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Suspension ordered for CT lawyer involved in probate cases

…Elizabeth Rowe, a lawyer for the grievance committee. Smigelski also represented a fellow attorney at the center of another controversial, widely publicized probate case involving the Southington estate of the late Josephine Smoron. Smigelski represented Jack Nugent, who as Smoron’s conservator changed her will so her property could be sold to a developer. Smoron had planned on giving her estate to her caretaker. The caretaker is seeking t…

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Courant op-ed calls for additional CT probate system reform

…body should get much tougher with judges who break the rules. Public trust in the system depends upon it. That trust has been frayed by gross miscarriages of justice in probate courts such as the disposition of the Josephine Smoron estate in Southington. Also, the legislature and the probate assembly should discuss and prepare for a second big change — appointment rather than election of judges of probate. The judges should be chosen on a merit…

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Connecticut probate system: protecting vulnerable citizens or protecting its reputation?

…rpetrated by a variety of estate planning vehicles – wills, trusts, powers of attorney and conservatorships/guardianships.  Another Connecticut case which still stands to EoD as incredibly egregious is that of Josephine Smoron (and now her estate) as it shows that estate planning documents are no guarantee that final asset distribution wishes will be honored and that estate looting can occur in estates of all sizes – it’s not ju…

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CT attorney suspended following excessive fee complaint

…immediately return a call for comment. The license suspension does not mean Smigelski will stay out of court. He had been enmeshed in a separate probate court scandal, representing attorney John T. Nugent in the now-infamous Smoron Estate case. Valuable land owned by Josephine Smoron in Southington was supposed to be left to one of her farmhands, Sam Manzo. But attorney Nugent secretly changed Smoron’s will to create a result benefiting a major…

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CT probate judge’s censure becomes campaign issue

…osen as probate judge candidate last month to replace Bryan Meccariello, who pulled out of the race days after being publicly censured Sept. 21 by the Council of Probate Judicial Conduct regarding his conduct in the Josephine Smoron estate issue. Meccariello was instrumental in giving Smoron’s farm to three churches, even though her will stated she wanted the farm to go to Sam Manzo, her longtime employee and friend. The council found that Meccar…

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