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Welcome to our Supreme and Appellate Court summaries webpage.  On this page, I provide abbreviated summaries of decisions from the Connecticut appellate courts which highlight important issues and developments in Connecticut law, and provide practical practice pointers to litigants.  I have been summarizing these court decisions internally for our firm for more than 10 years, and providing relevant highlights to my municipal and insurance practice clients for almost as long.  It was suggested that a wider audience might appreciate brief summaries of recent rulings that condense often long and confusing decisions down to their basic elements.  These summaries are limited to the civil litigation decisions based on my own particular field of practice, so you will not find distillations of the many criminal and matrimonial law decisions on this page.  I may from time to time add commentary, and may even criticize a decision’s reasoning. Such commentary is solely my opinion . . . and when mistakes of trial counsel are highlighted because they triggered a particular outcome, I will try to be mindful of the adage . . . “There but for the grace of God . . ..”  I hope the reader finds these summaries helpful. – Edward P. McCreery

Posted February 24, 2014

Trial court could add ten percent interest onto award of $125k attorney’s fees due to the delay caused by defendant's appeal. Even if the appeal was filed in good faith for legitimate reasons, the plaintiff is entitled to be compensated for the loss of the use of their money during the delay caused by the unsuccessful appeal.  The amount of the fees was justified by the defendant's litigious defense.  The trial court also properly awarded only $100 each as nominal fees to two out-of-state attorneys who assisted plaintiff's CT counsel.  Attorneys not licensed in CT can only be awarded a nominal fee.  (I assume they were not admitted pro hac.) 

Federal Protecting Tenants At Foreclosure Act (PTFA) could not be invoked as a defense to the post foreclosure eviction of the tenants when their eviction was based upon their non-compliance with the express terms of their written leases.

  • AC35465 - Customers Bank v. Boxer

Another PTFA case.  Housing court properly concluded that defendant was not a bonafide tenant entitled to 90 days advance notice of a post foreclosure eviction by the former mortgagee under PTFA. The facts were that the “tenant” never paid a dime in rent and claimed there was an oral agreement with the former landlord modifying their written lease in return for his undertaking unspecified repairs in lieu of the $5k per month rent called for under the lease.  The trial court could conclude this was a sweetheart deal not entitled to protection by the statute.  A footnote comments that even a written lease with a no modification clause can be modified orally.  (His unsuccessful defense, however, gained him a lot more than the 90 days.  It would have been a lot cheaper to have just given him the notice and waited out the 90 days.)

  • AC34678 - Camacho v. Commissioner of Correction.
  • AC34321 - Smith v. Commissioner of Correction

[Crazy that this case was ever filed.]  Father and daughter sued private school for daughter's injuries when her car crashed a mile from campus upon a claim that the crash was caused by a tire failure precipitated by some unknown person, at some unknown time, slashing the tires. In turn they claimed, this must have occurred in the school parking lot and no doubt could have been prevented, but the school did not having surveillance cameras in place along with policies to deter such crimes.  No surprise that the case was dismissed for lack of establishing a prima facia case of any negligence on the school's part.

 

The facts and holdings of any case may be redacted, paraphrased or condensed for ease of reading.  No summary can be an exact rendering of any decision, however, so interested readers are referred to the full decisions.  The docket number of each case is a hyperlink to the Connecticut Judicial Department online slip opinion.  ©2014 Pullman & Comley, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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