Bar Foundation Names Essay Contest Winners Three students were recently presented awards by Supreme Court Justice Christine Vertefeuille in the Connecticut Bar Foundation’s 16th annual Quintin Johnstone Statewide High School Essay Contest.

Seamus Connor, a home-schooled senior, was awarded the statewide prize, with runner-up prizes awarded to Daniel Coppinger, a junior at Simsbury High School, and Katarina Flicker, a senior at Greens Farms Academy.

Sponsored by the foundation’s James W. Cooper Fellows program, the contest invited students at all public and private schools in the state to write on the topic of “Diversity Disagreement,” using a fictional student’s allegations of discrimination at her school and assuming the role of the lawyer representing the school district.

Submissions were evaluated by panels that included Connecticut Supreme, Appellate and Superior Court judges, U.S. District Court judges, law school professors and practicing attorneys. An awards ceremony was held June 5 at the Connecticut Supreme Court. The fellows presented a $2,000 cash prize to Connor and $1,000 cash prizes to Coppinger and Flicker.

Foundation President Andrea Barton Reeves congratulated the students for writing “thoughtful, well-written presentations of a controversial topic.”

Quintin Johnstone served as president of the Connecticut Bar Foundation from 1987 to 1991 and was a professor at Yale Law School before his death in 2014.  Deadline for entries in next year’s contest is Feb. 22, 2019. For more information, visit

Hartford Attorney Scott Murphy Joins Children’s Advocacy Board Shipman & Goodwin managing partner Scott Murphy has joined the board of directors of the Center for Children’s Advocacy.

Under Murphy’s leadership, Shipman & Goodwin supported the center’s work since 2011, sponsoring CCA’s annual Spring for Kids fundraiser for the past five years.

Murphy is an emeritus board member of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, a trustee of the Connecticut Science Center and former chairman of the Wethersfield Planning and Zoning Commission. He specializes in public, corporate and commercial finance, representing quasi-governmental entities in legislative, governance and compliance matters.

Joseph D. Szerejko, courtesy photo

Joseph D. Szerejko Joins Murtha Cullina Murtha Cullina has hired Joseph D. Szerejko as a litigation associate and member of the firm’s municipal and land use practice groups.

Szerejko advises municipalities on land-use enforcement and labor matters and has argued pretrial motions and presented evidence for cases in Connecticut Superior Court. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Bates College and his law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he was an executive editor of the Connecticut Law Review.


Day Pitney Receives Diversity Recognition Day Pitney has achieved Mansfield “Plus” certification from Diversity Lab after completing the inaugural one-year Mansfield Rule pilot.

The Mansfield Rule certification measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women and attorneys of color for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions and senior lateral positions. The goal is to boost diversity in law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for these opportunities.

“Plus” status indicates the firm has reached at least 30 percent women and minority lawyer representation in a notable number of its current leadership roles and committees.

“We are very proud of this achievement, which is the result of the concentrated and persistent efforts of our entire team over time,” said Day Pitney partner Benjamin Haglund, chairman of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. “Retaining and promoting diverse attorneys within our firm is of critical importance, and we are deeply committed to an upward trajectory.”

Day Pitney announced plans to participate in the 2.0 iteration of the Mansfield Rule, which runs from July 2018 to July 2019 and will include LGBTQ+ lawyers as well as women and attorneys of color. Mansfield 2.0 will also measure consideration for roles in client pitch meetings and will ask participating law firms to make appointment and election processes transparent to their lawyers.

Joshua S. Cole and Lauren C. Davies of Pullman & Comley.

Pullman & Comley Announces Hires in Real Estate and Trusts Pullman & Comley has hired Joshua S. Cole and Lauren C. Davies in the firm’s Bridgeport and Westport offices, respectively. Cole joins the firm’s real estate practice and Davies joins trusts and estates.

“We are very pleased that both Lauren and Josh have joined our team,” said James T. Shearin, the firm’s chairman. “Both attorneys bring with them an abundance of experience and enthusiasm and will be a tremendous asset in serving our clients across the state.”

Cole represents borrowers and lenders in all types of secured and unsecured financing transactions and is a member of the Wilton Board of Selectmen. Davies represents clients in a broad range of estate planning and administrative matters. She has been a research editor for the Connecticut Insurance Law Journal and contributor to the Sea Grant Law Center who has participated in dispute resolution for maritime law matters.

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