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Oral Histories

Ernest Abate

Daniel Brochu

Fred Blasius

Robert Carragher (2)

Robert Dorr

Daniel Duffy

Mark A. Giulietti

Mary Heslin

Frank McLaughlin

Edmund Mierzwinski

Philip Nowicki

Hon. James O'Rourke

Raphael Podolsky

Hon. Richard Rittenband

Rosemary Shahan

Irving Stolberg

Noel E. Tomas

Carol Roberts

Jacob Rudolf

John J. Woodcock III

John J. Zajac

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John J. Woodcock III Lemon Law

Oral History Project

Center for Public Policy and Social Research

site authors: Steven Kliger & Debbie Herman


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Interview Ernest Abate – Interview conducted on 11-6-2008 by Dr. Jerold Duquette.  Ernest Abate of Stamford, Connecticut, served four-terms in the General Assembly as a State Representative (1974-82). During his last two terms he served as  Speaker of the House of Representatives, and was a supporter of Lemon Law passage.
Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 11-06-2008
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Dr. Jerold Duquette
Duration 1:12:37

Interview Daniel Brochu – Interview conducted on 11-29-2007 by Dr. Jerold Duquette.  Daniel G. Brochu is a lifelong resident of Connecticut, a former lemon owner and a model “citizen advocate”. At the time of the Connecticut Lemon Law’s enactment in 1982, Brochu meticulously documented the defects of his newly purchased vehicle (an infamous 1980 Oldsmobile Omega) and became a poster child for lemon owners across the nation. He received extensive national media attention from personalities such as Dan Rather, who chronicled his struggle for justice against General Motors.       
Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 11-29-2007
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Dr. Jerold Duquette
Duration 1:21:51

Interview Fred Blasius – Interview conducted on 08-07-2008 by Dr. Jerold Duquette. Fred Blasius, of Waterbury, Connecticut, is the owner of Loehmann Blasius Chevrolet Cadillac and has been an auto dealer for decades. During the legislative efforts to pass the Lemon Law, Mr. Blasius was President of the Connecticut Automotive Trades Association (CATA), which opposed the legislation.
Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 08-07-2008
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Dr. Jerold Duquette
Duration 1:17:10

Interview Robert Carragher – Interview conducted on 08-07-2008 by Dr. Jerold Duquette. Robert Carragher is a native of Hartford, Connecticut, with a long record of public service including special assistant to US Senator Abraham Ribicoff (1967-1975) and six terms as a State Representative in the Connecticut General Assembly (1970-1982). At the time of Lemon Law passage, then-Representative Carragher chaired the General Law Committee, and co-sponsored the Lemon Law.
Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 08-07-2008
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Dr. Jerold Duquette
Duration 1:17:10

Interview Robert Carragher – Interview conducted on 11-20-2008 by Dr. Jerold Duquette. Robert Carragher is a native of Hartford, Connecticut, with a long record of public service including special assistant to US Senator Abraham Ribicoff (1967-1975) and six terms as a State Representative in the Connecticut General Assembly (1970-1982). At the time of Lemon Law passage, then-Representative Carragher chaired the General Law Committee, and co-sponsored the Lemon Law.
Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 2
Date of Interview 11-20-2008
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Dr. Jerold Duquette
Duration 1:40:28

Interview Robert Dorr – Interview conducted on April 17, 2008 with Dr. Jerold Duquette.Robert Dorr of Waterbury, Connecticut was, at the time of passage of Lemon Law II (the first major revision to the  Lemon Law) the Senate Chairman of the Connecticut General Assembly’s General Law Committee, which had cognizance over the Lemon Law.
Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 4-17-2008
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Dr. Jerold Duquette
Duration 49:03

Interview Daniel J. Duffy - Interview conducted on December 2, 2008 with Dr. Jerold Duquette. Daniel Duffy of the Office of Legislative Research (OLR) for the CT General Assembly was assigned as the Principal Analyst researching Lemon Law related matters.
Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 12-2-2008
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Dr. Jerold Duquette
Duration 54:05

Interview Mark A. Giulietti – Interview conducted on March 27, 2008 with Dr. Jerold Duquette. Mark A. Giulietti manages Connecticut’s Lemon Law Arbitration Program within the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, a position he has held since 1986.  Mr. Giulietti also served on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Lemon Law Administrators (IALLA).
Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 3-27-2008
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Dr. Jerold Duquette
Duration 1:03:53

Interview Mary Heslin – Interview conducted on 5-17-2006 by Robert Douglas with Mary Heslin of Hartford, Connecticut.  Under former Governor William A. O’Neill and at the time of Lemon Law passage, Ms. Heslin served as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.      
Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 5-17-2006
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Robert Douglas
Duration 40 min.

