Business Government

West Hartford Residents Among Nominees to Superior Court

Kimberly Knox, a West Hartford resident and partner with Horton, Shields & Knox, PC, is one of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's Superior Court nominees. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Knox

Three West Hartford residents were among the 13 named by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy Wednesday as nominees for vacant Superior Court positions.

By Ronni Newton

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the names Wednesday of 13 lawyers selected to fill some of the 40 vacancies on the Connecticut Superior Court, and three West Hartford residents were among those nominated.

While a significant number of vacancies remain, Malloy said that the newly-appointed judges, if approved “will provide critical judicial capacity in performing the essential duties of the court system.”

Three of the nominees, Matthew Dallas Gordon, Kimberly A. Knox, and Margaret M. Murphy, are from West Hartford.

“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 in a statement.  “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.”

Gordon, currently the owner and managing partner of West Hartford-based Matthew Dallas Gordon LLC, is a former partner with Skelley Rottner PC and associate with Day Pitney LLC. According to a news release from the governor’s office, his five-member firm focuses on professional, commercial, and municipal liability, and personal injury, employment, and insurance related litigation. 

Gordon is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and formerly served as president of the Hartford County Bar Association. He is a former member of the House of Delegates for the Connecticut Bar Association, a member of the American Bar Association, the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association, the Litigation Council of America, and the Council on Litigation Management. 

Gordon has a B.A. from Bard College and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Knox is a principal with the Hartford law firm Horton, Shields & Knox, PC in Hartford focused on appellate litigation in the Connecticut Appellate Courts and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Her extensive legal resume includes serving as president of the Connecticut Bar Association, and during her tenure co-founded the organization’s intensive three-day Appellate Advocacy Institute. Knox also co-founded and co-chaired of Connecticut Bar Association Appellate Advocacy Committee. She is a member of the American Bar Association Judicial Division and Institute of Appellate Counsel.

Knox earned a B.A. from Connecticut College and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Murphy is currently the House Democratic Caucus legal counsel, and previously served as associate director with the Center for Medicare Advocacy representing Medicare beneficiaries in federal court and before administrative law judges. During her tenure she also was responsible for analyzing and developing policy and litigation positions on issues related to Medicare coverage.

Murphy also practiced 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, and as an adjunct professor with the Quinnipiac University School of Law developed and taught courses on federal and state estate and gift taxation.

Murphy earned a B.A. in economics from Mount Holyoke College and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Other nominees include:

  • Barry F. Armata of Suffield, a partnering attorney at the law firm of Brown, Paindiris & Scott, LLP in Hartford, with offices also in Glastonbury, East Hampton, and Bristol. He holds a B.A. in sociology from Boston College and a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law.
  • Matthew J. Budzik of East Haddam, an assistant attorney general in the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General, where he serves as department head of the Finance Division. He has a B.A. in political science and international relations from The American University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
  • John L. Cordani of Wolcott, a partner specializing in intellectual property and patent litigation with the law firm of Carmody, Torrance, Sandak & Hennesey. He has a B.S. in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University, an M.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law.
  • Ernest Green, Jr. of Norwich has been a Senior Assistant Public Defender with the Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services since 2014, responsible for representing all aspects of his clients’ cases, including counseling, legal research, drafting motions, plea negotiations, and trial preparation. He holds a B.A. in American civilization from Brown University, an M.S. and Ph.D. in human sexuality education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.
  • Shari Murphy of North Branford, a partner at the law firm of Keyes & Murphy in Branford with a practice concentrated on personal injury litigation, defense litigation, family law, wills, trusts, estates, and real estate. Murphy also serves as practitioner in residence at the University of New Haven in the Department of Legal Studies. She has a B.S. from Southern Connecticut State University and a J.D. from the Quinnipiac University School of Law.
  • Tammy Nguyen-O’Dowd of Bloomfield is an assistant attorney general in the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General, representing the Connecticut Department of Children and Families in child abuse and neglect proceedings before the Superior and Appellate Courts and in administrative appeals. A native of Saigan, Vietnam, she has a B.A. in political science and communications from the University of California at San Diego, an M.S.W. from the National Catholic School of Social Service at The Catholic University of America, and a J.D. from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.
  • W. Glen Pierson of Hamden, a principal attorney at the law firm of Loughlin FitzGerald, PC in Wallingford focused 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. He received a B.A. in politics from Princeton University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
  • Walter M. Spader, Jr. of North Haven, an attorney at the Marcus Law Firm in North Branford specializing in bank and tax foreclosures, commercial and residential real estate transactions, criminal law, and planning and zoning issues. He has a B.S. in management and marketing from and an M.B.A. from Fairfield University and a J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law.
  • Elizabeth J. Stewart of Hamden is managing partner at the law firm of Murtha Cullina LLP in New Haven with a primary focus on insurance coverage disputes on behalf of policyholders and also handles complex commercial disputes, including antitrust and unfair trade practice claims, shareholder disputes, securities, RICO, breach of contract, and various business tort cases. She has a B.A. in American government from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.
  • Thomas J. Welch of Shelton, a partner at the law firm of Welch, Teodosio & Stanek, LLC in Shelton focused on general practice with a concentration in litigation, municipal law, real estate, land use, and the representation of small businesses. He has a B.A. in history from the College of the Holy Cross and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

According to the governor’s office additional nominations may be made in the next several days.

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