Blog Posts


New Color: Curious Felon

When I was a youngster working my way through adolesence, it was a big deal to head off to the drug store and sneak a peak at Playboy and Penthouse magazine. On several memorable occasions, I found the courage to actually purchase copies and smuggle them home. I am grateful I did not come of age...

Speedy Trials? Not In Connecticut

My bluff was called the other day. I was invited to serve on a committee of some sort composed of lawyers and judges. The topic was whether to use video conferencing in the state courts. I even got a nice letter from Chief Justice Chase Rogers thanking me for my service.
Of course, I returned...

I Wish I Had An Opening Statement

Connecticut does not generally permit opening statements in criminal cases. Indeed, they are so rare I am aware of a case in which a brand new prosecutor once spent several days picking a jury. Once the group was emplaneled, the young woman stood up, looked at the jury, and gave an opening about...

The Parable Project: The Campaign Planner

John Dominic Crossan considers Luke 14:31-32 to be an independent parable. I am not so sure that I can fathom this. Consider:
"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming...

Qualified Immunity Gets More Teeth

I was getting ready to board a trans-contintental flight the other day when an email arrived: "Saucier v. Katz" has just been over-ruled." I was overjoyed for a distracted moment, and then a small voice asked: "What was it that Erwin Chemerinsky said?"
Saucier v. Katz, 533 U.S. 194 (2001), is...

The Parable Project: A Marginal Jew

I've been getting plenty of emails on a private account in response to a piece I wrote not long ago on my renewed interest in the historical Jesus. A few folks are hoping that I see a light of some sort. Several others have made recommendations for future reading. I am compiling a reading list and...

Biglaw Gets A Wakeup Call: The Goose Is Sterile

News flash: Clients are balking at the legal fees charges by megafirms. Question: What took so long? You can spend $800 an hour for a lawyer at Manhattan's Cravath, Swaing & Moore. That is $13.33 per minute. But the firm probably charges in tenths of an hour, or perhaps two tenths of an hour,...

An Invitation To Carelessness

I miss Linda Greenhouse's reporting on the law in The New York Times. She has been replaced by a fellow named Adam Liptak. Liptak writes well enough for the Times, but his analysis rarely rises above the obvious, and he sometimes misses nuances that are important.
In this morning's paper,...

Another Ho Hum Slap At The Fourth Amendment?

The Fourth Amendment prohibition against warrantless search and seizures sounds impressive. Standing alone, this looks like a mighty oak providing shelter against an overreaching government. However, the amendment more nearly represents a bush now overtaken with weeds. The various exceptions to the...

What's Wrong With Group Voir Dire?

Connecticut’s constitution is unique: Alone among its counterparts, it guarantees that each lawyer picking a jury will have the right to question potential jurors individually. But it does not follow from this right that all other jurors should be sequestered during that questioning....

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