Dan Shaban '82 Appointed to Connecticut Superior Court
Connecticut Judge Joan Alexander said, "You ought to think about applying for this," Dan Shaban '82 says. "I thought, 'What are you talking about?' It took a year for her to convince me. I asked two other judges I knew about it and they said they had been waiting for me to apply. I was dumbfounded."
Dan's reputation led to a speedy confirmation process. After applying to the state Judicial Selection Commission, filing out a detailed application form and sitting through a confirmation hearing, Dan received his first approval and was placed on the list of potential judicial appointees.
""Once you're on the list, there is no guarantee you'll be selected," he says. "You could be there forever and not get picked."
Though the state governor picks the nominees from the list, it is common to solicit input from a variety of others, including state legislative leaders. Dan was a two-term president of his local bar association and served on the board of governors for the Connecticut Bar Association. In February 2004, the state bar named him as one of 50 Distinguished Volunteers, lawyers and judges who had outstanding public service. From approval of his February 2004 nomination to confirmation, Dan spent a mere seven months on the list.
As a superior court judge, Dan will eventually handle a variety of cases including, but not limited to, criminal, civil, family, housing issues. As a new judge, Dan will spend his first year or two handling minor criminal and motor vehicle-related cases, which he has been doing since taking the bench on May 24.
How has he found the judicial experience thus far? "Good from the standpoint that most of the staff are very good about recognizing a new judge and helping me not fall off the bike, so to speak," he says. Dan is assigned to the Bantam, Connecticut courthouse and is one of 197 judges in the State's 14 judicial districts.
The prospect of facing a variety of cases is not one that bothers Dan, in fact, he embraces it. His 22 years in general practice have given him a broad background in a wide assortment of legal issues and an appreciation of the interconnectedness of legal and social issues. "One of the advantages is that you see a lot of interplay in the law," he says. "You could be handling a criminal case, but it could also be a family situation or dealing with the elderly. It touches on everything."
Though his current course is not one he originally envisioned, it is one he is happy to be on. "I had reached a sort of professional plateau in what I had achieved and accomplished," he says.
Now he looks forward to the new experiences and challenges a judgeship encompasses. "My immediate goal is to not embarrass myself," Dan says with a laugh. "Long term, I have the same goal now that I had when I was in private practice, to perform in my profession as well as I possibly can."
Dan lives in Middlebury with Florie, his wife of 20 years, and their three children, David, 17, and their 15-year-old twins Sara and Brian. In addition to his family and career, the Mansfield, Ohio, native is, in his own words, "one of the lone Cleveland Indians fans in this outpost." Classmates wishing to congratulate Dan can reach him at email@example.com.