Appellate Court Notes - Week of March 19

by Pullman & Comley, LLC

Welcome to our Supreme and Appellate Court summaries. Here, 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 March 19, 2014

  • AC34425 - Martin V. v. Commissioner of Correction

Pro se husband sued his ex-wife’s lawyers claiming violation of the RPC and intentional infliction of emotional distress for failure to disclose the attorney’s past representation of the judge who handled certain post-dissolution proceedings.  These allegations were properly dismissed under the absolute immunity afforded to attorneys during the judicial process.  Also, the RPC does not create a cause of action so those claims were properly stricken.  Certain allegations that conduct was pursued for an improper purpose came closer to a vexatious litigation / abuse of process type of claim which does not enjoy absolute immunity, but the allegations were not pled with enough specificity to establish that the conduct was outside the scope of normal judicial proceedings, and thus were also properly stricken.  The trial court also struck a substitute complaint that attempted to reassert allegations already ordered removed….and entered a disciplinary judgment for the defendants in the case,  Allowing a party to persistently refile already disallowed pleadings does not advance the interests of justice.  The decision also held: (1) new causes of action may not be asserted in a substitute complaint after the granting of a motion to strike without seeking permission to amend; and (2) that the court could raise the issue of subject matter jurisdiction over the immunity issue without the need for the defendants to even file a motion to dismiss (see footnote).

  • AC34777 - Manka v. Walt Disney Co.

Newscaster on way to work at ESPN collided with and injured plaintiff.  The newscaster worked for a company that had contracted with ESPN for the driver to act as a commentator on that network.  Plaintiff sued the driver, but also tried to sue Walt Disney claiming the contract with ESPN used the terms, and ESPN’s affiliates,  and since Walt Disney was somehow “affiliated” with ESPN, they should be liable too.  [I think this is a case of 1 + 1 must = 4 - right?] The trial court properly granted Walt Disney’s motion to dismiss.  There was no evidence it had anything to do with the ESPN contract for the commentator and while Walt Disney appeared distantly “linked” with ESPN through a series of intermediary companies, that is not enough to make them liable for the accident caused by a driver who worked for an ESPN contractor .  [Oh good grief.  They should get their attorney fees paid for this one.]  

  • AC35372- Crespo v. Commissioner of Correction
  • AC35838 - Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Torres

Pro se borrower moved to dismiss mortgage foreclosure challenging plaintiff’s standing.  The trial court granted the motion when the plaintiff’s attorney showed up in court with the original note (endorsed in blank on the back), and mortgage, but no formal assignment of the mortgage to the plaintiff.  The trial court said that was not good enough and suggested the plaintiff should have produced (testimonial) evidence as to how the plaintiff came to be the holder of the note.  The Appellate Court reversed holding the complaint alleged a proper sequence of document ownership and when considering a motion to dismiss for lack of standing the court is supposed to take as true the allegations of that complaint.  Here the plaintiff alleged the note had been assigned to it.   Further the plaintiff clearly established it was the holder of the original note and a holder may sue even without a formal assignment because there is a rebuttable presumption of ownership with possession.  In any event, it did not matter that the note was endorsed in blank.

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Pullman & Comley, LLC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Pullman & Comley, LLC

Pullman & Comley, LLC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.