Photo of Proloy K. Das

Proloy Das is the Chair of the Firm's Appellate Practice Group. In addition to appeals, he handles special litigation matters such as injunctions and declaratory judgment actions. Proloy has briefed and argued over fifty appeals in the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts.

Here’s a look at the second week of the Supreme Court’s 7th Term:

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Court hears three cases today. The first is State v. Schovanec, SC 19851, which is an appeal by a defendant who was convicted of stealing a credit card and using it at a gas station. The defendant claims that the double jeopardy clause prohibits his conviction for larceny where he was also convicted for identity theft and illegal use of a credit card. The second case is Lucenti v. Laviero, SC 19723, where the Court will consider the standard to be applied when a plaintiff invokes the exception to the Workers Compensation Act’s exclusivity provision for circumstances where an employer has created a dangerous condition for which injuries are “substantially certain” to occur. Finally, in State v. Lee, SC 19688, the Court will hear another double jeopardy case and decide whether a violation of double jeopardy requires  that the second conviction be vacated or just that the second sentence be vacated.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Court will hear a crime victim’s writ of error in State v. Skipwith, SC 19608, challenging a defendant’s plea agreement and sentence which was made without notice being given to the victim as required by the Victim’s Rights Amendment to the Connecticut Constitution.  The second case of the day is Bagley v. Adel Wiggins Group, SC 19835, which will evaluate the standard of proof necessary to make an asbestos exposure claim under the Connecticut Product Liability Act.

Thursday, April 6, 2107

The Court closes its seventh term with two habeas cases. In both Perez v. Commissioner of Correction, SC 19855, and James E. v. Commissioner of Correction, SC 19854, the Court will decide whether a 2013 statutory amendment that requires serving 85 percent of a sentence before becoming eligible for parole violates the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws when applied to defendants who were sentenced prior to the 2013 amendment.

The Connecticut Supreme Court’s Seventh Term begins today and ends on Thursday, April 6th. Here’s a look at the first week of the March/April term:

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Court starts the term by hearing oral argument in Munn v. Hotchkiss, SC 19525, which is a federal lawsuit that resulted in a $41.5 million verdict in favor of a fifteen year old student who contracted tick-borne encephalitis while on a study abroad program in China that was organized by her Connecticut high school. The Second Circuit certified to the Supreme Court the question of whether Connecticut public policy imposes a duty on schools to warn about or protect against the risk of a serious insect-borne disease when it organizes a trip abroad.  The second case of the day is State v. Holley, SC 19598, which is the State’s appeal from the Appellate Court’s decision reversing a felony murder conviction based on testimony from non-expert witnesses that went beyond the limitations on lay opinion set forth in Code of Evidence section 7-1.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Court hears argument in Machado v. Taylor, SC 19838, where the State is claiming that it is shielded by sovereign immunity for injuries caused when a Department of Transportation truck hit the plaintiff’s vehicle because the plaintiff failed to prove that the State had obtained insurance coverage for its truck. In State v. Harris, SC 19649, the defendant, supported by an Innocence Project amicus brief, asks the Court to reconsider the test for eyewitness identifications in light of new scientific developments on the accuracy of such identifications.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Court hears two criminal cases. The first, State v. Kelley, SC 19694, asks whether a trial court loses jurisdiction to find a defendant in violation of his probation when it fails to dispose of the charge within 120 days after the arraignment. State v. Houghtaling, SC 19510, presents a Fourth Amendment question as to whether a residential property owner has standing to object to a search when he is leasing the property.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The first case of the day is Maturo v. State Employees Retirement Commission, SC 19831, which asks whether a retired municipal firefighter becomes ineligible for his pension when he gets elected to be the town’s mayor. The second case, James v. Commissioner of Correction, SC 19787, will address whether and how presentence confinement credits apply when the defendant’s convictions where obtained after multiple trials.

 

The Connecticut Supreme Court’s February term begins today and ends on Thursday with the Court hearing six cases this week.

