Legal Writes

“The Constitution Will Definitely Hold”

by marcia chambers | Jan 31, 2017 8:07 pm

Lucy Gellman Photo Ed Marcus, a man who has watched and waged political fights for a half century, has a prediction about all the controversies surrounding early actions by President Donald Trump: In the long run, the U.S. Constitution “will definitely hold, and in the short run, it will hold as well.”

Marcus, a former Connecticut state senator and Democratic Party chairman, made that prediction Tuesday during an appearance on WNHH radio’s “Legal Eagle” program.

Marcus, the founder of the Marcus Law Firm, arrived for the radio show about 12 hours after President Trump fired his acting attorney general, Sally Yates, after she refused to enforce his executive order that closed America’s borders for 90 days to those primarily from Muslim countries. Marcus agreed with critics who call some of his initial executive orders unconstitutional.

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“We Are All Immigration Lawyers Now”

by marcia chambers | Jan 13, 2017 8:59 am | Comments (2)

Lucy Gellman Photo As the Trump administration prepares to take office, David Rosen, a longtime New Haven civil rights attorney, and fellow lawyers are preparing to tackle new areas of law in order to protect people who may need them. 

“We are all immigration lawyers, now,” Rosen said quoting a colleague responding to comments by president-elect Trump that he plans to round up and deport undocumented immigrants and penalize “sanctuary cities” like New Haven. Trump will have broad presidential powers to crack down on those cities, USA Today wrote this week.

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Town Becomes Formal Party in Legacy Theatre Lawsuits

by marcia chambers | Jan 6, 2017 7:45 am

With Permission New Haven Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Corradino has granted a motion to make the town of Branford a formal party to two Legacy Theatre lawsuits after attorneys agreed the town’s involvement was necessary to achieve a stipulated judgment to settle the case. The final issue? Parking spaces.  If this works, the hope is the theater may open in 2017. 

The idea that the town would be willing to become a party to the lawsuits was announced at a Stony Creek Association (SCA) meeting in mid-November by Attorney Mark K. Branse, who represents a group of neighbor-abutters who live on Thimble Islands Road. In becoming a formal party to the litigation, the town, in effect, agrees that any judgment reached among the four parties will be binding on the town.

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Motel 6 Is Scene of New Year’s Day Arrest

by marcia chambers | Jan 4, 2017 8:07 am

Branford Police Department A 37-year-old West Haven man has been charged with robbery, unlawful restraint and strangulation in connection with a series of events in a room at Motel 6 in the early hours of New Years Day.

Christopher Pruitt, of 129 Park St., West Haven, was arrested on charges of assaulting and robbing two women and a man in their motel room. According to Officer Ryan Gotowala, who investigated the incident, Pruitt allegedly “robbed, assaulted and held the two women and a man captive.”

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Independent Study Backs Land Trust in Medlyn Farm Dispute

by marcia chambers | Jan 3, 2017 7:40 am | Comments (1)

The Branford Land Trust (BLT) today set the record straight when it comes to salt water flooding at the historic Medlyn Farm in Stony Creek.

Pete Raymond, president of the BLT, says it is time for members and friends of the Branford Land Trust to understand that the land trust’s removal of a cracked earthen berm near Jarvis Creek in 2012, did not prompt salt water flooding at the Medlyn farm. The land trust removed the berm after the state’s environmental agency and the federal Army Corps of Engineers approved the action.

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Klau: Trump’s Already Breaking The Law

by marcia chambers | Dec 21, 2016 9:29 am

When President-Elect Donald Trump is sworn in next month he will already be violating the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

So argued a leading First Amendment and open-government lawyer, Daniel J. Klau.

Klau made the observation on an episode Tuesday of WNHH radio’s “Legal Eagle” program, a day after the Electoral College formally elected Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Trump will be sworn in on Jan 20. We discussed the so-called emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, which is likely to have a special significance for the Trump business empire and for Trump himself.

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Kennedy Challenges ‘E-Cert’ Use for State Budget

by marcia chambers | Dec 12, 2016 8:08 am | Comments (1)

Marcia Chambers Photo In the view of State Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr., Connecticut’s use of an “emergency certification” procedure to deliver the budget as the legislative session ends is creating turmoil for legislators and abusing the budgetary process. It needs to be reformed, he said. .

In an interview, Kennedy said the budget arrives under an emergency certification or “e-cert,” a process that may be invoked when the state faces a natural emergency. Think hurricane clean-up funding, for example.  The use of “e-cert” enables legislative leaders to suspend rules applicable to regular bills, including that the budget be given to legislators 48 hours before they vote. The “e-cert” designation means an immediate vote on a bill is necessary.  Forty-eight hours is not a lot of time, especially with long, complicated budget items, but it is often more than they have now.

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Doc: Mentally Ill Overcrowding Prisons

by marcia chambers | Dec 6, 2016 8:04 am | Comments (1)

Lucy Gellman Photo Dr. Howard Zonana, a forensic psychiatrist who works at the intersection of law and medicine, says the single most pressing issue facing the nation and the state today is the overcrowding of mentally ill patients in prisons, hospitals and emergency rooms. 

Dr. Zonana, a professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and a clinical professor of law at the Yale Law School, has been instrumental for the past 40 years in getting both worlds to work together in the field of forensic psychiatry, a field that confronts the most difficult cases, those involving mentally ill defendants.

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