THE SUPREME COURT
Seated, left to right: Justice Richard A. Robinson, Justice Richard N. Palmer, Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers, Justice Andrew J. McDonald, Justice Gregory T. D'Auria; Standing, left to right: Senior Justice Carmen E. Espinosa, Justice Raheem L. Mullins, Justice Maria Araujo Kahn, Senior Justice Christine S. Vertefeuille.
CONNECTICUT SUPREME COURT
CHIEF JUSTICE CHASE T. ROGERS
Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers is a Connecticut native. After graduating from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979, she earned a Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law in 1983.
Chief Justice Rogers spent her career as an attorney at the law firm of Cummings & Lockwood, where she specialized in commercial and employment litigation. In 1991, she was elected as a partner of the firm.
In January of 1998, Chief Justice Rogers was sworn in as a Superior Court judge. Her assignments included serving as the Presiding Judge for juvenile matters in Bridgeport, the Presiding Judge for civil matters in the Stamford-Norwalk Judicial District, the Regional Child Protection Session in Middletown, and the Complex Litigation Docket in Stamford.
On March 15, 2006, Chief Justice Rogers was sworn in as an Appellate Court judge, and on April 25, 2007, Chief Justice Rogers was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. The Governor nominated her for another eight-year term on March 31, 2015, and she was sworn in on April 22, 2015.
Chief Justice Rogers currently serves on the State Justice Institute's Board of Directors and on June 13, 2016, was elected as Chairperson. She was appointed to the Board in December of 2010 by President Barack Obama, with the advice and consent of the Senate. She was appointed to the Federal-State Jurisdiction, Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in 2012. Chief Justice Rogers also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Conference of Chief Justices and as a member of the Civil Justice Implementation Steering Committee and was selected as Chairperson on August 18, 2016. She has also served on the National Center for State Courts Expanding Court Access to Justice Project Advisory Committee and the Conference of Chief Justices Civil Justice Initiative Committee.
In May of 2010, Chief Justice Rogers received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Quinnipiac University School of Law and in December of 2011, she received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Hartford. Additionally, Chief Justice Rogers is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law since 2012.
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE RICHARD N. PALMER
Justice Richard N. Palmer was born May 27, 1950 in Hartford, Connecticut. He graduated from Wethersfield High School in 1968. Justice Palmer received his Bachelor of Arts degree, Phi Beta Kappa, from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut in 1972, where he captained the tennis and squash teams and was named a first-team All-American in squash. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut School of Law, with high honors, in 1977, and was a member of the Connecticut Law Review.
Upon graduation from law school, Justice Palmer served as law clerk to Judge Jon O. Newman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (then of the United States District Court) from 1977 to 1978. Justice Palmer was an associate with the Hartford law firm of Shipman & Goodwin from 1978 to 1980. Thereafter, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney for Connecticut from 1980 to 1982 and again from 1987 to 1990, and held several supervisory positions in that office, including Chief of the Criminal Division and Deputy United States Attorney. From 1984 to 1986, he practiced privately with the firm of Chatigny and Palmer. In 1991, Justice Palmer was appointed to the position of United States Attorney for Connecticut and from 1991 to 1993, he was the Chief State's Attorney for Connecticut. On March 17, 1993, he was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Justice Palmer's current professional affiliations include his service as Co-Chair of the Appellate Rules Committee; Co-Chair of the Federal-State Council; Co-Chair of the Legal Internship Committee; Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Justice Education Center, Inc.; a member of the Board of Directors for the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; a member of the Board of Directors for Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers Connecticut, Inc.; Life Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation; and Special Trustee of the Anna Fuller Fund.
Justice Palmer also was Chair of the Criminal Justice Commission from 2006 to 2017; a member of the Executive Committee of the Superior Court from 2000 to 2012; Chair of the Client Security Fund Committee from 2000 to 2006; Chair of the Judicial Branch Public Access Task Force; and a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Quinnipiac University School of Law (1998 to 2008) and Yale Law School (2006 to 2008), where he taught seminars on Ethics and the Criminal Law and Ethics in Litigation. He is a former member and past president of the Board of Directors of The Fund for Greater Hartford (formerly the Hartford Courant Foundation).
