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Smolinski Appeal of Civil Judgment for Madeline Gleason

Smolinski Appeal of Civil Judgment for Madeline Gleason

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Published by estannard
Brief filed with the Connecticut Appellate Court appealing the judgment for Madeline Gleason in her defamation suit against the Janice Smolinski and Paula Smolinski Bell.
Brief filed with the Connecticut Appellate Court appealing the judgment for Madeline Gleason in her defamation suit against the Janice Smolinski and Paula Smolinski Bell.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: estannard on Apr 19, 2013
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12/01/2014

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The trial judge’s failure to recuse himself or sua sponte declare a mistrial constitutes

plain error because his conduct throughout the trial raises suspicion on the fairness of the

administration of justice, and evidences the trial judge’s apparent bias and lack of

impartiality. Specifically, the trial judge (1) publically committed himself during trial on the

record to Defendants’ liability and wrongdoing; (2) admitted and relied upon hearsay

evidence proffered by plaintiff; (3) held in-Chambers hearings to “protect the reputation” of

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Although Connecticut courts have not squarely addressed this issue, the state
constitutional protection for free speech should be no less protective of the Smolinskis’
speech. See Conn. Const. art. I, § 4 (guaranteeing “[e]very citizen may freely speak, write
and publish his sentiments on all subjects”); see, e.g., State v. Linares, 232 Conn. 345, 385
(Conn 1995) (concluding the state constitution may be more protective of some forms of
speech than the federal constitution); Cologne v. Westfarms Associates, 192 Conn. 48, 57
(1984) (observing federal law only “establishes a minimum national standard for the
exercise of individual rights and does not inhibit state governments from affording higher
levels of protection for such rights”).

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See, e.g., Lachman v. Sperry-Sun Well Surveying Co., 457 F.2d 850, 853 (10th Cir. 1972)
(“It is public policy . . . everywhere to encourage the disclosure of criminal activity”);
Porterfield v. Mascari II, Inc., 823 A.2d 590, 603 (Md. 2003) (explaining the state’s “public
policy . . . favoring the investigation and reporting of suspected criminal activity”); Crea v.
FMC Corp., 16 P.3d 272, 275 (Id. 2000) (“There is a strong public policy favoring
investigation and disclosure of criminal activity.”); Lundberg v. Scoggins, 335 N.W.2d 235,
235 (Minn. 1983) (dismissing tort action against crime victim for negligent accusation and
misidentification of criminal suspect based on “longstanding public policy reasons
encouraging witness/victim participation in criminal investigations and prosecutions”).

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a local politician and key witness; and (4) refused to permit Defendants’ repeated offers of

evidence as to the defense of truth, motive, and witness credibility.

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