Justice Anthony Cutrona: A force for good in Brooklyn’s legal community

January 23, 2013 Pro Bono Barrister • By Charles F. Otey, ESQ Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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To many in the Kings Legal community the news of the passing of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Cutrona last Thursday, at the age of 74, came as quite a shock.

Since late last year his many friends–who knew about his illness–made little mention it or his sudden absence from court.

Inquiries directed to those who worked with him usually met with a polite but terse, “He’s recuperating.” Most of us chose to believe that this strong and articulate man who had performed such valued service on the bench and through the Kings County Columbian Lawyers Association was virtually indestructible and could overcome any obstacle.

Justice Cutrona was a singular force in the legal profession. He set high standards and was refreshingly candid about his unwillingness to accept less from his colleagues.

His absence will be noted and felt by so many of us each day. At every function of the court and in particular within the ranks of the Kings County Columbians, led this year by President Bruno Codispoti.

Looking ahead, the Columbians Annual Dinner this year, which he oversaw with great affection and care for so many years, will perforce become a tribute to him. And, as he would wish, each and every honored speaker will be received by a respectful and attentive audience.

For a long time to come the Columbians and their guests will benefit from the example he had set over the years of graciousness in his welcome and singling out special guests there to honor the
Columbians, their leaders and guests.

Pro Bono Welcomes Comments on Justice Cutrona

We all offer our condolences to his family and his excellent court staff.

We’re sure many colleagues might wish to comment for the next Pro Bono Barrister and ask that they direct any remarks to me at [email protected].

Not long after we learned of this singular justice, we reached out to Pasqualino Russo, president of the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association. He thoughtfully forwarded to us a message he was sending out to his members:

“It is with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Cutrona. As the President of the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association, I especially appreciated his friendship and good counsel. Judge Cutrona was always supportive of our Association, and we are so appreciative of that support.

“It will not surprise anyone to know that in the short time since his passing, I have been told by so many of the wonderful, personal moments they shared with the Judge. He was a man of action who pursued his ideals and passions with a robust love of life, which was replete with examples of his thoughtfulness to the many, many of us who sought his advice. Judge Cutrona has made a lasting impression on all of us who had the good fortune to know him. I wish to extend my condolences to his family, and give them profound thanks for sharing him with us. Pasqualino Russo, President, Bay Ridge Lawyers Association.”

PRO BONO BARRISTER is a weekly column about the good lawyers do. Send your comments or suggestions to this writer at [email protected]. Readers seeking legal representation on a Pro Bono Publico basis should not contact this
column. Rather, they should seek out the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project at 718-624-3894.

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