Justice Palmer has received a number of honors and awards, including the 2015 Judicial Recognition Award of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association; the 2006 Connecticut Law Review Award; the 2006 Judicial Branch Article Fifth Award; the 1997 Distinguished Graduate Award of the University of Connecticut Law School Alumni Association, Inc.; and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law in 1999.
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE ANDREW J. MCDONALD
Justice Andrew J. McDonald is a Connecticut native. Born in Stamford on March 11, 1966, he attended Stamford public schools before entering college. After graduating from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988, he earned a Juris Doctor degree, with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1991, where he served as the Managing Editor of the Connecticut Journal of International Law. Justice McDonald also holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Western New England University School of Law.
In January of 2013, Governor Dannel P. Malloy nominated Justice McDonald to be an Associate Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court and he was confirmed by the Connecticut General Assembly later that month. He was sworn into office on January 24, 2013, by Governor Malloy. In addition, Governor Malloy appointed Justice McDonald as the Chairman of the Connecticut Criminal Justice Commission in June 2016.
Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice McDonald served as the General Counsel to the Office of the Governor for the State of Connecticut from 2011 to 2013. In this role, he served as Chief Legal Advisor to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and senior staff of the Executive Branch of government. His responsibilities included providing legal counsel and analysis on all aspects of Executive Branch functions and operations, including its interactions with the federal government and Judicial and Legislative branches of state government.
From 1991 to 2011, Justice McDonald was engaged in the private practice of law, first as an associate and then as a partner, with the firm of Pullman & Comley, LLC. He was a commercial litigator and handled all stages of litigation in federal and state courts at both the trial and appellate levels.
From January of 1999 to July of 2002, Justice McDonald additionally served as the Director of Legal Affairs and Corporation Counsel for the City of Stamford. In this capacity, he served in the Mayor's Cabinet and oversaw the administration, supervision and performance of all legal, human resource and labor relations functions of the city and its boards, commissions and agencies.
Justice McDonald was a State Senator from 2003 to 2011. He served as the Senate Chairman of the Judiciary Committee for all eight years he was in the General Assembly. During periods of his legislative career he also served as the Senate Vice Chairman of the Energy and Technology Committee and as a member of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee; the Transportation Committee; the Education Committee; and the Regulations Review Committee. From 2005 to 2011, he served as Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate.
Earlier in his career, Justice McDonald served on the Stamford Board of Finance from 1995 to 1999, including serving as the board's Chairman from 1997 to 1999, and as Co-chair of the Audit Committee from 1995 to 1997. He began his public service career in 1993 as a member of the Stamford Board of Representatives, where he served until 1995.
Justice McDonald and his husband, Charles, live in Stamford.
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE RICHARD A. ROBINSON
Justice Richard A. Robinson was born December 10, 1957 in Stamford, Connecticut. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Connecticut in 1979, and a Juris Doctor degree from West Virginia University School of Law in 1984. He was admitted to the West Virginia Bar and the Connecticut Bar, and is a member of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of West Virginia and the U.S. District Court, Connecticut.
From 1985-1988, Justice Robinson was Staff Counsel for the City of Stamford Law Department. In 1988, he became Assistant Corporation Counsel in Stamford where he remained until his appointment as a judge of the Superior Court in 2000. He remained a Superior Court judge for the next seven years during which time he served as Presiding Judge (Civil) for the New Britain Judicial District (May 2003-September 2006), Presiding Judge (Civil) and Assistant Administrative Judge for the Ansonia/Milford Judicial District (September 2006-September 2007), and Presiding Judge (Civil) for the Stamford Judicial District (September 2007-December 2007). He was appointed as a judge of the Connecticut Appellate Court on December 10, 2007, and as a justice of the Supreme Court on December 19, 2013.
