The sole issue now before us in this appeal by the

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The sole issue now before us in this appeal by the respondent, the Commissioner of Correction, is whether the habeas court properly concluded that the petitioner, Michael Skakel, is entitled to a new trial because counsel in his murder case, Michael Sherman, rendered ineffective assistance by failing to obtain certain readily available evidence that Sherman should have known was potentially critical to the petitioner’s alibi defense, that is, the testimony of a disinterested alibi witness whom the habeas court found to be highly credible. Because we agree with the habeas court both that Sherman’s failure to secure that evidence was constitutionally inexcusable and that that deficiency undermines confidence in the reliability of the petitioner’s conviction—a conviction founded on a case, aptly characterized by the habeas court as far from overwhelming, that was devoid of any forensic evidence or eyewitness testimony linking the petitioner to the crimewe affirm the judgment of the habeas court ordering a new trial. 1State v. Skakel, 888 A.2d 985 (Conn. 2006), cert. denied, 549 U.S. 1030 (2006). 2Skakel v. State, 991 A.2d 414 (Conn. 2010).
94______________________ Skakel sued talk show host Nancy Grace, Time Warner Inc., and others, alleging that they slandered him on national television when they reported that DNA evidence found on a tree at the victim’s house and introduced at trial connected Skakel to the Moxley murder. That case was settled out of court for undisclosed terms.
95Supplement 6.2. The United States Supreme CourtThe following information comes from a brochure available years ago at the U.S. Supreme Court, describing some of what one might expect to see and hear during oral argument before the Court. The U.S. Supreme Court General Procedures ‘‘Welcome to the Supreme Court of the United States. This is your Supreme Court and we hope you find your visit here enjoyable, interesting, and informative. However, we do ask you to recognize our restrictions and requirements for visitors. In order to maintain the atmosphere one might expect in the nation’s highest court, we would appreciate your cooperation. Please refrain from smoking and restrict food and beverages to the cafeteria, snack bar, and vending machine alcove. Be as quiet as possible. There are Court employees working in their offices near the public areas of the building who would appreciate not being disturbed. Oral Argument You are right about to attend an oral argument. A case selected for argument usually involves interpretations of the U.S. Constitution or federal law. At least four Justices have selected the case as being of such importance that the Supreme Court must resolve the legal issues. An attorney for each side of a case will have an opportunity to make a presentation to the Court and answer questions posed by the Justices. Prior to the argument each side has submitted a legal briefa written legal argument outlining each party’s points of law. The Justices have read these briefs prior to the argument and are thoroughly familiar with the case, its facts, and the

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