McDONALD APPOINTS LAVERY AS CHIEF JUDGE OF APPELLATE COURT
HARTFORD The Honorable Francis M. McDonald, Jr.,
Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, announced today the appointment of Judge
William J. Lavery to Chief Judge of the Appellate Court. Judge Lavery succeeds Judge
Edward Y. OConnell, who retired on March 12th.
Judge OConnell will continue to serve the
courts as a Judge Referee.
"As Chief Judge of the Appellate Court,
Judge OConnell did an excellent job and maintained the standard of excellence at the
Appellate Court," said Chief Justice McDonald.
"The caseload at the Appellate Court
continues to grow and the issues before it are increasingly complex," said Chief
Justice McDonald. "Judge Lavery has handled cases from juvenile to criminal as well
as complex civil cases as a trial judge and his opinions on the Appellate Court reflect
his legal knowledge and clear writing.
"We are pleased to have someone as talented
and experienced as Judge Lavery as Chief Judge of the Appellate Court," Chief Justice
Lavery, 61, was appointed a Superior Court Judge
in 1981 and served as Presiding Judge in the Danbury Judicial District and Chief
Administrative Judge in Waterbury, prior to his appointment to the Appellate Court in
"I am very honored by the Chief
Justices appointment and I will do my best to perform to the high standards he
expects," said Lavery, who lives in Newtown.
In a Law Day address Lavery honored the American
Justice system when he said, "Our judicial system has worked and has helped to make
us the most nearly free and secure people in the world."
A native of Bridgeport, Judge Lavery was a 1955
graduate of Fairfield University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics
and Philosophy. Judge Lavery received his law degree from Fordham Law School in 1964. He
was in private practice in Connecticut for 16 years.
He served two terms on the Bridgeport Board of
Aldermen (1963-67) and two terms as a State Representative (1967-71), where he presided as
Chairman of the Legislative Public Health and Safety Committee (1969-71). As a lawyer he
served as Town and Borough Attorney of Newtown (1976-81), attorney for the Housing
Authority of the City of Bridgeport (1969-72) and Counsel to the House Office of the
He has served his community as Director of the
AIDS Project of Greater Danbury, Director of the Pope John Paul II Health Care Center,
Director of the Newtown Scholarship Association and as a Trustee of C.H. Booth of Newtown.
Laverys appointment took effect on March
The Appellate Court, comprised of nine judges,
reviews decisions made in the Superior Court to determine if errors of law have been
committed. Generally, three judges hear and decide each case although the court may also
sit en banc (as a complete body). Like the Supreme Court, the Appellate Court does
not hear witnesses, but renders its decision based upon the record, briefs and oral