Tuesday, February 21st

The Court starts the term by hearing oral argument in Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Inc. v. Beverly Platner et al., SC 19797, where the Court will consider whether the plaintiff-land trust and the Attorney General proved at trial that the defendant’s landscaping activities on residential property violated a “conservation restriction” contained in the deed to preserve the property in its natural condition.

The second case of the day is State v. Jerzy G., SC 19641, where the issue is whether a defendant who has been deported has the right to appeal his criminal conviction. In State v. Aquino, 279 Conn. 293 (2006), the Supreme Court had held that when a defendant is deported, any challenge to the conviction becomes moot because there is no “practical relief” available to the deportee. In Jerzy G., the Supreme Court is being asked to reconsider that decision.

Wednesday, February 22nd

The Court hears two cases, Sepega v. LeLaura, SC 19683, and Lund v. Milford Hospital, SC 19834, where it is being asked to interpret the scope of the “firefighters rule.” The rule holds that firefighters and police officers cannot sue a property owner for injuries suffered during the performance of their duties on the premises. In both Sepega and Lund, the plaintiff-police officers claim that the rule should be limited only to premises liability cases and should not bar claims alleging other negligence on the part of the property owner.

Thursday, February 23rd

The Court end its February term with two habeas cases. In Anthony A. v. Commissioner of Correction, SC 19565, the Court will decide whether a prisoner can use a writ of habeas corpus to seek removal of a sex offender registry requirement. In Nelson v. Commissioner of Correction, SC 19830, the Court will consider whether a prisoner’s agreement not to file future habeas petitions challenging his conviction is enforceable.

 

 

Here’s a look at the second week of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s November 2016 term:

Monday, November 14th

The Court starts the week by hearing oral arguments in two criminal cases. In State v. Tilus, SC 19503, an appeal from a robbery conviction of a convenience store, the Court will consider whether a prosecutor equating the defendant’s claim that the victim-convenience store operated an illegal lottery with arguing that a sexual assault victim was a prostitute constituted prosecutorial impropriety. In Taylor v. Commissioner of Correction, SC 19462, the Court will decide if a trial court’s error in sealing the contents of a juror’s note without first sharing it with defense counsel is subject to harmless error analysis.

Continue Reading November Term: Week Two

The third term of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s 2016-2017 sitting begins today. Here are the cases that it will be hearing this week:

Monday, November 7th  

The Court starts the November term with CCT Communications, Inc. v. Zone Telecom, Inc., SC 19574, a case which explores whether a contract’s termination clause for filing bankruptcy is effective when the bankruptcy case is filed but subsequently dismissed. The second case is Disciplinary Counsel v. Elder, SC 19698, where the Court will consider whether a lawyer was properly suspended for misrepresenting his identity on a telephone call ten years prior to the grievance complaint, in light of the Practice Book’s six year limitations period for attorney grievances.

Continue Reading November Term: Week One

Here’s a look at the second week of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s October 2016 term:

Monday, October 17th

The Court starts the week by hearing oral argument in Gold v. Rowland, SC 19585, a fifteen year old lawsuit by state employees claiming that they were entitled to stock when their insurer demutualized. Two criminal cases follow: In State v. Samuel M., SC 19578, the Court will consider what the standards should govern determining when a child charged with a felony should be tried as an adult on the regular criminal docket.  In State v. Bouknight, SC19326, the Court is confronted with the question of how Facebook profiles should be authenticated to support admission as evidence.

Continue Reading October Term: Week Two

The Connecticut Supreme Court has released its argument calendar for its second term of the 2016-2017 sitting. Here’s a look at the first week:

Tuesday, October 11th

The Court starts the October term with a family appeal and a habeas appeal. In Gabriel v. Gabriel, SC 19571, the Court granted certification to review the Appellate Court’s decision as to whether the trial court’s modification of unallocated alimony and child support was proper after there was a change in the primary custodial parent. In Kaddah v. Commissioner of Correction, SC 19512, the Supreme Court will consider whether a prisoner has a right to the effective assistance of counsel in a second habeas proceeding, challenging the quality of the representation at the first habeas proceeding.

