WESTON, Conn. - Weston candidates were posed a set of three questions by The Daily Voice to help give voters an idea of what they might bring to the position.
Here are the answers given by Democratic candidate for the Weston-Westport Probate Judge, Kieran Costello:
1) Why are you running this year?
An effective Probate Judge should have a thorough knowledge of the law and a great sense of compassion. The role of the Probate Judge is to assist families facing challenging life events. I have dedicated my entire professional career to helping families resolve challenges.
I have been actively practicing law for twenty-one years with a concentration in Probate Law. Over the years I have drafted 2,000 wills, been involved in over 100 estates and hundreds of guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. In addition to my practice I have also taught topics in Probate Law on the college level for the last 19 years.
From the very beginning of my legal career I realized that it was important to give back to our community. I recognized that the practice of law was not just for financial gain. To that end, I began volunteering to help financially abused seniors and victims of domestic violence. I have been a volunteer and a Board Member at the Center for Women and Families in Bridgeport for 20 years where I provide free legal assistance to women and children victims of domestic violence. I have volunteered at the Domestic Violence Crisis Center in Norwalk/Stamford and the YWCA of Greenwich for 15 years leading support groups for victims of domestic abuse. I have stood next to self-represented abuse victims in court guiding them through our often intimidating and complicated legal system.
This experience is invaluable as nearly fifty percent of the people who appear in Probate Court are self-represented. In my practice of law and volunteer experience I have worked diligently to protect Seniors from abuse, to save at-risk children and to empower families dealing with mental illnesses in their families. I am seeking to become our next Probate Judge for the benefit of our community. I will bring to the court my knowledge of the law and my demonstrated history of compassion.
2) What do you hope to accomplish in your term if elected?
I hope to bring my legal skills and the compassion as demonstrated in my volunteer experiences to the court for the benefit of the people of Weston and Westport.
3) How do you stand out against your competitors?
My competitor is a radio talk show host. Despite her claims of practicing law, the State of Connecticut Judicial Department website reveals that she has no cases now pending. Indeed, upon information and belief my opponent has no cases pending in any of the local Probate Courts. I currently have cases pending in the Westport-Weston Probate Court, the Norwalk Probate Court and the Fairfield Probate Court. The active practice of law should be a basic requirement of a Probate Judge.