The Columbian Lawyers Association hosts annual Judiciary Night
The Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn hosted its annual holiday dinner and judiciary night with more than 300 lawyers, judges and political figures in attendance at Gargiulo’s Restaurant in Coney Island on Thursday night.
Everyone was dressed to impress, even though the mood of the evening was casual. The annual holiday party is meant to give members a chance to get to know one another better outside of the courthouse.
“It’s great because these are people that we work alongside every day in a formal setting and here you can sit down, have a beverage with somebody, a couple of plates of pasta and actually get to know them,” said the association’s president, Bart Russo.
The Columbian Lawyers Association was initially created to promote Italian culture, heritage and history, but over the last five years the group has opened itself to people of any cultural background. Since then, the prestigious organization has significantly increased its numbers; it now has nearly 400 members.
“I’m very fortunate to be president at this time because we’re very strong,” Russo said. “We’re up to 378 members. Our monthly meetings draw at least 90 people and at this event there are over 120 judges here. It gives our members a chance to get to know the judges better and we have a formal ceremony where the judges are recognized, which they appreciate.”
The Columbian Lawyers Association also took a moment to remember the late Hon. Anthony Cutrona, who was an integral part of the group before he passed away last year.
“I’m saddened over the fact that Judge Anthony Cutrona, our beloved heart and soul, is not here with us tonight to enjoy this event and to witness my first official act,” First Vice President Rose Ann C. Branda said before the judges were formally recognized. “I’m certain that he would be extremely proud of the executive board and all of our members.”
Branda also gave a big thanks to Lucy DiSalvo, who helped to organize the event. “You make all of us look so good,” Branda told DiSalvo.
Russo noted that in addition to the planned events of the evening, the celebration gave members a chance to congratulate three of their own who recently became judges themselves — Hon. Lizette Colon, Hon. Joy Campanelli and Hon. Lara J. Genovesi.
“We are all extremely proud of our new judges,” Russo said. “When some of our members become judges, it makes us all look very good, and we are tremendously proud of them.”