On Monday, Governor Don Carcieri nominated Superior Court Judge Gilbert V. Indeglia to serve as an associate justice on the Rhode Island Supreme Court. The seat became open when Justice Paul Suttell was nominated and then confirmed as the Chief Justice of the Court. Legal pundits believe that Indeglia’s nomination will breeze through both the House and Senate confirmation process.
Of the finalists vying for the position, Indeglia, 68, had the most experience on the bench. He is a former Republican councilman and State Representative from South Kingstown who served from 1989 to 2000 as a District Court Judge. Since 2000, Indeglia has served as an Associate Justice on the Rhode Island Superior Court. As the Journal reported, Indeglia’s “low-key and humble demeanor has made him a popular figure, both within the judiciary and in the community at large.”
Indeglia is a graduate of Classical High School, Boston College and the University of Michigan Law School. He was a member of the Rhode Island Air National Guard from 1966-1972. He is married to the former Elizabeth L. Westcott and has two children and three grandchildren
Indeglia said he was thrilled and honored, especially since he was chosen over others “who are an unbelievable group. I’m awed by their abilities,” he said in a telephone interview. He said he knows that being a judge on an appellate court “will be a learning process,” but he is eager to dig in and get started. “I’ve got a spring in my step and will use it to get up to speed as quickly as possible and do the best job I possibly can,” he said. He said he plans to spend many, many years on the high court because “I’m not the type of person for retirement. I don’t play golf,” he noted.
The Journal also reported on Indeglia’s humility and style:
In addition to his work ethic, Indeglia is considered one of the least haughty members of the judiciary. He paints his chambers himself, is passionate about historic preservation and doesn’t own a television set or a computer. He writes out his decisions in longhand or dictates them to a secretary. He owns a car, a 1998 Honda, but doesn’t use it much. Beginning with the Blizzard of 1978, he began commuting to work by train from Kingston. But in 1999, he decided the train was too expensive and began taking the bus to work everyday. He always arrives by 7 a.m., 2½ hours before the official court day begins.
Attorney General Patrick Lynch issued a statement in support of the selection:
“Judge Gilbert V. Indeglia’s long and distinguished career on the bench is now further distinguished by his nomination to serve our Rhode Island Supreme Court, and I wish to express my congratulations to Judge Indeglia for this much-deserved honor. His intelligence, demeanor and experience make him an exceptional candidate to serve on our highest court, and I commend Governor Carcieri for his wise appointment.”