There appear to be some interesting differences between, say, the U.S. District Court (District of Connecticut) and the Connecticut Supreme Court or the Family Docket of the Connecticut Superior Court. There are many points of view on this topic, but I applaud the decision published today by U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer. See a small portion of:
JOSEPHINE SMALLS MILLER, Plaintiff,
BRIDGEPORT BOARD OF EDUCATION and MARK ANASTASI, Defendants.
United States District Court, D. Connecticut.
RULING ON MOTION FOR SANCTIONS
[excerpt below - for full decision, use this Google Scholar Link.]
Every new attorney in Connecticut takes an oath for the privilege of admission to the bar, and the focus of that oath, as set forth below, is to foreswear the kind of misconduct that infected Attorney Miller's pleadings in this case:
You solemnly swear . . . that you will do nothing dishonest, and will not knowingly allow anything dishonest to be done in court, and that you will inform the court of any dishonesty of which you have knowledge; that you will not knowingly maintain or assist in maintaining any action that is false or unlawful; that you will not obstruct any cause of action for personal gain or malice; but that you will exercise the office of attorney, in any court in which you may practice, according to the best of your learning and judgment, faithfully, to both your client and the court; so help you God or upon penalty of perjury.
To be sure, no attorney is the sum of his or her worst moments. And Attorney Miller has had a long career in the practice of law, without apparent blemish so far as I know from the documents before me. From what I can tell, Attorney Miller is fervently devoted to a noble objective of redressing discrimination. But no fervor for one's case may justify false statement. My hope is that with time Attorney Miller will appreciate the limits that truth and the rules of professional conduct impose for all cases upon the zealous advocacy of counsel.
We'll take a closer look at this in the days to come, but note the stark contrast to the Connecticut Supreme Decision of Simms v. Seaman which upheld the absolute immunity for opposing counsel.