HARTFORD, CT — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the nominations of 13 attorneys to fill some of the 40 vacancies in Superior Court. He will make an additional four nominations in the coming days, but won’t be filling all the vacancies.
Former Sen. Eric Coleman of Bloomfield, who resigned from his seat after winning re-election, to presumably be nominated to a judgeship is not among the 13 names announced Wednesday.
“One of my most important duties as Governor has been to nominate a selection of qualified and diverse judicial nominees who possess the qualities that mirror the residents of our state while also meeting the high principles and integrity that our citizens deserve,” Malloy said. “It is a careful, meticulous process because we want to ensure that the men and women who sit on our bench will serve our state with distinction, fairness, competence, ethics, and above all, respect for the people of Connecticut.”
Barry F. Armata of Suffield: Armata is a partnering attorney at the law firm of Brown, Paindiris & Scott, LLP in Hartford, with offices also in Glastonbury, East Hampton, and Bristol. He concentrates his practice in the areas of family law, mediation, and collaborative divorce, with an emphasis on advocating for the interests of children in custody cases. He is a founding member of the Collaborative Divorce Lawyers’ Association, the Central Connecticut Collaborative Family Law Group, and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Some of his current projects include working with the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Judicial Department, Quinnipiac Law School, and the Connecticut Bar Association to inform practitioners through a series of educational programs and publications about domestic violence, coercive control, and their effect on children. He is a graduate of Boston College, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology, and Syracuse University College of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor degree.
Matthew J. Budzik of East Haddam: Budzik is an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General, where he serves as Department Head of the Finance Division. In this role, he represents several state agencies, including the Departments of Banking, Insurance, Revenue Services, Economic and Community Development, and the Office of Policy and Management on legal issues affecting their operations, including litigating administrative appeals and civil actions. He led multistate litigation together with 17 states and the Department of Justice against a national rating agency for deceptive credit ratings in the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis. He has extensive experience in complex, long-term investigations, including negotiating settlements to achieve business practice reforms, exercising subpoena authority, and coordinating with other state Attorneys General and the Department of Justice. Prior to joining the Office of the Attorney General, he served as a litigation associate with Murtha Cullina, LLP. He is a graduate of The American University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and international relations, and Georgetown University Law Center, where he received his Juris Doctor degree.
John L. Cordani of Wolcott: Cordani is currently a partner with the law firm of Carmody, Torrance, Sandak & Hennesey, where he specializes in intellectual property and patent litigation. He previously served as Vice President of the legal division of Platform Specialty Products Corporation in Waterbury (formerly MacDermid), a major international manufacturer of chemicals for the agricultural, electronics, metal finishing, printing, and off-shore oil production industries. Previously, he served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of MacDermid, Inc. in Waterbury. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he received a Master of Science degree, and Quinnipiac University School of Law, where he received a Juris Doctor degree.
Matthew D. Gordon of West Hartford: Gordon is the owner and managing partner of Matthew Dallas Gordon, LLC, a five-member law firm located in West Hartford. His practice focuses on professional, commercial, and municipal liability, as well as personal injury, employment, and insurance related litigation. Previously, he served as a partner with Skelley Rottner PC, and as a litigation associate with Day Pitney LLP (formerly Day, Berry and Howard). He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and is a former President of the Hartford County Bar Association. He served for many years on the House of Delegates for the Connecticut Bar Association and is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association, the Litigation Council of America, and the Council on Litigation Management. He is a graduate of Bard College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, and the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he received a Juris Doctor degree.
Ernest Green, Jr. of Norwich: Green has been a Senior Assistant Public Defender with the Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services since 2014. He is responsible for representing all aspects of his clients’ cases, including counseling, legal research, drafting motions, plea negotiations, and trial preparation. He has been with the Division of Public Defender Services since 2003. He also serves as the Chief Public Defender’s designee to the state’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparity in the Criminal Justice System. He is a graduate of Brown University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in American civilization, the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Master of Science and Ph.D. in human sexuality education, and the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor degree.
