Date November 26, 2001 Contact: Laura Kiernan
Court Information Officer
271-2646 x359




CONCORD—Diane M. Carroll, the deputy clerk in Claremont District Court, has been selected to receive a "Spirit of the Judiciary" award, Chief Justice David A. Brock announced today.

In nominating Carroll for the award, court clerk Pamela G. Kozlowski, commended Carroll for her "cheerful, professional and compassionate attitude" especially when dealing with families, children, professionals and members of the public who come to juvenile court, which is one of Carroll’s primary responsibilities as deputy clerk.

"Parents in these cases are often emotional, upset and confused so it takes a great deal of skill in assisting them in an appropriate yet compassionate manner," Kozlowski said. "Diane has managed this successfully and recognizes the boundaries of how much assistance she can offer," Kozlowski said.

Chief Justice Brock will present the award to Carroll at a ceremony at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28th at the Claremont District Court. The presentation will be followed by the unveiling of the official portraits of the late Honorable Albert D. Leahy, who served as a municipal and district court judge in Claremont from 1935-1972 and his son, the Honorable Albert D. Leahy Jr., who succeeded his father as presiding district court judge in Claremont. He retired in January.

Judge Leahy said Carroll was "the glue" that held the court together during staff turnover that began just months after she started working at the court in 1995. During that time, Carroll, who was raising a baby daughter, was running the clerk’s office alone, with no prior training and only limited help from other clerks in the system.

"I can always think of Judge Leahy telling me ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff,’" said Carroll, recalling the stress of 12 hour work days. She said she has "found her calling" in the court system and described herself as "devoted to what I do and how I do it."

Chief Justice Brock said that Carroll exemplified the dedication of so many court employees who volunteer to take on extra responsibilities because of staff shortages or cutbacks. "We depend on these devoted employees who are willing to step up and help out," the Chief Justice said. "Diane and others like her are invaluable members of our court family and we couldn’t do our jobs without them," he said.

Judge Leahy, who spent 28 years on the District Court bench, described Carroll as "conscientious almost to a fault and just easy to work with."

"One of her hallmarks is you never have to ask her twice. You give her an assignment and it gets done," Leahy said. "She’s absolutely reliable," he added.

Kozlowski said that when she came to Claremont in 1996 as the new court clerk, Carroll not only welcomed her to the job but trained her in criminal, juvenile and accounting work. Kozlowski called Carroll "my right hand" and said she depends on her to run the court in her absence. That ability to take over when needed, as well as Carroll’s willingness to pitch in at other courts "truly embodies the spirit of the judiciary," Kozlowski said.

Chief Justice Brock established the Spirit of the Judiciary award in 1999 to honor Judicial Branch employees from around the state for their exceptional public service. Carroll, who lives in Claremont and is a graduate of Stevens High School in Claremont, is this year’s winner from Sullivan County.