From bottom left
clockwise: Attorneys Frederick Vollono and Richard
Mahoney flank President Abraham Lincoln impersonator
Hartford Judicial District Administrative Judge
Marshall K. Berger, Jr. greets “President Lincoln.”
Judges James M. Bentivegna, Grant Miller and Edward
S. Domnarski process into the courtroom; President
Lincoln addresses the gathering; Hartford County Law Day
Co-Chair David W. Cooney and Judge Berger with Union
escorts; “President Lincoln” with Judge Michael R. Sheldon; Judge Berger and Attorney
Cooney; The Hon. Raymond R. Norko poses with the historical
guests; Bottom center: The Hon. Julia L. Aurigemma chats
with the “President.”
Lincoln Pays a Visit to 95 Washington Street
HARTFORD—On Law Day, Friday, May 1st,
the Judges of the Hartford JD weren’t the only figures
wearing black. Not long after a procession of Judges filled
the jury seats in Center Court at the 95 Washington Street
Courthouse, a tall, lanky man dressed in black strode into
the courtroom following two Union soldiers. As he passed in
front of the
Judges, he tipped his top hat, and then took his place at
seconds the bearded semblance of Abraham
Lincoln, the nation’s 16th President, regaled
those gathered with thoughts of his visit to Hartford in
March 1860 and a recitation of the Emancipation
Proclamation. The visitor was obviously not the ghost of
Lincoln but Howard Wright of
co-chairman of Connecticut’s Lincoln Bicentennial Commission
and a popular Lincoln impersonator.
the Hartford County Bar Association (HCBA) and the Hartford
JD in observing Law Day, which this year celebrates the 200th
birthday of President Lincoln. Called A Legacy of Liberty
the day is noted around the country by various legal
establishments with a panoply of ceremonies. Certainly this
one honored Lincoln uniquely while, at the same time,
focused on those in Hartford who have made singular
contributions to the community.
welcome, Hartford JD Administrative Judge Marshall K.
Berger, Jr. thanked the HCBA’s Law Day Committee and
incoming Bar Association President John King for their
co-sponsorship of the day then said of Lincoln:
should be noted that as we remember and honor President
Lincoln today, members of our association, in existence
since 1783, were surely present when he spoke in
Hartford on March 5th, 1860.
He was in
that period before becoming President, a trial lawyer.
He practiced law from 1836 to 1860 and it is said that
he handled over 5,000 cases. But today’s theme is not
about his law practice; it is about his true legacy to
this country. It was in Hartford where he continued to
win over the electorate of New England in his very vocal
stand against the expansion of slavery.
reading of a Law Day Official Proclamation from Governor M.
Jodi Rell by King, Attorney David W. Cooney, Co-chair of the
Law Day Committee, introduced Howard Wright, ergo Abraham
Lincoln. Wright, Dean of Students of the Upper School at
Renbrook in West Hartford, has been doing Lincoln
impersonations for five years and even hired a dialect coach
to help him speak with a Kentucky drawl.
“Lincoln” into the courtroom were Civil War reenactors,
Attorneys Richard C. Mahoney and Frederick Vollono of Kenny
Brimmer & Mahoney, LLC of Wethersfield.
“Lincoln’s” recitations, Attorney Anne Kelly Zovas, HCBA
Scholarship Committee Co-Chair, honored high school seniors
Tasha C. Bryan and Mariah A. Forbes of Hartford Public and
Ersa Llakmani of Bulkeley with $500 Scholarship Awards. Also
during the morning festivities, Attorney Sonia M. Pedraza of
Shipman & Goodwin, LLP received the HCBA’s 2009 Pro Bono
Award from Attorney King, while Attorney Cooney presented
Alyce F. Hild, Executive Director of Loaves & Fishes
Ministries, with the 2009 Liberty Bell Award.
Attorney David W.
Cooney, Co-Chair of the Hartford County Bar
Association’s Law Day presentation, listens as Alyce
F. Hild, Executive Director of Loaves & Fishes
Ministries accepts the 2009 Liberty Bell Award.
High school seniors Ersa
Llakmani of Bulkeley and Mariah A. Forbes of
Hartford Public pose with Attorney Anne Kelly Zovas,
HCBA’s Scholarship Committee Co-Chair after
receiving their scholarship awards.
The 2009 Pro Bono Award
recipient, Attorney Sonia M. Pedraza, with incoming
HCBA President John C. King.
gathered left the courtroom, Wright noted that his
Lincoln line was, “Make haste slowly.”
Students Participating in Law Day Ceremony from New
Britain High School
Law Day Remarks by
Hon. Henry S. Cohn in New Britain