Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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The Honorable Joseph S. Longo, state referee and former associate justice of the state Supreme Court, died November 29, 1993, at the age of seventy-nine.
Judge Longo was born in Norwich on September 22, 1914. He graduated from Norwich Free Academy and Yale University, where he received his B.A. degree in 1936. He enrolled at the Boston University School of Law, where he received his law degree in 1939. He was admitted to the Connecticut bar that same year.
Judge Longo entered the practice of law in Norwich in partnership with Attorney James J. Dutton, Jr., and later served in the United States Navy during World War II. His political career included terms in the state House of Representatives from 1949 to 1951 and in the state Senate from 1951 to 1955. He was majority leader and chair of the Judiciary Committee during the 1955 session.
Judge Longo became a judge of the Norwich City Court in 1949. In 1957, he was nominated and confirmed to be a judge of the Court of Common Pleas. He was elevated to the Superior Court in 1959 and served on that court until 1975. During his tenure on the Superior Court, he served as chief judge from 1973 to 1975. Judge Longo became an associate justice of the Supreme Court in 1975 and served in that capacity until becoming a senior associate justice in 1979. He became a state trial referee in 1984 and continued to hear cases until the early 1990s.
At the time of his death, Chief Justice Ellen A. Peters noted: "Justice Longo's appointment to the Supreme Court was the culmination of a long and distinguished judicial career. As a judge of the Norwich City Court, the Court of Common Pleas and the Superior Court, Justice Longo epitomized the fair and hardworking jurist. On the Supreme Court, he continued to demonstrate his love for the law and for the betterment of society through the rule of law. To his colleagues as well as to those who argued before him, he was a much admired member of this court."