The Connecticut Bar Association’s 2019 “Celebrate with the Stars” event will take place Thursday, April 11, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at the Aqua Turf in Plantsville to honor 14 winners of Bar awards this year. The event will also honor attorneys marking their 50th anniversary of admission to practice in Connecticut.
Awardees this year include Hon. William I. Garfinkel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut in Bridgeport. Garfinkel will receive the Henry J. Naruk Judiciary Award, in honor of the late Superior Court judge and the first president of the Connecticut Judges Association, honoring substantial contributions to the administration of justice in Connecticut.
Former Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen will be honored with the Bar’s Distinguished Public Service Award, which has been presented in previous years to consumer advocate Ralph Nader, Coach Jim Calhoun, poet Wally Lamb and jazz legend Dave Brubeck, underscoring outstanding contributions to society.
The Bar will present the John Eldred Shields Professional Service Award to retired Judge Anne C. Dranginis of Pullman & Comley, recognizing outstanding service on behalf of the bar.
This year’s complete list of honorees is as follows:
The Henry J. Naruk Judiciary Award
Hon. William I. Garfinkel, U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, Bridgeport
Distinguished Public Service Award
Hon. George C. Jepsen, Former Connecticut Attorney General, Shipman & Goodwin, Hartford
John Eldred Shields Distinguished Professional Service Award
Hon. Anne C. Dranginis, Pullman & Comley, Bridgeport
McLean Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award
Willajeanne F. McLean, UConn School of Law, Hartford
Edward F. Hennessey Professionalism Award
Mark A. Dubois, Geraghty & Bonnano LLC, New London
Citizen for the Law Award
Pastor AJ Johnson and Cori Mackey, Christian Activities Council, Hartford
Citizen of the Law Award
Krishna R. Patel, Grace Farms Foundation, New Canaan
Charles J. Parker Legal Services Award
Justine C. Rakich-Kelly, The Children’s Law Center of Connecticut, Hartford
Young Lawyers Section Vanguard Award
Melanie P. Dykas, Locke Lord, Hartford
Honorable Anthony V. DeMayo Pro Bono Awards
Rebecca L. Ciota of the Ciota Legal Group in Ridgefield
Jennifer L. Hluska of Prudential Financial in Shelton
Brittany A. Killian of McCarter & English in Hartford
Jane I. Milas of Garcia & Milas PC in New Haven
Stephanie B. Nickse of S.B. Nickse Law Offices in Danbury