Leaks of appellate court draft opinions are giving some attorneys a leg up when it comes to settling cases, sources tell Gotcha!.

Those sources, who spoke on a condition of anonymity because of the nature of the information, assert that someone in Connecticut Appellate Court Judge Robert Bradley’s chambers is leaking drafts of opinions to attorneys involved in the cases before Judge Bradley hands down those opinions.

Attorneys have used those leaks to formulate their last-minute settlement strategies. Essentially, if the draft opinion is favorable, the attorney pulls out of settlement negotiations. However, if it appears from the draft that the attorney’s client is about to lose its appeal, the attorney settles the case to avoid that pending judgment.

In complex civil cases, settling a losing case can save the clients millions of dollars in hefty damages, sources tell Gotcha!. Two Hartford attorneys, who requested anonymity for professional reasons, said they had seen cases abruptly settle at the last minute in Judge Bradley’s chambers under circumstances they called “definitely curious.”

Sources tell Gotcha! the leaks are limited to Judge Bradley’s cases and a couple of prominent Hartford law firms. It goes without saying that the leaks are egregious breaches of ethics for both sides, in addition to illegal.

Both Judge Bradley and the Connecticut Committee on Judicial Ethics declined to comment. Gotcha! will pass along more information as this story develops.