Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge Lawyers host Judge Ingram for maritime law discussion

May 29, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Hon. John G. Ingram — shown with Bay Ridge Lawyers Association President-elect Grace M. Borrino (left) and President Lisa M. Becker (right) — was this month’s CLE speaker. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese

The Bay Ridge Lawyers Association held its monthly Continuing Legal Education (CLE) meeting at which Hon. John G. Ingram discussed maritime law in a speech titled, “Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice on the High Seas” at Hunter’s Steakhouse in Bay Ridge on Wednesday.

It sounds like a topic that only a few lawyers would be interested in, but Judge Ingram spoke passionately and was able to convey the importance of maritime law. He kept it interesting with many anecdotes and practically gave a history lesson on Brooklyn’s waterfront and ports.

“We live so close to one of the busiest waterways in the country, and that is the Narrows,” Ingram said. “So this hits a lot closer to home than some of you may think.”

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The judge went on to discuss a few cases including one that involved Brooklyn’s River Cafe, which was deemed not under maritime law jurisdiction due to the fact that it’s permanently affixed to the barge at Brooklyn Bridge Park. He also discussed a case involving Somali pirates that inspired the movie “Captain Phillips” and starred American treasure Tom Hanks.

Judge Ingram, who is an active member of the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association, is an acting justice of the Supreme Court, Kings County. He was a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1964 until 1995 and got his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Maritime in 1964 before he received his law degree at St. John’s University in 1969. He practiced maritime law for 34 years and eventually left to become a judge. “I went from maritime to crime,” he joked.

This was also the final meeting under President Lisa Becker, which meant that members voted on the next round of officers. The vote passed unanimously with Grace Borrino being named the next president, Stephen A. Spinelli named next vice president, Margaret Stanton named next recording secretary, Joseph R. Vasile named treasurer, and Mary Ann Stathopoulos named corresponding secretary.

New board members voted in for the 2015-17 class include: Joann Monaco, Anna M. Tepedino, Hon. Elizabeth Bonina and Matthew Elias. Lawrence F. Giordano was voted in as a board of director for the class of 2015-16.

For more photos from this event, visit

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