Justice Robinson's career is complemented by an array of public and judicial service. He served as President of the Stamford Branch of the NAACP (1988-1990), General Counsel for the Connecticut Conference of the NAACP (1988-2000), President of the Assistant Corporation Counsel's Union (AFSCME) (1989-2000), Commissioner of the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (1997-2000), Chair of the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (1999-2000), New Haven Inn of Court member (2002-present), Judicial Education Curriculum Committee member (2002- 2014), Judicial Education Committee member (2003-2014), Faculty at several Judicial Institutes as well as spring and fall lectures (2003-present), Civil Commission member (2005-2014), Court Annexed Mediator (2005-2014), Lawyers Assistance Advisory Board member (2007-present), Bench-Bar Foreclosure Committee (2007-2014), Legal Internship Committee (2013-2017), Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Cultural Competency (2009-present), and Chairperson of the Rules Committee (2017-present). His honors include the Connecticut Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Diversity Award (2010); Connecticut Bar Association’s Henry J. Naruk Judiciary Award for Integrity (2017); NAACP 100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut; and Connecticut Bar Foundation James W. Cooper Fellows, Life Fellow.
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE GREGORY T. D'AURIA
Justice Gregory T. D'Auria is a Connecticut native. Born on June 24, 1963, Justice D'Auria was sworn in as an Associate Justice on March 8, 2017. Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, he had worked in the Office of the Attorney General for over 23 years in a variety of roles. Justice D'Auria argued dozens of appeals in state and federal appellate courts during his years of service with the Office of the Attorney General, and until just before his appointment to the Court, had served as Connecticut's first Solicitor General, appointed to that position by Attorney General George Jepsen in 2011. Prior to that, he headed the Special Litigation and Charities Unit (2010-11) and also served as Associate Attorney General for Litigation (2000-09) and as an Assistant Attorney General (1993-2000). Justice D'Auria was an associate at Shipman & Goodwin from 1989 to 1993, and also served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Ellen A. Peters from 1988 to 1989.
In 2009, he was nominated and inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a distinguished national organization that works to advance the administration of justice and promote the highest standards of professionalism and advocacy in appellate courts. Justice D'Auria has also served as a UConn Moot Court instructor and was a founding director of the Connecticut Supreme Court Historical Society, serving most recently as Secretary of the Society's Board of Directors.
Justice D'Auria graduated from the University of Connecticut, Magna Cum Laude, in 1985, with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Phi Beta Kappa, in Political Science. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut School of Law, with high honors, in 1988, where he also served as editor-in-chief of the Connecticut Journal of International Law.
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE RAHEEM L. MULLINS
Justice Raheem L. Mullins was nominated to the Supreme Court on October 4, 2017 by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, and was sworn in on November 1, 2017. He is the youngest person to be nominated to the Supreme Court. Prior to this appointment, Justice Mullins served as a judge of the Appellate Court and as a judge of the Superior Court.
Justice Mullins received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts in 2001, and his Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law in 2004. Justice Mullins is admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court as well as the Connecticut Bar.
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Justice Mullins was an Assistant State’s Attorney for the Appellate Bureau, Division of Criminal Justice, in Rocky Hill, and an Assistant Attorney General in the Child Protection Division in Hartford. He worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Frederick L. Brown of the Massachusetts Appeals Court from 2004 to 2005.
Justice Mullins is a member of the Oliver Ellsworth Inn of Court and the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association. He also served as a member of the Young Lawyers Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, the Board of Directors for the Fund for Greater Hartford and, in 2007, as an Executive Committee Member of the Government Division of the Connecticut Bar Association.
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE MARIA ARAUJO KAHN
Justice Maria Araujo Kahn was born in Angola, Africa. She emigrated to the United States at ten years of age and is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish. She graduated from New York University, cum laude, with a B.A. in Politics in 1986, and earned her Juris Doctor from Fordham University School of Law in 1989. Justice Kahn was the first recipient of the Noreen E. McNamara Scholarship at Fordham University School of Law. Following law school, she served as law clerk to the Honorable Peter C. Dorsey, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Connecticut. She is a member of the United States Supreme Court, United States Federal District Court for the District of Connecticut, United States Court of Appeals Second Circuit, and the Connecticut and New York State Bars.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy nominated Justice Kahn to the Supreme Court on October 4, 2017, and she was sworn in on November 1, 2017. Prior to this appointment, Justice Kahn served as a judge of the Appellate Court and as a judge of the Superior Court, where she primarily heard criminal matters.
