What do the Soprano’s and the Waterbury Bar have in common? Both have “Big Pussys” who are nothing more than rats.
I have a question regarding the Waterbury situation that in my opinion must be answered. The question is a straight forward one and is as follows: If you, the 5 or so lawyers responsible for drafting a letter requesting this investigation be conducted, sincerely and truly believed there existed an inappropriate relationship between John Connelly and Attorney Martin Minnella, and this relationship was the reason for some very good pre-trial disposition offers, rather than Attorney Minnella’s ability to constantly secure acquittals, then why did you not alert any or all of the following parties the Presiding or Administrative Judges, the Statewide Bar Counsel, the Office of the Attorney General who is responsible for investigations dealing with public corruption, and or the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the party responsible for administering the judicial branch and who has authority to investigate allegations of such conduct?
It would seem, and the Rules of Conduct Governing Lawyers, states that if you really believed such an inappropriate relationship existed and something was amiss at 400 Grand Street regarding the relationship between Marty Minnella and John Connelly you would take some type of action as it is required in fulfilling your obligations as a member of the bar and even more so required in fulfilling your most important obligation of representing your clients to the best of your ability. If you represent an individual or represent numerous individuals and they have cases pending on the Part A docket and you believe these individuals are not being treated the same as all others, as the Constitution of both Connecticut and the United States requires and this treatment stems from reasons dealing with personal relationships then you would have to bring this issue to the attention of the relevant parties in order to defend your clients to the best of your ability. This may fly in the face of your usual philosophy of never do anything to make a prosecutor mad, including aggressively fight for your client’s rights, because then you might actually have to work hard, but it is what the rules of professional conduct require you do. Did you allow clients to suffer and accept plea bargains that were not fair? Do these individuals who went to you in a time of need and paid you money upon a promise you would defend them to the best of your ability now sitting in jail because you wanted to wait for what you considered to be the most opportune time to take action?
The situation, when broken down in its most simplistic terms, is as follows: Certain lawyers believe that some type of improper relationship exists between Attorney Martin Minnella and John Connelly. They believe this relationship works to the detriment of their clients as Attorney Minnella was supposedly getting better deals making the playing field uneven. These lawyers take no action regarding this supposed conduct, even though they have the obligation to do this pursuant to the Rules of Professional Conduct. Instead the course of action they chose is as follows: Over the course of time one lawyer starts pumping an associate working at Minnella’s law firm for any information that he deems useful in advancing the grudge he has held against Minnella for years. He tries to act like he is this lawyer’s friend when in reality he is just using him and is only interested in getting ammunition to use in his jealousy fueled war. Eventually this lawyer starts recruiting other members of the bar to join in his mission to harm Attorney Minnella and John Connelly. These other lawyers have a great deal of credibility which is necessary for this master plan to gain any steam so he gets them on board along with another attorney. A letter is written to the Federal Authorities requesting an investigation and an investigation commences. This lawyer then starts talking about increasing advertising and starts planning meetings to try and talk about how Marty Minnella’s share of the pie will be split up.
This conduct is completely disgusting. Step back and you can see that action was taken in such a way to only hurt people involved. A real criminal defense attorney would have taken action immediately before the court to ensure their clients were treated equally. Those behind this investigation did not do this. The bar should conduct an immediate inquiry into this failure to act.
Another question now arises, that being did these lawyers simply stand by silently while their clients were treated unequally? If this is the case their clients have grounds for a Habeas action based on inadequate assistance of counsel. This is not a grand hypothetical question whose answer lies in a long argument of philosophical debate. The answer is quite simple and it is No. If these lawyers honestly believed these allegations were true they would have said something about this and taken action. This shows these allegations are nothing more than an opportunistic act on the part of a few who seem to think they will benefit in the long run.
Again this situation is much bigger than anyone really anticipated. Those involved need to think long and hard on about one thing. When it gets out that you sought out the prosecution of a fellow bar members, do you really think that potential are going to trust you to defend them? When it gets out that you sold someone out for your own selfish interests how do you plan on getting potential clients to believe you would not do that to them. Think long and hard on this because it will get out and these actions will harm you in the long run and this is unfortunate and did not have to happen.