Editor's Message

by Paul Slager

The turning weather is a powerful reminder of how quickly time passes. Can it possibly be late fall already? As temperatures drop and the hours of daylight shrink, the CTLA Forum arrives in your inbox to brighten your day with important extra reading material. I realize extra reading material is probably not what you are missing right now, but, trust me, you do not want to delete this (at least until after you read each and every article)!

This is a strong issue of the Forum, due to a diverse offering of submissions from CTLA members, as well as an important piece by an author outside of our membership. For starters, our Board President Doug Mahoney offers his vision of the role and importance of CTLA in maintaining a fair and just civil justice system in Connecticut. Matt Shafner, recipient of the 2013 CTLA Lifetime Achievement Award, offers his reflections on an unusual experience of litigating and trying a case involving a serious trucking crash with six plaintiff’s lawyers representing different plaintiffs.

Perhaps on a more practical side, Sharon Pope, who focuses her practice on trusts and probate work, offers an article important to all attorneys who represent injured plaintiffs about Special needs Trusts and recognizing and avoiding pitfalls during the settlement of cases. Brenden Leydon has written an article on identifying automobile product liability cases, an important subject that is generally not well understood. And Alinor Sterling tackles an issue faced often by those practicing in the medical malpractice arena: the doctrine of apparent agency as it relates to nonemployee doctors treating patients in the hospital setting.

Finally, Bob Ruch, a healthcare consultant from Des Moines, has written an important review of the epidemic of patient errors in American healthcare. Mr. Ruch’s piece is a powerful reminder that the problem of catastrophic medical error should not be lost in the discussion of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which has dominated recent news cycles. His carefully researched article is an eye-opening survey of data that, when compiled, leads to the inescapable conclusion that our health care system is deeply flawed when it comes to delivering quality care and avoiding medical error.

I extend a special thank you to those who have contributed articles for this issue, and also to you, the readers, for your continuing interest in the content of the CTLA Forum.

Paul Slager is Editor-in-Chief of the Forum, and a partner of Silver Golub & Teitell LLP in Stamford.