A Judicial Branch Podcast hosted by Mike Bowler. By listening to this podcast, attorneys can earn MCLE credits in Connecticut. Stay tuned for new Podcasts!
Here's the Latest Episode from Calendar Call:
To our listeners:
We would like to thank you all for listening to our podcast. We want to let you know that we have stopped production of Calendar Call until further notice. We have a list of topics we hope to tackle when we get back, so please keep an eye out for new episodes and e-mail us at CalendarCall@jud.ct.gov if you have suggestions for future episodes.
Be well and thank you for your continued support.
Mike Bowler and Alison Chandler
Episode 35 – Code of Evidence: Hearsay Pt. III
In this final episode on hearsay and its exceptions, Mike and Judge Prescott discuss the exceptions in which the declarant’s availability is required or not required. Before diving into the exceptions in which the declarant’s availability is required, Mike and Judge Prescott discuss business records and photographs.
Exceptions when the declarant’s availability is required:
Prior inconsistent statements (State v. Whalen)
Identification of a person
Exceptions where the declarant must be unavailable:
Statement against civil interests
Statement against penal interest
Private boundary dispute
Reputation of a past generation
Statement of pedigree and family relationships
Forfeiture by wrongdoing
Lastly, they discuss the residual exception and the tender years exception.
Episode 34 – Code of Evidence: Hearsay Pt. II
This week, Mike and Judge Prescott move on from the definition of hearsay into some of its many exceptions. The exceptions to the hearsay rule are set up by delineating whether the declarant’s availability is required, not required or if the declarant’s availability is immaterial. Judge Prescott lays out the policy reasons for having exceptions in the first place then delves into the exceptions.
In this episode they discuss the following exceptions in which a declarant’s availability is immaterial:
A statement by a party opponent.
A spontaneous utterance
A statement for purposes of obtaining medical diagnosis or treatment
Public records and reports
Statements in ancient documents
Statement in a family Bible
Statements in learned treatises
Episode 33 - Code of Evidence: Hearsay Pt. I
This week in our continued dive into the Code of Evidence, Mike and Judge Prescott are talking about the hearsay rule. The Code of Evidence defines hearsay as, “a statement other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the proceeding offered in evidence to establish the truth of the matter asserted.”
The Code defines a statement as, “any written or oral assertion, or nonverbal conduct of a person, if it is intended by the person as an assertion.” The important thing here is the subjective intent of the declarant in whether or not they intend the statement to be an assertion.
An assertion is a communication, made by a person, which is intended to convey information.
When it comes to “the truth of the matter asserted,” you need to look at why the statement is being offered. If it is being offered as proof of the contents of the statement, then it is hearsay.
What we are really after in this analysis is if the statement is hearsay because if it is hearsay, there are concerns about its reliability.
Episode 32 – Jury Administration
This week, Mike sits down with Esther Harris to discuss how juries are summoned in Connecticut. The Jury Administrator is responsible for summoning jurors and making sure the jurors are qualified to serve on a jury. The names of potential jurors are compiled from four source lists. Those lists come from the Department of Revenue Services, the Department of Labor, the DMV and the registrar of voters. Each year, more than a half million people are summoned to serve on a jury in Connecticut. This is how those jurors are summoned.
Episode 31 – What Are Incubator Programs (and Who Are They For)?
In this week’s episode, Mike talks with attorneys Alicia Kinsman of The Justice Legal Center at The Center for Family Justice, Inc. and Eva Jacobson of the Connecticut Community Law Center. Attorneys Kinsman and Jacobson describe their path to the incubator programs and how they learned incubators are not solely for new practitioners. Both attorneys had established careers before entering their respective programs with the hopes of transitioning to solo practices.
This week’s episode lays out a road map for attorneys interested in working with the incubator programs.
