As Attorneys Grow Uneasy, Federal Courts Prepare For Worst

From the CT Law Tribune:

Though the federal judiciary set aside enough money to keep courts funded for the first two weeks of a government shutdown, it has not quite been business as usual at courthouses in New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford.

Funding was cut-off for government-appointed defense lawyers, and so some have filed motions to delay hearings and trials out of concerns they might not get paid if those court sessions take place before Congress resolves the impasse.

And, while the federal courts in Connecticut have enough funding to operate until October 15, administrators are already looking at ways to keep some non-essential workers, such as clerks and probation officers, home in the event that the shutdown continues.

“As far as what’s going to happen on October 16, we don’t know,” U.S. District Court Judge Janet Hall, the new chief administrative judge in Connecticut, said on Thursday, October 3. “We’re hoping for the best, but we really don’t know.”

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11 Supreme Court Cases That Could Change The U.S. In The Coming Year

From Buzzfeed:

WASHINGTON — At 10 a.m. Monday, in the midst of a government shutdown, Chief Justice John Roberts will begin his eighth term at the Supreme Court — beginning a session in which the justices are slated to hear cases affecting the future of legislative prayers, presidential power in making appointments, and whether a meth addict can have a court-ordered mental evaluation used against him in fighting murder charges.

As court-watchers wonder what the term will hold for the future of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the legacy of retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the justices themselves are preparing for a term that, at the outset, appears to focus on revisiting — and possibly overruling — some precedents established in past decades and considering anew issues at the outer limits of the powers of the three branches of government.

In the first week of the term, the justices will hear a challenge to campaign finance contribution limits. The next week, a Michigan amendment that bars affirmative action in higher education admissions will be at the center of the court’s attention.

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Nancy Pelosi may introduce immigration reform bill

From Politico:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is spearheading a plan to advance comprehensive immigration reform in the chamber.

The California Democrat’s strategy includes introducing legislation combining the comprehensive bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in May with a bipartisan border-security bill from the House Homeland Security Committee, according to sources familiar with the plans.

The strategy was detailed at a meeting hosted by Pelosi last week with top House Democrats and several immigration-rights advocates, the sources said. The plan would be to publicly release the bill timed to the Oct. 5 National Day of Action that is meant to mobilize grass-roots support and pressure the House Republican leadership to take up immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship.

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EB-5 Regional Center Immigrant Investor Green Card – Friend or Foe?

From JDSupra Law News:

The EB-5 Immigrant (Green Card) Investor Visa requires that you invest either $1,000,000 in a city settings, or $500,000 in rural settings, and in return, the U.S. Government will give you, your spouse and your children a Green Card. The full set of EB-5 requirements can be viewed by clicking here.  Investors who wish to obtain a green card through the EB-5 program can take the active route of starting or purchasing a company or the passive route of investing in a regional center.  This article focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of regional centers and some things to look out for.

A Regional Center is a private enterprise, corporation or a regional agency with a targeted investment program within a defined geographic region. The best way to think of a Regional Center is that it is a business that focuses on the development or construction of projects (eg. hotel, railway, etc.) and allows investors to invest to obtain a green card.  This differs from the more direct EB-5 investments where an individual want to start his/her own business.  Regional center EB-5 petitions now account for over 90% of all EB-5 petitions.

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Personal Injury Law: Courts Should Curb Discovery Abuse Read more:

From the CT Law Tribune:

Courts have the authority to curb discovery abuse. Lawyers have ethical obligations not to engage in discovery abuse. The right of a litigant to discovery is primarily the right to obtain information. Yet despite all of this, discovery abuse in civil litigation remains common. This undermines the integrity of the judicial process, and prevents trials from being what they are intended to be: a search for the truth.

Discovery abuse takes a variety of forms including evasive discovery responses, boilerplate objections to written discovery, speaking objections during depositions, the failure to produce responsive documents, and even making misrepresentations. Such conduct is directly contrary to the very purpose of discovery: to ensure that lawsuits are decided by what the facts reveal, not by what facts are concealed.

Because discovery is a search for the truth, the rules of discovery are designed to serve the ends of justice by facilitating an intensive search by providing procedural mechanisms designed to make a trial a fair contest with the basic issues and facts disclosed to the fullest practicable extent. “Litigation is not a game. It is the time-honored method of seeking the truth, finding the truth, and doing justice.” Haeger v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., No. CV-05-02046-RHX-ROS (D. Ct. Ariz., Nov. 8, 2012).

