Chuck Otey’s Pro Bono Barrister For June 10

June 10, 2013 By Charles F. Otey, Esq Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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BBA Tackles ‘Nuts & Bolts’ of Troublesome Real Estate Sales

With the foreclosure crisis still dragging on the local and national economies, it behooves many practicing attorneys to learn more about the “Nuts and Bolts of Real Property Contract Provisions, Procedures and Pitfalls,” which, by the way,  is the descriptive title of the CLE program scheduled by the Brooklyn Bar Association on Wednesday, June 19.

In charge of the presentation, which gets underway at 6 p.m. at BBA headquarters on 123 Remsen St., is the association’s Real Property Law Committee. The presentation will also include Domenick Famulari of the John D. Famulari law firm.

“Come learn about contract terms and provisions along with ‘what to do’ tips with respect to common situations involving real estate contracts,” they promise in an advance piece. The intend as well to “describe in detail the various problems and pitfalls that practitioners often encounter and how to either avoid or resolve such problems.”

Any attorney who’s handled even the most basic real estate closing knows there are invariably unanticipated issues that arise at the last minute that have no easy solutions.  At times like that, you can’t “call a friend”  without appearing just slightly incompetent, at least in the eyes of the client. Typical dilemma: An attorney proclaims. “We refuse to pay that tax! This is a deal-breaker!” What do you do?

Questions such as this are better answered at the June 19 “Nuts and Bolts” session than in the confrontational moment  generated by the actual conveyance of a $1 million residence.
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Message To Ms. Symonds: More iPad Courses Please!!

Many lawyers are desperately in need of technical help these days, and some of them will privately admit they believe “e-Filing” is  a nightmare.

That’s why we’re asking BBA CLE Director Meredith Symonds to investigate the possibility of regular “iPAD” courses through her excellent program.

This request  follows the IPad CLE sessions that took place June 6 at the BBA featuring IT expert Michael Glasser and former BBA President Andrea Bonina of Bonina & Bonina, one of Brooklyn’s first major firms to go digital.

Recognizing the special challenge the digital age presents to so many barristers,  Ms. Symonds took the unusual step of offering the  CLE “pPad” instructional  twice last Thursday — once at noon, and again  in the evening. If these courses were offered every day by the BBA, scores of lawyers would gladly trek over to 123 Remsen St. each midday.
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President Fallek To Take Oath as BBA’s 98th President

Hundreds of friends and colleagues will be on hand Wednesday, June 12, when Andy Fallek is sworn in as the 98th president of the Brooklyn Bar Association. This major event will start at 6 p..m. in the Ceremonial Courtroom of Brooklyn Borough Hall. He takes over by a very successful year under outgoing President Dominick Napoletano.

Other elevated officers include President-elect Rebecca Woodland, First Vice-President Arthur Aidala, Second Vice President Hon. Frank Seddio and Secretary Aimee Richter. The new treasurer is Dave Chidekel, who has been a source of food and fun (in the Inns of Court for his show-stopping portrayals of mythic legal characters in law-related skits.)

Also to be inducted that night will be the BBA’s Trustee Class of 2016 who are: Elaine Avery, Armena Gayle, David Hernandez, Richard Klass, Anthony Lamberti, Deborah Lashley and Joseph Rosato. All of the foregoing, of course, will be able to count on the continuing, invaluable service of Executive Director Avery Okin.

Historical queries:  When’s the last time the  above-mentioned Ceremonial Courtroom was used as an actual courtroom? Who is the one-time congressman who as a Kings County Supreme Court Justice often presided there?

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Why Shouldn’t Jurists Serve Into Later Years?

Once again the state legislature is dealing with an issue that should have been corrected years ago, to wit, raising the mandatory retirement age for judges (from 70 in some courts and 76 in others) in view of the unquestioned fact that life expectancies have soared since the current limits were determined.

“The 70-year-old that existed in the 1890s is not the 70-year-old of today” Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein told New York Times reporter Jesse McKinley.

Now under consideration by the legislature is a bill that would change the New York State Constitution to extend the retirement age for many jurists to 80.  The assembly has passed it twice, but Republicans in the senate are now balking over boosting the outdated rule. Also, some Democrats are concerned that her bill won’t be of any help to judges in many lower courts.

“Younger jurists may know more about the digital age and ‘e-filing,’ a colleague told us. ‘But,” he added,  “there is no substitute for experience — especially in the legal profession where past precedent plays such an important and controlling role. 
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Even Her Painted Toenails Became Issue For The Right

Rep. Molinari became the regular  target of Right To Life advocates in the ’90s, and her candidacy  stirred a lot of anger within the political right. Often this  resentment manifested itself in novel ways. In fact, one Conservative columnist, attorney Robert Whelan, castigated her for a color campaign poster in which she posed with the Molinari family dog sitting on the front steps of her home.

Writing in the Bay Ridge Home Reporter in his well-regarded weekly column titled  “Avant Garde,” the normally soft-spoken Whelan took  the  lawmaker to task because she “provocatively posed” bare-footed revealing “garish red polish” on her toenails. Color selection aside, it was a very fetching photo and did a lot to gain her the attention of male voters. Bob Whelan’s pointed comments helped make her  attractive appearance an issue and, ironically, gained her some very good press.

Why did Ms. Molinari suddenly leave Congress? She wanted to be a mom. She  announced  she was getting married to Buffalo Congressmabn Bill Paxon and wanted to have a family. She did, and they have. After Congess, she started out with a CBS commentator-type show. But the restrictive format did little to capitalize on her unusual political acumen  or her very easy charm.
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Would Emerald Green Toenails Have Offended Bob Whelan?

That show didn’t last a year, but the former congresswoman became a leading spokeswoman for GOP causes on a number of cable networks and joined in the lobbying effort so successfully that Google has named her their lobbying chief in Washington.

Columnist Bob Whelan, a true gentleman and an excellent maritime lawyer, isn’t with us any more but if he were and happened to see the Molinari Google article  by Edward Wyatt in Monday’s Times, he would have read with great interest the following paragraph: “After a recent company symposium, she made easy cocktail chatter with technology enthusiasts and then stopped briefly to rest her feet, revealing Google-green nail polish!!!

Our first thought on the green nail polish: Would Bob Whelan, a proud Irishman, have objected back in 1990  if Ms. Molinari’s toenails had—instead of bright red– been burnished an Emerald green?


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