Oliver James Purnell

Purnell, Oliver 3798077_28119576 TP

Title: Judge of Probate
Company: Ellington District Probate Court
Location: Vernon Rockville, Connecticut, United States

Honorable Oliver James Purnell III, Judge of Probate at the Ellington District Probate Court, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Lawyers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the legal industry.

Utilizing more than 40 years of practiced industry experience, Mr. Purnell is a prominent judge who has been serving as a judge of probate at the Ellington District Probate Court in Rockville, CT, since 1999, as well as a solo practitioner in law in Vernon, CT, since 1992. Prior to these illustrious roles, he acted as a regional information manager with LexisNexis from 1998 to 1999, a reference librarian at the University of Connecticut from 1992 to 1998, and a solo practitioner in law from 1989 to 1992. Other roles he has fulfilled have included associate with myriad firms, including Howard, Kohn, Sprague & FitzGerald LLP; DuBeau & Ryan, PC; and Lavitt, Hutchinson, Kaplan & Ford between 1981 and 1989. He commenced his career as a director of information services in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Connecticut and a medical reference librarian in the School of Medicine at Boston University from 1976 to 1981.

Alongside his primary vocational endeavors, Mr. Purnell was an adjunct professor at the University of Hartford and has served his community in multiple capacities, including as a scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America, choir and bell choir member for the Union Congregational Church, and church organist for various churches throughout Connecticut. Sitting on the board of trustees of the Rockville Public Library, he also served the Alumni Council and the Mortensen Library Board of Visitors at the University of Hartford, was a program reader for Read Across America, and was on the advisory committee for the Town of Vernon, CT.

To prepare for his career, Mr. Purnell pursued formal education at the University of Hartford, where he earned an Associate of Arts in general studies in 1969. He then completed a Bachelor of Arts in biology at Middlebury College in 1972, followed by a Master of Library Science at Case Western Reserve University in 1976. He concluded his education in 1981, receiving a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Western New England University. He has since been admitted to practice law in the state of Connecticut, as well as before the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Demonstrating passion and versatility in his field, Mr. Purnell has published myriad legal decisions in law journals, contributed articles to professional journals, and authored multiple seminars and workshops in his area of expertise. Having penned “The Internet: A Step in the Right Direction” in Connecticut Lawyer, “The Full Fabric of the Web: Useful Sites for the Legal Community” in the Connecticut Law Tribute, and “The Next Decade of Lawyering” in Trends in Law Library Management and Technology, he also notable wrote “United States State and Local Tax Bibliography” in State Tax Notes.

Mr. Purnell is the former president of the Southern New England Law Librarians Association and the Tolland County Bar Association. Most recently serving as chairman of the library committee for the Tolland County Bar Association from 1998 to 2005, he also maintained affiliation with the Connecticut Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, the Connecticut Probate Assembly, the Connecticut Probate Judges Association and the National College of Probate Judges, among many others. He is an emeritus member of the board of visitors at the University of Hartford and the Rockville Public Library as well.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to legal service, Mr. Purnell was honored with the Anchor Award from the University of Hartford in 2009. Likewise, he was named an Eagle Scout by the Boy Scouts of America in 1964 for his service to his community. Notably, he has been listed in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law and Who’s Who in the World.

For more information, please visit:

Lifetime Achievement 

Industry Leaders 

Ballotpedia Profile

Ellington Connecticut Probate Court 

Town of Vernon Connecticut

Contact Mr. Purnell:

Leave a Reply