Chuck Otey’s Pro Bono Barrister for August 19

August 19, 2013 By Charles F. Otey, Esq. Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Brooklyn Bar Tackles ‘Liens’ Of Medicare & Medicaid

In a few weeks on Sept. 9, the Brooklyn Bar Association will launch its vaunted CLE program, according to CLE Director Meredith Symonds, with a very timely program “Talk About a Resolution: Medicare and Medicaid Liens In-Depth.”

President Andrew Fallek heads the Brooklyn Bar Association this coming year.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Many lawyers have long been haunted by myriad complexities and inconsistencies as they try to determine when to honor and thus pay a lien and when they must protect their client by challenging an invalid claim from a health provider. (All dread the possibility of receiving a “lien letter” for a sizable amount of money long after a legal action has been closed out.)

Program presenter Brett Newman promises that “this seminar will provide an overview of how and when to consider Medicare’s interests through the use of early reporting, procurements of Medicare Conditional Payment Amounts and Medicare set-asides.”

Many of the foregoing concepts are of relatively recent origin and have given rise to the unprecedented growth of the emerging Elder Law Bar. Participation in this event will provide an attorney with two CLE credits.

Sponsoring the evening are the New York State Academy of Trial Attorneys and  East Coast Appraisal Services.

Director Symonds encourages registration online, by fax (718-624-4045) and even by mail to her at 123 Remsen St. (She’s also taking advantage of the remaining summer hiatus to remind members that CLE-accrediting CDs and DVDs totaling up to 12 credits are still available at reasonable rates. She’s at [email protected]).


Other BBA officers include President-elect Rebecca Woodland, first Vice President Arthur Aidala, Second Vice President Hon. Frank Seddio, Secretary Aimee Richter and new Treasurer Dave Chidekel.   All of the above are ably aided and abetted by BBA Executive Director Avery Okin.

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Columbian Lawyers To Get Anti-Crime Views From Hynes

The Kings Columbian Lawyers Association, led by President Robert Musso, will benefit from a unique presentation on crime-fighting perspective when District Attorney Joe Hynes addresses them at their first CLE session of the season on Sept. 3 at the Rex Manor on 11th Avenue right here in Brooklyn.

His agenda is appropriately titled “Public Safety Then (1990) and Now (2013)—Strategies That Worked.” Coincidentally, that same period, encompassing 23 years, happens to approximate the time during which Hynes has held his very influential position.

Columbians are sure to pack the Rex Manor that night to learn from Hynes, enjoy a delicious dinner and gain CLE credits as well! Other officer are First Vice President Bartholomew Russo, Second Vice President Rose Ann C. Branda, Third Vice President Dean Delianites, Treasurer Mark Longo, Corresponding Secretary Linda Locasio, Recording Secretary Frank Seddio, Historian George Siracuse, Chaplain Msgr. David L. Cassato and Executive Secretary Lucinda Di Salvo.
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Have Wiener & Spitzer Helped Vito Fossella?

Given the extraordinary sexual exploits of former Gov. Elliot Spitzer (running for NYC comptroller) and Anthony Wiener (mayor), isn’t it about time to consider possible return to the public arena of former S.I. Kings Congressman Vito Fossella?

Several years have passed since the then very popular and married congressman became enmeshed in a domestic mess involving an extramarital relationship that had produced a child. This imbroglio might well have been alcohol-related. But, to his credit, Fossella did not seek shelter in a 28-day rehab, and then emerge four short weeks later to proclaim himself “cured.”

Having done more than enough damage to those in his personal life, Fossella decided instead to quickly exit the political scene. He chose to serve out his term and then quietly move his family out of the glare of an intense public spotlight.

A Wharton MBA graduate, Fossella has kept a relatively low professional profile, using his skills in Wall Street-related positions. He has done everything to shelter his “extended” family from the fallout of his troubled domestic life. His private life has remained private.

So it surprised an Eagle colleague when he learned that Vito Fossella was one of the honored guests at a Jay Black Concert and Rally promoting the mayoral candidacy of John Catsimatidis. “No one’s seen him for years,” noted my friend, whose duties keep him primarily in Brooklyn. “Is he making a comeback?”

In truth, Vito Fossella has made a number of low-key appearances in Staten Island and Brooklyn. At a Catsimatidis rally he joined other political leaders such as State Sen. Alfred Lanza, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and former Assemblyman Matthew Mirones.
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Fossella Remains Popular Among Former Constituents

Fossella isn’t just accepted in Staten Island. He is still the beloved prodigal son whose farewell luncheon drew almost a thousand, applauding supporters as well as an appearance by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

His current successor is the very smart and tough R-C. Congressman Mike Grimm, an Iraq veteran who had little difficulty winning re-election last year.

While Democrats would love to see a knock-down GOP primary battle pitting Fossella against Grimm, this is something that just won’t happen. Why? Because, according to Republican and Conservative sources, Fossella is, in the best sense of the word, a family guy.

If little else, the Wiener and Spitzer scandals provide a forgiving perspective on the Fossella story. Should John Catsimatidis defy steep odds and become our next mayor, his administration could benefit from the former congressman’s acumen and experience.

Meantime, at each and every appearance — including the Jay Black musical rally — Vito Fossella is greeted  warmly and treated by his public with an affection seldom seen in politics. It’s no longer fair to compare his fate with that of Anthony Wiener.

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