Continue Reading October Term: Week One

The Supreme Court held its first conference since returning from the summer break on Tuesday, September 13th to consider petitions for certification filed by parties seeking to appeal from decisions of the Appellate Court. In order to appeal from an Appellate Court decision, three or more justices of the Supreme Court most vote to grant a party’s petition for certification. From our review, it appears that there were three petitions granted during last week’s conference. Here are the Appellate Court decisions that will now be reviewed by the Supreme Court:

Harnage v. Lightner, 163 Conn. App. 337 (2016) (dismissal of prisoner lawsuit for lack of personal jurisdiction based on failure to serve state employees in individual capacity).

State v. Tierinni, 165 Conn. App. 839 (2016) (holding defendant waived claim that he had constitutional right to be present for arguments on evidentiary objections).

Nuzzi v. Nuzzi, 164 Conn. App. 751 (2016) (reviewing post-dissolution motion to modify unallocated alimony and child support).

These cases will soon appear on the Supreme Court’s docket. We will update with additional cert grants as we become aware of them.

Today, the Connecticut Attorney General filed an application for certification to file a public interest appeal in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, Inc. v. Rell, HHD-CV-14-5037565-S, the high-profile school funding lawsuit pending in Hartford Superior Court. The State is seeking permission to pursue an appeal under Connecticut General Statutes Section 52-265a which permits immediate appellate review of decisions rendered before the completion of a case under special circumstances.

Last week, Judge Thomas Moukawsher issued a 90-page post-trial decision declaring that Connecticut’s education funding policy is “irrational.” Rather than enter a final judgment, the court scheduled further proceedings to be held after the State has submitted to the court proposed reforms and after the plaintiffs have commented on those proposals. The judge gave the State until March 6, 2017 to submit its proposal addressing education related concerns such as the relationship between state and local government in education, a formula for statewide funding, standards for hiring, evaluating, and paying teachers, and funding and defining special education. In the last words of its decision, the court “retain[ed] jurisdiction” over the case until those issues had been addressed.

Continue Reading CCJEF v. Rell: Connecticut’s School Funding Case Headed to Supreme Court

The Connecticut Supreme Court has released its argument calendar for its first term of the 2016-2017 sitting. In a previous post, we profiled the first week of the September term. Here’s a look at the second week:

Monday, September 19th

The Court will first hear Connecticut Light and Power Company v. Proctor, SC 19531, which is a dispute over whether a consultant to a chicken farm could be held personally liable to the power company for electrical bills based on an implied-in-fact contract.  The second case is Disciplinary Counsel v. Parnoff, SC 19535, where the State Disciplinary Counsel appeals from Appellate Court and trial court decisions that determined that an attorney’s “negligent” commingling of escrowed funds with personal funds did not require disbarment even if those funds were “knowingly” taken.

Tuesday, September 20th

The Court hears cases about workers compensation insurance and bail bonds. In Graham v. Olson Woods Associates, Inc., SC 19626, the Court will consider whether an insurer that has been dismissed from a workers compensation claim based on asbestos exposure can be cited back into the case when a different insurer initially thought to be primarily obligated for the claim is dismissed from the case. In State v. Agron, SC 19499, a bail bondsman brings a writ of error arguing that he should be released from his bond obligation where the defendant, after failing to appear in court, was located in Puerto Rico but the State declined to seek extradition.

Wednesday, September 21st

The Court will hear two tax-related appeals. In Heisinger v. Cleary, SC 19633, the Court will hear a case brought by a decedent’s son claiming that the coexecutors of the decedent’s estate breached their fiduciary duties in valuing the estate’s stock holdings and causing the estate to incur additional taxes. In Nutmeg Housing Development Corporation v. Town of Colchester, SC 19551, the Court is presented with the issue of how municipalities should assess affordable housing projects that are subsidized with low-income housing tax credits. (Murtha Cullina authored an amicus brief in this appeal).

Continue Reading Week Two at the Connecticut Supreme Court