I recall that from a very young age I was not shy about enthusiastically expressing my opinion on a wide variety of topics! Some may have even thought of me as bold. It was natural, then, to choose a career in the law. It has served me well but more importantly, I have derived immense satisfaction from helping hundreds of clients, and by extension their families, for more than forty years.
I had a rather idyllic childhood growing up in Worcester, Massachusetts with loving parents, an intact family and lots of extended family close by. Thankfully, as a youngster I never experienced the turmoil I came to see in later years in my practice, but my childhood informed my work, as it so often does. To this day it remains for me the yardstick for healthy family dynamics.
Some of my most vivid memories growing up were falling asleep with a transistor radio to my ear listening to Johnny Most animatedly announcing the Celtics games (Yes, Havlicek stole the ball!) and Curt Gowdy as the “Voice of the Red Sox.” I remain a life-long fan of both teams (although Mookie Betts is now my Babe Ruth crucible). So, spending college and law school years in Boston were glory days for me on the sports front.
In college, I chose sociology as a major which provided me with a great foundation for understanding human nature, relationships and interactions. It was a natural basis for the study of law. My internships at the Massachusetts State House whet my appetite for politics and although I never took the leap to be an office holder, I worked on many political campaigns over the years. With the advent of cable programming, I became a political junkie and somewhat of a policy wonk, probably far too obsessed than is healthy, especially in the 2020 election cycle.
My post law-school years were spent in Worcester, raising my family, working full time in law and volunteering in the community. I was elected President of my synagogue, which was a much-welcomed spiritual experience and an opportunity to connect and commune with others who shared my beliefs. It also taught me tolerance for others who were at different places on the spectrum of religious commitment. I loved standing up on the podium and meeting the challenge of addressing the congregation in a way that was sensitive and inclusive to all. It was inspiring to me and by all accounts, to others as well.
In 2002, my husband, son who was then entering high school, and I moved to Westport, Connecticut. My daughter was already in college at that point. I am in love with this town and feel so fortunate to be in a place where people are so talented, creative, socially conscious and neighborly. I have had the honor of serving as a Trustee of The Westport Library, a true jewel in our community. I also have volunteered with and supported Near and Far Aid, an amazing charitable organization whose focus is on poverty and education in Fairfield County. I believe wholeheartedly in “giving back” to my community.
In addition to being a rabid Boston sports fan, dance, theater, fashion, design, collecting modern art, and all things New York, feed my soul.
Covid-19 has been challenging. But it has also provided me with the most incredible silver lining. My daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren have now moved to Westport and my son moved to Stamford.
Carole, The Professional
I returned to Worcester after law school. Two days after marrying my husband (to whom I am still married after 41 years!), I began work as an Assistant District Attorney. Notably, I was only the second woman in the history of the Worcester DA’s office and to everyone’s credit, never once did I feel discriminated against on the basis of gender or judged by anything other than my abilities. For the next five years, I prosecuted some of the most notable cases, including a three-week aggravated rape and kidnapping case with 60 defense witness, while I was nine months pregnant. The jury returned a conviction two weeks to the day before I delivered my daughter.
My next stop was as the first woman with a well-known Worcester law firm, where I maintained a general practice with an emphasis on criminal defense and family law. It was so interesting being “on the other side.” It was there that I truly began my lifelong mission to help others in need and the eighteen years I spent at that firm provided me with the most wonderful opportunities to do so. Of all the cases I handled, the most meaningful one to this day is the contested surrogacy case of first impression. Ultimately, after much legal wrangling, I was able to gain custody of the child for my client and his wife. Why was it so meaningful to me? To be able to give the gift of a child to an otherwise childless couple, who had set their hopes and dreams on this then novel surrogacy process, was almost like being a god. It was life altering for them and humbling to me.
After moving to Connecticut, I practiced at a law firm in Stamford where I met my now partner, Eric Broder. He and I opened our Divorce and Family law firm in 2005. Since then we have become the largest such law firm in Connecticut, known for outstanding advocacy, skill and compassion. Most recently we renamed the firm Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie, LLC. I am honored that Sarah and Chris have joined us as named partners and feel so fortunate to work with all the talented lawyers in our firm.
Although over the years I have tried some of the most significant and complex cases in Connecticut, and undoubtedly will do so in the future, I remain committed in every case to do my best to achieve a settlement. Most cases ultimately settle so my philosophy is that we should use our best efforts to resolve the case sooner than later and save the emotional and financial expense that can turn divorce into a gut-wrenching process.
I believe the hallmark of my practice is my decades long experience, fastidious attention to detail, extreme responsiveness to clients and colleagues, and compassion for my clients and their families. I think of myself as a concierge lawyer, providing an extreme level of service to my clients. I love what I do and plan to continue doing it for as long as I can.
Distinctions, Honors and Awards
- Top Lawyers in Fairfield County, Family Law, by Moffly Media, 2021
- Selected for recognition in the Best Lawyers® 27th, 26th and 25th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America®, 2021, 2020, and 2019
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rating™, since 2013
- Connecticut Super Lawyers ® as listed in New England Super Lawyers ®, since 2013
- NAFLA Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in Connecticut, since 2014
- Top Lawyer; Arbitration and Mediation, Family Law and Matrimonial Law in Westport, Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan/Darien and Fairfield Magazines
- Avvo Rating 10 out of 10
Publications and Presentations
- Westport Moms – Spotlight Feature, April 19, 2021
- Featured in Westport Lifestyle Magazine (Jan. ’21), “Healthy Divorce in Unhealthy Times”
- “Some Connecticut Attorneys Say It’s Time to Reopen Courthouses.”, Connecticut Law Tribune, May 19, 2020 Issue
- “Divorce” Article, Westport Magazine, September-October 2017 Issue
- Connecticut Bar Association, Moderator, Bench – Bar Symposium on Professionalism, 2016
- Who Gets the House in a Divorce?, Fairfield County Business Journal, August 17, 2015
- Separation Agreements in Plain Speak, Fairfield County Bar Association Newsletter, Winter 2013
- Connecticut Bar Association, Panelist, Bench – Bar Symposium on Professionalism, 2011
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Connecticut Bar Association, Family Law Section
- Member, 2003 – Present
- Executive Committee, 2003 – 2010
- Fairfield County Bar Association, Family Law Section
- Member, 2003 – Present
- Greenwich Bar Association
- Member, 2017 – Present
Pro Bono Activities
- Special Master, Stamford Superior Court, 2005 – Present
- Special Master, Bridgeport Superior Court, 2005 – Present
- Connecticut Judicial Branch Stamford Family Volunteer Attorney Program – Volunteer Attorney, 2012 – Present
Past Employment Positions
- Fitzmaurice & Siegel, Stamford, CT, 2003 – 2005
- Wolfson Keenan Cotton & Meagher, Worcester, MA, 1984 – 2002
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Assistant District Attorney, Worcester, MA, 1979 – 1984
- Connecticut, 2002
- New York, 1997
- District of Columbia, 1996
- Massachusetts, 1977
- U.S. District Court, 1979
- New England School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts
- J.D. – 1977
- Boston University
- B.A. (Cum Laude) – 1974
- Westport Library, Trustee, 2013 – 2018
- Governance/Nominating Committee Member, 2015 – 2018
- Finance Committee Member, 2013 – 2015
- Near and Far Aid, Committee Chair, 2012 – 2013