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Commission to Study Attorney Grievance Process

HARTFORD -- In an effort to further enhance the attorney disciplinary process, the Judicial Branch announced today the formation of the Commission to Study the Attorney Grievance Process. The Commission is charged with conducting a comprehensive review of the attorney disciplinary system in Connecticut and making recommendations to address how the current system can be improved.

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.

"The regulation of attorneys admitted to practice law in the state of Connecticut is one of the many important functions of the judiciary," Chief Justice Francis M. McDonald, Jr. said. "A major part of that responsibility is the attorney disciplinary process by which claims of attorney misconduct are investigated and resolved. Our current system of disciplining attorneys is continuously examined, as evidenced by the improvements adopted over the years by Superior Court judges through the rule making process. However, a comprehensive review of the disciplinary system should be undertaken periodically."

The last time that such a review was conducted was nearly ten years ago – in March of 1990 -- when Chief Justice Ellen A. Peters appointed the Judicial Council on Legal Ethics which was chaired by Attorney A. Searle Pinney. The Judicial Council on Legal Ethics was charged with building upon the recommendations of the previously established Commission on Legal Ethics that was chaired by the late Justice T. Clark Hull. The Commission on Legal Ethics released its comprehensive study of the rules and guidelines for the ethical practice of law in Connecticut and its proposals to strengthen the integrity of the Connecticut bar in December of 1989.

Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Robert I. Berdon will be chairing the Commission to Study the Attorney Grievance Process. Joining Justice Berdon on the Commission will be 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, Representative Robert Farr, Representative Michael P. Lawlor, Senator Thomas F. Upson, Attorney Paul V. Carty, Attorney Milagros Cruz, Attorney Thomas Flaherty, Attorney Roger J. Frechette, Attorney William F. Gallagher, Attorney Richard Newman, Attorney A. Searle Pinney, Mr. Carmen Donnarumma and Mr. Frank Morgan.


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