Fordham Law

Fordham Law Mourns Passing of Alumnus Robert J .Callahan '55

January 03, 2013

The Fordham Law community is saddened by the death of Hon. Robert J. Callahan '55, former Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Justice Callahan was appointed to the Connecticut Supreme Court in 1985 and became Chief Justice in 1996. He retired in 1999. During his nearly 15 years on the Court, Justice Callahan authored hundreds of opinions.

"We have lost one of the greatest judges this state has ever had, and the entire judicial branch mourns former Chief Justice Callahan's passing," said Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers. "He was a hardworking, diligent judge who did not think of cases as 'big' or 'small.' What mattered most to him is that the case was important to the parties. This is a philosophy that he embodied and one that he passed along to countless judges who had the pleasure of working with him throughout the years."

After graduating from Fordham Law, Justice Callahan opened a legal practice above his father's plumbing shop with his brother, Gene, and his friend Thomas A. Flaherty. He later served as a prosecutor and judge for both the Norwalk Superior Court and Circuit Court systems. In 1976, he was recognized as one of Connecticut’s top ten judges.

Justice Callahan was a dedicated member of the Fordham Law community. He served as an Honorary Director for the Connecticut Chapter of the Fordham Law Alumni Association and received the Chapter's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1998. The award was named in his honor in 2009.

Justice Callahan is survived by his wife Dorothy (Trudel), his eight children, their spouses and grandchildren.

A mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Jerome’s Church on 23 Half Mile Rd. at 11:00 a.m., January 7.