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Consumer Legal Services, LLC BLOG

In 1961, Estelle Griswold and C. Lee Buxton, directors of a Planned Parenthood Center, operated a clinic in New Haven to provide contraceptive counseling and materials to married couples. They were arrested, as accessories, for violating a state statute which made it a crime to use devices or materials to prevent conception. After a trial,...
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In the 1963 case of Gideon v. Wainwright, the United States Supreme Court held that an indigent defendant in a state felony trial has a constitutional right to state-appointed counsel. In reaching this decision, the Gideon Court wrote: The right of one charged with crime to counsel may not be deemed fundamental and essential to...
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The “Hat City” of Danbury made news in 1902 when hat manufacturer, Dietrich Loewe, refused to recognize the hatters’ union. Most of his employees went on strike, lured by the promise of higher union wages. Loewe resumed work with a scab crew, and the striking workers organized a boycott. The boycott was carried to other...
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The “Code of 1650” is the first codification of Connecticut laws. Compiled by Roger Ludlow, the Code begins with a bill of rights “…that no mans life shall be taken away, no mans honor or good name shall bee stained, no mans person shall be arrested, …unless it bee by the vertue or equity of...
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The Chip Smith charge derives from State v. Smith, 49 Conn. 376 (1881). James “Chip” Smith was a 21-year-old who was drinking, firing his gun, and causing a general disturbance of the peace on December 23rd, 1880. Smith’s father went to the home of Daniel J. Hayes, the Chief of Police for the city of...
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The Royal Charter of 1662, granted by King Charles II, is one of the earliest and most significant legal documents in Connecticut history. The Charter, preceded only by the Fundamental Orders, is the source of the legend of the Charter Oak. While the Fundamental Orders, prepared by Roger Ludlow and other leaders of the Colony...
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The Litchfield Law School, the first of its kind in the United States, was founded by Tapping Reeve in 1784. The custom for students of law in the 18th century was to be tutored privately or serve under apprenticeships. Tapping Reeve, after being admitted to the bar, began teaching individuals in his living room. His...
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Roger Sherman, a Connecticut politician and Superior Court judge, is best remembered as the architect of the Connecticut Compromise, which prevented a stalemate between states during the creation of the United States Constitution. During the summer of 1787, delegates gathered in Philadelphia to draw up rules for a stronger central government that would help rule...
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Samuel Huntington (July 16, 1731 – January 5, 1796) Who was the man that some consider to be the first president of the United States? Samuel Huntington was born into a family of ten children. Three of his brothers were sent to study theology at Yale, but Samuel’s parents decided that his education would be...
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