Brooklyn Boro

Welcome Justice Kamins back to the bench

Pro Bono Barrister

July 15, 2014 By Charles F. Otey, Esq. Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Justice Barry Kamins is back on the bench in Queens after a great deal of controversy. Eagle file photo
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The good news is that, once again, Justice Barry Kamins is back on the bench; he was assigned this past week to Supreme Court in Queens.

There is no lawyer this writer knows who doesn’t agree that Justice Kamins was a superb practicing attorney, with unquestioned integrity, and remains now one of our finest and most brilliant justices. Very few attorneys who have reached the peak in their profession, as did then-barrister Kamins, choose to forego an established law practice to then perform public service as a member of our judiciary.

It is well known that our justices are poorly compensated, considering their high level of service and authority. Even with the legal profession and public leaders solidly behind them, these jurists still had to wait more than 13 years for their last increase in salary.

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We are fortunate that this gifted lawyer chose the bench, as he must also have been aware that certain sections of the press are always sitting in wait — like a cat about to spring on a bird — for any apparent, unproven, alleged misstep and that members of the media have little regard for the truth while pursuing a juicy story involving any jurist.

As discussed earlier in this column, those who practice, apply and interpret the law have always been easy targets for summary execution — once in the village square and now in the mass media, where one outright lie, or half-truth, on a blog almost instantly reaches millions. Those in print media — even those who know better — follow suit, waiting for the truth to emerge in what one philosopher proclaimed to be “the marketplace of ideas.”

Sadly, in this marketplace, the truth seldom sells and is of lesser interest to viewers and readers whose thought processes are constricted to a world frame composed of only 140 characters.

The credibility that Justice Kamins has rightfully earned over the years is serving him well within the legal community and will certainly sustain his reputation as one of our state’s most outstanding justices.


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