While Charles Kurmay was settling into his new Norwalk office space at 97 Washington St. in the fall, his practice acquired 45 years of legal experience in the form of his father.

Kurmay’s father F. Paul Kurmay, a former probate court judge and administrator for state probate courts, has signed on with his son’s law practice as “of counsel,” an attorney who has a relationship with the firm but is not a partner or associate.

“I want to help my son instead of losing it all — all that knowledge and experience,” said F. Paul Kurmay. “I don’t want to get back into the active practice of law. Part of it is definitely a rat race, and I don’t want to get back into that.”

A lifetime Stratford resident, F. Paul Kurmay began practicing law in 1969 and was elected as judge of the Stratford Probate Court in 1978. He was the state’s probate court administrator from 1995 to 2002 and was continually elected probate judge in Stratford until he aged out of the position when he turned 70 in October.

An ordained minister for nearly three decades, F. Paul Kurmay currently serves as deacon for St. Mark’s Church in Stratford. He said his career in law has benefitted from his role in the clergy.

“From the moment I became judge, I thought of it as a ministry in the sense that you’re ministering to people at a very difficult time in life,” he said.

F. Paul Kurmay said during his time as probate judge, he tried to “take away the mystery of the process” and assure litigants that the process “is going to help you get to the next level.”

“Ultimately, you want to help people,” he said. “It’s not just about resolving a case in a vacuum.”

Paul Knierum, the state’s current probate court administrator, came to know F. Paul Kurmay while serving as a state representative. He said the elder Kurmay proved to be “a man of tireless energy” and a “true champion for children, the elderly and the disabled” during his time as probate judge.

“I can’t say enough positive things about the man,” he said. “He has dedicated his whole career to public service and to being there for our most volatile citizens.”

An attorney since 1997, Charles Kurmay has established himself as a prominent civil rights and criminal defense attorney. He successfully took on the Bridgeport Police Department for excessive force in the case of Abdus Shahid Muhammad, a man who was blinded in his left eye after being struck in the face with a police radio. He drew public attention by defending Stratford Councilman Alvin O’Neal, who was accused of interfering with an officer.

Recently, he successfully represented the estate of Arthur Devack, an 88-year-old man who was “fleeced out of $220,000 in a matter of a few months,” in probate court.

Kurmay said he hopes to focus more on the probate, civil and real estate aspects of his practice but will still be open to taking criminal and civil rights cases. He also will start focusing more on the Norwalk area.

“I will always obviously be available to do meaningful criminal defense and civil rights work,” he said.

Kurmay said his father will help firm his abilities on probate cases, as he brings “vast knowledge and experience” in “judging the most minor to the most difficult of cases” to the law practice.