LITCHFIELD—It is fitting that a clerk of the court, a group of attorneys who offer their time pro bono and two law students were honored on Law Day in this town where the first American Law School was born.
Law Day 2013, Realizing the Dream: Equality for All was co-hosted by the Litchfield County Bar Association (LCBA) and the Litchfield Judicial District at the historic Litchfield courthouse on the green. In this town of Tapping Reeve and his Litchfield Law School, the setting couldn’t have been more perfect.
After the Law Day Proclamation was read by Litchfield Administrative Judge James P. Ginocchio and opening remarks by LCBA President Ruth Nadeau Dwyer, Superior Court Judge John F. Blawie delivered the Law Day Address.
In it he spoke of equality and how it has been dealt with throughout history and in courts of law.
“We all have a right to claim equality as American citizens,” he said, “and here on Law Day we gather to celebrate that right.
“In a legal context, equality means like cases should be treated alike,” he continued. “But that word, alone, doesn’t really tell us that much; it doesn’t give you that substantive criteria for deciding how you do judge cases. I don’t think here in the United States the world is divided into people who favor equality versus people who oppose equality. I think the disagreements arise over what substance do we pour into that receptive vessel. And on a daily basis, it’s up to us as judges and lawyers and court staff…to make real the promise of equal justice.”
In keeping with that mandate, the Litchfield County Bar Association honored Mark Shea, deputy chief clerk of the Litchfield JD, (pictured, left) with its Liberty Bell Award.
“Mark was the unanimous choice to receive this year’s award because of the incredible job he does every day,” said Robert Dwyer, vice president of the LCBA. “Whether working with judges, clerks, attorneys or self-represented parties, Mark is respectful, informative and courteous. He is the consummate professional; efficient, hard-working and always ready to jump in to get the job done or solve a problem. The vast majority of us in this room can point to countless times when we have called Mark, urgently needing to get something done.”
Shea, who earned his law degree after serving in the
Coast Guard, began his Judicial career as an assistant clerk in the
Litchfield JD in 1992. After one year he was named Assistant Clerk at the
Danbury JD and remained there until returning to Litchfield in 2002 as an
After receiving his award, Shea gave credit to two of his colleagues, former Litchfield Chief Clerk Brian Murphy and current Chief Clerk Brandon Pelegano.
“I am blessed to work in the finest clerk’s office in the state, with talented people who multi-task and work under heavy pressure every day,” Shea said. “They may sometimes bend under the workload, but they never break, always delivering a top-notch performance. And, to a person, I could not ask for better colleagues.”
Scholarships in memory of Litchfield County attorneys Thomas Wall, Sr. and Catherine Roraback were awarded to two local law school students. Philip Brown-Wilusz, who attends the Quinnipiac University School of Law, was awarded the scholarship in Wall’s name while Rose Blondin, who attends Suffolk University Law School, received the scholarship in Roraback’s name.Top