Connecticut State Library with state seal

Memorials of Connecticut Judges and Attorneys
As Printed in the Connecticut Reports
volume 195, page(s) 805-806



Good Morning.

Before court is opened today, I want to take note of the fact that this is the last occasion for Justice Anthony E. Grillo to sit as a member of this court. At the end of this month he will reach the age for constitutional retirement. Although we look forward to having him serve as a state referee for many years, this is an appropriate moment to pause to acknowledge his many contributions to our state.

Justice Grillo joined this court just about two years ago, in February of 1983. Prior to that time, he had served as a judge of the Superior Court of Common Pleas for two years. In his varied and distinguished career since his graduation from Yale College and the Yale Law School, Justice Grillo served in the United States Army, as a town prosecutor, as town counsel, and as a workers' compensation commissioner.

When Justice Grillo came to sit on this court, he had already amassed a distinguished record on the trial court. As most of you know, it is a mark of special distinction to have one's opinions published as a Superior Court Judge. Only in the appellate courts is publication automatic. It is therefore quite remarkable that Judge Grillo, before he became Justice Grillo, wrote forty-nine opinions that appear in the Connecticut Supplement. He helped to shape the development of the law in cases involving insurance and gambling and taxation and defamation and of course workers' compensation. In a case reminiscent of Gaines v. Manson, which this court decided last summer, he held ten years ago that it was unconstitutional to imprison for nonpayment of fines those who could not pay the fines because of their poverty. In other criminal cases, he explored the inherent tensions between the government's prosecutorial needs and the defendant's needs for discovery.

As a productive member of the Supreme Court, Justice Grillo wrote fifty-six cases, covering again a large variety of issues. Many of his opinions in criminal law explored problems of criminal procedure and constitutional rights. It is, however, likely that the most important of his constitutional cases is the case of Caldor, Inc. v. Thornton, now awaiting decision in Washington, which held a sabbath day-of-rest statute to be violative of constitutionally protected rights of freedom of religion. We are also grateful to Justice Grillo for his decisions with respect to significant civil law matters, such as quotient verdicts, indemnity agreements, and the relationship between state administrative remedies and federal 1983 actions.

This is a record of judicial achievement in which Justice Grillo can take justifiable pride. It is record of concern for the growth and development of the law, and a record in which that concern has repeatedly been expressed with verbal felicity and insight.

And so I am happy, in closing, to have this opportunity to express to Anthony Grillo my own appreciation, and that of the court as a whole, for his many contributions to our court and for his many years of hard work and dedication to justice on behalf of the people of the state of Connecticut.