The Connecticut Bar Association And The Brady Center As Joint Amici Curiae In Shew v. Malloy
A July 9th article in The Connecticut Law Tribune reported a proposal by The Connecticut Bar Association's Human Rights and Responsibility Section to join as an amicus curiae in a brief to be filed by "advocates interested in preventing gun violence, led by the Brady Center [to Prevent Gun Violence]" in the Shew v. Malloy case pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
In a July 15th letter to CBA President Mark A. Dubois, Attorney Baird asked the CBA to consider as a threshold issue whether the CBA ethically should support one party over another in an appeal from a judicial decision written by one of its members, The Honorable Alfred V. Covello. As stated by Attorney Baird to CBA President Dubois:
Already, in predicting that the Connecticut gun law will stand on its merits, you commented on Judge Covello's decision as "well reasoned and followed the law" without acknowledging the association between the CBA and the judge. While you characterize as threshold the issue of whether the CBA should "get involved in matters that are social or political" or define itself as "a professional organization only concerned with matters affecting the practice of law," absent is a consideration of the consequence for a judge as well as the case when a voluntary association in which Judge Covello lists himself as a member files a brief, on the entire membership's behalf, supporting the side in whose favor the judge ruled. This scenario, which conjures the true threshold question, points to the only answer for the CBA: Forgo filing or joining as an amicus curiae in briefs that create conflicts for CBA members and jeopardize cases.
Subsequent to Attorney Baird's July 15th letter, Connecticut Carry, Inc. President Rich Burgess discovered that the CBA had taken a position in March 2013 in support of the new gun laws prior to the filing date in Shew v. Malloy and Judge Covello's assignment to the case.
Despite these concerns, the CBA's House of Delegates voted 34-15 on July 21st to join The Brady Center as an amicus curiae asking the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to affirm the decision by Judge Covello in Shew v. Malloy.