Governor Lamont Appoints Justice Joan Alexander to Supreme Court, Justice Hope Seeley to Court of Appeals and 11 Jurists to Superior Court

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04/13/2022

Governor Lamont Appoints Justice Joan Alexander to Supreme Court, Justice Hope Seeley to Court of Appeals and 11 Jurists to Superior Court

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont announced today that he is appointing Justice Joan K. Alexander of Cromwell to serve as Associate Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court; Justice Hope C. Seeley of Coventry to serve as a judge on the Connecticut Court of Appeals; and 11 other jurists to serve as judges of the Connecticut Superior Court.

Justice Alexander, 59, is currently a judge of the Court of Appeal, where she has served since 2020. Previously, she served as a judge of the Superior Court since 2000. In addition to her courtroom responsibilities, she has served as chief administrative judge. for the Connecticut Judiciary’s Criminal Division, Chair of the Sentencing Review Division and Co-Chair of the Court Media Committee. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she served as a prosecutor in the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice. She graduated from Yale University and received her JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Judge Seeley, 58, is currently a judge of the Superior Court, where she has served since 2013. She is an associate administrative judge for the Judicial District of Hartford and president of the criminal court. Prior to being appointed to Hartford, she served as a criminal trial judge in the judicial districts of Windham and Tolland. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she was in private practice and handled a wide variety of complex trial and appellate criminal cases in both state and federal courts. She graduated from the University of Connecticut and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Justice Alexander is nominated to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court that was created earlier this month when Justice Christine E. Keller assumed senior status. Justice Seeley is appointed to fill the vacancy on the Court of Appeals expected to be created upon confirmation of Justice Alexander to the Supreme Court.

“Selecting candidates to fill vacancies in our courts is one of the most important jobs a governor has to do, and it is an honor to have the opportunity to raise these two talented judges to the courts. supreme and of call”, Governor Lamont said. “Judge Alexander has over two decades of experience on the bench and is an incredibly respected member of the Connecticut legal community. Likewise, Justice Seeley has an impressive career in handling criminal cases and will be a great addition to the Court of Appeal. »

There are currently 60 vacancies on the Superior Court. The 11 appointments to this tribunal announced today are in addition to the 22 others who have been announcement in February. All of these nominations are currently pending confirmation by the state legislature.

Superior Court appointments include:

  • Scott R. Chadwick, 59, of East Hartford: Chadwick is a graduate of Western New England University and received his JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He is currently a probate judge for the District of East Hartford and a partner at Ford & Paulekas LLP, where his practice focuses on civil litigation.
  • Victoria W. Chavey, 55, of West Hartford: Chavey is a graduate of Dartmouth College and earned her Juris Doctor degree at Boston University School of Law. She currently owns Chavey Legal Services, LLC, providing mediator, arbitrator and investigator services. She established her own firm in 2021. She began her career with two internships, first with Chief Justice Peters of the Connecticut Supreme Court and then with Senior Justice Thomas J. Meskill of the Second Circuit. For the next 27 years, she practiced at Day Pitney LLP, then at Jackson Lewis PC, specializing in labor litigation.
  • Thamar Esperance-Smith, 36, from Glastonbury: Esperance-Smith is a graduate of Pace University and earned her Juris Doctor degree at the University of Connecticut School of Law. She is currently an Assistant Attorney General in the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office in the Department of Child Support and Collections. She was previously a Greater Hartford Legal Aid attorney in the Family Law Unit, where she represented victims of domestic violence. She is currently president-elect of the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association.
  • Josephine S. Graff, 46, of Glastonbury: Graff is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and received her JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law. She is currently an Assistant Attorney General in the Connecticut Attorney’s Office, where she handles employment cases on behalf of the State of Connecticut. Prior to that, she worked for private firms handling insurance defense cases.
  • Jeanet Figueroa-Laskos, 53, of Shelton: Figueroa-Laskos is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and received her Juris Doctor degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law. She is currently an Assistant Attorney General in the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office in the Department of Child Protection. Previously, she was a special assistant state attorney, prosecuting criminal cases. She has been a member of the Customer Security Fund Committee since 2018.
  • Steven D. Jacobs, 63, of New Haven: Jacobs is a graduate of Trinity College and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently a partner at Jacobs & Jacobs LLC. He has practiced law in state and federal courts and agencies for over 36 years. His practice has consisted primarily of personal injury, medical malpractice and workers’ compensation cases. Jacobs has also handled numerous criminal and employment cases and occasionally civil rights cases.
  • Brian W. Preleski, 55, of Avon: Preleski is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and received his JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law. Since 2011, he has served as the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of New Britain and has served in various positions for the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice since 1993. Prior to his state service, he was a partner in the law firm of Hartford lawyers of Pepe & Hazard, where he focused on commercial and construction litigation.
  • Alina Marquez-Reynolds, 56, of Fairfield: Marquez-Reynolds is a graduate of Georgetown University and received her Juris Doctor degree from Boston College Law School. She is currently General Counsel and Deputy Director of the Justice Initiative at the Grace Farms Foundation. She began her legal career as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, New York. From 1995 to 2019, she served as the Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, where she was responsible for investigating and prosecuting violent crimes, including intimate partner violence and human trafficking cases. She served as the District’s Violence Against Women Law Coordinator throughout her tenure in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and currently serves on the Death Review Task Force of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
  • Charles M. Stango, 52, of Waterbury: Stango is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and received his JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He is currently an Assistant State Attorney in GA 22 Milford. He has worked in the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice since 1998 and has been assigned to the criminal courts in Bridgeport and Milford. He previously worked as a partner for the law firm Duffy and Fasano. He is currently president of the Connecticut Association of Attorneys.
  • Cecil J. Thomas, 40, from Coventry: Thomas is a graduate of Brandeis University and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He is currently an attorney with Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Inc., where he has spent his entire legal career representing low-income Connecticut residents, including in trials, appeals, and class actions in the courts of Connecticut. State and federal. He is president of the Connecticut Bar Association and past president of the Connecticut South Asian Bar Association and the University of Connecticut Law School Alumni Association.
  • David L. Zagaja, 57, of Wethersfield: Zagaja is a graduate of Trinity College and received his JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He is currently an Assistant State’s Attorney with the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice and has served as a prosecutor with that office since 1996. He has primarily handled major felony cases in the Judicial District of Hartford. Before becoming a prosecutor, he was an adult probation officer for eight years.
Twitter: @GouvNedLamont

Facebook: Office of Governor Ned Lamont


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