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Judge & Attorney Biographies

Reed, Joel H.

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 101, pages 758 - 759

JOEL HENRY REED, late of Stafford Springs, was born at Eastford, in Windham County, Connecticut, on January 10th, 1850, and died at Poughkeepsie, New York, on October 1924.

He attended the grade and high schools of Union, Connecticut, and afterward entered Monson Academy at Monson, Massachusetts, from which he was graduated in 1871. He entered the law office of the late Dwight Marcy of Rockville, Connecticut, where he remained, pursuing his studies for a period of three years. He was admitted to the bar of Tolland County in 1874, and with the exception of seven years when he was located at Colchester, Connecticut, he practiced law at Stafford Springs. He represented the Town of Stafford in the legislature in 1901. He was appointed State’s Attorney for Tolland County in 1893, and held that office until 1904, when he was elevated to the Superior Court, which position he held with honor and distinction until his retirement in 1920 because of the age limit.

Judge Reed was twice married, his first wife being Lydia E. Willis of Ashford, Connecticut, and his second wife being Mrs. Grace W. Perrin, former superintendent of the Florence Crittenton Mission Home of New Haven, Connecticut.

The family of Judge Reed is descended from Thomas Reed who came from Colchester, Essex County, England, in 1654, and settled in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Nathaniel Reed, great-grandson of Thomas Reed, settled in Warren, Massachusetts, where the subsequent ancestors were born. Major Reuben Reed, Judge Reed’s great-grandfather, was an officer in the Revolutionary Army and a large landowner in Warren, Massachusetts.

Joel H. Reed’s life work is finished, and with its termination came to a close the writer’s intimate acquaintance with him, founded upon a personal friendship of the rarest kind, covering a period of more than forty years. This association became a factor in the lives of both, socially and professionally. A close acquaintance deepened one’s impression of his qualities. His integrity was so absolute and his reputation in this respect so firmly fixed, that no opponent, even in the heat of debate, dared risk a suggestion questioning it. Men generally are honest, but the acts and judgments of many of them are so frequently erratic, that people are led to question their purpose; they fail to inspire confidence. It was not so with Judge Reed; his judgment was so well balanced, his mind so well poised, and his discriminations so well taken, that in a long active life in which he was called into council by the community, in the church, at the bar, and on the bench, he was able to give his advice, and render his decisions in such a way that his consistency was never questioned.

To be thus true to one’s purpose, intellectually as well as morally, amid all of the vicisitudes of a long life, betokens a high degree of ability, and this Judge Reed had.

Nothing more fitting could close this brief memorial than the words spoken by his pastor at the funeral services at Stafford Springs, when he said, “ I know of no one in less need of a eulogy than he.”

*Prepared by the Hon. Charles Phelps, of the Tolland County Bar, at the request of the Reporter.

Reeve, Tapping

As Printed in Day's Reports, volume 2, page viii

[Note from a table of the members of the Supreme Court of Errors, from the organization of that court in 1784, until the transfer of its powers to the nine judges of the Superior Court in 1807]

Mr. Reeve was elected an assistant this year [1792], but declined the office. 

 

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 1, unpaged leaf after page 102

THE Hon. TAPPING REEVE, one of the Judges of the Superior Court, was thereupon appointed Chief Judge; but no appointment was made to fill the vacancy occasioned by his promotion; so that the Superior Court, and of course the Supreme Court of Errors, for this year [1814], consisted of eight members only.

Reilly, Robert E.

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 233, pages 917 - 918

The Honorable Robert E. Reilly died on November 11, 1994. He was fifty-five years old. Judge Reilly was remembered both by his colleagues on the bench and by attorneys who appeared in his courtroom as firm, yet compassionate. Appointed to the Superior Court in 1983 by Governor William A. O'Neill, Judge Reilly was primarily responsible for misdemeanors in the geographical area courts.

After graduating from West Haven High School in 1958, where he was an accomplished lineman on the football team, Judge Reilly graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1962, and from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1965. He was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1966. Judge Reilly was an attorney in private practice in the New Haven area from 1967 until 1983, the year he was appointed to the bench.

A West Haven resident, Judge Reilly was married to Rosemary C. Reilly and was the father of three sons.

Reinhard, Milton E. J., Jr.

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 209, page 834

1919 - 1989

The Honorable Milton E. J. Reinhard, Jr., retired Circuit Court judge, died on January 22, 1989.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Judge Reinhard lived in Bridgeport for fifty-two years. He was active in local politics for many years prior to his appointment to the bench in 1960. He served three terms in the House of Representatives and two terms in the state Senate. He was elected to the Bridgeport Board of Education for three terms.

Judge Reinhard started the first Honor Court, a program for alcoholics, while a member of the Circuit Court. He was named director of the city's Childhood Lead Paint Prevention Program by Mayor John Mandanici.

He was a graduate of Junior College of Connecticut, American University and the Yale Law School.

He was a member of the Park City Knights of Columbus and Ancient Order of Hibernians, and past trustee of St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church.

Judge Reinhard is survived by his wife, Evelyn Bynak Reinhard; three sons, William B. Reinhard, Kenneth E. Reinhard and Jeffrey P. Reinhard; two brothers, Dr. Warren J. Reinhard and Dr. Harold E. Reinhard; three grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Richmond, Jared D.

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 60, pages 613 - 614

JARED DEWING RICHMOND was born in Ashford, in Windham County, in March, 1804, and resided in his native town nearly seventy-eight years, where he died in December, 1881.

