My Grandfather’s Robes

My grandfather, the late Joseph Klau, was a Superior Court judge for many years before his death in 1988.  He loved being a judge.  For my entire professional life as an attorney I have aspired to follow in his footsteps.  Yesterday, that professional dream became a reality when the General Assembly voted to confirm Governor Malloy’s nomination of me to become a Superior Court judge.  (Thank you Governor Malloy!)  To top things off, I was sworn in while wearing my grandfather’s robes.  As you can imagine, I am beyond thrilled.

Today I started “judge school” with my fellow new judges, a wonderful, talented group of individuals.  One of the first topics of discussion (after filling out a lot of paperwork) was the Code of Judicial Conduct.  Rule 3.1 governs the extrajudicial activities of a judge.  The comment to that rule caught my attention:

Judges are uniquely qualified to engage in extrajudicial activities that concern the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice, such as by speaking, writing, teaching, or participating in scholarly research projects.

So, that means I can continue to blog (and write elsewhere) about the law, provided that I avoid statements “that would appear to a reasonable person to undermine [my] independence, integrity or impartiality” (Rule 3.1) or would undermine “public confidence in the independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.” (Rule 1.2)

A lot of what I have written over the years since I began blogging has been purely educational in nature.  But I have also taken strong positions on some hot-button political and legal issues that were pending before the courts or the legislature.  The educational blogging will continue, consistent with my obligations under the Code of Judicial Conduct.  Writing about controversial issues in pending cases will not.  See Rule 2.10 re: “Judicial Statements on Pending and Impending Cases.”

I hope readers will continue to find the blog useful, even with its more limited scope!

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