Friday, April 13, 2018

Robert M. Spector ’96 Named U.S. Magistrate Judge

The U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorney, District of Connecticut has announced the selection of Robert M. Spector '96 as U.S. Magistrate Judge. Mr. Spector currently serves as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut. He will be sworn in on May 1, 2018, and he will hold court at the New Haven federal courthouse. Mr. Spector fills the Magistrate Judge vacancy created by the retirement of Magistrate Judge Joan G. Margolis, effective April 30, 2018.

In 1993, Mr. Spector graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University, and in 1996, he graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School. In law school, he served as executive director of New Haven Cares, a non-profit organization that provided food and shelter vouchers to homeless individuals in New Haven. From 1996 through 1998, he worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Alan H. Nevas of the District Court for the District of Connecticut, and from 1998 through 2001, he worked as a state prosecutor in the Appellate Bureau of the State of Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney’s Office. During this time, he also taught Moot Court and Lawyering Process as an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Mr. Spector began as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Haven in 2002. For three years, he focused on firearms and violent crime cases in Bridgeport, and then moved to the Hartford office, where he spent three years principally working on wiretap investigations. He became a supervisor in the office in 2007, leading a unit charged with investigating and prosecuting gang and firearms cases across the state. Currently, he serves as Deputy Chief of the Violent Crimes and Narcotics Unit and Chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. Since February 2016, he has led a task force charged with battling Connecticut’s opioid epidemic. Thus far, the task force has prosecuted over 100 separate cases involving a victim who has died from a drug overdose. At the same time, the task force has made opioid awareness presentations to approximately 40,000 students and parents in over 80 middle schools and high schools in Connecticut. In 2016, Mr. Spector was a contributing author to the Connecticut Law Tribune’s Connecticut Criminal Procedure Handbook.

The District Judges appointed the Magistrate Judge Selection Committee that screened applications for the vacancy created by Judge Margolis’ retirement. Its Chair was Peter Nolin of Carmody Torrance Sandak Hennessey LLP in Stamford. Other members of the Selection Committee were: Dr. Booker DeVaughn of West Hartford; Christopher Bruhl of Business Council of Fairfield County in Stamford; Brian Spears of Spears Manning LLC in Fairfield; Nuala Droney of Robinson & Cole in Hartford; Jenny Chou of Wiggin & Dana in New Haven; Sean Fisher of Brennzer Saltzman & Wallman in New Haven; Preston Tisdale of Koskoff Koskoff & Beider in Bridgeport; Elizabeth Alquist of Day Pitney in Hartford; Anthony Kaplan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Haven; and Paul Thomas of Duffy Law in New Haven.

The Selection Committee received 37 applications for the judicial position following wide dissemination of the notice of vacancy. The Committee interviewed 13 applicants and identified a list of five exceptionally capable and distinguished lawyers to forward to the District Judges. In its recommendation, the Committee observed that, “The Committee had a large number of exceptional candidates. After extensive interviews, Mr. Spector was clearly the top candidate.”

The selection of Mr. Spector was made by the District Judges, according to Chief Judge Hall. “The district court is fortunate in its selection of an attorney of Rob Spector’s caliber, intellect, and commitment to justice. He is an excellent lawyer and possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience. We are confident that he will serve the people of our state well, and we look forward with great enthusiasm to welcoming him to the ranks of judicial officers in our District,” Hall said.