Women's Caucus Fall Dinner

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Join us on October 4th at our Annual Women's Caucus Fall Dinner.  Enjoy cocktails and dinner overlooking the Connecticut shoreline at the lovely  Madison Beach Hotel while socializing with colleagues and gaining insight and perspective from prominent female judges. We are delighted to welcome Judge Nina Elgo, Judge Karen Goodrow and Judge Dawne Westbrook who will convey their experiences, lessons learned, knowledge and wisdom. 

The Honorable Nina F. Elgo

Judge Nina F. Elgo is the first Asian Pacific American judge appointed to the Connecticut Appellate Court and was the first Asian Pacific American judge appointed to the Connecticut Superior Court. Governor Dannel P. Malloy nominated Judge Elgo to be a judge of the Appellate Court and the General Assembly confirmed her appointment on May 25, 2017.

Prior to her appointment to the Appellate Court, Judge Elgo served as a Superior Court judge since May 5, 2004. In this role, she heard civil matters in the Hartford Judicial District and also served as presiding judge for the Child Protection Session in the Middlesex Judicial District.  Additionally, she presided over criminal, juvenile and habeas corpus cases in the Hartford, Tolland and New Haven judicial districts. 

Judge Elgo has served on various committees designed to improve the court system. Since 2012, she has served as a member of the Connecticut Bar Examining Committee and previously served on the Rules Committee of the Superior Court. For many years, Judge Elgo served on the Committee for Judicial Education and has been a frequent faculty member/facilitator of the Connecticut Judges’ Institute.  Additionally, in 2013, Governor Malloy appointed her to represent the Judicial Branch as a member of the Connecticut team selected to participate in the Three Branch Institute on Child Social and Emotional Well-Being Initiative sponsored by the National Governors Association. Judge Elgo is also a member of the Swift’s Inn, a Bencher Emeritus member of the Oliver Ellsworth Inn of Court, on the Advisory Council of the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Bar Association (CAPABA) and is a James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation, currently serving on their Education and Program Committee.  She was also active for several years with the Connecticut-Pskov Russian American Rule of Law Consortium.

Judge Elgo is the recipient of various awards and recognitions. In 2015, Judge Elgo was honored with the Native Daughter of Norwich Award; in 2014, she was the recipient of the CAPABA Impact Award; and in 2013, Judge Elgo was the recipient of the Edwin Archer Randolph Diversity Award. As the first Asian Pacific American judge in Connecticut, Judge Elgo was honored in 2006 by the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association Women’s Caucus as a “Trailblazer in the Connecticut Judiciary.”   She was also a recipient of the 2007 Connecticut Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section Diversity Award.  

Judge Elgo is a first generation Filipino-American, born in Groton, CT and raised in Norwich, CT. She received her BA from Connecticut College in 1984 and her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in 1990. Judge Elgo is married to Attorney Christopher Kriesen and they have a daughter, Caroline.

The Honorable Karen A. Goodrow

Judge Karen A. Goodrow graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980.  She earned her Juris Doctor from Western New England University School of Law in 1983.  Judge Goodrow was appointed a Superior Court Judge in 2013 by Governor Dannel P. Malloy.  She began her judicial career in New London at the Judicial District Courthouse, and at the G.A. 10 Courthouse.  In 2014, Judge Goodrow moved to the New Haven Judicial District, where she currently serves in Family Court.

Judge Goodrow brings an extensive array of legal experience to the bench.  Prior to her appointment, she was the Director of the Connecticut Innocence Project, supervising the investigation of post-conviction claims of innocence of individuals serving prison sentences.  She served as a public defender in Tolland, Hartford, New Haven and Middletown, as well as providing defense to clients in the Capital Defense and Trial Services Unit, and the Habeas Unit.  Judge Goodrow also brings experience as a lawyer in the New Haven Office of the Corporation Counsel, as well as a trial attorney in private practice, and a courtroom clerk.

Judge Goodrow has taught at Quinnipiac University School of Law, the University of Connecticut School of Law, Fairfield University and the University of Hartford.  She is presently teaching a course on Ethics and the Law at Yale University.  Additionally, Judge Goodrow has spoken and participated on panels for various schools and community organizations.

The Honorable Dawne G. Westbrook 

The Honorable Dawne G. Westbrook was appointed to the Connecticut Superior Court in February 2009.  She received her undergraduate degree Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1992, and her J.D. from the Vanderbilt School of Law in Nashville, Tennessee in 1995.  She was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1999.

Since becoming a judge, Judge Westbrook has been assigned to courthouses in Hartford, Manchester and Rockville, where she has heard criminal, family, habeas and juvenile matters.  Judge Westbrook serves on a number of judicial committees.  She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Judicial Education Committee. 

She was recently appointed the Administrative Judge of the Tolland Judicial District by the Chief Court Administrator.  In this role, Judge Westbrook will be responsible for soliciting advice and suggestions from the judges assigned to the district and advising the Chief Court Administrator on such matters, advising and assisting in the implementation of policy, providing information on the assignment of judges, and coordinating with the Education Committee’s annual orientation programs for judges as assignments change.  Judge Westbrook will begin these duties in September 2017.


  • Hon. Nina F. Elgo
    Connecticut Appellate Court

  • Hon. Karen A. Goodrow
    Connecticut Superior Court

  • Hon. Dawne G. Westbrook
    Connecticut Superior Court