After being instructed in the schools of his own town he prepared for a college course in Springfield, Mass., and afterwards entered Brown University, from which he graduated. He studied law with Lieut. Gov. Stoddard, who was then practising in Ashford, after which he was admitted to the bar and entered upon the practice of law there. He was not an aggressive lawyer, but through life pre-eminently a man of peace, and therefore did not rise to that eminence as an advocate for which his culture helped to fit him. Judge Earl Martin, who studied law with him, says of him that "he had a reputation for fine scholarship;" and that "he was modest and diffident, and these qualities were undoubtedly a hindrance to his success as an advocate; but above all he was thoroughly conscientious and would not knowingly be a party to any wrong, either in public or private life, and he died as he lived without a stain upon his name." He had the entire confidence of his fellow-townsmen and was honored by them with the various offices in their gift. He represented his town in the lower house of the General Assembly in the years 1842, 1845, 1849, 1853 and 1862, and in 1848 he represented the fourteenth district in the senate, acting as chairman of the judiciary committee. He was long known as Judge Richmond, having been judge of the Probate Court of his district for many years. He was also for four years the judge of the County Court.

He was a member of the Congregational Church and led a consistent Christian life. The book of his religious profession was as prominent in his office as were those of his legal profession, and while he found in the latter the law which he delivered to his clients, he found in the former the constant law of his own life.

He had a great love of music and considerable musical talent, and often had charge of the singing in church and religious meetings. In early life he taught singing schools.

Judge Richmond left a widow, who is still living at the age of ninety-three. He was greatly afflicted by the death of a son a few years before his own death, who was a prosperous business man in the city of New York. Two sons and two daughters survive him.

*Prepared by A.J. Bowen, Esq., of the Windham County bar. 

Robinson, Henry C.

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 72, pages 735 - 736

Henry Cornelius Robinson died at Hartford, February 14th, 1900. Born in that city, August 28th, 1832, he traced his ancestry through his father, David Franklin Robinson, to Thomas Robinson who came to Guilford from England in 1667, and through his mother, Anne Seymour Robinson, to William Brewster, one of the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth in 1620, and to Richard Treat, a patentee of the Connecticut charter, and to Governor John Webster and Richard Seymour. Fitting for college in the grammar school and public high school of Hartford, he was graduated at Yale in the class of 1853, receiving the degree of A. M. in 1855 and LL. D. in 1888. He studied law in the office of his brother, Lucius F. Robinson, and with Judge William L. Storrs, and was admitted to the bar of Hartford County in 1855, continuing in full practice till his death. He married in 1862 Eliza Niles Trumbull, daughter of John F. Trumbull, of Stonington, who with three sons and two daughters, survives him.

His activities were boundless. He represented in important litigation nearly all the insurance companies, banks, railroads and greater manufacturing corporations of Hartford, in many of which he was prominent as a director. His briefs were epitomes of legal scholarship; his arguments models of forensic oratory. In politics he was a valued adviser of the republican party in the State, and represented it in the great causes that were litigated involving organic law. As mayor of Hartford from 1872 to 1874, he planned and introduced the government by executive commissions. He was a member of the fish commission in 1866, of the General Assembly in 1879, of the National Republican Convention at Chicago in 1880, commissioner of Connecticut at the Centennial of the Federal Constitution in 1889, and twice the candidate of his party for Governor of the State. He declined a mission abroad flatteringly tendered him by the chief executive.

He was tempted to abandon law for letters. We need only recall any of his orations to realize how strong was that temptation. His essays and lectures would have adorned any literature and contributed to the wisdom of any age. It is to be regretted that his addresses on legal ethics to the classes of the Yale Law School were not preserved in permanent form. Yet his richest legacy to succeeding generations is his genial, wholesome manliness. In all that he did his aims were high, his methods cleanly, his motives noble. No life that he touched but was brighter and better from the contact. No station was so high as to shield its occupant from his rebuke for wrong-doing; no wretchedness so low as to be beneath his sympathy. Busy amid the activities and ambitions of this world he was yet not of it. Religious conviction was the law of his life, and found expression in his earnest and fruitful ministrations in the church where he worshiped so many years. The world is better for his living in it and richer by a lofty type of Christian manhood.

*Prepared by William F. Henney, Esq., at the request of the Reporter. 

Robinson, John T.

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 124, pages 704 - 706

John Trumbull Robinson, son of Henry C. and Eliza Trumbull Robinson, was born April 25th, 1871, and died November 27th, 1937. He was graduated from the Hartford Public High School in 1889 and from Yale University in 1893; studied law in his father's office and was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1896. His whole life was spent in Hartford and it was filled with professional work, civic activities, and a variety of social interests, all of which by nature he entered into with zest and enjoyment.

He was chairman of the Republican town committee from 1903 to 1906; executive secretary to Governor George P. McLean from 1901 to 1903; a delegate to the Republican national convention in 1904; from 1908 to 1912 he was United States attorney for the District of Connecticut; and was president of the Hartford County Bar Association from 1930 to 1932. Higher political honors he undoubtedly might have had if he had been willing and able to make the sacrifice of time and energy which political life in his day demanded. All through his life he was an adviser in the councils of the Republican party and a staunch upholder of constitutional government.

Few young men have begun the practice of law in Hartford with the inspiration of such a family tradition as had Mr. Robinson. His father, who died in 1900, was a leader of the Connecticut bar and an uncle, Lucius F. Robinson, was a brilliant lawyer and scholar. At the time of his admission to the bar his father and his oldest brother, Lucius F. Robinson, were in partnership under the firm name of Robinson and Robinson, and after his father's death he and his brother Lucius F. Robinson continued the firm under the same name until January 1st, 1913, when Francis W. Cole became a member and the name of the firm was changed to Robinson, Robinson and Cole.

His career at the bar was long, happy and successful. He had the opportunity of early activity in the trial of cases and to this branch of the law he turned by natural inclination. At the same time he was a most conscientious and sound adviser. One often attempts to ascertain the source of one's professional success. There was no sham in Mr. Robinson's nature and it always seemed to me that his frankness in admitting every adverse feature of his case and his boldness in driving home his argument, with all the facts before the court, made for the success he attained. He once said to me that any judge or jury was quick to detect any attempt at unfairness. During his busy life he had tried many important cases and frequently was called upon by other lawyers for help. One lawyer, in a public address, used these words: "His Grecian head, his tall and graceful figure, his ringing voice. and his flow of natural eloquence made him a forceful advocate." He fulfilled the true function of an advocate - fidelity to his client and to the court as well - with the result that he won the confidence of both.

