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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 4, 2000

 

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Commission to Study Attorney Grievance Process to Hold Public Hearing in Waterbury

HARTFORD – The Commission to Study the Attorney Grievance Process will conduct a public hearing on Monday, April 17th at 7 p.m. at the Waterbury 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 volunteers—attorneys and non-attorneys alike—and 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 Commission.

Thus far, hearings have been held in Hartford, New Haven and New London. One will be planned in Bridgeport at a time and date to be announced.

"The Commission has gained invaluable information from the public at the previous hearings," said Justice Berdon. "We intend to ponder each matter placed before us and take all criticisms, suggestions and comments very seriously."

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.

"The Judicial Branch is committed to ensuring that any system that is developed receives input from members of the public," explained Justice 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 system."

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 and 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 400 Grand Street in Waterbury. The hearing will be held in the Jury Assembly Room on the 4th floor of the Courthouse. Directions to the Waterbury Superior Courthouse can be found at the Judicial Branch website (www.jud.ct.gov). 

 

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