DEBRA B. MARINO
STATEWIDE GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE
December 4, 2018
from the decision of the defendant's reviewing committee
imposing sanctions on the plaintiff, brought to the Superior
Court in the judicial district of Hartford, where the court,
Robaina, J., dismissed the plaintiff's appeal
and rendered judgment thereon, from which the plaintiff
appealed to this court. Reversed; judgment
Barbara M. Schellenberg, with whom, on the brief, was David
B. Zabel, for the appellant (plaintiff).
M. Larson, assistant chief disciplinary counsel, with whom,
on the brief, was Beth L. Baldwin, assistant chief
disciplinary counsel, for the appellee (defendant).
Alvord, Prescott and Eveleigh, Js.
plaintiff, Debra B. Marino, an attorney, appeals from the
judgment of the trial court dismissing her appeal from the
sanctions imposed by the reviewing committee of the
defendant, the Statewide Grievance Committee, for violating
rule 4.4 (a) of the Rules of Professional
Conduct. The plaintiff claims that the court
improperly upheld the defendant's conclusion that the
motion for a capias that she filed while representing a
client in a family proceeding had no substantial purpose
other than to embarrass or burden the complainant, Melissa
Mathison. We agree with the plaintiff and reverse
the judgment of the trial court.
following relevant facts largely are undisputed. The
plaintiff represented the complainant's former husband,
Jeffrey Samoncik, in connection with postjudment proceedings
following the dissolution of the Samonciks' marriage on
April 24, 2009. In September, 2013, the complainant filed a
motion to modify child support. On March 15, 2015, the
complainant filed a self-represented appearance in the
matter. A hearing on the complainant's motion for
modification was scheduled for August 4, 2015. The discovery
process in connection with the complainant's motion for
modification had been somewhat prolonged and engendered
communications between the plaintiff and the complainant that
were sometimes strained. They exchanged a series of e-mails
that addressed the issue of conducting a deposition of the
complainant prior to the scheduled August hearing.
plaintiff noticed the complainant's deposition for July
7, 2015. On July 3, 2015, a marshal served a subpoena duces
tecum on the complainant with respect to the noticed
deposition. That same day, the complainant e-mailed the
plaintiff and informed her that she would not be attending
the scheduled deposition. The complainant's July 3, 2015
e-mail reads as follows:
‘‘Please find motions that were recently filed by
‘‘Please make note that I will be unable to
attend a deposition on July 7. My resources are limited for
child care costs.
‘‘In regards to the deposition items, 1-8 are
erroneous requests as this information has been supplied to
your office on more than one occasion and there are no new
documents to produce. Items 9-11 are irrelevant requests and
have no bearing on this case. I will be filing an objection
to your deposition.
‘‘Have a great weekend.''
minutes later, the plaintiff responded: ‘‘You
will need to appear. I'm proceeding.'' The
complainant immediately e-mailed the following response:
‘‘I will not be attending on the 7th. Proceed as
7, 2015, the plaintiff commenced the deposition for the
purpose of noting on the record that the complainant had
failed to appear. That same day, the plaintiff prepared and
filed a ‘‘Postjudgment Motion/ Application for
Capias/Civil Arrest Warrant.'' In her motion, the
plaintiff made the representation that the complainant
‘‘was duly subpoenaed for a deposition [and] . .
. failed to appear for said deposition in violation of a
valid subpoena duces tecum and no motion to quash or for
protective order was filed.'' In addition to
requesting that the complainant pay for the costs of the
subpoena, court ...