Kimberly A. Knox of West Hartford: Knox is a principal at the law firm of Horton, Shields & Knox, PC in Hartford, where her practice focuses on appellate litigation in the Connecticut Appellate Courts and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Knox is a former President of the Connecticut Bar Association, where she co-founded the organization’s Appellate Advocacy Institute, an intensive three-day appellate practice program. She was also co-founder and co-chair of the Connecticut Bar Association Appellate Advocacy Committee, and is a member of the American Bar Association Judicial Division, Institute of Appellate Counsel. She is a graduate of Connecticut College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree, and the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she received a Juris Doctor degree.
Margaret M. Murphy of West Hartford: Murphy is currently serving as Legal Counsel to the House Democratic caucus. Previously, she was the Associate Director with the Center for Medicare Advocacy. From 2008 to 2016, she represented Medicare beneficiaries in federal court and before administrative law judges, and analyzed and developed the organization’s policy and litigation positions on Medicare coverage issues, among other responsibilities. Prior to that, she served as a probate, estates, and trusts lawyer with several firms in Connecticut, including Robinson & Cole LLC; Cummings & Lockwood LLC; Sorokin, Gross & Hyde PC; and Bergman, Horowitz & Reynolds, PC. She has also served as an adjunct professor with the Quinnipiac University School of Law, where she developed and taught courses on federal and state estate and gift taxation. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, and the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she received a Juris Doctor degree.
Shari Murphy of North Branford: Murphy is a partner at the law firm of Keyes & Murphy in Branford, where she has a general practice with a concentration in personal injury litigation, defense litigation, family law, wills, trusts, estates, and real estate. She also serves as practitioner in residence at the University of New Haven in the Department of Legal Studies, where she has taught courses on civil litigation, legal investigations, and trial advocacy. She previously served as a special master in state court for civil matters. Murphy is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree, and the Quinnipiac University School of Law, where she received a Juris Doctor degree.
Tammy Nguyen-O’Dowd of Bloomfield: Nguyen-O’Dowd is an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General. Since 2004, she has represented the Connecticut Department of Children and Families in child abuse and neglect proceedings before the Superior and Appellate Courts and in administrative appeals. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, she is also a member of the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She is a graduate of the University of California at San Diego, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and communications, the National Catholic School of Social Service at The Catholic University of America, where she received a Master of Social Work degree, and The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, where she received a Juris Doctor degree.
W. Glen Pierson of Hamden: Pierson is a principal attorney at the law firm of Loughlin FitzGerald, PC in Wallingford, where he has practiced since 2001. His practice focuses on civil litigation on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants, with a focus in complex tort litigation, personal injury, motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death, catastrophic injury, products liability and premises liability. Previously, he was as an associate attorney with the law firm of Wiggin and Dana, LLP and Brenner, Saltzman & Wallman, LLP. He is a graduate of Princeton University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics, and Georgetown University Law Center, where he received a Juris Doctor degree.
Walter M. Spader, Jr. of North Haven: Spader has served as an attorney at the Marcus Law Firm in North Branford since 2003, where his areas of practice have included bank and tax foreclosures, commercial and residential real estate transactions, criminal law, and planning and zoning issues. He is a graduate of Fairfield University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in management and marketing and a Master of Business Administration degree, and the Quinnipiac University School of Law, where he received a Juris Doctor degree.
Elizabeth J. Stewart of Hamden: Stewart is a partner at the law firm of Murtha Cullina LLP in New Haven, where she has worked since 1986 and where she served as the firm’s managing partner for five years. For over 20 years, her primary focus has been on insurance coverage disputes on behalf of policyholders. She also handles complex commercial disputes, including antitrust and unfair trade practice claims, shareholder disputes, securities, RICO, breach of contract and various business tort cases. As managing partner, she led the law firm to three of its most prosperous years since the 1930s, and helped focus its initiatives to become more future facing. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in American government, and the University of Virginia School of Law, where she received a Juris Doctor degree.
Thomas J. Welch of Shelton: Welch is a partner at the law firm of Welch, Teodosio & Stanek, LLC in Shelton. For the past 27 years, he has focused on general practice with a concentration in litigation, municipal law, real estate, land use and the representation of small businesses. He currently serves as Corporation Counsel for the Cities of Shelton and Derby. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in history, and the University of Connecticut School of law, where he received a Juris Doctor degree.