Heidi Brieger was nominated as an Associate Justice of the Superior CourtHearing:
(vice The Honorable John C. Cratsley September 15, 2011)
The hearing was scheduled for June 20th at 10:30 am.
GUARANTY-FIRST TRUST COMPANY vs. TEXTRON, INC.
Councilors Present were:
Charles Oliver Cipollini - District 1
Marilyn M. Petitto Devaney - District 3
Christopher Ianella - District 4
Terrence Kennedy - District 6
Jen Caissie - District 7
Thomas T. Merrigan - District 8
Councilor Ianella presided
Attorney Brieger's witnesses acknowledged the foremost issue with her candidacy her experience.
Attorney Brieger has spent the majority of her career prosecuting criminal cases on the Federal Level.
One witness described their transition from the US Attorney's Office to the bench and stated that they were able to make the transition and expected that Attorney Brieger would as well.
Another witnesses, a public defender stated that Attorney Brieger had the ability to see both sides of a case and should have no problem being an impartial jurist, as opposed to the idea of a prosecutor become judge.
It was generally acknowledged that she was well versed on the rules of evidence.
Many of the witnesses focused on the Attorney Brieger's personal attributes as an indicator of the type of judge she would become.
While it was generally acknowledged that the Attorney Brieger would have to familiarize herself with statues and procedures she had little experience with, it was pointed out that she had experience with civil litigation early in her career. This experience resulted in only one jury trial.
Attorney Brieger was asked if she had taken any courses outside her work to keep her current with the issues she would be facing on the Superior Court. She stated that although she had not taken any long term course she had attended several seminars, as well as keeping up with the practice of the law by reading current publications.
Attorney Brieger made a few comments of note that she had picked up in her career.
1) That if you can't ask a question in five words or less you should start over asking the question.
2) That you should withhold judgement on a case until you know the facts of the case.
Some councilors urged the nominee to not be overly concerned with case management standards that they believe got in the way of processing a case rather than helping it along.
Attorney Brieger acknowledged that she was vested in her federal pension, and that the move to the state would make her eligible for a state pension.
It was also stated that Attorney Brieger would be taking a pay cut to going from a federal prosecutor to a Superior Court Judge.
Attorney Brieger was asked if she had ever considered applying to Federal Court, she had not.
When asked about specific procedural rules, Rule 9C and Rule 9A, she expressed familiarity with them.
Attorney Brieger was asked if she understood the law to mean that citizens have a fundamental right to carry arms. She stated that it was her understanding that they do.
When asked how she would command respect in a courtroom, she said she would rely on the experience of the sitting justices.
Attorney Brieger was asked about the role of the judiciary in post convictions proceedings regarding deportation. She stated that such a matter was an issue appropriately dealt with by the probation department
Concern was raised regarding judges that prosecute from the bench and the impression that most judges that do this are former prosecutors. Attorney Brieger assured the council that she would not behave in this manner and encouraged them to look at her record and the comments of her witnesses.
Attorney Brieger was asked directly why the council should vote for her when there are plenty of qualified attorneys also seeking the same position, her response was that she would work hard and that her record showed her to be a hard worker.
Attorney Brieger was asked about a judge's ability to overrule a jury she explained that this could only be done based on the law. That the basis of the allegation did not meet the legal standard in light most favorable to the state.
The hearing was adjourned
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A vote was taken at the June 27, 2012 meeting.
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