Before becoming a judge, Justice Kahn was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in New Haven. As a federal prosecutor, Justice Kahn was responsible for complex white collar investigations and prosecutions, both civil and criminal, in the areas of health care fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud and trade secrets.
Justice Kahn has been honored on several occasions with awards including: the Department of Justice Special Achievement Awards in 1998 to 2006, and the Department of Health and Human Services, OIG, Integrity Awards. On November 3, 2017, the Portuguese Bar Association presented Justice Kahn with the "Americo Ventura Lifetime Achievement Award."
Justice Kahn is co-chair of the Judicial Branch’s Access to Justice Commission and the Limited English Proficiency Committee. She was also a member of the Judges’ Education Committee and has taught several courses at the Connecticut Judges’ Institute. Justice Kahn is a James W. Cooper Fellow with the Connecticut Bar Foundation.
SENIOR JUSTICE CHRISTINE S. VERTEFEUILLE
Justice Christine S. Vertefeuille is a Connecticut native, born in New Britain on December 10, 1950. She graduated from Trinity College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1972, and the University of Connecticut School of Law with a Juris Doctor in 1975.
Justice Vertefeuille was in private practice from 1975-1989. During that time, she was a member of the Executive Committee of the Real Property Section of the Connecticut Bar Association (1988-89), the Cheshire Commission on Handicapped and Disabled (1988-89), and an alternate member of the Waterbury and New Haven Grievance Panels (1985-89).
Justice Vertefeuille began her career as a judge with her 1989 appointment to the Superior Court. During her tenure as a Superior Court judge, she presided over the Connecticut silicone gel breast implant cases (1993-99). In addition, Justice Vertefeuille served as the Administrative Judge in the Waterbury Judicial District (1994-99) and as a Complex Litigation judge (1999). She was the recipient of the 1995 Judicial Award from the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association. While serving as a Superior Court judge, Justice Vertefeuille was on the faculty of the Connecticut Judges' Institute.
Justice Vertefeuille was appointed as a judge of the Appellate Court on September 13, 1999, and as a justice of the Supreme Court on January 3, 2000. She served as the Administrative Judge of the Appellate System from June 1, 2000 to July 31, 2006. Justice Vertefeuille became a Senior Justice of the Supreme Court on June 1, 2010. She served as Co-chair of the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules from 2009 to 2013.
Justice Vertefeuille served as a member of the Fellows Education and Program Committee of the Connecticut Bar Foundation. In October of 2006, she was awarded the Tenth Anniversary Award from the Polish American Foundation of Connecticut, and in May of 2006, she received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Quinnipiac University School of Law. In December of 2004, Justice Vertefeuille received the Gatekeeper Award from "Common Good," a national organization devoted to restoring public confidence in the law.
SENIOR JUSTICE CARMEN ELISA ESPINOSA
Justice Carmen Elisa Espinosa became a justice of the Supreme Court on March 6, 2013, having been appointed to the position by Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Justice Espinosa is the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice in Connecticut. On July 16, 2017, Justice Espinosa became a Senior Justice of the Supreme Court.
Prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Espinosa was a judge of the Appellate Court, having been appointed to the position by Governor Malloy. She was sworn in on March 16, 2011, and was the first Hispanic appointed to serve as a judge of the Appellate Court.
Justice Espinosa was appointed to the Superior Court on January 10, 1992, and was the first Hispanic and Hispanic woman Superior Court judge in the State of Connecticut. As a Superior Court judge, Justice Espinosa presided over trials in the Judicial Districts of New Britain, Hartford and Waterbury. In addition to her duties on the bench, Justice Espinosa has been involved in judicial education and, for nine years, served on the Judicial Branch’s Education Committee, which oversees all facets of continuing education for members of the judiciary. Over the years, she has been on the faculty of the Education Committee, teaching criminal law courses. Justice Espinosa previously served on the Client Security Fund Committee and was also a member of the Sentence Review Division of the Superior Court. Justice Espinosa is an active member of the Judicial Branch’s Speakers Bureau and regularly addresses community groups and students. She also has been a guest on radio shows on WLIS and WPRX, Spanish radio.
