The court hears three or four different cases on each day on which oral
arguments are scheduled. After the
oral arguments have been finished, the court meets, in its conference
room, to reach a preliminary decision about the outcome of each case.
When the justices disagree, the greater number becomes the majority of
the court on that case.
After all the cases in each session of the court have been heard and
discussed, the Chief Justice assigns each case to one of the justices in
the majority to prepare a draft opinion.
For each of his or her assigned cases, the justice reads the
record of earlier proceedings and researches the law of
Connecticut and often of other states, as well. Preparing a
draft opinion takes time because it requires careful analysis of
the law and the facts and preparation of a persuasive written
document for the court and the parties. Sometimes, work on a
draft opinion persuades the justice that the case should have a
different outcome than that voted at the initial conference. In
that event, the case will be discussed again at another court
conference. The court may then vote to change the outcome.
Once the proposed outcome of a case is finally determined, a draft
opinion is prepared and circulated for extensive comments by the other
justices who heard the case. A justice who agrees with the outcome, but
not with the analysis of the majority opinion, writes a separate
concurring opinion. A justice who disagrees with the outcome, in whole
or in part, writes a separate dissenting opinion. A final opinion for
the court is voted at a court conference after all the opinions have
been circulated and agreed upon. The majority opinion and the separate
opinions are then sent to the Reporter of Judicial Decisions. The
reporter checks the opinions for technical accuracy, and sees to their
printing in the Connecticut Law Journal. When the opinions are
finalized, the parties receive notification of the result and the
opinion is then published on the Judicial Branch website as an
Advanced Release Opinion. Within the next two weeks, the opinions are published in
the Connecticut Law Journal by the Commission on
Official Legal Publications.
disagrees with the judgment of the Supreme Court may file a
reargument or for reargument en banc. If that motion is denied, the
party can seek permission to file an
appeal in the Supreme Court of the
United States, but only if the case involves an issue of federal law. On
questions of state law, a decision of this court cannot be further
appealed. The legislature is always free, however, to change the
applicable law within constitutional limits.