CBA Hosts First In-Person Connecticut Legal Conference Since 2019

Written Tuesday, June 21, 2022

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After two years of being held virtually, the Connecticut Legal Conference returned in person on June 13. More than 700 attorneys, judges, paralegals, and other legal professionals throughout the state gathered at the Connecticut Convention Center. The day began with a networking breakfast, as well as alumni breakfasts for Quinnipiac University School of Law and UConn School of Law.

This year’s conference featured 39 CLE Seminars in 11 tracks. Topics covered at the conference were widely diverse in their focus. Various seminars included content on techniques for presenting trial cases; the latest topics in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; well-being practices; cryptocurrency and digital asset concerns; venture financing transactions; antitrust and trade regulation; and more.

Sandy Hook, The Battle for Truth, and the Fabric of our American Society   Jan Schlicthmann
Attendees heard from attorney Karen C. Burgess, CBA Past President Monte E. Frank, and author Elizabeth Williamson during the seminar Sandy Hook, the Battle for Truth, and the Fabric of our American Society.
  Environmental lawyer & author Jan Schlicthmann presented a two-part series of seminars titled Making the Case: Solving the Adversary's Dilemma.

During “Making the Case: Solving the Adversary’s Dilemma,” featured national CLE presenter, Jan Schlichtmann, provided a two-part interactive session where he taught attendees how to efficiently gather, analyze, and present their case, while avoiding the perils and pitfalls of an adversarial mindset. Attorney Karen C. Burgess, past CBA president Monte E. Frank, and author Elizabeth Williamson grappled with the rise of misinformation and rapid spread of conspiracy theories throughout the United States in “Sandy Hook, the Battle for Truth, and the Fabric of our American Society.”

The CBA Annual Meeting and Luncheon recognized judges taking trial referee status and also marked the installation of the 2022-2023 officers. Daniel J. Horgan, the 99th president of the CBA, had already rose to the position of president at the start of May when his predecessor, Hon. Cecil J. Thomas, resigned prior to being sworn in as a Connecticut Superior Court judge. President-elect Margaret I. Castinado, Vice President James T. Shearin, Secretary J. Paul Vance, Jr, Treasurer Sharad A. Samy, and Assistant Secretary-Treasurer Joshua J. Devine were installed during the annual meeting.

The annual meeting luncheon began with a performance of God Bless America from 2021-2022 Treasurer David M. Moore. After CBA President Daniel J. Horgan took to the stage, he held a moment of silence for all those within the legal community who have passed away over the course of the last year. Attendees heard remarks from Senator Richard Blumenthal; Attorney General William M. Tong; Probate Court Administrator Judge Beverly Streit-Kefalas; Appellate Court Chief Judge William H. Bright, Jr; Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson; and U.S. District of Connecticut Chief Judge Stefan R. Underhill. U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut Vanessa R. Avery provided the keynote speech, which focused on her office’s efforts in addressing the issues of gun violence, fentanyl and opioid overdose deaths, and civil rights violations and hate crimes. “We will ensure that every case is handled with fairness in accordance with the rule of law and the ends of equal justice under law. But we also know that we simply can not prosecute our way out of many of the challenges facing our state,” Attorney Avery noted. “Meaningful success will require active community engagement and collaboration.”

The 2021-2022 past president, Hon. Cecil J. Thomas, who resigned as CBA president at the beginning of May after being confirmed as a Connecticut Superior Court judge, spoke regarding the initiatives he helmed during his leadership of the association. He emphasized his successful efforts to increase CBA membership and expand the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives of the association.

CBA President Daniel J. Horgan presented his vision for the upcoming bar year, emphasizing civility and well-being for legal professionals. “How we treat each other, not just with our words, but with our actions, by not using litigation to harass an opposing party, not filing baseless objections or motions, or agreeing to fair extensions of time is the Hallmark of professionalism which we all must strive to meet,” stated President Horgan. “…before you get into the weeds of your case, start out conversations on a personal note; especially coming out of the pandemic where we all have had common struggles and losses in our practices and personal lives.”

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U.S. Attorney Vanessa Avery provided the keynote speech at the CBA annual meeting and luncheon.
  CBA President Daniel J. Horgan provided his vision for the 2022-2023 bar year.

Following the final session of seminars, the President’s Reception, sponsored by Liberty Bank, was held for all attendees to mingle with colleagues and discuss the day’s event as well as the year to come. Cocktails and an assortment of appetizers were served while live jazz music was provided by Hartt and Soul Trio.

The CBA thanks all those that helped make the Connecticut Legal Conference a great success—the attendees, exhibitors, and the sponsors, particularly Platinum Sponsor Kronholm Insurance Services and Gold Sponsors CATIC and Liberty Bank.