Since her appointment to the Appellate Court, Justice Espinosa has been honored by the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, the Hispanic Bar Association, and Central Connecticut State University as an inaugural recipient of the Women of Influence Award. She was also featured on NBC Connecticut to promote Hispanic Heritage Month. In September 2011, Justice Espinosa was named one of 2011 Hispanic Business 100 Influentials by Hispanic Business magazine.
For 11 years prior to her appointment to the bench, Justice Espinosa was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut in Hartford, serving nine years in the Criminal Division and two years in the Civil Division. While an Assistant United States Attorney, Justice Espinosa received the United States Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award and the United States Department of Justice Special Achievement Award. Before becoming a federal prosecutor, she was a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Justice Espinosa received her Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Hispanic Studies from Brown University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education with a major in Spanish and French from Central Connecticut State University.
THE APPELLATE COURT
Seated, left to right: Judge Douglas S. Lavine, Chief Judge Alexandra D. DiPentima, Judge Bethany J. Alvord; Standing, left to right: Judge Nina F. Elgo, Judge Christine E. Keller, Judge Michael R. Sheldon, Judge Eliot D. Prescott, Judge William H. Bright, Jr.
CONNECTICUT APPELLATE COURT
CHIEF JUDGE ALEXANDRA D. DIPENTIMA
Judge Alexandra Davis DiPentima was born in Sharon, Connecticut in 1953 and raised in Kent, Connecticut. She was graduated from Princeton University, receiving an A.B. in Intellectual History in 1975. From 1976 to 1979, she attended the University of Connecticut School of Law and was graduated in 1979.
From 1979 to 1981, she worked as a staff attorney for Connecticut Legal Services, Inc. in Willimantic, Connecticut, representing low-income persons in domestic disputes (especially spousal abuse and custody issues) and housing disputes. In 1981, she joined the Hartford law firm of Moller, Horton & Fineberg, P.C., and in 1985, she became a principal in the firm. While associated with the firm from 1981 through 1993, she litigated products liability and other personal injury actions at the trial court level and enjoyed an active appellate advocacy practice. In November of 1993, Governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. appointed Judge DiPentima to the trial bench as a Superior Court judge. On May 13, 2003, Judge DiPentima was sworn in as a judge of the Appellate Court. On March 29, 2010, Judge DiPentima was sworn in as Chief Judge of the Appellate Court by Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers.
During her years of practice, Judge DiPentima was an active member of the Connecticut Bar Association, serving as president of the Young Lawyers Section from 1989 to 1990, and as a member of the Hartford County Bar Association, where she served as treasurer from 1993 to 1994 and as a director from 1990 to 1993. Each year since the late 1980s, she has written one or two chapters of annotations for the Connecticut Superior Court Civil Rules Annotated (Thomson Reuters).
Since her appointment to the bench, Judge DiPentima's assignments have included Presiding Judge of the Hartford and New Britain Housing Divisions, Presiding Judge in Meriden and, from 1998 to 2003, Administrative Judge of the Judicial District of Litchfield. She has served on the Rules Committee of the Superior Court and the Judicial Education Committee, and is currently co-chair of the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules. From 2001 to 2002, she served as president of the Connecticut Judges Association. In 2010, Judge DiPentima received the Connecticut Bar Association's Henry J. Naruk Judiciary Award. In 2011, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Connecticut School of Law Alumni Association.
In June of 2007, Chief Justice Rogers appointed her to serve as chair of the newly-formed Public Service and Trust Commission, which created a five-year strategic plan for the Judicial Branch. She continues to oversee the implementation of the Judicial Branch's strategic plan. In January of 2012, Judge DiPentima became an Adjunct Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law.
JUDGE DOUGLAS S. LAVINE
Judge Douglas S. Lavine is a native of White Plains, NY, where he attended public schools. He is a 1972 graduate of Colgate University, where he majored in History. After graduating from Colgate, he attended the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, earning a Master’s degree in Journalism. He earned his law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1977, and an LL.M. from Columbia Law School in 1981.
