Justice Peter T. Zarella was born October 13, 1948 and graduated from Xavier High School in Concord, Massachusetts in 1967. Justice Zarella received his Bachelor of Science degree from Northeastern University, Massachusetts, 1972 and his Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School in 1975. He received an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from Suffolk University Law School in 2007. Justice Zarella was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1975, the Connecticut Bar in 1977, the U.S. District Courts in Massachusetts in 1976, the U.S. District Court in Connecticut in 1977, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit in 1985, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1985 and the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York in 1990. He was in the private practice of law from 1977 to 1996 and was a partner in the Hartford firm of Brown, Paindiris & Zarella from 1978 until his appointment as a Superior Court Judge in 1996.
Justice Zarella served as a Judge of the Superior Court from 1996 to 2000 and was elevated to Judge of the Appellate Court in 2000. He was nominated by Governor John G. Rowland as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on January 4, 2001 and was sworn in on January 22, 2001.
Justice Zarella’s professional affiliations include his service on the Connecticut Bar Association, Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section, Executive Committee, from 1985 to 1990; the Connecticut Bar Association, Banking Law Committee from 1990 to 1994; the American Cancer Society, Bequests and Donations Committee from 1985 to 1989; Incorporator of the Stowe Day Foundation from 1985 to 1995; the Ethics Commission of the Town of West Hartford from 1992 to 1995; and the Town of West Hartford, Charter Revision Commission from 1995 to 1996. Justice Zarella was the Town Chairman, Republican Party, Town of West Hartford from 1992 to 1996, Connecticut Counsel for the “Dole for President” Committee from 1995 to 1996; Delegate from Connecticut to the Republican National Convention in 1996; and Commissioner of the Metropolitan District Commission from 1995 to 1996.
Justice Zarella previously served as Chair of the Criminal Justice Commission from 2001 to 2006; Chair of the Rules Committee from 2001 to 2010; Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation from 2000 to the present. He is co-author of Judicial Independence at a Crossroads, Volume 77, No. 1, Feb. 2003, Connecticut Bar Journal; Founder and Member of the Connecticut Supreme Court Historical Society, Jul. 2005-present; Supreme Court Liaison to Probate Court on Probate Court Rules, 2011 to present; Executive Committee, Judges of Superior Court, 2013-present; and Administrative Judge of the Appellate System, from Oct. 2013 to the present.