Nominee Known For Handling 'Difficult Situations'

, The Connecticut Law Tribune

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Richard Robinson
Richard Robinson

Robinson was distinguished from a list of 20 contenders not only for his intellect but also for "a wealth of experience" that extends beyond the bench, Malloy said.

That experience includes holding leadership positions with the NAACP and state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

"I am confident that the General Assembly will agree that having Judge Robinson on the Supreme Court will serve the people of Connecticut well," Malloy said.

Kimberly Knox, president of the Connecticut Bar Association and an appellate lawyer with Horton, Shields & Knox in Hartford, said Robinson's record on the bench is one of "solid, well-reasoned decisions. Judge Robinson is highly respected by the appellate bar."

Appellate advocates who have interacted with Robinson in the courtroom echoed that. Jeffrey Babbin, a partner at Wiggin and Dana, said his colleagues viewed the nomination "as a very welcome development."

Although they have had differences of opinion on legal questions, Babbin said Robinson is "always prepared for coming out on the bench for argument and active dialogue with counsel. I've been impressed in his approach to legal issues and by his judicial temperament."

DiPentima, who has worked closely with Robinson in the six years since he joined the Appellate Court, said that in addition to his broad understanding of municipal law, Robinson is known for "his wonderful sense of awareness for cultural competency."

Along with his duties as judge, Robinson has served as chair of the Judicial Branch's Cultural Competency Advisory Committee, which works to increase understanding by court employees of members of the public from different cultures.

Robinson is Malloy's fourth nominee to the seven-member court during his tenure as governor. In addition to Harper, Malloy has nominated Andrew McDonald and Carmen Espinosa. McDonald, a long-time state lawmaker who had been serving as an aide to Malloy, is the first openly gay justice. Espinosa, who had been an Appellate Court judge, is the first Latina justice.

Given Malloy's record, members of affinity bar groups expressed hope in October, when Norcott reached the mandatory retirement date, that Malloy would choose as his replacement another member of a minority group.

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