He was a reporter and editor for various newspapers before entering into his legal career. He worked in the Litigation Department of the Hartford law firm of Shipman & Goodwin from 1981 to 1986, and served as an Assistant United States Attorney from 1986 to 1993. In 1993, Governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. appointed him to be a Superior Court judge. He was reappointed by Governor John G. Rowland in 2001. In February of 2006, he was nominated by Governor M. Jodi Rell to a position on the Appellate Court where, following approval by the Legislature, he now sits. He has taught as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac University Schools of Law.
A resident of West Hartford, Judge Lavine is the author of two books on advocacy. His wife, Lucretia, is a social worker and his daughter, Julia, also a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law, is a practicing lawyer in Hartford.
JUDGE BETHANY J. ALVORD
Judge Bethany J. Alvord was born in Boston, Massachusetts. She attended Colgate University, graduating cum laude in 1979, with a B.A. in Russian Studies and International Relations. Judge Alvord then attended the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she received her Juris Doctor, with honors, in corporate law in 1982.
Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Alvord served on the Town of Suffield Zoning Board of Appeals from 1988 to 1999. She also served on the Town of Suffield Retirement Commission from 1997 to 1998.
From 1982 to 1992, Judge Alvord was employed by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company as Second Vice President and Associate General Counsel in its Law Department. From 1993 to 1998, Judge Alvord was employed by Aetna, Inc. as the Assistant Vice President, Counsel, for the Retirement Services Division.
In January of 1999, Judge Alvord was sworn in as a Family Support Magistrate for the State of Connecticut. She served as a Family Support Magistrate until 2002, when she became a judge of the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut. During her time on the Superior Court bench, Judge Alvord served as the Presiding Judge of the Family Division in New Haven. She was also assigned to hear matters in Rockville, Tolland, Waterbury and Hartford.
In April of 2009, Governor M. Jodi Rell appointed Judge Alvord to the Appellate Court.
JUDGE MICHAEL R. SHELDON
Judge Michael R. Sheldon was born and raised in Schenectady, New York, where he attended public schools before attending Princeton University. At Princeton, where he was named a University Scholar and Scholar of the Woodrow Wilson School, he received an A.B. in Public and International Affairs and a Certificate of Proficiency in Russian Studies in 1971. Thereafter, he attended Yale Law School, from which he graduated in 1974.
Following law school, Judge Sheldon participated in the E. Barrett Prettyman Legal Internship Program at the Georgetown University Law Center. In that capacity, he was trained in criminal trial and appellate advocacy while supervising upper-class law students in the representation of criminal defendants in the Law Center's Clinical Programs. In 1976, he was hired by the University of Connecticut School of Law as a professor of law and appointed director of the Criminal Clinic. He worked at the law school until 1991, teaching courses in criminal law and procedure, establishing and operating the Moot Court Interterm Program, and training and supervising upper-class law students in the representation of criminal defendants in the Trial and Appellate Divisions of the Criminal Clinic.
Judge Sheldon was appointed to the Superior Court by Governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. in 1991. In his 20 years of service as a Superior Court judge, his assignments included terms in the Civil and Criminal Divisions of the Hartford, New Britain and Litchfield Superior Courts, as well as a four-year term pioneering the Complex Litigation Docket in Waterbury. He is a member of the Code of Evidence Oversight Committee, and has previously served as chair of the Civil Electronic Benchbook Committee, co-chair of the Education Committee, and a member of the Rules Committee, the Civil Division Task Force, and the Civil Jury Instructions Committee. Judge Sheldon was elevated to the Appellate Court by Governor Dannel P. Malloy in 2011.
Off the bench, Judge Sheldon has coached the mock trial teams of Canton High School and Canton Intermediate School, conducted educational programs for Russian judges and lawyers as vice-chair of the Connecticut-Pskov Rule of Law Partnership, and co-taught a course in Law and Forensic Science at the University of Connecticut School of Law. In 2009, he received the Connecticut Bar Association's Henry J. Naruk Judiciary Award, and was named a Distinguished Friend of Education by the Connecticut Association of Schools.
He lives in Canton with his wife, Diane, with whom he has raised their four children: Graham, Conor, Rowan and Cameron.
