Urge Lawyers Seeking Judgeships to Respond Honestly, Show Humility, in Answering Committee’s Questions
Connecticut lawyers seeking appointments as Superior Court judges should demonstrate humility and be honest, candid and succinct in answering questions when they are screened by members of the state legislature’s Judiciary Committee before their nominations go to the General Assembly for final approval, state Representative Arthur J. O’Neill and other Judiciary Committee leaders said Thursday.
“When we’ve voted against judicial nominees in the past, it’s usually been because of the demeanor they displayed when they appeared before us,” said Representative O’Neill, the House Ranking Member (Republican Leader) on the Judiciary Committee, noting that judges, unlike prosecutors and defense attorneys, must be impartial and fair to the contending parties in a trial.
Representative O’Neill, R-69th District, state Senator John A. Kissel, R-7th District, the committee’s Senate Ranking Member, and state Representative Michael P. Lawlor, D-99th District, and state Senator Andrew J. McDonald, D-27th District, the committee’s House and Senate co-chairs, were participating in a Connecticut Bar Association Young Lawyers Section program on the Judicial Selection and Appointment Process in Connecticut Thursday, February 19th at the Hartford Club.
“It’s our job to size up the individuals who want to be judges. We take our job very seriously and we will ask you questions you may not have encountered earlier in the selection process,” Senator Kissel said. “Going to court is not a pleasant experience for most people. As a judge, your role is to be a referee in a quarrel, so a healthy dose of humility and humanity is essential. It’s your job to do justice and it’s our job to make sure you’re the right person for the job.”
“Hopefully, some of the young lawyers in the audience who eventually apply to become judges will benefit from the advice we gave them tonight,” Representative O’Neill said. “If they came away from our panel discussion knowing they must be prepared to answer a lot of questions – including some that may seem to come completely out of left field – and to respond to them as honestly and succinctly as possible, I’m confident they’ll do well when they appear before our committee.”