One of his outstanding characteristics was his fondness for out-of door life. He loved the woods, fields and streams. He was a devoted follower of Isaac Walton and the happiest days of his life were those when he could indulge in the gentle art of angling.

His religion was a vital part of his life. He was a devout follower of the Master, and a loyal member of his church.

Manly and handsome, with a sound mind in a sound body, given a personality full of charm and sentiment, he was a friend among many friends and a true Christian gentleman.

On April 25th, 1905, he married Gertrude Doolittle Coxe of Utica, New York, who, together with two children, Mrs. John Pierson of New Haven and John T. Robinson, Jr., of Hartford, survive him.

*Prepared by Edward M. Day, of the Hartford bar. 

Robinson, Lucius F.

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 29, pages 606 - 608

Rarely has a death produced so painful a sensation in any community as did that of Lucius F. Robinson in the city of Hartford and throughout the state. A young man so full of promise, mingling so closely fulfillment and promise, and surrounded by so much to make life desirable, has not often been called from the world. With a culture of manners and a grace of person that fitted him to shine in elegant society, he combined the most substantial qualities of mind and character. With a fine classical education, which he regarded not as a mere preparation for the work of life, to be abandoned for its graver duties, but as a means of recreation and higher culture to be pursued through life, he possessed a natural vigor and penetration of mind which enabled him to grapple easily with the most abstruse and profound questions of the law, and in an industry that has hardly ever been surpassed by that of any enthusiast in any pursuit. Without the stimulus of pecuniary need, which is so necessary a spur to the activity of most men, he found a sufficient motive to industry in a high and honorable ambition to excel in his profession. To the aid of this ambition came an increasing and at last almost absorbing love of the law. I have heard him say that, after the fatiguing labors of the day in court or in his office, he could sit down late in the evening to read a volume of reports with more pleasure than he ever read a book of mere entertainment. With this love of his profession, this industry, and his superior intellectual qualities, and the discipline and culture of a fine education, he naturally attained very early a marked and prominent position at the bar, and at the time of his death, then but thirty-seven years of age, he stood in the front rank of the profession as a practitioner. No lawyer in the state, of his age, stood so high. He was employed during the later years of his life on as many cases, and on cases of as great magnitude, as any of the older members of the bar of his county, and he occasionally went into other counties, particularly for the argument of causes before the supreme court. With the increase of his professional business, the industry, of which he had already acquired the habit, became a necessity. No case which he undertook to manage was neglected by him, while to those of magnitude, or of special legal interest or difficulty, he gave an amount of labor in preparing them for trial, particularly upon points of law, that compelled him to forego the sleep and recreation that were indispensable to his health; and the disease under which he fell was brought on, it is believed, by the intense and unremitting application of mind to which, for some months previous, he had subjected himself.

Mr. Robinson had not reached that age when, with ripened judgment and knowledge, he might have given to the profession, in a durable form, some of the fruits of his study. His recorded memorials are mainly in the epitomes of his arguments as published in the later volumes of the Connecticut Reports. These volumes, however, contain one monument, more complete than the rest, of his legal capacity and learning, as well as of his literary culture, in the opinion of the Supreme Court in the case of The Connecticut Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. The New York & New Haven Railroad Co., 25 Conn. Reps., 271, which, though bearing the name of Judge Storrs, was yet written by Mr. Robinson, at the request of the judge. Judge Storrs himself informed me of the fact at the time, and I should not now feel at liberty to state it if he had not mentioned if freely to others since Mr. Robinson's death. The question there discussed is one of great legal interest, and it is treated in a masterly manner, as well as in a style of elevated judicial eloquence. The easy mastery of the subject on the part of the writer is the more striking that he had had no previous familiarity with the case by being connected with it.

Mr. Robinson was for several years the attorney of the city of Hartford, and almost all the legislative acts of the last ten years in relation to the city, and particularly those establishing or reorganizing the city court, police court, and court of common council, were drawn by him. The new charter recently granted to the city, and by which the city limits were greatly extended, and the complicated machinery of a city of the larger size introduced, was also prepared by him. No lawyer at our bar was so familiar as he with the local questions growing out of the administration of the city government.

He occasionally exercised his literary talents, which were of a high order, in political effusions, generally of a humorous character, and intended for the entertainment of a social circle, but always graceful and spirited. He also wrote, particularly in the early part of his professional life, occasional articles for the political press, though in his later years he took little part in politics. He also, in the year 1852, assisted one our city publishers in getting out an edition of Cotton Mather's Magnalia, furnishing translations of all the numerous Greek and Latin passages contained in it.

Mr. Robinson was born in Hartford, on the 1st day of February, 1824. He was the son of David F. Robinson, one of its prominent citizens. He was married in 1850, to the only daughter of Ex-Gov. Joseph Trumbull, of Hartford, whom, with four children, he left behind. His wife was a niece of Chief Justice Storrs, and Mr. Robinson had become a great favorite with the judge, who, having no children, regarded him with the fondness of a father, and after his death mourned him as a son. It is supposed that the weight of this affliction hastened his own death, which occurred a few months after. Mr. Robinson died of erysipelas, on the 10th day of March, 1861. During his sickness he expressed the most entire resignation to the will of God, and great peace of mind in view of his approaching death.

His death occurred on the day following that of Francis Parsons, Esq., who was one of his nearest neighbors. The Hartford County bar, at a meeting called on the occasion, passed the following resolutions:

"Resolved, That we regard with profound sorrow the deaths of Francis Parsons and Lucius F. Robinson, Esquires, members of this bar, who have just deceased; the one in the maturity of his manhood, the other in its prime; the one just completing a professional life of usefulness and honor, and prepared to crown it with a benignant old age, the other in the midst of the most absorbing and arduous labors of his profession, with a position already attained that would satisfy and ambition of most men, and the highest rewards of the law in sure prospect, and with an industry that made him deserve, and an ability and culture that would have enabled him to adorn, any position which an honorable ambition could have desired.