JUDGE CHRISTINE E. KELLER
Judge Christine E. Keller, of Hartford, is an honors graduate of Smith College (1974), and an honors graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law (1977).
On January 24, 2013, Judge Keller was nominated by Governor Dannel P. Malloy to be a judge of the Appellate Court, and the General Assembly approved her nomination on March 6, 2013. Prior to her appointment to the Appellate Court, Judge Keller was a Superior Court judge, having been appointed by Governor Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. in 1993, and a Family Support Magistrate, having been appointed by Governor William A. O'Neill in 1989.
Since her appointment as a Connecticut Superior Court judge, Judge Keller has served as Presiding Judge in both the Hartford and Plainville juvenile courts, and has also served terms in Waterbury criminal court, New Britain civil and family courts, the Middletown Regional Child Protection Session, and Hartford criminal and civil courts. From 1997 to 2002, she served as the statewide Chief Administrative Judge for Juvenile Matters.
In 2005, she was appointed Administrative Judge for the Judicial District of Hartford, a position she held until 2007, when she was reappointed a second time as Chief Administrative Judge for Juvenile Matters, a position she held until 2012. In 2008, the Connecticut Bar Association awarded Judge Keller the Henry J. Naruk Judiciary Award, presented annually to a Connecticut judge for judicial excellence.
Judge Keller serves or has served on a number of task forces and committees affecting juvenile issues, including the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee and the Child Advocate Advisory Board. She has also served on the Court Improvement Project Advisory Board and the Governor's Task Force on Judicial Reform, which addressed openness in the Judicial Branch. Judge Keller also served as the chair of the Committee on Judicial Ethics. From 1997 to 2005, Judge Keller was a member of the Superior Court Rules Committee. She also served as chair of a task force to recommend revisions to the juvenile rules of practice and a member of a subcommittee proposing revisions to the Code of Judicial Conduct.
Prior to her appointment as a Family Support Magistrate and after graduation from law school, Judge Keller practiced family, personal injury and real estate law at Neighborhood Legal Services in Hartford, and subsequently worked at the Office of the Corporation Counsel for the City of Hartford and the law firm of Ritter and Keller.
Judge Keller is a member of the Connecticut and Harford County Bar Associations and the Connecticut Judges Association, where she has held the offices of secretary and vice president. She was a member of the Judicial Review Council, the state disciplinary body for judges, from 2006 to 2008.
Judge Keller has served as a faculty member of the Connecticut Judges' Institute, conducting three seminars on judicial ethics and juvenile law for other Connecticut judges. She has lectured on juvenile topics in numerous attorney training programs. She is also a James Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, and former president of the Hartford chapter of the Inns of Court, a networking and training group for newly admitted attorneys.
JUDGE ELIOT D. PRESCOTT
Judge Eliot D. Prescott was born January 21, 1965 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He attended St. George's School in Newport, Rhode Island, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1988. He graduated with high honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1992.
Following law school, Judge Prescott served as the law clerk to the Honorable David M. Borden on the Connecticut Supreme Court. He also worked as an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP.
In 1994, Judge Prescott returned to Connecticut where he served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General. In 2001, he became the Department Head of the Special Litigation Department within the Office of the Attorney General, where he supervised lawyers, accountants, paralegals and other support staff. During his tenure as an Assistant Attorney General, he represented the State of Connecticut in complex litigation matters in state and federal court, and argued more than 25 appeals in the Connecticut Supreme Court, Appellate Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In 2002, he received the "New Leaders of the Law" award from the Connecticut Law Tribune for outstanding government service.
Judge Prescott was appointed to the Superior Court by Governor John G. Rowland in 2004. During his time as a trial judge, Judge Prescott presided over Part A and Part B criminal trials and civil matters in various locations around the state. He also served as the Presiding Judge of the Administrative Appeals and Tax Session of the Superior Court. He served as a member of the Rules Committee of the Superior Court and the Advisory Committee on the Appellate Rules. On numerous occasions, he has served on the faculty of the annual Connecticut Judges' Institute.
