wants Town To Own And Run Foote Memorial Park

by marcia chambers | Oct 19, 2015 11:28 am

A bank Trustee for the Wallace H. Foote Family Charitable Trust wants the town of Branford to own and run the 44.6 acre Foote Memorial Park, saying in court papers that “the cost and complexity of maintaining the Park is becoming prohibitive and a burden on the Trust.”

A hearing on the Trust’s effort to divest itself of the property will take place Thursday, Oct. 22, at 10:30 a.m. at Branford’s probate court, which is located on the lower level of Branford Town Hall. Probate Judge Frank Forgione will preside over the hearing.

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As The Legal Wheel Turns

by marcia chambers | Sep 30, 2015 2:52 pm | Comments (1)

Lucy Gellman PhotoIn the 20 years since he began practicing law in Connecticut, Gerry Giaimo has witnessed major changes in the life of Connecticut law firms, including the closing of Tyler, Cooper & Alcorn LLP, in 2008 and the opening of Halloran & Sage’s New Haven offices in 2011. 

Giaimo pressed for a New Haven office because so many of the firm’s attorneys were commuting long hours even though they lived in the New Haven area. Giaimo’s family is well-known in New Haven. The late congressman Bob Giaimo and Gerry Giaimo’s father, Tom, were cousins.

Starting as a young associate, Giaimo, now a partner in his law firm has witnessed major changes in law firm life. The younger lawyers, he said, are trying to change entrenched habits of law firms, from work schedules, to dress codes, to a desire for a different lifestyle. All issues still in transition, he said.

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Branford High Mourns Tally Sepot, a Natural Leader

by Marcia Chambers & Bill O'Brien | Sep 29, 2015 11:49 am | Comments (1)

Photo by Bill O'BrienBill Previdi, Branford High School’s tennis coach and the members of his team are heartbroken over the death of Tally Sepot, a player he described as a “natural leader,” and a “wonderful sport” no matter what the outcome of a match. 

“She was a very gutsy player and never gave up. Her matches were the longest ones of any member of the team because she was such a fighter and never quit,” he said in an interview yesterday.

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