Mark Schreier – 860-570-5156
Jennifer A. Ferrante – 203-334-6154 ext. 165
Episode 30 – Code of Evidence: The Structure
This episode focuses on the structure and overview of the code. In this episode, Mike and Judge Prescott don’t dive deep into the code, but talk broadly about how the code interacts with statutes, Practice Book sections and the Connecticut Constitution.
The code applies to all proceedings in the Superior Court in which facts in dispute are to be found. There are currently seven instances in which the code does not apply to Superior Court proceedings in which facts in dispute are to be found. Grand jury proceedings and proceedings involving sentencings are two examples of these exceptions.
Tidbits from this episode:
When the Code of Evidence applies in a certain proceeding, it gives way to statutes, practice book provisions and constitutional provisions if there is any conflict or if any of those other sources of law say that they apply.
The commentary for the Code of Evidence is “official.” As such, the commentary is an important source of information as to how the actual Code provisions should be interpreted.
The savings clause is a recognition by the adopters of the code that there will be gaps in the code.
Episode 29 – A Primer on the Law Libraries
The Judicial Branch has twelve Law Libraries, which are run by a staff of expert librarians who are there to help members of the bar and the public. In this episode of Calendar Call, Mike talks with Christopher Roy, who is the law librarian in the New Britain Judicial District Law Library. The work of a law librarian now is largely about curating the enormous amount of information that is available to the public through not only the books resources, but the online resources as well.
In addition to the resources available at the law libraries are the resources on the website. The librarians curate a blog, which covers new Supreme and Appellate opinions, updates to research guides and the Connecticut Law Journal. The librarians also produce about 80 legal research guides, which are updated annually.
Episode 28 – Inside the Court Service Centers
In this episode, Attorney Alexandra Gillett, program manager for the Superior Court Operations division of the Judicial Branch, describes the many services provided by the Court Service Centers to members of the bar and the public. The service centers are in place to provide resources and assistance to court patrons and increase access to court services and information through technology, user-friendly products and personable staff.
Episode 27 – An Introduction to the Code Of Evidence
We start season 2 with the first episode of a multi-part series on the Code of Evidence featuring Appellate Court Judge Eliot Prescott. The first episode will provide an overview of the history and background of the code of evidence. The next episode will give a rough overview of the code and its structure. With our remaining episodes, we will dive deeper into the substance of the code with episodes on hearsay, witnesses and relevancy. We’ll end our series with a dos and don’ts podcast and highlight a few examples of common evidentiary problems.
The code of evidence has its roots in common law dating back to our time as a colony. Over the last two-hundred years, the code has grown with statutory enactments. In 1975, the federal rules of evidence were codified for the first time. Following that, Connecticut began considering adopting its own code of evidence that would be easy to access. Early on, the plan for the code was that it would be a statute that contained all the rules of evidence. Once the process got underway, it became clear that the Judicial Branch would be better suited to make changes to the code than to undergo the process that would be required to change a statute. As such, the code was turned over to the judges of the Superior Court.
Currently, the ultimate authority on the rules of evidence in Connecticut is the Supreme Court.
Season 2 of Calendar Call will kick off with the first episode of a multi-part series on evidence featuring Appellate Court Judge Eliot Prescott. We will also have episodes about Jury Administration and legal incubators, among other topics. If you have suggested topics, please e-mail us at CalendarCall@jud.ct.gov.
Episode 26 – Limited Scope Representation in Practice
Attorney Michael Bowler, Statewide Bar Counsel and Counsel to the Minimum Continuing Legal Education Commission, interviews Attorney Jeff Gentes from the Connecticut Fair Housing Center and Attorney Campbell Barrett from the Law firm of Pullman & Comley on the importance, concerns, complications, and applicability of the Limited Scope of Representation in different legal practices in Connecticut, from marital law to housing.
Mike’s Practice Tips: Every fee agreement should be tailored to the exact issue the LSR is going to involve.
Have an understanding of what you’re signing up for.
If you don’t know the subject area, Limited Scope Representation is not going to help you.