"Resolved, That while our hearts are deeply saddened by the loss of our departed brethren, we contemplate with great satisfaction their many excellences of character and Christian virtues, cherishing their memories, and commending their example to those who may seek, in the honorable practice of the legal profession, a life of distinction and usefulness."

Robinson, Lucius Franklin

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 128, pages 716 - 720

Lucius Franklin Robinson died at Hartford on June 11, 1941, after an illness of about two weeks. He was born in Hartford on June 12, 1863, the eldest child of Henry Cornelius and Eliza Niles (Trumbull) Robinson.

On the paternal side he came of a family which had attained distinction at the bar not only in the person of his father (see 72 Conn. 735) but also in that of his uncle (see 29 Conn. 606), whose name he bore, and who died comparatively young after displaying marked talent as a lawyer. On his mother's side he came of a family outstanding in the history of Connecticut.

He attended a local grammar school in Hartford, the Hartford Public High School and Yale University. His college career was a distinct success. His scholastic record was good and, being strong and active, he engaged in various forms of athletics. His record in the hundred yards was ten and one-half seconds, he rowed in an eight-oared boat and he played end on two of Yale's elevens. He won prizes in declamation and composition and was one of those who completed with his classmate and lifelong friend Governor Wilber L. Cross for the DeForest Prize. Socially too he was among the first in his class, being elected to Phi Upsilon and Skull and Bones and chosen by his classmates for their dinner and prom committees.

Mr. Robinson was graduated from Yale in 1885 and returned to Hartford to study law in his father's office. In 1887 he was admitted to the bar and commenced practice with his father under the name of H. C. and L. F. Robinson. When his brother Henry S. Robinson became a lawyer in 1891 the name of the firm was changed to Robinson and Robinson. Henry S. Robinson practiced only four years, but in 1896 the youngest brother, John T. Robinson (see 124 Conn. 704), was admitted to practice with the partnership. Henry C. Robinson died in 1900 and thereafter the brothers continued in their professional partnership for many years although the firm name was changed in 1913 to Robinson, Robinson and Cole and new partners were admitted from time to time until there were nine in all. Henry C. Robinson's office was located on Central Row on the second floor of the Marble Block, a building which belonged to the Estate of David F. Robinson, the grandfather of Lucius F. Robinson, and there the offices continued until about 1922.

Mr. Robinson was a member of the Court of Common Council of Hartford from 1889 until 1891 and president of that body in the latter year. He serve on the board of fire commissioners from 1894 to 1897 and on the board of park commissioners of the city from 1901 to 1912, being president of that board during his term of office. He became a member of the State Park and Forest Commission in 1913 and continued to serve in that capacity until his death, holding the chairmanship of the commission for twenty years from 1917 to 1937 and being responsible in large measure for the successful development of its work. He was inherently fond of the woods and streams and hills of Connecticut and deeply interested in the natural history of his native state. During his service on the State Park Commission, its province came to include, from a small, almost negligible beginning, twelve thousand acres of parks and eighty thousand acres of forest land scattered throughout the state, giving persons from all walks of life and in all parts of Connecticut the opportunity for wholesome recreation and enjoyment.

In 1887 Mr. Robinson was chosen a director of the Hartford Public Library, and in 1890, a director of the First National Bank, on which board he served for over half a century. In 1900 he was elected a director of the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company and his term of service on that board was the longest in the annals of the Company. In the same year he was elected a director of the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. He was also a director of the Connecticut Fire Insurance Company, of which his grandfather, David F. Robinson, was in 1850 one of the original incorporators, and a director of the Phoenix Insurance Company. His industrial directorships included the Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company, Veeder-Root Incorporated and the Billings and Spencer Company. For many years he was on the board of the Hartford Retreat.

During the first World War he was a member of the Connecticut State Guard First Infantry, serving as a private in Company B and was also a member of the State Council of Defense, appointed thereto by Governor Marcus H. Holcomb.

Thoughtful in his observations on the changing phases of the body politic, Mr. Robinson was disposed to defend the doctrine of state's rights and to show concern over the trend towards federal centralization. He served as president of the Hartford County Bar Association and also as president of the State Bar Association of Connecticut. When he retired from the latter office in 1926 he delivered an address at the annual meeting in which he paid tribute to our indestructible union of indestructible states, questioning whether the increasing assumption of power by the central national government might not contain the seeds of disruption of the Union. In the concluding phrases of this address he referred to the "the incontrovertible fact that we as a people are rapidly and nonchalantly abandoning in a large measure the fundamental principle which the founders and our forebears for a century believed was essential to the integrity of the Union" and expressed the hope that the general recognition of this fact, "by the lawyers of the country and under their enlightened leadership by its electorate" would compel a reaction which might ensure the preservation of the Republic as a demonstration of the self-governing capacity of a great people. In the Prohibition Amendment he saw not only a violation of the doctrine of states' rights but a sumptuary law in constitutional form impossible of enforcement. On the question of repeal of this amendment he displayed his public interest for nearly a decade, appearing and expressing himself in 1925 at a hearing in the hall of the House before a legislative committee in opposition to the so-called Wheeler Bill, engaging in 1929 in a notable debate on the subject of prohibition with Chief Justice Wheeler at a meeting of the State Bar Association and finally witnessing the achievement of his objective when in July, 1933, he presided as chairman of the Constitutional Convention of Connecticut which ratified the Repeal Amendment.

Notwithstanding the strength and energy which he expended in public and other outside interests, his greatest devotion was to the practice of the law. Few, if any, lawyers were his equal in the general breadth of their practical legal knowledge, and no member of the bar of Connecticut excelled him in the understanding of corporate law and procedure. While trial work was not his specialty, from 1889, when he first appeared before our Supreme Court, for a period of perhaps fifty years he appeared from time to time both in the trial and appellate courts, always well prepared to present his case and always presenting it with a most persuasive tolerance and logic. He possessed a rare gift of graceful expression, employing now and then phrases of singularly elusive charm. For years he watched for various clients the doings of the General Assembly and in this way became familiar not only with the laws that were enacted but also with much of the legal background which was thought to demand statutory modification. He was recognized as a wise counsellor whose first consideration was the public interest.

