The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Family Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

by Roy, Christopher


SC20016 - Lederle v. Spivey ("In this dissolution of marriage action, the plaintiff, Catherine Lederle, appeals, following our grant of certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the decision of the trial court, which had awarded appellate attorney's fees to the plaintiff under the bad faith exception to the American rule. The plaintiff contends that the Appellate Court did not accord the proper level of deference in determining that the trial court's findings lacked sufficient specificity. The defendant, Stevan Spivey, responds that the Appellate Court properly applied the abuse of discretion standard and also correctly concluded that, in determining that the appellate claims lacked color, the trial court improperly assessed the conduct of the defendant's attorney rather than that of the defendant. The defendant claims that the amount of the award was unreasonable and excessive because (1) the plaintiff's success in the appeal for which fees were awarded was not due to the efforts of the plaintiff's counsel, and (2) the defendant's attorney charged him a significantly lower amount of fees for representing him in that appeal. We reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court and conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in setting the amount of the fees.")

AC41240 - Wilson v. Di Iulio ("The defendant, Michael Di Iulio, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dissolving his marriage to the plaintiff, Heather Wilson, and entering related financial orders. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred by (1) failing to award him more than nominal alimony despite the substantial disparity in the parties' incomes and ability to afford expenses and (2) making a property award enforceable by a modifiable alimony award. We disagree with the defendant and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")