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Letter: Costello has all skills for probate judge

Published 9:26 am, Wednesday, October 9, 2013
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Kieran Costello is the clear choice for probate judge. He has the experience, skills and demeanor to serve in this important community role.

Kieran lives probate law every day. He has been actively pursuing the interests of clients with probate concerns for many years. He is familiar with the entire probate system and knows the players involved. There will be no learning curve for Kieran. He is current and capable.

People should understand that probate law is not best practiced casually by "general" attorneys. Resolving often contentious and complicated probate matters requires skills involving conciliation, discernment and great patience. It is not enough simply to listen to the parties involved. A good probate judge has to hear what the parties are saying and be able to determine what the facts are, often from conflicting testimony. Only then can a fair and just decision be rendered.

Lastly, we have a right to expect that our judges have the personal mien appropriate to the role. Their job is not to lecture those involved on their shortcomings. It is to find a way to bring contested issues to closure in a way which respects both sides -- often difficult where longstanding family enmities exist.

Kieran Costello will bring Westport's values of compassion and fairness to the job of probate judge. I urge you to vote for him in November.

State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg

D-136th District

Westport