During the period of his career at the bar, Mr. Robinson witnessed developments of federal legislation and regulation which in their volume and complexity as a whole passed the limits of human understanding. When he commenced to practice, federal control of business and of the individual was trivial, but with the tremendous power of the purse which ensued from the income tax amendment and with the waning of the judicial doctrines of "due process of law" and the reserve powers of the states the doors were open to vast extensions of federal control over what had theretofore been regarded as local affairs. For a lawyer the easy course would have been not to keep abreast of the times. But this course he did not choose, giving long hours of hard work and earnest attention to the task of acquainting himself with these new developments in centralized power. He became an expert in the law of federal taxation and sufficiently familiar with the important Congressional Acts relating to labor and business, finance and agriculture to make his advice sound and highly valued by his numerous loyal clients.

As he advanced to the later years of his life he relinquished to some extent his active work, but up until the time of his last illness he maintained the connections which he cherished most in the practice of his profession and he maintained an alert mind and vigorous personality. His death brought to a close a remarkable record of success at college, in his chosen profession, in his business connections, in the public service and in his personal relations with friends and partners. In resolutions adopted after his death the Board of Alderman made record of the fact that his name would always be synonymous with the finest ideals of American citizenship. In a letter to the Hartford Court, his minister, the Reverend Warren S. Archibald, expressed this gracious tribute:

"His life was characterized by greatness. He was a great man. He was great in character, great in personality, great in his affections, loyalties and ideals. He was great in his profession. He was great in his friendships and in all those spiritual qualities which bind us together in love and devotion. He had great ability, so that he could perform and carry to completion most difficult tasks and problems. He had great kindness, so that all who knew him loved and admired him. They will always remember with pride and thanksgiving the warm, friendly, gentle and able man who in this Pilgrim's way was worthy to be entitled `Great Heart' and `Valiant for Truth'."

When Yale in 1926 conferred upon Mr. Robinson the honorary degree of LL.D., Professor William Lyon Phelps used a sentence expressive of the former's personality when he said: "A certain incurable modesty has made Lucius Robinson ambitious for the welfare of everyone except himself, and today it is fitting that such success and such unselfishness should receive public recognition."

On December 5, 1894, he married Elinor Cooke, of Paterson, N.J. She and three sons, Lucius F. Robinson, Jr., Barclay Robinson and Henry C. Robinson, survive him, the two eldest sons being members of his firm.

*Prepared by Francis W. Cole, of the Hartford Bar. 

Robinson, Silas A.

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 106, pages 738 - 739

SILAS ARNOLD ROBINSON was born September 7th, 1840, in Pleasant Valley, Fulton County, New York, the third of six children of Rev. Daniel and Ursula Matilda (Arnold) Robinson. His father was a Baptist clergyman, born in Norway, New York, in 1806, whose first pastorate was in Springfield, New York, later serving other pastorates in Massachusetts and New York. He died in 1863. Ursula, his wife, was born in 1808 in Fairfield, Connecticut, the daughter of John B. Arnold of Providence, Rhode Island, in which State that family had been distinguished since Colonial days.

The subject of this sketch received his early schooling at Lewis Academy in Southington, Connecticut, later continuing his studies at Bacon Academy, Colchester, Connecticut, and Brookside Institute at Sand Lake, New York.

His aptitude for intellectual pursuits was marked and he always had a fondness for books. Upon the completion of his school work he turned to the study of the law with the same zeal and thoroughness which characterized all his work, entering the offices of Gale and Alden of Troy, New York, and was made a member of the bar at Albany, New York, in December, 1863. The following year, at the age of twenty-four, he came to Middletown, Connecticut, which remained his home for the rest of his life. Devoting himself with characteristic earnestness to his chosen profession, he soon became an able and trusted practitioner whose services were sought, not only by clients but by the public at large. In 1878 he was elected Judge of Probate for the District of Middletown, and in 1880 was made Mayor of the city. His interest in education was well known, and for many years he gave freely of his time and services as a member of the board of education for the city and town.

His professional life was a constant growth, and he was soon recognized throughout the State as a man of marked ability, learning and integrity in the profession. On February 11th, 1890, he was called to the bench of the Superior Court and served by successive appointments until April 14th, 1909, when he was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Errors, retiring the following year under the constitutional age limitation of seventy years. With unimpaired vigor of mind and body he thereupon accepted an appointment by the Superior Court as a receiver of the Middlesex Banking Company, a mortgage investment company having offices at Middletown; Connecticut, and St. Paul, Minnesota. To the date of his death, his ripened powers were actively and constantly employed in the solution of the complicated problems presented by the affairs of that large concern, which had accumulated through many years of extensive business in this country and Europe,—a task which might well have given pause to a much younger man. Though less clearly understood by the public at large, this service of his later years is recognized by those who know the character of the task, as not the least of the accomplishments of a long, busy and inspiring life.

Endowed by nature with a keen mind and a sound body, he maintained a nice balance of mental and physical activities. He was fond of out-of-door life, walking and fishing, and his study of professional and other problems was continuous to the day of his death, which occurred at Middletown on January 13th, 1927. He was a gentleman in the best sense, dignified and kindly, with a profound regard for all the finer things in life. His sense of justice was keen and his search for it was umremitting, while his devotion to the highest ideals of the profession of the law, was firm and unshakable.

Judge Robinson was married June 13th, 1866, to Fanny E. Norton, of Otis, Massachusetts, who predeceased him by a short period. Four children were born to them, of whom three survive, Charles M. Robinson, in the practice of law at New Haven, Miss Lucy N. Robinson and Mrs. Winnifred Rymer, who reside in Middletown.

*Prepared by Hon. Frank D. Haines, of Portland, at the request of the Reporter.

 

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 83, page iii

Appointed to Supreme Court April 14th, 1909, to take effect February 5th, 1910. Retired September 7th, 1910, under constitutional limitation as to age.

