Judge will be missed

   Yesterday, he was Judge Robert L. Holzberg, mediating a $1.1 million settlement in the lawsuit of a New London woman who sued the Catholic Diocese of Norwich.

Today, he’s just Bob from Middletown.

Holzberg has retired after 22 years on the bench to become a partner at Pullman & Comley in Hartford.

   I had the pleasure of serving on a Judicial-Media committee with him. He always brought good ideas to the table. I suspected often that he was five steps ahead of me in thinking something through, but he was never smug. Holzberg didn’t discuss confidential matters, but was still a court reporter’s dream: well-informed, cheerful and accessible.

   On his last day of work, Holzberg agreed to help the parties in the priest sex abuse case attempt a last-minute resolution in Hartford Superior Court.  By lunchtime, it appeared an agreement was in place, but the diocese needed the final OK from an executive at its insurance company.

   Holzberg’s retirement party was scheduled for that night and he was due to pick up a relative at the airport. He agreed to go to Bradley during the lunch hour and return to the courthouse to finalize the deal and announce it from the bench.

Holzberg made it look easy, and he appeared to leave everyone in the courtroom feeling as if he or she had been treated fairly.

He’ll be missed.

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Often, imperfect justice is the best we can do

The sentence is too long. The sentence is too lenient. The settlement is excessive. The courts are a joke.

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