to Study Attorney Grievance Process to hold Public
Hearing in New Haven
HARTFORD The Commission to Study the Attorney
Grievance Process will conduct a public hearing on Thursday,
February 24, 2000 at 7
p.m. in the New Haven Superior Court to receive comments regarding the attorney
disciplinary system in Connecticut. The Commission was formed by the State Judicial Branch
to enhance the attorney disciplinary process. It is charged with conducting a
comprehensive review of the attorney disciplinary system and making recommendations to
address how the current system can be improved.
"The regulation of attorneys admitted to
practice law in the State of Connecticut is one of the many important functions of the
Judiciary," said Supreme Court Justice Francis M. McDonald, Jr., who appointed the
Commission members. "A major part of that responsibility is the attorney disciplinary
process by which claims of attorney misconduct are investigated and resolved."
Currently, the judges of the Connecticut
Superior Court delegate much of the attorney disciplinary review process to the Statewide
Grievance Committee and to the Judicial District Grievance Panels. These groups are
comprised of dedicated volunteersattorneys and non-attorneys alikeand are
assisted by Judicial Branch staff.
"We cannot overemphasize the importance of
such a process," said former Supreme Court Justice Robert I. Berdon, chair of the
"The Judicial Branch is committed to
ensuring that any system that is developed receives input from members of the
public," explained Berdon. " I encourage individuals who have gone through the
Attorney Grievance Process to attend the public hearing to provide the Commission with
suggestions on how to improve the process. It is through such input and constant
re-examination of the process that the Judiciary can ensure the integrity of the
The last time a similar review was conducted was
almost 10 years ago, in March 1990, when then Chief Justice Ellen A. Peters appointed the
Judicial Council on Legal Ethics.
Joining Justice Berdon on the Commission are
judges, attorneys and members of the public, including: the Honorable Richard E. Arnold;
the Honorable Juliett L. Crawford; the Honorable Joseph P. Flynn; the Honorable William J.
Lavery; the Honorable Sheridan L. Moore; the Honorable Lynda B. Munro; the Honorable
Christine S. Vertefeuille; Representatives Robert Farr, Michael P. Lawlor; Senator Thomas
F. Upson; Attorneys Paul V. Carty, Milagros Cruz, Raymond J. Devlin, Jr., Thomas Flaherty,
Roger J. Frechette, William F. Gallagher, Richard Newman, A. Searle Pinney; Carmen
Donnarumma and Frank Morgan.
The Superior Court is located at 235 Church
Street in New Haven. The hearing will be held in the Jury Assembly Room located on the
ninth floor of the Courthouse. The Commission anticipates holding additional public
hearings in Bridgeport, New London and Waterbury.