Rogers, Henry

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 57, pages 590 - 591

HENRY ROGERS was born in North Branford in this state, July 19th, 1838, and died at New Haven, where he resided, on the 27th day of January, 1889. He was the only son of Rufus Rogers, late of that town, and of Betsey Chidsey Rogers, who survives him. He was graduated from the Yale Law School in 1862, and was immediately admitted to the bar and entered upon active practice. He had an office for several years with George H. Watrous.

In 1867 he married Antoinette Anderson, daughter of S. D. Anderson, of Mansfield, Conn., niece of Charles and Augustus Storrs, the founders of the Storrs Agricultural School. He left four children - Rufus, Bessie, Henry and Eunice.

Of the hundred and twenty-five or more members of the legal profession in New Haven, only about fifteen were admitted to the bar earlier than he. For several years he had an extensive practice, but in 1871 he began to suffer from necrosis, which made repeated amputations necessary, and for a long time completely prevented him from undertaking any business.

In his profession he was noted for the keen activity of his mind, and his faithfulness to his cases and his clients. Literature, reading, and writing for publication, were his pastimes. He also gathered through many years a large collection of antiquities and objects of interest.

At a meeting of the members of the bar to take action on his decease, on motion of Prof. Simeon E. Baldwin, who was one of his classmates in the law school, the following resolution was passed:

"That during the quarter of a century in which Henry Rogers was one of this body, he showed himself a thoughtful and conscientious lawyer, possessed of an indomitable spirit surmounting all physical infirmity, watchful of the interests of his clients, and, in addition to the ordinary duties of his profession, taking an active and intelligent part, through the press, in the discussion of matters of finance and local administration affecting the community at large."

His last years were marked by resolute endurance of suffering, which he bore with fortitude almost superhuman, maintaining his cheerfulness, his active control of his business, and his care for his family to the last. He was a true friend, a genial companion, a rare conversationalist, a conscientious and public-spirited citizen, an affectionate husband and parent, a liberal-minded Christian, a good lawyer, and a brave man.

*Prepared at the request of the Reporter by Henry G. Newton, Esq., of the New Haven bar.

Roraback, Alberto T.

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 98, pages 833 - 836 

ALBERTO T. RORABACK was born in Sheffield, Massachusetts, August 23d, 1849, and died at his home in Canaan, February 1st, 1923. His father was a farmer. He obtained his education in the public schools of Sheffield and in the Genesee Academy at Genesee, New York, and then taught school in Sheffield and Canaan. He began the study of law in 1870, with Judge Donald J. Warner of Salisbury, was admitted to the bar in 1872, and began practice in Canaan. In 1875 he erected a building exclusively for his law offices; there he practiced law until elevated to the Superior Court,— at first alone, afterward in partnership with his brother, J. Henry Roraback. 

Judge Roraback early attracted a large clientele which gradually spread throughout the county. He was appointed by the General Assembly a judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Litchfield County to serve for four years from 1889; political changes prevented his reappointment. In 1895, he was elected to the General Assembly, the first republican elected to that office from Canaan. Re-elected in 1897, he became Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and leader of the House. He was a successful legislative leader, due as much to the entire confidence of the members of the House in the integrity of his purpose and action, as to his capacity and adaptibility for legislative leadership. Upon nomination of Governor Cooke he was appointed by the General Assembly judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Litchfield County to serve for four years from April 5th, 1897, and on September 21st, 1897, Governor Cooke appointed him a judge of the Superior Court to fill a vacancy until the first Wednesday of February, 1899. Governor George E. Lounsbury nominated him and the General Assembly appointed him to this office for eight years from February 1st, 1899. He was reappointed on nomination of Governor Woodruff for another term of eight years from February 1st, 1907, and on May 28th, 1907, nominated by Governor Woodruff and appointed by the General Assembly as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Errors for eight years from September 9th, 1908. On nomination of Governor Holcomb he was reappointed in 1915 for another term and retired August 23d, 1919, upon reaching the constitutional age limit; he thereupon became a State Referee and continued in this office until his death.

