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Remarks by Chief Justice Sullivan
20th Anniversary of the Appellate Court
Wednesday, October 15, 2003


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Chief Judge Lavery, my distinguished colleagues on the Supreme and Appellate Courts, members of the bench and bar, honored guests:

It is a pleasure to be here this afternoon to help celebrate the Appellate Court's twentieth year of service to the people of Connecticut.

When the Appellate Court opened on October fourth of 1983, the five original judges, under the leadership of Judge Joseph Dannehy, with the support of a few law clerks and staff, took on the difficult task of reducing the backlog of cases that existed in 1983. That task was its original mandate, but it has since succeeded in going far beyond its initial mandate, through the dedication of its many judges and staff members who have worked tirelessly to set and achieve new goals to meet the needs of changing times.

In order to serve the needs of the people of Connecticut in these challenging times, an appellate court must be flexible in its policies and programs, at the same time that it must remain rooted in stability and sound jurisprudence.

The Appellate Court of Connecticut, under the leadership of its past and present chief judges, has been a proactive, dynamic court that has grown with the times and has focused its resources on achieving commendable goals, such as reducing the delay in the disposition of cases; in being a regional leader in extending its hand in friendship and collegiality to the appellate courts of the other New England states for the purpose of sharing ideas and exploring new approaches; and in striving continually to find new ways to expedite the publication of its decisions while maintaining quality and integrity in those decisions.

This is a court that has risen to the many challenges that have faced it. It has been ready, willing and able to stretch its resources when necessary and to grow when feasible in order to accomplish its mission.

If you ask anyone who has worked at the Appellate Court - whether it be a judge, a law clerk, or a permanent staff member - what was most memorable about the time he or she spent in the Appellate Court, the answer always seems to come around to the spirit of camaraderie and collegiality that has been present in that court throughout the last twenty years.

Having spent some time on the Appellate Court myself, I can attest to that intangible spirit, and in that regard, the Appellate Court has made an important mark in encouraging civility and furthering professionalism in a time when our legal system is sometimes affected by an erosion of such values.

As the Appellate Court looks ahead to its next twenty years, it has much to look forward to, especially with the move to its new location at 75 Elm Street next year. I commend the judges and staff for the accomplishments of the past twenty years, and I also especially commend Chief Judge Lavery and all of those who have worked hard to ready the court for its new era in its new setting.

It is an exciting time for the Appellate Court, and I am pleased to have this opportunity to offer my congratulations for a job well done, and my best wishes for continued success in the future in furthering its mission for the people of Connecticut.

Remarks by The Honorable Antoinette L. Dupont


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