Business Government

Two West Hartford Residents Among Nominees for Superior Court Vacancies

Barbara Aaron (left) and Joseph Schwartz, residents of West Hartford, are among the recent nominees for Connecticut Superior Court judgeships. Courtesy images

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced 11 nominations for judicial vacancies on the Connecticut Superior Court, and among the nominees are two West Hartford residents.

By Ronni Newton

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced 11 nominees Tuesday to fill vacant judgeships on the Connecticut Superior Court, including West Hartford residents Barbara D. Aaron and Joseph B. Schwartz.

Aaron, a partner since 2000 at Berman, Bourns, Aaron & Dembo LLC in Hartford, specializes her practice on mediation and collaborative divorce. According to a news release from the governor’s office announcing her nomination, her focus is “serving clients who are interested in resolving their cases in a confidential, respectful, and efficient process.”

Aaron was previously a partner with Whitehead & Aaron from 1993-2000, and prior experience includes owning her own firm, an associate position with McEleney & McGrail, and as as a public defender with the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Division in New York City.

A graduate of American University and Brooklyn Law School, Aaron is on the board of the Copper Beech Institute and is the co-chair of the Family Law Committee of the Hartford County Bar Association.

Schwartz is a partner with Murtha Cullina LLP in Hartford, and his practices is focused on municipal and land use as well as commercial litigation. According to the announcement, “since 2012, he has worked with the firm to represent municipalities, developers, businesses, and individuals in all phases of local land use approval and complex real estate litigation.”

Schwartz has previous experience as an associate with McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter LLP (formerly Pepe & Hazard LLP) and Cohen and Wolf P.C.

A graduate of George Washington University and the University of Connecticut School of Law, Schwartz is a board member of the Mandell Jewish Community Center of Greater Hartford, treasurer of the Connecticut Association of Water Pollution Control Authorities, and formerly served on the board of the University of Connecticut School of Law Foundation.

“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 in a statement. “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 governor’s announcement noted that there are currently 42 vacant positions in the Superior Court, and Tuesday’s nominees will put a dent in that number and “will provide critical judicial capacity in performing the essential duties of the court system.”

The announcement noted that further nominations will be made in the coming days, but did not mention if one of those nominations would be for the position of Supreme Court chief justice. The State Senate last week, by a vote of 19-16, rejected Andrew McDonald for that position.

Additional nominations made Tuesday include:

  • Eugene R. Calistro, Jr. of Guilford, 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 Bloomfielda 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, 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, who 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, 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, 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, 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, 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. 
  • James Field Spallone of Centerbrook, 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.  

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