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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS DIVISION
231 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut 06106
(860) 757-2270, Fax (860) 757-2215

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MARCH 14, 2000

 

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CHIEF JUSTICE 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. O’Connell, who retired on March 12th.

Judge O’Connell will continue to serve the courts as a Judge Referee.

"As Chief Judge of the Appellate Court, Judge O’Connell 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 McDonald continued.

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 October 1989.

"I am very honored by the Chief Justice’s 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 Speaker (1971-73).

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.

Lavery’s appointment took effect on March 12, 2000.

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 argument.

 

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