His was a life of diligent labor, of much service and of fruitful achievement. Public life was to him a daily spur and inspiration. He loved the profession of the law and all it stood for. But these did not fill his idea of duty. Every public interest of his community, county and State was to him of interest, and where he could by deed or word properly aid the endeavors and interests of friends and neighbors, that he did, usually unasked. Public spirit and catholic charity dominated his whole life. He was a sound lawyer, adequate in preparation, discriminating in judgment, sagacious and wise in counsel, and in the courtroom well equipped for its contests; a keen judge of human nature, with an instinctive knowledge of what should be done and how best to do it, he was fair to all; a hard fighter and a convincing, forceful and spirited speaker. Law practice in such a county as Litchfield, taking the lawyer to its every part, is a great school to develop self-reliance, a knowledge of how to do things, a readiness to meet emergencies, and an understanding of human relations and human nature. Judge Roraback profited by his own rich experience; continually he grew in reputation. He was an honorable lawyer, practicing the ethics of the profession and treasuring its ideals. When professional duty required, he helped rid the bar of unworthy members; he never hesitated, for he possessed not only the courage which is so necessary a part of the equipment of the lawyer, but a rare type of moral courage which is the sure attribute of a noble character. On the bench he was the competent and well-poised lawyer, with a dignity of bearing no one could mistake, yet devoid of pride of place or opinion, a careful and patient trier of causes, obliging and courteous to all. When his promotion to the Superior Court came he had had just the preparation most useful for that position. He was trained to the judicial habit and with it to indefatigable industry; it was his custom to familiarize himself with the record of the cases he was about to try and to prepare himself upon the questions of law liable to arise; when he had mastered the facts generally, his moral sense told him where was the way to justice. None of his decisions in the Court of Common Pleas were reversed, and in the Superior Court he had fewer reversals than any of his associates. This is one test of the judge, but not so valuable or conclusive as the contemporary judgment of bar and bench. That judgment pronounced Judge Roraback one of the most competent trial court judges of his generation. His decisions and his conduct as a trier of causes were characterized by an inborn, instinctive and lifelong-held sense of justice. The intrinsic equity of his judicial action was constant. His associates, the bar, all court officials, witnesses and court attendants, felt him to be the just judge. He never courted the dramatic, nor sought to magnify his office nor his personality. He was unassuming in his official work, never garrulous or querulous, painstaking and patient, resolute when the time for decision came, and always a courageous doer unaffected by passing impulse or momentary prejudice. He saw things as they were and he saw them as they ought to be. Suggesting, supporting and controlling his judicial action and professional ideals, was a sure, sturdy and ready common sense, out of which cometh wisdom. His judicial temperament was unvarying and his impartiality as a judge absolute. He fitted into the varied activities of the life of the trial judge; its duties called for heart, sympathy, keen intelligence and sound legal judgment, and he possessed and used each. After eleven years of service in the Superior Court his promotion to the Supreme Court of Errors followed, and for nearly eleven years he was a member of that court, while Chief Justices Baldwin, Hall and Prentice presided. His opinions began with volume 81 and ended with volume 94 of our reports. They are logical in reasoning, sufficient in learning and well expressed. They are understandable and not involved, thoroughly practical and illustrate his chief characteristics as a Justice,—a pronounced leaning to the equities of each situation, an intolerance of the technicalities of the law, directness in reaching  a conclusion, fairness in treatment of a record, fearlessness in taking and holding a position, honesty of thought and purpose, and complete devotion to justice, which to him was the soul of the law. His perception of where justice lay was an instinct, his mind leaped to the conclusion others reached by slow and reasoned process. His associates recognized this quality, and some of us were wont to doubt our own opinion when he held firmly another. He was not a deeply read scholar of the law,—there are few such—yet what he had read, and it was much, he had made his own. Connecticut law he knew especially well; he made and kept up a digest of the Connecticut Reports for his own use, and he had much familiarity with our decisions. He was at home among questions affecting the public interest and with our statute laws and their history. He believed profoundly that all the useful and elevating activities of our life, and all of our institutions were dependent for their existence upon the law, and that behind the law, if its soul of justice should be seen, there must stand an independent and an incorruptible bench. To have had a share in that incomparable task filled the measure of his ambition, satisfied his pride, and pressed him on to better, and still better work. In the conference-room his associates relied upon his balanced judgment, his ability to interpret the average man, to understand human relations and to see the equities of the case. By homely illustration, anecdote or satire, he not infrequently perforated an over-refined argument, exposed the technical and sham, and illumined the discussion by his hard-headed sense. It was impossible to be in the intimacy of the conference-room with him and not feel the charm of his companionship; he was so genuine, so generous, so sympathetic, so charitable, so nobly loyal, so human and so loving, that each one of his associates felt bound to him in ties of closest affectionate regard.

He lived a happy life. He was honored and loved in his home circle in a most beautiful way; he returned this feeling lavishly and continuously. The esteem and even affection of his neighbors was deep-seated and universal. People of all creeds and classes gave him their respect, admiration and sincere regard. His townsmen called him their first citizen and mourned his going as a personal affliction. His deeds of kindness were a part of his daily life; he entered into the lives of his neighbors, their joys were his joys and their sorrows his. He loved his fellow-men and the breath of their friendship sweetened, strengthened and inspired his own life. No account of this strong man could be written that did not note his love for out-of-doors, and nature in all her moods. Happiness supreme came to him in his summer home at Twin Lakes, all his family and theirs about him, himself actively engaging in the cultivation and improvement of his ample acres, the flowers he loved on every side, and in the distance the glorious Berkshire Hills touching his heart with delight and awe in their surpassing picture.

Judge Roraback is survived by his wife, two sons. Reverend A. E. Roraback, of Brooklyn, N. Y., and J. Clinton Roraback, a lawyer of Canaan, and three daughters, Mrs. John Hunter Steams, of Montville, and the Misses Catharine H. and Louise Roraback, of Canaan.

*Prepared by Mr. Chief Justice Wheeler at the request of the Reporter.

 

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 69, page iv

Appointed by the Governor, September 21st, 1897, to fill the vacancy caused by the promotion of Judge Hall to the Supreme Court of Errors, until the first Wednesday of February, 1899.

 

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 81, page iii

Appointed to Supreme Court, January 31st, 1907, to take effect September 9th, 1908.

 

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 94, page iv

Retired August 23d, 1919, under constitutional limitation as to age. 

Ruggles, Philo

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 13, appendix page 10

a native of this town [New-Milford], read law for a considerable time (probably two years or more,) with Samuel Bostwick, Esq., his brother-in-law, but completed his preparatory studies with Judge Reeve, and was admitted to the Bar, in 1791. He immediately afterwards commenced the practice of law in this town, which he continued until the year 1804, when he removed to Poughkeepsie, N. Y.; where he continued to practice until 1825, when he removed to the city of New-York. He there resumed and continued the practice of his profession until his death, which took place in 1829, at the age of 64. He was four times elected a member of the General Assembly of this State; was also a member for the county of Duchess, in the Legislature of New York, and, for a considerable time, surrogate for that county. He was much and deservedly esteemed for his personal worth and professional acquirements.

Russell, Talcott H.

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 120, pages 707 - 708

Talcott Huntington Russell, for many years a distinctive figure at the New Haven bar, was born in New Haven, March 14th, 1847, and died still a resident of that city on October 18th, 1917. He was a son of the founder of the famous Russell School.

He was graduated from Yale College in 1869 and after a year at the Yale Law School and a further year at the Columbia Law School was graduated from the latter institution in 1871.

Throughout his professional life he was actively engaged in general practice and was counsel in many important cases in the trial courts and in the Supreme Court of Errors - among them a series of insurance litigations reported in the 68th and 70th Connecticut, the case of Lewisohn v. Stoddard, 78 Conn. 575, which had to do with the liability of stockholders in foreign corporations, State v. Glidden, 55 Conn. 46, one of the formative cases on the law of boycott, and Dawson v. Orange, 78 Conn. 96, which blazed the way in the law as to suits to quiet title.

