Justice Carmen Elisa Espinosa became a justice of the Supreme Court on March 6, 2013, having been appointed to the position by Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Justice Espinosa is the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice in Connecticut. On July 16, 2017, Justice Espinosa became a Senior Justice of the Supreme Court.
Prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Espinosa was a judge of the Appellate Court, having been appointed to the position by Governor Malloy. She was sworn in on March 16, 2011, and was the first Hispanic appointed to serve as a judge of the Appellate Court.
Justice Espinosa was appointed to the Superior Court on January 10, 1992, and was the first Hispanic and Hispanic woman Superior Court judge in the State of Connecticut.
As a Superior Court judge, Justice Espinosa presided over trials in the Judicial Districts of New Britain, Hartford and Waterbury. In addition to her duties on the bench, Justice Espinosa has been involved in judicial education and, for nine years, served on the Judicial Branch’s Education Committee, which oversees all facets of continuing education for members of the judiciary. Over the years, she has been on the faculty of the Education Committee, teaching criminal law courses. Justice Espinosa previously served on the Client Security Fund Committee and was also a member of the Sentence Review Division of the Superior Court.
Justice Espinosa is an active member of the Judicial Branch’s Speakers Bureau and regularly addresses community groups and students. She also has been a guest on radio shows on WLIS and WPRX, Spanish radio.
Since her appointment to the Appellate Court, Justice Espinosa has been honored by the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, the Hispanic Bar Association, and Central Connecticut State University as an inaugural recipient of the Women of Influence Award. She was also featured on NBC Connecticut to promote Hispanic Heritage Month. In September 2011, Justice Espinosa was named one of 2011 Hispanic Business 100 Influentials by Hispanic Business magazine.
For 11 years prior to her appointment to the bench, Justice Espinosa was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut in Hartford, serving nine years in the Criminal Division and two years in the Civil Division. While an Assistant United States Attorney, Justice Espinosa received the United States Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award and the United States Department of Justice Special Achievement Award. Before becoming a federal prosecutor, she was a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Justice Espinosa received her Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Hispanic Studies from Brown University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education with a major in Spanish and French from Central Connecticut State University.