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Paul Knierim to Become the Probate Court Administrator

Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers announced today that Simsbury Probate Judge Paul Knierim will be appointed to serve as Probate Court Administrator effective October 1, 2008. Judge Knierim, who has served as the Probate Judge of Simsbury since 1999, will succeed Judge James Lawlor, who is retiring as of that date.

“The probate court system is an integral part of Connecticut’s communities, as it interacts each year with a great number of citizens who face life-changing events. While the system confronts challenges in the years ahead, I am confident that Judge Knierim has the experience and attributes to effectively lead the probate courts,” said Chief Justice Rogers. “His vision and intelligence, his dedicated service to the community and his ability to forge compromise make him the ideal choice to lead the probate courts during this difficult time in its history. Judge Knierim fully recognizes the need to reform and modernize the system and I am certain that he will successfully implement long-term solutions to the challenges facing the probate courts.”

Chief Justice Rogers also expressed her thanks to Judge Lawlor for his over 30 years of dedicated service to the probate court system. “Judge Lawlor initiated many improvements to the probate courts, most notably in areas related to children. He has served as the probate court administrator during a difficult period, and he made his mark as an advocate of probate court reform. I wish him all the best in his retirement,” said Chief Justice Rogers.

Judge Barbara M. Quinn, chief court administrator, said, “Judge Knierim’s commitment to the community is evident in his long-standing service both to the State of Connecticut as a legislator and to the residents of Simsbury. He is well-known as an effective communicator, a consensus-builder, and as a professional who is passionate about the work of the probate court system.”

Judge Knierim said of his appointment, “I couldn't be more enthused to be taking on this leadership role in the probate system and am grateful to have been considered for the position. The probate courts provide vital services to the people of our state in some of the most difficult times in their lives. I am committed to implementing reforms to strengthen the professionalism and improve the efficiency of the probate courts while ensuring that we maintain the high standards of service and accessibility that are the hallmarks of the system. I will endeavor to collaborate with all involved to craft practical solutions to the challenges facing our courts.”

Judge Knierim is a graduate of Williams College and the Yale Law School. He was engaged in the private practice of law, first at Drew, Mersereau & Knierim and subsequently at Cummings & Lockwood. In addition, Judge Knierim served in the Connecticut General Assembly from 1991 – 1997 as the state representative from Simsbury as well as the assistant minority leader from 1995 – 1997. Judge Knierim is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association and the Connecticut Probate Assembly. As a member of the probate assembly, Judge Knierim has served as the chair of the Ethics Committee, the parliamentarian and as a member of the Executive Committee, Long Range Planning Committee and Committee on Inter Vivos Trusts.

Judge Knierim has been involved with a number of community organizations, including the Simsbury Land Trust, Simsbury Historical Society, Farmington River Watershed Association, Connecticut Forest and Park Association, and the Simsbury and Avon Chambers of Commerce.

For further information, contact the External Affairs Division at 860-757-2270.


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