Editor's note: In seeking election as Fairfield's Probate Judge, Pamela Jones made the following statement last

Monday at the League of Women Voters of Fairfield candidate forum.

Good evening everyone. Thank you for coming out this evening and many thanks to the League of Women Voters for providing this forum.

Judge Caruso, Candidates, fellow Fairfielders:

I was educated in the Westport public school system, received my B.A. from Middlebury College and my J.D. from the University of Bridgeport. I interned with the Federal Magistrate in New Haven and clerked with the U.S. Attorney in Bridgeport. I've practiced law for 24 years specializing in contracts, contract negotiations, administration and law department management for the top global media companies.

My grandmother came to this country at the age of 19, orphaned. She mastered the English language, graduated from NYU Law School in 1894, and was one of the first women ever to graduate law school in the United States.

My parents grew up during the Great Depression and were part of what Tom Brokaw calls the "Greatest Generation." To us, they passed on their values of hard work and the patience that comes from having very little.

As to those who say I have no experience in this area of the law, here is my response:

Ask the New York City litigators I've managed if I was any less effective even though I'm not a litigator.

Ask the CEOs and CFOs I have served if I was any less effective protecting their ethical and financial interests even though I've been neither a CEO nor a CFO.

As Judge of Probate for Fairfield, those lawyers who come before my court will be mistaken if they underestimate my knowledge, skills, experience or priorities; if they fail to work with me to find the most affordable, equitable and speedy solutions; if they think that I am beholden to the special interests of a local law firm; or that I won't work as many hours as it takes to render the most fair and equitable decisions.

I'll work to make our probate court more transparent and accessible by adopting the following practices:

"¢ Free probate court workshops to educate the community. I recommend that members of the bar participate in these workshops as part of their service.

"¢ I will hold monthly `open door' sessions.

"¢ I will encourage members of the bar to enroll in interstate probate seminars and adopt national `best practices.'

This is my promise to you and I look forward to serving you as your next Judge of Probate.

Thank you.