Member Spotlight | Hon. Cecil J. Thomas

Written Monday, April 10, 2023

CecilThomas 200x200The Honorable Cecil J. Thomas will receive the Charles J. Parker Legal Services Award at the Connecticut Bar Association’s annual awards celebration, Celebrate with the Stars on Wednesday, May 3. He is a judge of the Superior Court of Connecticut and is currently assigned to the New London Judicial District at Norwich, where he hears family matters.

Prior to his elevation to the bench, Judge Thomas spent his entire career as an attorney at Greater Hartford Legal Aid. During this time, he represented his clients in thousands of individual matters, state and federal class action and appellate litigation, and critical legislative and policy advocacy, resulting in significant victories on behalf of low-income Connecticut residents. Included in these victories is a multi-million-dollar class action trial judgment and financial settlement benefiting tenants who had been displaced from condemned homes, and a successful decision at the Connecticut Supreme Court overturning the improper termination of a disabled individual’s state housing subsidy.  Additionally, he was instrumental in the creation of meaningful protections for tenants at risk of eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic and in advocacy, leading to the creation of the new eviction Right to Counsel Program in 2021. Judge Thomas was a founding member and the first president of the Greater Hartford Legal Attorneys Union and served as lead negotiator for contract negotiations that spanned three years and over 50 negotiation sessions, ultimately leading to the union’s first collective bargaining agreement in 2018.

Judge Thomas is a past president of the South Asian Bar Association, University of Connecticut Law School Alumni Association, and the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA).  He was the first attorney of South Asian descent and the youngest to serve as president of the CBA since the association was founded in 1875, and his service as an officer and president of the CBA was marked by a significant commitment to the promotion of access to justice.  Judge Thomas continues to serve as a co-chair of the CBA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

The Charles J. Parker Legal Services Award is presented to a member of the Connecticut Bar who has a deep and abiding interest in and dedication to the delivery of legal services to the disadvantaged in Connecticut.

View the complete list of this year's Celebrate with the Stars awardees.

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