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May 13, 1999


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Chief Justice Callahan Announces Retirement

HARTFORD – The Honorable Robert J. Callahan today announced that he has notified Governor John G. Rowland of his intention to retire as Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, effective September 15, 1999.

Chief Justice Callahan was sworn in as the thirty-fourth Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court on August 29, 1996.

He said today that he informed Governor Rowland of his decision via letter earlier this week. " Serving as Chief Justice gave me the opportunity to oversee initiatives that will prepare the Judicial Branch to meet the challenges of the next millenium. I have greatly enjoyed working with the Executive and Legislative Branches to ensure that the Branch is positioned to meet these challenges," Chief Justice Callahan said.

Upon his retirement, Chief Justice Callahan will assume senior status and hear oral arguments on a part-time basis.

His announcement comes on the eve of a national summit on Public Trust and Confidence in the Courts that is taking place in Washington, D.C. Chief Justice Callahan, who is currently attending the conference, has implemented several initiatives that have made Connecticut a leader in this nation-wide endeavor.

In 1998, Chief Justice Callahan established the Commission on Public Trust and Confidence, which has issued a number of recommendations to improve overall trust and confidence levels and service to the citizens of Connecticut. Those recommendations stem from a statewide survey undertaken at the recommendation of the commission late last year.

New initiatives include the establishment of a statewide community outreach program, expansion of court interpreter services, development of court information desks and court service centers and a renewed emphasis on customer service.

In addition, the Chief Justice has overseen the merger of the Bail Commission, Office of Adult Probation, Juvenile Probation, Division of Juvenile Detention, Family Services Division and Office of Alternative Sanctions into a single Court Support Services Division.

Chief Justice Callahan praised Judge Robert C. Leuba, Chief Court Administrator, and Judge Aaron Ment, former Chief Court Administrator, for the supportive roles they played during his administration. "The administrative responsibilities associated with being Chief Justice are considerable," Chief Justice Callahan said. "I am grateful to have had the benefit of working with two excellent Chief Court Administrators to implement the programs and initiatives necessary to help our courts fulfill their mission to resolve cases in a fair, timely and cost effective manner."

A Norwalk native, Chief Justice Callahan received his B.S. from Boston College in 1952 and graduated from Fordham University Law School with an L.L.B., in 1955. He was admitted to the Connecticut Bar that same year. He was a member of the Norwalk Common Council from 1955-56 and 1969-70 and served in the United States Army from 1956-58.

Chief Justice Callahan was a Prosecuting Attorney for the Norwalk City Court in 1959-61 and Assistant Prosecutor for the Circuit Court from 1965-68. He was named a judge of the Circuit Court in 1970 and elevated to the Superior Court in 1976. He was nominated to the Connecticut Supreme Court by Governor William A. O’Neill, and, following confirmation by the General Assembly, became a member of the state’s highest court on June 22, 1985. Chief Justice Callahan and his wife, Dorothy, have eight children.


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