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SIDEBAR: Outgoing Bay Ridge Lawyers Association President Lisa Becker

August 17, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Lisa Becker with her husband Ralph Mercante and their two sons James (left) and Mark Mercante (right) during the annual Bay Ridge Lawyers Association (BRLA) dinner dance, where Becker was honored as the BRLA’s outgoing president. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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Lisa M. Becker is a Brooklyn-born attorney who currently resides in Staten Island with her husband Ralph Mercante and their two sons James and Mark Mercante. She went to Nazareth Regional High School before earning her bachelor’s degree at St. John’s University and her law degree at CUNY Law School at Queens College. The immediate past president of the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association, Becker has been working as an attorney for 20 years with a focus on employment and education law.

What inspired you to study law?

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Ever since I was approximately 8 years old, I knew I wanted to be an attorney; specifically, I knew I wanted to be an assistant district attorney. Years ago, there were so many shows that I referred to as “police shows,” and I was always drawn to the attorneys who worked “Downtown in the DA’s office.”

I was thrilled when I worked in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office for almost 15 years, first as a paralegal in the Early Case Assessment Bureau and Homicide Bureau and then as an Assistant District Attorney in numerous bureaus such as Grand Jury, Investigations and Domestic Violence. I was able to indict over 100 cases and was able to work closely with crime victims, which was always my passion. I knew if I worked as a Prosecutor (and paralegal) in the District Attorney’s office, I would be able to “help people,” and throughout my career, I have done just that — helped people and made sure that justice was served!


What was your most memorable case and why?

I once handled a case where the husband (defendant) refused to pay child support to his ex-wife. He literally thought he was above the law as he was an attorney himself and smirked when the judge told him he better pay his ex-wife or when he returned to court the following month, he should bring his toothbrush.

In court, the following month, I did the entire hearing. I did my closing argument. The judge paused and then sentenced the husband to, I believe, 6 months in jail for non-payment of child support (he owed her thousands of dollars). There are so many other memorable cases I worked on while at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office and at the NYC Department of Education!


What has been your proudest moment as an attorney?

My proudest moment as an attorney was when — (actually there are two proudest moments) — I was sworn in as president of the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association by one of my favorite judges, Hon. Matthew D’ Emic. My other proudest moment was on June 24, 2015, at my Dinner Dance, where I was honored as outgoing President of the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association and  received my BRLA medal. When my son, James, placed the medal around my neck, this was such a proud moment!  


What is one fact about you that people would find surprising?

Many people know that I am a lymphoma survivor and know my story. I have been told how strong I am and how strong I was while I was going through the treatments for this dreadful disease. I have been told I am a true inspiration. I have always tried to live my life to the fullest and have never ever let anything regarding my medical issue stand in the way of achieving all of my goals and working hard. However, one thing people may not know about me and may find surprising as it relates to my medical issue, is that deep down, I am truly frightened at times. I may not show it, but I am very scared.


If you weren’t a lawyer what career would you pursue?

Event, party planning and photography. I am seriously thinking about doing photography on the side — another one of my passions.

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