From 1998 to 2015, Judge Prescott was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he taught administrative law. He is the co-author, along with Professor Colin C. Tait, of two legal treatises: Connecticut Appellate Practice and Procedure (ALM), and Tait's Handbook of Connecticut Evidence (Wolters Kluwer).
Judge Prescott was appointed to the Appellate Court in 2014 by Governor Dannel P. Malloy.
JUDGE NINA F. ELGO
Judge Nina F. Elgo is the first Asian Pacific American judge appointed to the Connecticut Appellate Court, and was the first Asian Pacific American judge appointed to the Connecticut Superior Court.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy nominated Judge Elgo to be a judge of the Appellate Court, and the General Assembly confirmed her appointment on May 25, 2017.
Prior to her appointment to the Appellate Court, Judge Elgo served as a Superior Court judge since May 5, 2004. In this role, she heard civil matters in the Hartford Judicial District and also served as Presiding Judge for the Child Protection Session in the Middlesex Judicial District. Additionally, she presided over criminal, juvenile and habeas corpus cases in the Hartford, Tolland and New Haven judicial districts.
Judge Elgo has served on various committees designed to improve the court system. Since 2012, she has served as a member of the Connecticut Bar Examining Committee and previously served on the Rules Committee of the Superior Court. For many years, Judge Elgo served on the Committee for Judicial Education and has been a frequent faculty member/facilitator of the Connecticut Judges’ Institute. Additionally, in 2013, Governor Malloy appointed her to represent the Judicial Branch as a member of the Connecticut team selected to participate in the Three Branch Institute on Child Social and Emotional Well-Being Initiative sponsored by the National Governors Association.
Judge Elgo is the recipient of various awards and recognitions. In 2015, Judge Elgo was honored with the Native Daughter of Norwich Award; in 2014, she was the recipient of the CT Asian Pacific American Bar Association Impact Award; and in 2013, Judge Elgo was the recipient of the Edwin Archer Randolph Diversity Award. As the first Asian Pacific American judge in Connecticut, Judge Elgo was honored in 2006 by the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association Women’s Caucus as a "Trailblazer in the Connecticut Judiciary." She was also a recipient of the 2007 Connecticut Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section Diversity Award.
Judge Elgo is a member of the Swift’s Inn, a Bencher Emeritus member of the Oliver Ellsworth Inn of Court and is a James W. Cooper Fellow and member of the Education and Program Committee of the Connecticut Bar Foundation. She was also active for several years with the Connecticut-Pskov Russian American Rule of Law Consortium.
Judge Elgo is a first generation Filipino-American, born in Groton, CT and raised in Norwich, CT. She received her B.A. from Connecticut College in 1984, and her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in 1990. Judge Elgo is married to Attorney Christopher Kriesen and they have a daughter, Caroline.
JUDGE WILLIAM H. BRIGHT, JR.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy nominated Judge William H. Bright, Jr. to the Appellate Court on October 4, 2017, and he was sworn in on November 1, 2017.
Prior to this appointment, Judge Bright served as a judge of the Superior Court, having been nominated by Governor M. Jodi Rell in January 2008. While a Superior Court judge, Judge Bright served as the Chief Administrative Judge for the Civil Division and as the Administrative and Presiding Judge for the Tolland/Rockville Judicial District, where he heard civil, criminal and habeas corpus matters.
Judge Bright has served on a number of Judicial Branch committees, including the Civil Commission, the Client Security Fund Committee, the Civil Jury Instruction Committee, the Rules Committee, the Access to Justice Commission and the Pro Bono Committee, which he chaired. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Bar Foundation.
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Bright had a distinguished career as a trial lawyer. The Columbia resident was the managing partner of McCarter & English’s Hartford law office and co-chair of the firm’s Business Litigation practice group. He also was a shareholder in Cummings & Lockwood, a member of the firm’s Board of Directors, and chair of the firm’s Litigation practice group. Judge Bright was selected as one of the Best Lawyers in the United States by Chambers USA, and was twice named one of the top 50 lawyers in the State by Connecticut Magazine. His practice focused on complex commercial litigation matters, including business torts, fraud, intellectual property, franchise disputes and environmental law.
Judge Bright is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School in 1987.