TV Judge, Mom Honored

Judge And Her Mom, A Connecticut Judge, Honored
By Supreme Court The Associated Press May 19, 2000
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The state's highest court on
Friday handed down honors to a mother and daughter for
their contributions to the profession of juvenile judge.
''Judging Amy'' producer and star Amy Brenneman
returned to her home state and was recognized by the
Supreme Court for her on-screen depiction of the job. Her
mother, Frederica Brenneman, was lauded for her more
than 30 years on the bench. ''Judge Brenneman has been
a pioneer in the often thankless and unglamorous work of
the juvenile courts, and her daughter has increased
public awareness and recognition of this tough job
through her program,'' said Chief Justice Francis
McDonald. ''We appreciate the efforts of both Judge
Brenneman and her daughter.'' As a token of his
appreciation, McDonald gave Judge Brenneman a small
pewter box emblazoned with the state seal. ''Juvenile
judges do the most demanding work,'' he said. McDonald
praised Amy Brenneman for creating the popular
prime-time CBS drama based on her mother's career. ''It is
really a tribute to Judge Brenneman,'' he said. After the
ceremony, McDonald gave the actress a gavel bearing the
state seal. ''We hope you will use this on the show,'' he
said. Amy Brenneman, who earned a religion degree from
Harvard University before pursuing an acting career, said
she has always admired her mother's work. And her
mother is proud of her daughter's swift accomplishments.
''She became a judge in two months,'' said Frederica
Brenneman, the second woman appointed as a juvenile
judge in Connecticut. The 73-year-old Westport resident
currently serves as a judge trial referee. While Judge Amy
Gray's personal life does not parallel that of Amy
Brenneman's mother, the actress said she strives for an
accurate depiction of the job and seeks guidance from
her mother. ''They call me a consultant,'' said Frederica
Brenneman. ''I'm unpaid, unhired and basically
unneeded.'' Though she is admittedly disturbed by slight
inaccuracies in the show, the Harvard Law School
graduate said the important issues are carefully and
realistically brought to life. The telvision character is a
newly divorced single mom who leaves behind
Manhattan, marriage and corporate law to move back to
Hartford with her 6-year-old daughter. She lives in her
childhood home with her social worker mother, and
becomes reacquainted with her novelist brother. Amy
Brenneman, who expressed fond childhood memories of
Bushnell Park, said she is working to film future episodes
in Connecticut. She said she was ''very moved'' to see
waterfront improvements in the capital city as part of
Riverfront Recapture. ''I always think the more specific a
show is, the better it is,'' she said.