For a number of years beginning with 1878 Mr. Russell was engaged as receiver in closing up the affairs of the American National Life and Trust Company and argued at least one of its cases in the United States Supreme Court. For eight years beginning with 1892 he was instructor in the law of municipal corporations in the Yale Law School.

He was one of the first members of the Conference on Uniform State Laws and served for many years as its treasurer and the chairman of its committee on commercial law.

He was one of the pioneers in workmen's compensation and on the passing of the Connecticut Compensation Act became the first chairman of the Board of Commissioners.

He was married on December 10th, 1889, to Geraldine Whittemore Low of New Haven, who survives, and left two sons, Phillip Gary Russell and William Low Russell. He was thus throughout a Connecticut man.

Mr. Russell was one who took his share in his place and time in the effort toward better conditions of human rights and a better realization of human duties. He was in the advance line helping actively and actually to smooth the progress and the process of society toward the ends in view.

He was sincere, earnest, high strung, impetuous and high-minded, with a store of literary treasure, a fund of poetry and a love of art.

Of a rugged exterior and abrupt in speech, he was intolerant of meanness, and unsparing of rebuke where he thought rebuke was called for but never forgetful of the proper limits of criticism or of the fact that no man is infallible in judging his fellows.

In rendering his service to the public there was a constant willingness to support good causes, were they popular or unpopular, with strong powers of persistent endeavor. He brought to the service of his clients, rugged honesty, untiring devotion to their interest and a great force of simple and direct expression. He brought to the service of friendship a warm heart, frank speech, and an absolute sincerity of word and thought.

It was a matter of keen regret to the governor who had appointed him and to the bar and public that he did not live to long direct the administration of the Workmen's Compensation Act in the establishment of which he had such a vital part. He will, however, long be remembered as one who gave the system its first impetus and direction as well as for a career at the bar conspicuous in many ways.

*Prepared by George E. Beers, Esq., of the New Haven bar, in part from the remarks of the late Governor Simeon E. Baldwin and George D. Watrous, Esq., at a meeting of the bar. 

Ryan, Edwin M.

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 132, pages 709 - 710

Edwin Maxwell Ryan was born in Hartford on September 26, 1896, the son of John Thomas Ryan and Linda Maxwell Ryan, and died in Hartford on March 1, 1946. Surviving are his parents and three sisters, Mildred R. Bancroft, Laura R. Sexton and Eleanor R. Wilkins.

He was graduated from Hartford Public High School in 1914, and entered Yale College that fall where be became a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity and the Reserve Officers Training Corps. On January 5, 1918, he left Yale College and entered military service as a private in the Field Artillery of the United States Army. He attended Officers' Training School at Camp Devens, Massachusetts, and served overseas from April 16, 1918, to February 1, 1919. He was in action at the front with Replacement Battalion, 147th Field Artillery, at La Courtine Haute Marne and with the Fifty-fifth Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps, Thirty-first Brigade, in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. While in France he attended the Artillery and Heavy Artillery School at Saumur, France, and was commissioned second lieutenant in the Field Artillery on July 12, 1918. He was discharged from the army on February 12, 1919, and was graduated from Yale College at the 1919 commencement with the class of 1918, receiving the degree of bachelor of arts.

In 1924 he received the degree of bachelor of laws from Fordham University and was admitted to the bar of the state of New York. In 1925 he was admitted to the Connecticut bar and became associated in the practice of law with the firm of Spellacy, Berman and Wholean. Later, he was a partner in that firm and its successors. From 1939 to the time of his death he practiced law independently. In 1933 he was appointed judge of the City Court of Hartford and served from June 1, 1933, to July 1, 1943. From 1940 till his death he was the chairman of Local Draft Board 1-B.

Judge Ryan had many talents, which were recognized as his life progressed and as his service to the community widened. He was always an ardent advocate, devoted to the cause of his client, but his service on the City Court bench demonstrated the fine judicial quality of his mind. The City Court during his tenure and before the enactment of the Municipal Courts Act had unlimited jurisdiction of all actions in law and equity arising within the limits of the city of Hartford. As a consequence, this court entertained cases of great importance and its traditions were a part of Connecticut history. Judge Ryan's service on that bench added luster to that tradition and to his own reputation as a lawyer. His opinions in the cases of Anderson v. Yaworski [120 Conn. 390], dealing with the risk of loss under a bond for deed, and Atlas Realty Corporation v. House [123 Conn. 94], dealing with a mortgage bonus as usury, will give the reader an indication of his scholarship and ability. Although he had been known as a strenuous advocate, he left aside the zeal of the special pleader when he ascended the bench. It was a delight to try a case before him because he knew the law, followed the case intelligently and, most important of all, was a gentleman. He was always impatient of sham and trickery, but on the bench he never allowed his impatience to affect the orderly judicial processes.

After his retirement from the bench, Judge Ryan devoted his energies to private practice. It was a varied. interesting and lucrative practice. He always had time for public service, as evidenced by his service as chairman of Local Draft Board 1-B, which took much of his time night and day. He viewed the passing political scene with real interest and understanding and his comments on it were always interesting and often amusing. He was not ostentatious but he had a genuine devotion to his religion. In the last years of his life his happiest hours were spent on the land he had bought in Farmington, where, in the time he could spare from his practice, he did hard physical labor in the woods.

Those of us who saw him during his last illness will always remember his courage and good humor at that time. At the age of fifty he faced death as bravely as the young soldier faced it in France in 1918.

*Prepared by Cyril Coleman, of the Hartford bar. 

Ryan, Elmer W.

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 154, page iii

Appointed to the Supreme Court May 21, 1965, to take effect August 13, 1966. 

 

As Printed in the Connecticut Reports, volume 164, page iii

Retired [from the Supreme Court] December 2, 1972, under constitutional limitation as to age. 

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