John Nazzaro



Overview And Experience

In 2018, Attorney Nazzaro left the Connecticut Superior Court bench to return as a litigator. In 2023, because he is the only former judge actively litigating in Connecticut, Super Lawyers magazine featured him in a cover story. In February 2024, Attorney Nazzaro joined Levin, Rojas, Camassar & Reck, LLC to focus on negligence, malpractice, products liability, and mass tort litigation. In 2007, Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell appointed Attorney Nazzaro to be a Judge. In 2016, Governor Dannel Malloy re-appointed him to his second term. Previously, Attorney Nazzaro served as both the Chief Presiding Civil Judge and Chief Presiding Criminal Judge at G.A. 10 in New London. He also served in Hartford, Tolland, Windham, and New Haven, managing civil, criminal, family, jury, and courtside matters. As a jurist, he wrote more than four hundred decisions. As an attorney in 1995 he became Board Certified in civil law with the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

Before working as a Judge, Attorney Nazzaro was a Partner in the firm of Rome McGuigan, P.C. and Reardon and Nazzaro, P.C. For several years, he managed a solo trial practice. He is a former organized crime and public corruption prosecutor and was named a Super Lawyer in 2007. In 2023, National Trial Lawyers named him to the list of top one hundred plaintiff’s trial lawyers. In that same year, he was selected by his peers to Best Lawyers in America. He is active with the American Association for Justice and the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association. He graduated with honors from the University of Bridgeport/Quinnipiac Law School in 1984. While there, he won The Best Speaker Award. In 1980, he received his bachelor’s in journalism with honors from Southern Connecticut State College, including the department’s Book Award. Before attending law school, Attorney Nazzaro was a network radio news reporter for CRN, International. He covered Campaign ’80 and worked for the Mercury Broadcasting Corporation. After he was admitted to the bar as an attorney, for ten years he continued work in the news media co-hosting a cable TV public affairs program, “The Cutting Edge,” distributed throughout the country. He taught Speech at Southern Connecticut University.

In 2016, the Connecticut Law Tribune bestowed an Excellence award to the jurist for “Outstanding Achievement and Professional Accomplishment.”   As a Judge, he has lectured on the law and appellate advocacy at the Yale Law School, Quinnipiac School of Law, and The University of Connecticut School of Law. While a Judge, he also served on the Judicial Branch Speakers’ Bureau. He has lectured on the law for the Connecticut Bar Association and the Connecticut Judicial Branch.

Judge Nazzaro is on the Executive Committee of the NAACP New London Chapter. He is past chair of its education committee. He lectures on justice, substance abuse and community re-entry from incarceration. He is a member of the National and Connecticut Asian-Pacific Bar Association. He is a trailblazer. He was the second Asian Pacific American Judge appointed in Connecticut. He is a member of the New London County Bar Association and a past member of the county bar associations of Hartford, New Haven, and Tolland.

During his professional career Judge Nazzaro found time to coach youth football and soccer and chair non-profit organizations.

Judge Nazzaro is married to Laurie Nazzaro (nee Thorpe) and has three grown children, Miranda, who is a breaking news reporter for in Washington, D.C., Alexander, who is a senior designer for Meta/Facebook in New York, New York, and Elliot, a veteran who served with the U.S. Navy.

Judge Nazzaro credits his parents, Augustine (Gus) Nazzaro and Shin Nazzaro for giving him a great foundation in his youth. He was born into a military family at Fort Huachuca, Arizona in 1958. His father was a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War. Gus Nazzaro dropped out of high school in 1943 to join the U.S. Navy to fight in the Pacific. Later his father earned his GED while in the U.S. Army. Gus learned fluent Japanese and workable Italian, French and German. The Judge’s father was a staff Sergeant for General Douglas MacArthur in Fukushima, Japan. During the American occupation, he met Shin, a food inspector for the Japanese government. They married and had four sons. Judge Nazzaro calls Gales Ferry, Connecticut his hometown.

When not working as an attorney, Judge Nazzaro has many interests including his faith and church, writing, health and fitness, surfing, scuba diving, fly fishing, and music.

Although Attorney Nazzaro was a prosecutor and known for putting away dangerous criminals when he moved to private practice to protect the injured, he would occasionally take on a case where an innocent man was charged with a crime he did not commit. In State v. Frank Crandall, he represented an innocent man who was falsely accused of arson. A crime carrying up to a 20+ year sentence. Attorney Nazzaro defended this innocent man and after the jury rendered its verdict. Not guilty. The jury was so moved by Attorney Nazzaro’s closing argument that the jurors drove to the defendant’s neighborhood and told all of his neighbors that the defendant was innocent. It was a great day for American Justice. Judge Nazzaro is a born litigator and zealously fights for the injured and protects the most vulnerable.

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