Governor Dannel P. Malloy nominated Judge William H. Bright, Jr. to the Appellate Court on October 4, 2017, and he was sworn in on November 1, 2017. Judge Bright was sworn in as Chief Judge of the Appellate Court on August 1, 2020 after being appointed to the position by Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson.
Prior to this appointment, Judge Bright served as a judge of the Superior Court, having been nominated by Governor M. Jodi Rell in January 2008. While a Superior Court Judge, Judge Bright served as the Chief Administrative Judge for the Civil Division and as the Administrative and Presiding Judge for the Tolland/Rockville Judicial District, where he heard civil, criminal and habeas corpus matters.
Judge Bright has served on a number of Judicial Branch committees, including the Civil Commission, the Client Security Fund Committee, the Civil Jury Instruction Committee, the Rules Committee, the Access to Justice Commission, and the Pro Bono Committee, which he chaired. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Bar Foundation.
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Bright had a distinguished career as a trial lawyer. The Columbia resident was the managing partner of McCarter & English’s Hartford law office and co-chair of the firm’s Business Litigation practice group. He also was a shareholder in Cummings & Lockwood, a member of the firm’s Board of Directors, and chair of the firm’s Litigation practice group. His practice focused on complex commercial litigation matters, including business torts, fraud, intellectual property, franchise disputes and environmental law.
Judge Bright is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School in 1987.