Trial Judges

Thomas LondreganJudge Londregan was born and raised in New London, CT. He attended local schools and thereafter attended Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT where he was a member of the President’s Circle and President of the Cardinal Key Society. After graduating from Fairfield University with a B.A. in Economics, he attended the University of Connecticut School of Law, graduating in 1969.

Upon graduating from law school, he served in the National Guard, completing his active duty at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Thereafter, he returned to New London and began the practice of law. He is admitted to practice in the State of Connecticut, as well as in the United States District Court, District of Connecticut, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. In addition to his duties as a Judge in the Mashantucket Tribal Court, Judge Londregan is the Director of Law for the City of New London and Town Attorney for the Town of Stonington. He has been a presenter at the National Tribal Judicial Conference, the Connecticut Association of Assessing Officers, Inc., the Annual School for Connecticut Assessors and Assessment Appeals, and the Northeastern Regional Association of Assessing Officers. He was also a panelist at the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute at Strum Law School – University of Denver, Denver, CO. Judge Londregan has argued over 17 cases in the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts. He resides in New London, CT with his wife Kathleen.

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Edward O'ConnellEdward O’Connell was born in New York City, raised in New Haven, Connecticut and resides in East Lyme, Connecticut with his wife Jeanne. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a B.S. in Biology, and graduated from the University Of Connecticut School Of Law in 1968.

Upon graduating from law school, he began practicing law in New London, Connecticut. He is admitted to practice in the courts of the State of Connecticut, the U.S. District Court for the District Court and the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the New London County Bar Association (President, 1990), the Connecticut Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Since 1995 he has served as a Judge in the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court. He also serves as an Attorney Trial Referee in the New London Superior Court, and as an arbitrator and a mediator. He is the Town Attorney for the towns of East Lyme and Canterbury, and the land use attorney for the town of Lebanon, and is a member of the board of directors of the Connecticut Association of Municipal Attorneys. He has been a speaker and panelist at legal seminars regarding a variety of topics, including Indian law, municipal law, eminent domain and land use issues. He has argued 23 cases before the Connecticut Supreme Court and Appellate Court.

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Jean LucaseyJean Lucasey (Oneida/Blackfeet/Salish descent) was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago and received her B.A. in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. After receiving her M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri, she worked as a journalist for Gannett Corp. and taught news writing and copy editing at Iona College in New York before earning her J.D. at the University of Connecticut School of Law in 2000.

Judge Lucasey clerked for the Native American Rights Fund in Boulder, Colorado, between her second and third years in law school and served as judicial clerk in the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court for two years before her initial appointment as a judge in 2002. Upon the arrival of her twin boys in 2004, she left the bench for a few years, concentrating on home life and working as an education advocate and attorney for a non-profit that helped children in public schools.

Since August 2010, Judge Lucasey has been certified by the New York State Education Department as an Impartial Hearing Officer for Special Education matters. In that capacity, she has presided over more than 100 due process hearings and decided disputes between families and their school districts. She is co-chair of the education committee of the Westchester County Bar Association in White Plains, New York, and has served as a member of the Board of Education of the Dobbs Ferry Union Free School District since June 2014.

Judge Lucasey lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband, Joe, and their two sons.

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Appellate Judges

Jill Elizabeth Tompkins (Penobscot) is a Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the American Indian Law Clinic at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder, Colorado. She teaches substantive federal Indian and tribal law and lawyering skills in a clinical setting. Professor Tompkins is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law and she is admitted to practice in the States of Maine, Connecticut, and Colorado, tribal courts of the Penobscot Nation, Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, and the United States Supreme Court. She has twenty years of legal and judicial experience garnered through her legal practice, service as a Chief Judge with the Mashantucket Pequot and Passamaquoddy Tribal Courts, and as Appellate Justice with the Mashantucket Pequot, Passamaquoddy, and Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Courts of Appeal. Professor Tompkins has taught at the National Judicial College and for six years successfully organized and taught in the annual National Tribal Judicial Conference sponsored by the National American Indian Court Judges Association. She was the first woman to serve as President of the National American Indian Court Judges Association. Professor Tompkins came to Colorado Law in 2001 from the National Tribal Justice Resource Center, where she was the founding Executive Director. She is a frequent lecturer on the topics of tribal courts, the application of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act and the Maine Indian Land Claim Settlement Act. She is the founder of the National Tribal Law Clerk Program (http://lawweb.colorado.edu/ilc_clerkships/) and is the co-author of A Guide for Tribal Law Clerks and Judges. She is also Judge Pro Tem for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux (Dakota) Community Court.

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Gregory H. Bigler (Euchee, enrolled with Muscogee Creek Nation) is a private practitioner of Indian Law solely representing Native American tribes. In addition to sitting for the Mashantucket Pequot Court of Appeals, Judge Bigler serves as a tribal court judge for the Prairie Band Potawatomi, and sits on the Supreme Court for the Kansas Kickapoo Tribe. He is a Tribal Prosecutor for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, where he previously served as district court judge. Prior appointments include Attorney General for the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, Attorney General for the Sac and Fox Nation, and past Chair, Indian Law section of the Oklahoma Bar Association. He is founder and past Chair of the Oklahoma Native Language Association, and the organizer and co-Chair of the Oklahoma Native Language Use Conference. Judge Bigler is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Western and Eastern District Courts of Oklahoma, and numerous tribal courts. Judge Bigler’s linguistic interests range from his native Euchee language and efforts to raise awareness of native language preservation, to studies of Mandarin Chinese. Judge Bigler authored “Acting Responsibly: Linguists in American Indian Communities” (with M. Linn), published in Practicing Anthropology, Vol. 20, No. 2, Spring 1999. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and received his Master of Law degree (LL.M.) from Wisconsin Law School

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Judge Robert A. Blaeser is a retired District Court Judge of Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District-Hennepin County. Appointed in 1995 by former Governor Arne Carlson as the first American Indian judge appointed to the busiest judicial district in Minnesota, Blaeser served in Hennepin’s Juvenile Court until January of 2003, when he completed a 2-1/2-year term as Chief. He continued to serve in adult court until his retirement from the bench in October 2012. Blaeser served two terms as Presiding Judge of the Civil Division before his retirement.

Blaeser currently serves as a mediator, special master, and retired judge. An Anishinaabe from the White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota, Blaeser also currently serves his Nation as the Chief Judge of the White Earth Nation Tribal Court.

Blaeser is nationally known for his expertise on racial bias in the justice system and the Indian Child Welfare Act. In his seventeen years on the Hennepin County bench, Blaeser was instrumental in changing how Minnesota enforces the Indian Child Welfare Act, streamlined the Civil Division, and provided leadership to colleagues on the efficiencies and effectiveness of the court’s operations.

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Judge Thomas Weathers is Aleut and an enrolled member of the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska in Alaska. He currently practices law in California. Judge Weathers has devoted much of his legal career to Indian law, advising both Native and non-Native clients in complex business and litigation matters. He has served as both a trial and appellate judge for tribal courts and a judge pro tem for small claims in state court. Judge Weathers is a past-president of the National Native American Bar Association and has been named a top attorney by Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. Judge Weathers has dozens of publications and presentations to his credit on issues ranging from civil litigation practice to Indian law basics to economic development in Indian country.

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