HARTFORD, CT — (Updated 3 p.m.) Still mum on who he will nominate as his next Supreme Court chief justice candidate, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy nominated 11 attorneys to the Superior Court and Superior Court Judge Ingrid L. Moll to the Appellate Court Tuesday.
Malloy will have five days following the next legislative session to nominate a chief justice. However, Malloy doesn’t necessary believe he’s bound by that timeline because the constitution says the governor will nominate. At the same time, he’s still working against the legislative clock and the current session adjourns on May 9.
“I don’t anticipate nor am I looking for a delay in that nomination,” Malloy said.
The state Senate last week refused to elevate Supreme Court Justice Andrew McDonald to the position.
“I’m working on it and I anticipate in the not too distant future we’ll be in a position to forward a name to the legislature,” Malloy said Tuesday.
Malloy said he’s not waiting for the clock to start ticking. He said he’s actively working on finding a nominee who is already a sitting judge.
Malloy said he’s looking at “current judges on the Connecticut bench.”
He said he’s not exclusively looking at the Supreme or Appellate Court, but also the Superior Court.
Asked if he expected a similar political fight over the nomination, Malloy said since he hasn’t made a decision on whom he will nominate it’s impossible to say.
Malloy said his nominee might face an uphill battle “but only if they’re gay.”
The comment was a dig at Republicans and a few Democrats who voted against McDonald and also voted against what could only be considered pro-LGBT rights legislation.
At a 2 p.m. press conference, Malloy announced his decision to elevate Moll from the Superior Court to the Appellate Court.
Moll, 44, has served on the Superior Court since 2014 and is the daughter of Norwegian immigrants. Prior to being appointed to the bench she worked at Motley Rice LLC and prior to that she was a law clerk for the late-Supreme Court Justice David Borden.
The 11 attorneys, including James Spallone of Essex, the chief legal counsel for the House Democratic caucus, and Robert Clark of Durham, the special counsel to Attorney General George Jepsen, were named to fill some of the 42 vacancies on the trial court bench.
“Selecting nominees to fill vacancies in our court system is one of the most important duties that a governor performs – they must possess the qualities that build a stronger, fairer Connecticut for everyone in the long-run,” Malloy said. “I believe that each of these women and men will bring to the bench the diverse qualities that mirror the people of our state while also meeting the high principles and integrity that our citizens deserve.”
The attorneys Malloy nominated will have to go through a Judiciary Committee public hearing and receive a vote of the legislature.
Barbara D. Aaron of West Hartford: Aaron is a partner at Berman, Bourns, Aaron & Dembo LLC in Hartford, where since 2000 she has focused her practice on mediation and collaborative divorce, serving clients who are interested in resolving their cases in a confidential, respectful, and efficient process.
Eugene R. Calistro, Jr. of Guilford: Calistro is Senior Assistant State’s Attorney and Special Assistant to the United States Attorney for the State of Connecticut’s Division of Criminal Justice, where since 1992 he has handled a large capacity of criminal law matters.
Suzanne E. Caron of Bloomfield: Caron is a partner with Caron & Parris LLC in Vernon, where since 2006 her practice has focused on family law, collaborative divorce, mediation, personal injury, and attorney disciplinary proceedings.
Courtney M. Chaplin of Manchester: Chaplin is a Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney for the State of Connecticut’s Division of Criminal Justice, where since 2015 he has been responsible for calling all dockets in court, including judicial pretrial, arraignment, regular, probation review, and motor vehicle cases.
Robert W. Clark of Durham: Clark serves as Special Counsel to the Connecticut Attorney General, where since 2011 he has been responsible for the Attorney General’s legislative initiatives and for responding to legal and public policy inquiries from legislators, constitutional officers, and state agency heads.
Tracy Lee Dayton of Weston: Dayton is a partner with Levine Lee LLP, where since 2017 she has served as a trial and appellate lawyer practicing in the areas of white collar and securities enforcement defense, investigations, and complex litigation.
Stephanie A. McLaughlin of Stamford: McLaughlin is the Executive Director of the Stamford Hospital Foundation, where since 2013 her responsibilities have included managing legal affairs for the organization, including drafting and negotiating contracts, drafting board resolutions, and overseeing litigation, mediations, arbitrations, and real estate and business transactions.
Maureen Price-Boreland of Durham: Price-Boreland is the Executive Director of Community Partners in Action, a 143 year old nonprofit organization that provides a myriad of community justice and re-entry programming to make a positive impact on lives and advocates for criminal justice reform, a position she has held since 1997.
Stuart D. Rosen of Avon: Rosen is a partner in the litigation department of Robinson & Cole LLP in Hartford, where he has worked since 2014 as a member of the business litigation and insurance/reinsurance groups.
Joseph B. Schwartz of West Hartford: Schwartz is a partner with Murtha Cullina LLP in Hartford, where he represents clients in the areas of municipal and land use litigation and general commercial litigation.
James Field Spallone of Centerbrook: Spallone is the Chief Legal Counsel in the Connecticut General Assembly’s House Democratic Caucus, where he has worked since January 2017. Immediately prior to that, he served for six years as Deputy Secretary of the State of Connecticut.