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Outside groups try to revive immigration reform

From Politico:

Nancy Pelosi is huddling with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, top labor leaders and former AOL executive Steve Case in separate meetings this week as supporters of immigration reform try to revive the issue, which fast seems to be dying on Capitol Hill.

Their goal: get legislation moving in the House again before the Thanksgiving recess.

Proponents concede that it’s a heavy lift and that Republican lawmakers didn’t come out of the August recess ready to act. The Syria debate and now the battle over whether to fund the government and hike the debt ceiling are the top priorities in the GOP-controlled House, whose rank and file are already skeptical of immigration reform. Putting immigration back on the front burner is going to be tough, especially right before the 2014 elections when Republicans won’t be eager to be seen as agreeing with President Barack Obama’s agenda.

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Obama: The Only Thing Standing In The Way Of Immigration Reform Is John Boehner

From Buzzfeed:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama told Telemundo Tuesday that the future of immigration reform comes down to the decision of one man: House Speaker John Boehner.

“The only thing that’s holdin’ it back right now is John Boehner calling in to the floor,” Obama told Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart in a wide-ranging interview, “because we’ve got a majority of members of Congress, Democrats, and some Republicans, in the House of Representatives, who would vote for it right now if it hit.”

Immigration reform, a top White House priority for Obama’s second term, stalled in the House after a bipartisan bill moved out of the Senate earlier this year. Though issues like Syria, looming fiscal deadlines, and a long congressional recess kept a comprehensive immigration reform package off the front burner in Washington, Obama said success for reform proponents could still come this year, if Boehner decides to act.

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Dominic Badaracco gets 7 years in jail for bribing judge

From the New Haven Register:

BRIDGEPORT >> Dominic Badaracco — the prime suspect in the killing of his second wife, Mary Badaracco, 29 years ago — was sentenced Friday to seven years in jail for bribing a judge with an offer of $100,000to thwart a grand jury investigation into the case.

“It is difficult to imagine a more egregious act of bribery,” Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Len Boyle said in a sentencing memorandum filed Thursday. “An effort to impede a grand juror’s investigation into the disappearance of another human being by attempting to bribe a Superior Court judge strikes at the very foundation of our criminal justice system.”

“Crimes like this strike at the heart of what we do,” Judge Robert Devlin said before imposing the sentence.

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Devlin said he would rule later today on whether to free Badaracco on bond pending appeal.

Immigration Reform Falls to the Back of the Line

From the NY Times:

WASHINGTON — Congress is likely to postpone consideration of an immigration overhaul until the end of the year, if not longer, even as advocates are preparing for an all-out, urgent push this fall to win their longstanding goal of a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants here illegally.

In Washington, the sudden debate over military action in Syria and a looming face-off with President Obama over the budget and the nation’s borrowing limit have shot to the top of the legislative agenda, while Republican angst about losing Hispanic voters in the 2012 presidential campaign has faded.

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No End In Sight For Decade-Long Conn. Divorce Case

From the CT Law Tribune:

STAMFORD — It’s a divorce and child visitation case that already has produced nearly 600 motions and rulings and evidence of insider trading that brought down a multibillion-dollar hedge fund.

And as it passes the 10-year mark, the case of former Connecticut investment adviser David Zilkha and his ex-wife, Karen Kaiser, shows no signs of nearing a final resolution. They remain embroiled in disputes over child visitation and fees for hired experts, with more court hearings set for the next two months.

The acrimony has included mudslinging by both sides and prompted a show of frustration from the judge.

”There are some cases that for whatever reason … sort of spin out of control,” Judge Michal Shay said during a hearing in Stamford Superior Court last year. ”It seems impossible, it seems intractable, sometimes to pull them back and try to get them on the right track, and that’s what I’m trying to do here.”

David Zilkha, who hasn’t seen his 12-year-old twin son and daughter for four years, alleges in court documents that Kaiser is refusing to schedule ”unification therapy” for him and the children that both sides agreed on in January. He also has accused Kaiser of lying repeatedly to authorities about him and alienating the children from him.

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