Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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The Honorable Thomas D. Clifford of West Hartford, Connecticut's first public defender for federal courts, died on December 8, 1988.
A graduate of Fordham University and the Georgetown University Law School, Judge Clifford was appointed the state's first federal public defender in December, 1971. He resigned from that position in March, 1975, to engage in the private practice of law. From 1985 to 1986, he was staff counsel for the General Assembly's special criminal justice committee.
Judge Clifford was appointed to the bench in October, 1987. During his first year as a Superior Court judge, he was named presiding judge of geographical area number twelve in Manchester. He served in that capacity until the time of his death.
He was a board member and current chairman of the Justice Education Center in Hartford and director of the choir at the Church of St. Timothy in West Hartford.
Judge Clifford is survived by his wife, Patricia McGowan Clifford; his mother, Mary Dowling Clifford; two sons, Thomas R. Clifford and Timothy J. Clifford; and a sister, Margaret Mary Westbay.[footer.htm]