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Remarks of Chief Court Administrator
Barbara M. Quinn at the Swearing-In Ceremony for Judge Paul Knierim as Probate Court Administrator
October 1, 2008

Thank you all for joining us today in this magnificent courtroom to celebrate the swearing in of Judge Paul Knierim as probate court administrator. I know that this day has great meaning to Judge Knierim and to all of us here. I would like to recognize all of the probate judges who took time out of their busy schedules to be here today. I would also like to recognize Senator Eileen Daily, Senator John Kissel and Representative Mike Lawlor.


This is an important time in the history of Connecticut’s probate courts. For over 300 years, the probate courts have been an integral part of our communities and have assisted innumerable families and individuals in resolving the most delicate of issues. Unfortunately, the probate courts are now facing a financial crisis that threatens the viability of the current system. I am confident, however, that Judge Knierim possesses the qualities necessary to further the work of Judge James Lawlor in confronting this challenge.

What strikes me most about Judge Knierim is his determination to craft a solution based on consensus. He will be the first one to tell you that neither he nor anyone else will get everything they want as the probate court system adapts to a 21st century clientele while at the same time dealing with the state’s budgetary realities. I am certain that he also has the ability to transform these challenges into the chance to make the probate court system better than ever.

As President Kennedy once said, “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters – one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.” The task before the probate court system – its administrator, its judges, its clerks and staff – is a difficult one and will require thoughtful and focused leadership. I can think of no better person to lead the probate courts during this period of transition.



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