Brooklyn Boro

Kings County Inn of Court will demonstrate value of ‘The Expert Witness’ at CLE session on Oct. 1

Chuck Otey's Pro Bono Barrister

October 1, 2015 By Charles F. Otey, Esq. Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Miriam Cyrulnik. Eagle file photo by Mario Belluomo
Share this:

The Kings County American Inn of Court will launch its fall CLE season on Oct. 1 when a panel of veteran barristers will offer an imaginative and educational portrayal of the many challenges surrounding the testimony of expert witnesses.

Heading the panel that evening will be Acting Justice Miriam Cyrulnik and Joseph Rosato.  Each, by the way, has offered up memorable inn performances in the recent past: Justice Cyrulnik appeared — rattle, bonnet and all — as “Baby Jane,” and barrister Rosato did a TV-worthy characterization as “The Big Bad Wolf.”

In its 15-year history, the Kings County Inn, led this year by President Justice Arthur Schack, has become known for the often-dramatic and creative productions its members stage to demonstrate points of law and developments throughout the legal community.

Subscribe to our newsletters

The cast for the October opening night, at Brooklyn Bar Association (BBA) Headquarters on Remsen Street, will include Judge Dena Douglas, Judge Pamela Fisher, Evan Goldberg, Ned Kassman, Bonnie Kurtz, Domenick Napoletano, Perry Silver and Kerry Ward.

We don’t know yet who will be the acting jurists, expert witnesses and trial attorneys when the show gets underway — following a delicious 5:30 p.m gourmet buffet — but the above cast certainly includes qualified performers in all  areas involved and finding an “expert” witness shouldn’t be difficult when you’re working with a bunch of lawyers and judges.

Inn member former Justice Abe Gerges was a hit when he portrayed “Chicken Little” — comb and all — as was now-retired Justice Gerard Rosenberg when he appeared as Larry King with a get-up of horn-rimmed glasses, blue shirt and red suspenders.

Sometimes, inn leaders select a movie — complete with some of its characters — as a frame for their story. This was the case last year when acting Justice Cyrulnik and barrister Rosato led a discussion titled “Oral Advocacy: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.”

One of the most imaginative offerings at the inn has to be the one titled “Stop and Frisk: From Jay-Z to Judge Scheindlin,” during which a rap song by the artist recalling his actual stop-and-frisk escapade offered a very poignant background. That session was led by Appellate Division Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix, Judge Joanne Quinones and Larry DiGiovanna.

* * *

Our Inns of Court Reflect Spirit of Ancient Inns Of Court in London

The American Inns of Court, patterned in many ways on the ancient London Inns of Court, began in 1980.  There are now scores of American inns across the country.

For more than 800 years, the London inns have served as social and educational centers for British barristers, and the Kings inn does the same, starting out with a gourmet buffet dinner, followed by an (often) inspiring presentation of particular interest to younger lawyers, many of whom have not officially appeared in a courtroom representing a client.

The Kings inn was founded almost 15 years ago by Justice Marsha Steinhardt, now-retired Justices Rosenberg and Gerges and former Justice Edward Rappaport, who serves as president emeritus.  Among those holding the position known as “Inn Master” are Justice Carl Landicino, Justice Sylvia Ash, Justice Ellen Spodek, Judge Quinones, Hon. Barry Kamins, Appellate Division Justices Cheryl Chambers and Hinds-Radix, Hon. Gloria Cohen Aronin, Steve Harkavy and Steve Goolnick.

Lucy DiSalvo has the very involving and detailed task of serving as inn administrator. Inn executive director is Jeffrey Feldman.

The BBA, headed this year by President Arthur Aidala, has its own busy schedule, starting on Sept. 21 when CLE Director Amber Evans oversees a program of vital interest, not only to those who limit their practice to Landlord-Tenant Court, but to every attorney who’s ever been asked a lease or eviction question by a friend or a relative.

Labeled “Introduction to Landlord-Tenant Law” the program gets underway at BBA headquarters, 123 Remsen St., at 5:30 p.m. with a “meet and greet” reception. Then, at 6 p.m., the more thorny issues in this often-complex area of the law will be tackled.

Full participation in the program will provide an attorney with 2.5 MCLE credits. Costs of taking part are $60 for members, $100 for non-members and $12.50 for law students. Non-lawyers who wish to attend will pay a fee of $50.

Three days later, on Sept. 24, the BBA will present “Bankruptcy Update: Part II,” a continuation of “Bankruptcy Update: Part I,” which was offered earlier this year. It should come as no surprise, considering the critical and evolving nature of bankruptcy law (just ask Donald Trump) that the BBA will then offer “Bankruptcy Update: Part III” on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

In the interim, on Sept. 28, the BBA has scheduled a more detailed session: a continuation of the Sept. 21 “Introduction.” This later program will go more into the details and so is billed as “Advanced Topics in Landlord-Tenant Law.”

* * *

Brooklyn Law Puts Legal Profession in Perspective With “Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy — 1215-2015”

Brooklyn Law School Dean Nick Allard told us that this has been “a very exciting week at the law school as we hosted the international traveling exhibit ‘Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy — 1215-2015,’ an American Bar Association exhibition curated by the Library of Congress.”

The exhibit, which ran through  Sept. 20, featured 16 banners, 13 of which reflect impressive images of the Magna Carta and precious manuscripts, books and other documents from the Library of Congress’ rare book collections.

Part of the presentation was a special video, produced by the Library of Congress, showing the law librarian and the exhibit curator handling selected materials depicted in the exhibit and explaining their significance.

“The exhibit has traveled to more than a dozen cities throughout the U.S. and abroad, including Philadelphia, Chicago and London. We’re proud to be the New York City host for the exhibit,” Dean Allard said.

The law school continued to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and marked Constitution Day in the United States. One key feature was a major, day-long symposium, “From Runnymede to Philadelphia to Cyberspace: The Enduring Legacy of Magna Carta.”

Brooklyn Law’s singular Magna Carta initiative drew “an extraordinary global gathering of renowned legal scholars, authors, artists, historians, public officials, librarians and archivists from around the world,” Dean Allard said.

In addition, there was a busy schedule of lectures, panels and Q&As on topics related to the Magna Carta’s influence on U.S. law, civil rights and liberties, art, the role of libraries and archives in the Digital Age, and law in order in Cyberspace.

Dean Allard also noted that “The law school also is once again a programming partner with the world-renowned Brooklyn Book Festival, which runs from Sept.  21.”

The day before, the school hosted festival events in the Student Lounge and the Moot Courtroom, including the dean’s conversations with authors Derek Taylor and Dina Gold.

* * *

Personal note: No Brooklyn Law School graduate who had the privilege to learn evidence from the master, Dean Jerome Prince, can ever complain about the school’s quality; yet when I attended classes (in the old, un-airconditioned building near Willoughby Street) we never had anything like this precedent-setting engagement with the Magna Carta.  Together with the book festival, which brings thousands of visitors to our neighborhood, this intense illuminating agenda highlights another way in which our law school is a dynamic part of this community. Be proud, Brooklyn Law grads! Thank you, Dean Allard!


Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment