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04/05/2018

Gov. Malloy Nominates Justice Robinson as Chief Justice and Judge Ecker as Associate Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court

Also Announces Nomination of Five Connecticut Residents to the Superior Court

Justice Robinson speaking at podium
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(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he is nominating Associate Justice Richard Allan Robinson of Stamford to serve as Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. In addition, the Governor announced that he is nominating Superior Court Judge Steven D. Ecker of New Haven to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

“During his esteemed career in public and judicial service Justice Robinson has demonstrated a keen legal acumen and incisive insight,” Governor Malloy said. “I am confident that as Chief Justice, his tenure will be marked with distinction and his leadership will prove to be invaluable, should he be confirmed.”

If confirmed, Justice Robinson would fill the seat that was most recently held by Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers, who retired from the bench in February.

“If I am confirmed, I will do all that is humanly possible to live up to the high standards of this office,” Justice Robinson said.

Justice Robinson has been an associate justice of the Supreme Court since December 2013. He was first appointed as a judge to the Superior Court judge in 2000 and to the Appellate Court in 2007. Prior to his service on the courts, Justice Robinson had a distinguished career in public service, serving the City of Stamford as Staff Counsel and then as Assistant Corporation Counsel for a combined fifteen years. Throughout his career, he also served in various leadership positions and was a member of a myriad of professional and civic organizations, such as President to the Stamford Branch of the NAACP (1988-1990) and as the Chair of the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (1997-2000). He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Connecticut and a Juris Doctor degree from West Virginia University School of Law.

Should Justice Robinson be confirmed as Chief Justice, Judge Ecker would fill the Associate Justice seat that is currently held by Justice Robinson.

“Judge Ecker has shown himself to be a fair and impartial jurist during his time on the court and throughout his stellar legal career,” Governor Malloy said. “I am confident that he will serve the people of Connecticut well on the Supreme Court.”

“I am enormously grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Connecticut as a justice of the Supreme Court,” Judge Ecker said. “If confirmed by the General Assembly, I will strive every day to uphold the public trust.”

Judge Ecker became a judge of the Superior Court in April 2014, after having been nominated by Governor Malloy and approved by the General Assembly. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Ecker was a member of the Hartford law firm Cowdery, Ecker & Murphy, LLC. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jon O. Newman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Yale College and Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.

Five additional Superior Court nominations

Governor Malloy today also announced that he is nominating five state residents to fill vacancies for judgeships on the Connecticut Superior Court. These announcements come in addition to the eleven nominations for the court that the Governor made on Tuesday.

While these nominations represent only a fraction of the 42 vacancies that currently exist in the Superior Court, these judges will provide critical judicial capacity in performing the essential duties of the court system.

In addition to those announced so far this week, the Governor intends to make further judicial nominations for the Superior Court in the coming days.

Governor Malloy’s nominations for the Superior Court include:

  • Eric D. Coleman of Bloomfield: Coleman is the owner of the Law Office of Eric D. Coleman, where since 1986 he has practiced law with areas of concentration in criminal defense, personal injury, family law, probate maters, and real estate transactions. Previously, he worked from 1991 to 2001 as the Deputy Town Attorney for the Town of Bloomfield and in 1986 as an associate with Tulisano and Lifshitz in Rocky Hill. He has also worked as a Management Consultant with Aetna Life and Casualty from 1981 to 1985, and as a Deputy Assistant Public Defender for the Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services from 1978 to 1981, where he represented individuals accused of criminal offenses at all stages of criminal court proceedings. He was elected to serve in several public offices, including as State Senator of the Connecticut General Assembly’s 2nd Senatorial District of Hartford from 1995 to 2017, and as State Representative of its 1st Assembly District from 1983 to 1995. He serves as a member on several boards of organizations in the state, including Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Humanidad, the Community Renewal Team, and Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church. He is a graduate of Columbia University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor degree.
  • Nuala E. Droney of Columbia: Droney is a partner in business litigation with Robinson & Cole LLP in Hartford, for whom she has worked since 2007. It is in that position that she serves as a first chair trial attorney, representing clients in state and federal court, as well as arbitration, in disputes ranging from complex business litigation to pro bono representation of indigent clients. She also serves as chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Team, as a member of its White-Collar Defense and Corporate Compliance Team, and as chair of its Women’s Committee – a position that led her to being a founding member of the firm’s Domestic Violence Restraining Order program, which provides free legal services to family violence victims. Previously, she worked from 2005 to 2007 as an associate in commercial litigation with Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston, and as a law clerk from 2004 to 2005 for the Honorable Alfred v. Covello of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. Droney also serves on several boards, including on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Housing and Finance Authority, the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Hartford and Hans Christian Anderson Montessori School of Bolton, and as a member of the Women in White Collar Defense Association. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in History, and the University of Virginia School of Law, where she received her Juris Doctor degree.
  • Ann E. Lynch of Granby: Lynch is an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General, where she serves as a Department Head of the Employment Rights Unit. In this position, which she has held since 2012, she has defended employment, civil rights, and tort actions against the State of Connecticut and its officials and employees. From 1994 to 2012, she worked as an Assistant Attorney General in the office’s Public Safety Department, defending the Connecticut Department of Correction and individual officials and employees of the agency. Prior to her service with the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General, she worked from 1990 to 1994 as a litigation associate with Updike Kelly and Spellacy in Hartford defending attorneys, physicians, dentists, and engineers who had been sued for professional malpractice. She is a graduate of the State university of New York at Albany, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Economic and Sociology, and the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she received her Juris Doctor degree.
  • Margarita Hartley Moore of Milford: Hartley Moore is an attorney with the Law Offices of Margarita Hartley Moore, where since 1995 she has focused her practice primarily on family law, including discovery, litigation, mediation, and negotiation, representing clients in the Superior and Appellate Court. Previously, she worked from 1991 to 1995 as an associate attorney with the law firm of Stevens, Carroll & Carveth in Milford, and from 1989 to 1991 as a temporary assistant clerk with the Bridgeport Superior Court. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English, the New England School of Law, where she received her Juris Doctor degree, and Pace University School of Law, where she received her Masters of Law degree in Environmental Law.
  • James Sicilian of West Hartford: Sicilian is General Counsel for the law firm of Day Pitney LLP in Hartford – a position he has held since 2014. He has worked for the firm since 1982, first as an associate and then as a partner in 1989. Throughout his career at Day Pitney, he has been engaged in a commercial trial practice, primarily in the state and federal courts in Connecticut. Previously, he worked as a law clerk from 1981 to 1982 for the Honorable Thomas J. Meskill of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Sicilian has also served on several boards, including as a member of the Board of the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, as a member of the Board of Directors for Community Partners in Action, and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association. He is a graduate of Bucknell University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Economics, and the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor degree.

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