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Retired Supreme Court Justice Speaks about Veterans and PTSD at UNH

Release Date:
2/4/2013 12:00 AM
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February 4, 2013

Barry Schaller, features Justice Barry Schaller

WEST HAVEN, CONN. -- Retired Justice Barry Schaller of the Connecticut Supreme Court, the author of a new book about veterans and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), will speak at the University of New Haven on Feb. 20 at 11  a.m. 

The talk will take place in the Alumni Lounge of Bartels Hall, the student center, on UNH’s Main Campus, 300 Boston Post Road. It is co-sponsored by the Legal Society, a student group, and the UNH Legal Studies Program. 

Barry Schaller, Veterans on Trial 
Schaller’s newest book, “Veterans on Trial: The Coming Court Battles Over PTSD,” was released in September.  

"People ask frequently whether our society is ready to address the problems arising from PTSD in our returning veterans. My response is to ask: "Who bears the primary responsibility?"  Schaller said. “When veterans appear in court, it is, in a real sense, too late -- too late to provide them with a smooth, successful transition to civilian life. They need -- and will receive -- help at that point even though it is not right to take it for granted that these problems can simply be left to the courts to fix. In assessing our readiness, we cannot ignore the fact that these problems will remain with us for years -- decades -- to come." 

Schaller was asked to speak by the UNH Legal Studies Program, which is exploring additional ways to provide services to veterans, said Donna Decker Morris, associate professor and director of the program. “We regularly invite speakers on legal subjects of current interest.  PTSD is a serious problem facing many veterans, the criminal justice system and society,” said Morris.

Schaller is the author of two other books, “A Vision of American Law: Judging Law, Literature, and the Stories We Tell,”  published in 1997 and the winner of  the 1997 Quinnipiac Law School Book Award for excellence, and “Understanding Bioethics and the Law: The Promises and Perils of the Brave New World of Biotechnology” published in 2007. 

Schaller received his B.A. degree from Yale College and his J.D. from the Yale Law School. He practiced law in New Haven, Conn. from 1963 to 1974.

He served on the Connecticut Board of Pardons from 1971-74 and the Connecticut Planning Committee for Criminal Administration. He was appointed to the Connecticut trial bench in 1974, appointed to the Appellate Court in 1992 and to the Supreme Court in 2007.

After retiring from the Connecticut Supreme Court, he resumed judicial service as a judge trial referee at the Appellate Court.

Justice Schaller is Chair of the Connecticut Committee on Judicial Ethics, a charter life fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, and a member of the American Law Institute. He serves as an expert on bioethics and the law as a member of the Answer Board of the Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution, at the National Constitution Center.

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University operates a satellite campus in Tuscany, Italy, and offers programs at several locations throughout Connecticut and in California. UNH provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. The University enrolls approximately 6,400 students, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and College of Lifelong & eLearning, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.