Resources from this episode:
Connecticut Fair Housing Center: https://www.ctfairhousing.org/ , 860-263-0731
The law firm of Pullman & Comley: https://www.pullcom.com/
Episode 25 – Nuts and Bolts of Limited Scope Representation
Attorney Damon Goldstein, Caseflow Management Specialist from Judicial Branch Court Operations, explains Limited Scope Representation in Connecticut, including how it came to be, the different types of LSR and how LSR can be used by attorneys. The different types of Limited Scope Representations are: appearances, counseling, coaching and ghost writing. Appearances can be self-explanatory, but the other areas are a bit more nuanced. For example, counseling is different from coaching in that counseling is generally advisory, whereas coaching is an explanation of a procedural nature. Some examples of coaching are how to examine a witness and how to introduce an exhibit. Lastly, ghost writing is something that is not allowed in other jurisdictions, but is allowed in Connecticut with a notation that a document was prepared with the assistance of counsel.
Mike’s Rule to Remember: Don’t assume that just because there’s a self-represented party appearance that gives you the right to talk to that party about the case.
Resources from this episode:
General Provisions Sections in Connecticut Practice Book:
Rules of Professional Conduct:
Episode 24 – Top 10 Ethical Pitfalls, pt. 2
Attorney Michael Bowler, Statewide Bar Counsel and Counsel to the Minimum Continuing Legal Education Commission, discusses the top 10 ethical pitfalls that new lawyers stumble into.This is part two of a two-part series. The ethical pitfalls discussed in this episode are: competency, civility, personal conduct and confidences.
Mike’s Practice Tips: The commentary to Rule 1.1 requires that attorneys should be competent in technology.
Episode 23 – Top 10 Ethical Pitfalls, pt. 1
Attorney Michael Bowler, Statewide Bar Counsel and Counsel to the Minimum Continuing Legal Education Commission, discusses the top 10 ethical pitfalls that new lawyers stumble into. This is part one of a two-part series. The pitfalls in this episode are: financial matters, fees and fee agreements, electronic communications and social media, non-electronic communications and diligence.
Mike’s Practice Tips: If you are hopelessly lost in trying to maintain your trust account, hire an accountant or book keeper to do it for you. A list of book keepers is held by the Statewide Grievance Committee. The Committee can be reached by phone at 860-568-5157 or by e-mail at Statewide.Grievance@jud.ct.gov.
Having a calendar and being organized with your calendar is a time tested and true method for staying on top of diligence issues.
A good support person is worth his or her weight in gold. And will help with timely communications and deadlines.
Resources from this Episode:
Episode 22 – A Primer on Criminal Orders of Protection
Deputy Director of Criminal Matters in the Superior Court Operations Division Ralph Dagostine outlines the different criminal orders of protection. He explains how and when these orders are put in place, how they come to an end and who might be affected by them.
Episode 20 – Probate Court Basics
Probate Court Administrator Beverly Streit-Kefalas discusses the history and functions of the Connecticut Probate Courts. Although many people associate the Probate Court with wills and estates, the function is far broader and includes things such as conservatorships, change of name, adoption proceedings and emancipation of minors. Judge Streit-Kefalas touches on these topics and more in this extended podcast.
Episode 20 – Courthouse Security
O’Donovan Murphy, Director of Judicial Marshal Services, discusses the role of courthouse marshals, and security at Connecticut’s courthouses.
Attorney Damon Goldstein, liaison for the Standing Committee on Guardians Ad Litem and Attorneys for the Minor Child in Family Matters, describes the process by which a GAL or AMC can be removed from the list of approved GAL/AMCs in Connecticut.
Complaint forms and other information can be found at the following links:
Episode 18 – Connecticut Practice Book Amendments
Attorney Joseph Del Ciampo, Director of Legal Services and Counsel to the Rules Committee of the Superior Court, joins Mike to discuss recent amendments to the Connecticut Practice Book adopted by the Judges of the Superior Court.
