Editor's Message

by Paul A. Slager, Editor

Special thanks to those CTLA members who took time and effort to contribute to this issue of the Forum.   For starters, Bob Adelman and Neil Sutton have again supplied “Update on Evidence 2012,” an excellent review of key Appellate and Supreme Court opinions relating to evidentiary issues and other matters important to trial practitioners.  This is the third evidentiary case review by Bob and Neil that I’ve edited and published in the Forum.  I freely confess to being a bit overwhelmed whenever they deliver a 60 page summary of appellate opinions for the Forum to my inbox.  After digging in, though, I find myself shifting roles from editor to an interested student.  This is due partly to the fact that Bob and Neil’s summary is always carefully written and edited before I ever see it, so requires little actually editing energy from me.  Even more, it’s because my role as Editor actually requires me to carefully read the entire Update from start to end, which is tremendously informative. 

Before I assumed my editing responsibilities for the Forum, I consulted the Update on Evidence by scanning the table of contents to check for cases on particular issues as they come up, or even read it in smaller pieces over time.  Don’t get me wrong: these are both valuable ways to use the review too, but there is no substitute for setting aside an hour in a quiet place and reading the review straight through.  I urge you to find the time to do this, as this Update is a typically excellent overview of important Appellate and Supreme Court decisions affecting Connecticut trial practice.

Ken Laska also stepped up and channeled his enthusiasm for all things iPad into a useful article about how to incorporate the device into trial practice.  This is a big topic, and Ken’s article is intended to serve as both a basic introduction for those unfamiliar with iPad fundamentals, as well as offer specific tips on Apps and techniques available for enhancing and simplifying a trial lawyer’s practice through this user-friendly technology.  Ken’s article should be viewed as a starting point that wets your iPad appetite.  For those interested in learning more, on May 17, 2013, Ken will be moderating a much more in-depth CTLA seminar on how trial lawyers can effectively use iPads in their practices.   

Howard Rosenfield also offers a brief editorial, highlighting the importance of CTLA members serving as Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Public Arbitrators as a means of preventing our clients and other members of the public from facing a stacked deck in disputes against unscrupulous financial services providers.  And, last but not least, is a useful piece by two Oregon attorneys who report on a recent United States Tax Court decision highlighting the difficulties establishing damages related to stress-induced physical ailments are excludable from taxable gross income.  The article also reviews some other recent cases that offer insights into when such damages might be considered tax free.  These are precisely the kinds of issues our clients ask us about, and the article serves as an important reminder that the question of whether awards and settlements might be taxable can be complicated.

Thanks for reading the Forum.  Your interest in the issues affecting clients and courtrooms around the state, just a few of which are addressed here, is a key reason the Connecticut trial bar practices at such a high level. 

As always, I welcome any comments, suggestions and volunteers to write future articles.  You can reach me at pslager@sgtaw.com.