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Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont Nominates Judge Dawne Westbrook to the Appellate Court

Headshot of Judge Dawne Westbrook
The Honorable Dawne G. Westbrook of the Connecticut Superior Court.
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(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is nominating the Honorable Dawne G. Westbrook to serve as a judge of the Connecticut Appellate Court.

Since 2009, Judge Westbrook has served on the Connecticut Superior Court and currently is the Chief Administrative Judge for Juvenile Matters in a role that requires her to oversee all policies affecting the court’s juvenile division, including soliciting advice from other juvenile judges, assisting with the statewide implementation of policies and programs, training new judges on juvenile law, proposing and monitoring practice book rule changes, giving input on proposed legislation and how it will affect the juvenile division, and training all judges sitting in the juvenile division on all legislative, rule, and case law changes.

She is being nominated to fill the seat most recently held by the Honorable Eliot D. Prescott, who elected to take senior status effective October 10, 2023.

“Judge Westbrook has served the Connecticut Superior Court with distinction for more than a decade and has taken a hands-on role with overseeing the administration of thousands of cases involving children under 18 years old,” Governor Lamont said. “I believe that her experience and skills will be a valuable contribution to the important mission of the Appellate Court. Judge Prescott has been widely recognized as a true legal scholar, and I appreciate and thank him for his nearly 20 years of service to Connecticut’s courts.”

“It is a tremendous honor to be nominated by Governor Ned Lamont to join the distinguished judges on the Appellate Court,” Judge Westbrook said. “I am thankful for the confidence that he has shown in me to further serve the State of Connecticut.”

During her tenure on the court, Judge Westbrook has served in a number of judicial committees, including the Public Service and Trust Commission, the Executive Committee, the Client Security Fund Committee, the Judicial Media Committee, the Human Capital Committee, and the Judicial Education Committee.

Prior to taking the bench, she worked as an attorney in both public and private practice, and dedicated her career to addressing a wide range of legal issues, including civil rights, constitutional law, employment discrimination, and criminal defense. This includes work as an assistant commission counsel for the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, where she investigated claims of discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and conducted hearings on claims of discrimination. She has also worked for several years as a legal redress counsel for the Connecticut chapter of the NAACP, responding to calls from around the state regarding allegations of racial discrimination.

Outside of her work with the court, Judge Westbrook volunteers with several community organizations, including as a member of the NAACP; president of the Farmington Valley Links; a jewel member of the Greater Hartford Chapter of Jack & Jill America; a board member of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers; a life fellow member of the Connecticut Bar Foundation; a previous board member of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House; and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

“Judge Westbrook’s exemplary record and extensive experience make her an ideal nominee to fill the vacancy on the Appellate Court,” State Senator Gary Winfield (D-New Haven), co-chair of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, said. “With over a decade of service on the Connecticut Superior Court, Judge Westbrook has demonstrated unwavering dedication to upholding the law and pursuing justice. Her commitment to public service and involvement in various community organizations showcase her well-rounded and compassionate approach to justice. It is with confidence that I support her nomination to the Appellate Court, where her knowledge and integrity will undoubtedly benefit our judicial system.”

“I am confident in Judge Westbrook’s proven ability as a jurist through her nearly 15 years on the bench in a range of family and state court positions,” State Representative Steve Stafstrom (D-Bridgeport), co-chair of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, said. “In her current role as the state’s chief administrative judge for juvenile matters, Judge Westbrook has worked to enhance and expand training for juvenile court judges, and it has been a privilege to work collaboratively with her on several issues before the Judiciary Committee. I look forward to a quick confirmation hearing.”

Judge Westbrook earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and philosophy from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and a Juris Doctor degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law, also in Nashville.

The Office of the Governor is forwarding Judge Westbrook’s nomination to the Connecticut General Assembly for its advice and consent.

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