This podcast counts for 29 minutes toward the ethics/professionalism requirement for attorneys.
Episode 17 – Sealing Under Local Federal Rule 57
Attorney Allison Near of the Federal Defenders’ Office, discusses the process for sealing materials in federal criminal litigation pursuant to Rule 57 of the Local Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Episode 16 – Personal Identifying Information, Using Pseudonyms, Lodging and Sealing
Attorney Robert Wilock, Chief Clerk for the Fairfield Judicial District, discusses limitations on the use of personal identifying information in court, the proper use of anonymous complaints using pseudonyms and the processes to lodge and seal documents.
Attorney Beth Griffin, Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, discusses the history and scope of the LCL program in Connecticut. http://www.lclct.org/.
Attorneys Viviana Livesay and Lori Petruzzelli of the Judicial Branch Legal Services Unit, discuss the basics of copyright law and the Fair Use doctrine.
Episode 13 – Simplified Divorce
Johanna Greenfield, Deputy Director for Judicial Branch Court Operations, discusses the simplified divorce process in Connecticut.
Episode 12 – Filing an Appeal
Attorney Carolyn Ziogas, Chief Clerk for the Appellate and Supreme Courts, discusses the mechanics of filing an appeal, including the ever increasing role of E-Services in the process.
Attorney Nancy McGann of the Court Operations Unit discusses the history, process, and success of the Judicial Branch’s foreclosure mediation process and the role of committees for foreclosure.
Attorney John DeMeo, chief staff attorney for the Supreme and Appellate courts, discusses the role of his office in the appellate process and what it means to have an appealable "final judgment."
Attorney Paul Bourdoulous, director of Support Enforcement Services for the Judicial Branch, discusses the basics of child support enforcement and the IV-D program.
Attorney Michele Morris, permanent law clerk to the Connecticut Supreme Court, discusses the analysis used by the Connecticut courts for statutory construction. Statutory Construction Podcast Information
Episode 7 – Housing and Small Claims
Roberta Palmer, former Deputy Director of Court Operations, discusses housing session procedure, the housing mediation process and the small claims process.
Housing Procedure, https://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/pub/chap_834.htm
This is part two of a two-part episode about Client's Funds Accounts. If you missed part one of the episode, please go back and check out episode 5. In part two, Attorney Mickelson-Dera discusses the overdraft and random trust account processes and what to do if you’re audited.
Random Trust Accounts, Practice Book Section 2-27(e), https://www.jud.ct.gov/Publications/PracticeBook/PB.pdf#page=133
Overdrafts, Practice Book Section 2-28, https://www.jud.ct.gov/Publications/PracticeBook/PB.pdf#page=135
This is the first part of a two-part episode about Clients’ Funds Accounts. In part one, Attorney Frances Mickelson-Dera, first assistant bar counsel at the Statewide Grievance Committee, discusses the basics of opening and maintaining a clients’ funds account.
Linda Cimino, Director of the Office of Victim Services, discusses the services offered by OVS, including compensation, notification, advocacy and other resources.
Michael Hines, Assistant Director of Adult Services for the Judicial Branch, discusses the history and application of the Treatment Pathways Program, the Branch’s pretrial diversionary initiative used in substance abuse cases.
Attorney Christopher Blanchard, staff attorney to the Client Security Fund, talks about how the Fund operates, the investigation and payment of claims and the collection of the fee.
Attorney Matthew Berardino, counsel for the Legal Services Unit, interviews Attorney Michael Bowler, Statewide Bar Counsel and Counsel to the Commission on Minimum Continuing Legal Education. In this podcast, Matt and Mike discuss the history behind Connecticut's MCLE rule, how to comply with it and changes made to the rule in 2019.
In January 2019, the Connecticut Judicial Branch will be launching a new podcast called Calendar Call. Calendar call is hosted by Mike Bowler and will count as MCLE credits for attorneys in Connecticut. Please subscribe to our feed to receive notifications when new podcasts are posted.