Chief Judge Lavery, my distinguished colleagues on the
Supreme and Appellate Courts, members of the bench and bar, honored
It is a pleasure to be here this afternoon to help
celebrate the Appellate Court's twentieth year of service to the people
When the Appellate Court opened on October fourth of
1983, the five original judges, under the leadership of Judge Joseph
Dannehy, with the support of a few law clerks and staff, took on the
difficult task of reducing the backlog of cases that existed in 1983.
That task was its original mandate, but it has since succeeded in going
far beyond its initial mandate, through the dedication of its many
judges and staff members who have worked tirelessly to set and achieve
new goals to meet the needs of changing times.
In order to serve the needs of the people of Connecticut
in these challenging times, an appellate court must be flexible in its
policies and programs, at the same time that it must remain rooted in
stability and sound jurisprudence.
The Appellate Court of Connecticut, under the leadership
of its past and present chief judges, has been a proactive, dynamic
court that has grown with the times and has focused its resources on
achieving commendable goals, such as reducing the delay in the
disposition of cases; in being a regional leader in extending its hand
in friendship and collegiality to the appellate courts of the other New
England states for the purpose of sharing ideas and exploring new
approaches; and in striving continually to find new ways to expedite the
publication of its decisions while maintaining quality and integrity in
This is a court that has risen to the many challenges
that have faced it. It has been ready, willing and able to stretch its
resources when necessary and to grow when feasible in order to
accomplish its mission.
If you ask anyone who has worked at the Appellate Court
- whether it be a judge, a law clerk, or a permanent staff member - what
was most memorable about the time he or she spent in the Appellate
Court, the answer always seems to come around to the spirit of
camaraderie and collegiality that has been present in that court
throughout the last twenty years.
Having spent some time on the Appellate Court myself, I
can attest to that intangible spirit, and in that regard, the Appellate
Court has made an important mark in encouraging civility and furthering
professionalism in a time when our legal system is sometimes affected by
an erosion of such values.
As the Appellate Court looks ahead to its next twenty
years, it has much to look forward to, especially with the move to its
new location at 75 Elm Street next year. I commend the judges and staff
for the accomplishments of the past twenty years, and I also especially
commend Chief Judge Lavery and all of those who have worked hard to
ready the court for its new era in its new setting.
It is an exciting time for the Appellate Court, and I am
pleased to have this opportunity to offer my congratulations for a job
well done, and my best wishes for continued success in the future in
furthering its mission for the people of Connecticut.