Interview   Frank McLaughlin – Interview conducted on 12-27-2006 by Robert Douglas with Frank McLaughlin of Bowie, Maryland.  Mr. McLaughlin’s long and distinguished career includes service as an attorney for the Federal Trade Commission, and over ten years in the White House in the office of the special assistant to the President for consumer affairs, spanning the administrations of Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter.  He worked very closely with John Woodcock over the years with respect to model lemon law legislation and overcoming opposition to the lemon law at the federal level.
Audio File(s)   Windows Media Audio
Interview Number   1
Date of Interview   12-27-2006
Location  

Interview by phone with Mr. McLauglin, who was at his home in Bowie, Maryland.

Interviewer   Robert Douglas
Duration   39 min.

Interview   Edmund Mierzwinski – Edmund Mierzwinski, the consumer program director of U.S. PIRG in Washington, DC is a nationally recognized consumer advocate. Devoting his career to the administration of Public Interest Research Groups or “PIRG’s,” his public interest expertise has benefited countless American consumers. A University of Connecticut graduate, Mierzwinski served as the executive director of ConnPIRG from 1981 to 1988 and was a strong proponent of the Lemon Law.
Audio File(s)   Windows Media Audio
Interview Number   1
Date of Interview   5-30-2007
Location  

Interview by phone with Mr. Mierzwinski of Washington, DC.

Interviewer   Steve Kliger
Duration   1:04:25

Interview   Edmund Mierzwinski – Edmund Mierzwinski, the consumer program director of U.S. PIRG in Washington, DC is a nationally recognized consumer advocate. Devoting his career to the administration of Public Interest Research Groups or “PIRG’s,” his public interest expertise has benefited countless American consumers. A University of Connecticut graduate, Mierzwinski served as the executive director of ConnPIRG from 1981 to 1988 and was a strong proponent of the Lemon Law.
Audio File(s)   Windows Media Audio
Interview Number   2
Date of Interview   7-26-2007
Location  

Interview by phone with Mr. Mierzwinski of Washington, DC.

Interviewer   Steve Kliger
Duration   41:27

Interview Dr. Philip Nowicki Interview conducted on 10-25-2007 by Dr. Jerold Duquette with Dr. Philip Nowicki of Decatur, Georgia. Nowicki wrote his doctoral dissertation in 1987 at Syracuse University on lemon laws and their effect on arbitration and the regulation of automobile warranties. He has devoted his career to consumer protection administration on the state and federal levels, and is currently the Director of the Lemon Law and Dispute Resolution Division of the Governor’s Office for the State of Georgia.
Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 10-25-2007
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Jerold Duquette
Duration 1:32:28

 

Interview Honorable James O'Rourke Interview conducted on 3-6-2006 by Robert Douglas with James O’Rourke of Cromwell, Connecticut.  Mr. O’Rourke is serving his eighth term in the Connecticut House of Representatives representing the 32nd District. During the time of Lemon Law enactment, Mr. O’Rourke was a member of the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group.
Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 3-6-2006
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Robert Douglas
Duration 28 min.

Interview Raphael Podolsky Interview conducted on 6-26-2007 by Steve Kliger with Raphael Podolsky. Podolsky is a long time Hartford resident and a legal advocate, with a learned understanding of our state’s political system.  As secretary of the Legal Assistance Resource Center, he has been a committed advocate for Connecticut’s lower income families, also working in conjunction with the Connecticut Alliance for Basic Humans Needs, a state wide (not-for-profit) advocacy group.   His advocacy on behalf of low income Connecticut families made Podolsky a potent and effective supporter of Connecticut’s Used Automobile Warranty Bill authored by Former Representative Woodcock and passed into Connecticut law in 1987.
Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 6/26/2007
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Steve Kliger
Duration 1:18:40

Interview

Hon. Richard Rittenband – Interview conducted on 1-23-2007 by Robert Douglas with Judge Richard Rittenband of South Windsor, Connecticut.  In his career as an attorney in the early years of the Lemon Law’s existence, Judge Rittenband had extensive experience litigating cases involving the new law.

Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 1-23-2007
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Robert Douglas
Duration 1:14:00

Interview

Carol Roberts – Interview conducted on 8-7-2008 by Dr. Jerold Duquette with Carol Roberts. Carol Roberts, of Winthrop, Maine,  has a long career in consumer mediation and Lemon Law administration, including direction of the Lemon Law arbitration program in Maine’s department of the Attorney general. Since 1997, she has been  Executive Director of the International  Association of Lemon Law Administrators.

Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 8-7-2008
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Jerold Duquette
Duration 1:17:08

Interview

Jacob Rudolf – Interview conducted on 11-11-2008 by Dr. Jerold Duquette with Jacob Rudolf. Jacob Rudolf, now of Durham, North Carolina, had a long career of public service in his hometown of Norwalk, Connecticut dating back to the 1950s. From 1980-86  he served three terms a State Representative from Norwalk and was an active legislative  sponsor of the Lemon Law and its later revision.

Audio File(s) Part 1 (Windows Media Audio) Part 2 (Windows Media Audio)
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 11-11-2008
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Jerold Duquette
Duration 1:02:45 (part 1), 28:48 (part 2)

Interview

Rosemary Shahan - Interview conducted on 12-06-2007 by Dr. Jerold Duquette with Rosemary Shahan. Ms. Shahan is the founder and president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS). CARS is a national, award winning, non-profit auto safety and consumer advocacy organization working to save lives, prevent injuries, and protect consumers from auto-related fraud and abuse. Ms. Shahan is also currently serving her fourth term on the Board of Directors for the Consumer Federation of America, the largest consumer advocacy group in the United States.

Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 12-06-2007
Location Interview by phone with Ms. Shahan at the CARS Headquarters in Sacramento, CA.
Interviewer Dr. Jerold Duquette
Duration 57:05

Interview Irving Stolberg Interview conducted on February 15, 2006 by Robert Douglas with Irving Stolberg of New Haven, Connecticut.  Mr. Stolberg served for 22 years in the Connecticut General Assembly’s House of Representatives, including four years as Speaker of the House and two years as Minority Leader.

Stolberg currently serves as President of the Connecticut chapter of the United Nations Association.

Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 2-15-2006
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Robert Douglas
Duration 1:27:00

Interview

Irving Stolberg - Interview conducted on March 7, 2006 by Robert Douglas with Irving Stolberg of New Haven, Connecticut.  Mr. Stolberg served for 22 years in the Connecticut General Assembly’s House of Representatives, including four years as Speaker of the House and two years as Minority Leader.

Stolberg currently serves as President of the Connecticut chapter of the United Nations Association.

Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 2
Date of Interview 3-7-2006
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Robert Douglas
Duration 1 :21:00

 

Interview

Noel E. Tomas -Interview conducted on 01-24-2008 by Dr. Jerold Duquette. Tomas has had a long and varied career in public service. He has worked on the Commission on Aging, as an advocate for CT's elderly, the Commission for the Arts, and many other agencies and charities within CT. Tomas purchased a "lemon" in 1979, and later testified as a consumer advocate in the hearing for the "Lemon Law".

Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 1-24-2008
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Dr. Jerold Duquette
Duration 27:10

Interview John J. Woodcock III -Interview conducted on 10-28-2003 by Robert Douglas with John J. Woodcock III of West Hartford, Connecticut.  Woodcock, as a Connecticut State Representative from South Windsor, was the proponent of the first "Lemon Law" enacted in the United States. This legislation, signed into law by Governor William A. O’Neill in 1982, served as a model for adoption by virtually every other state in the union. Woodcock also successfully sponsored “Lemon Law II” which significantly revised the Lemon Law’s arbitration process.
Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 10-28-2003
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Robert Douglas
Duration 1:34:00

Interview John J. Woodcock III Interview conducted on November 12, 2003 by Robert Douglas with John J. Woodcock III of West Hartford, Connecticut.  Woodcock, as a Connecticut State Representative from South Windsor, was the proponent of the first "Lemon Law" enacted in the United States. This legislation, signed into law by Governor William A. O’Neill in 1982, served as a model for adoption by virtually every other state in the union. Woodcock also successfully sponsored “Lemon Law II” which significantly revised the Lemon Law’s arbitration process.
Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 2
Date of Interview 11-12-2003
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Robert Douglas
Duration 1:37:00

Interview John J. Woodcock III Interview conducted on June 30, 2008 by Dr. Jerold Duquette with John J. Woodcock III of West Hartford, Connecticut. Woodcock, as a Connecticut State Representative from South Windsor, was the proponent of the first "Lemon Law" enacted in the United States. This legislation, signed into law by Governor William A. O’Neill in 1982, served as a model for adoption by virtually every other state in the union. Woodcock also successfully sponsored “Lemon Law II” which significantly revised the Lemon Law’s arbitration process.
Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 3
Date of Interview 6-30-2008
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Jerold Duquette
Duration 1:18:03

 

Interview

John J. Zajac Interview conducted on 05-01-2008 by Dr. Jerold Duquette. John J. Zajac is a former state legislator who served as both state senator and representative for 20 years. He provided strong bipartisan support for the "Lemon Law" and its revision the "Lemon Law II".

 

Audio File(s) Windows Media Audio
Interview Number 1
Date of Interview 05-01-2008
Location Media Center at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut.
Interviewer Dr. Jerold Duquette
Duration 54:26