Supreme Court Denies Cert for J. Michael Farren, Former New Canaan Man Convicted of Attempted Murder


The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a cert petition from the former White House attorney who is serving a prison sentence for almost bludgeoning his wife to death with a flashlight at their New Canaan home in January 2010, officials say.

An attorney for both Bush administrations, J. Michael Farren—arrested by the New Canaan Police Department and convicted two years ago of three felony offenses, including attempted murder—had sought to challenge a $28.6 million civil verdict against him.

Specifically, Farren argued on appeal that he should get a new civil trial because he had been absent for a time from the courtroom.

Yet the trial court found that he had failed to satisfy the burden of proof that his absence from trial was reasonable, and his later attempts to challenge the decision in Appellate Court and Connecticut Supreme Court both were denied.

Regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of Farren’s “petition for writ of certiorari“—an attempt to get the high court to review a lower court’s decision—Ernie Teitell, an attorney with Stamford-based Silver Golub & Teitell LLP who represented Farren’s ex-wife, plaintiff Mary Margaret Farren, at trial, said: “We are finally at the point where Mr. Farren has exhausted his legal options and this case can be closed once and for all. He tried for years to manipulate the legal system by playing games to delay the proceedings and prevent us from getting justice. That game is now finally over.”

Teitell’s colleague at the firm, Paul A. Slager, also represented Mary Margaret Farren.

An attorney who has represented J. Michael Farren could not immediately be reached for comment.

According to a procedural history published by the Connecticut Judicial Branch, on the night of Jan. 6, 2010, the couple—both lawyers—were at their Wahackme Road home.

“The defendant and the plaintiff had been married for twelve years and had two young daughters. The plaintiff recently had served a complaint seeking to dissolve the parties’ marriage. The parties met in their home to discuss the action, which the plaintiff refused to withdraw, despite the defendant’s request that she do so. That night, the defendant physically assaulted the plaintiff with his hands, fists, and a flashlight, and said that he was going to kill her. The plaintiff lost consciousness from repeated blows to her head. When she regained consciousness, the defendant continued to hit her and attempted to strangle her. He also pulled out large amounts of her hair. Ultimately, the plaintiff and the children managed to escape from the defendant and to flee the home. Shortly after these events, and in addition to the marital dissolution action, the plaintiff initiated this civil action against the defendant to compensate her for the injuries that she suffered. The state also filed criminal charges against the defendant.”

Farren pleaded not guilty to charges of attempt to commit murder, first-degree assault and risk of injury to a child—and was convicted of all three offenses on Sept. 11, 2014, judicial records show. He is serving 15 years in a prison in Newtown.

A tax lien on the property owned by Farren at 388 Wahackme Road was dissolved in May 2015, according to documents filed at the New Canaan Town Clerk’s office. He had paid about $4.4 million for the home in 2004.

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