Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge Lawyers install Grace Borrino as president

October 7, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Judge Barbara Panepinto swears in Grace Borrino as the newest president of the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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The Bay Ridge Lawyers Association hosted its annual Passing of the Gavel ceremony as Grace Borrino was sworn in as the newest president along with the other officers and directors by Judge Barbara Panepinto at Hunter’s Steak and Ale House on Wednesday night.

The organization was originally formed in 1954 with 15 members and currently has more than 200 members. The ceremony, where each past president in attendance gives a brief speech welcoming the newest president, goes back roughly 20 years.

“We were the first bar association to have authorized CLE (Continuing Legal Education) programs even before the Brooklyn Bar Association,” said past President Ray Ferrier. “The Passing of the Gavel ceremony is another innovation. A number of past presidents of the organization went to England about 20 years ago and visited the Inns of Court and came back with this ceremony.”

With 15 past presidents in attendance, each of them took a couple of minutes to welcome Borrino and offered words of encouragement and support.

“This is a wonderful tradition and I wouldn’t miss this for anything,” said Lawrence F. DiGiovanna. “Grace, we do this to thank you for carrying on the tradition of the Bay Ridge Lawyers, our tradition of professionalism. We thank you for that and wish you the best of luck.”

“Grace, we watched you as you’ve come through the chairs and you’ve taken every task and the whole association [to] heart,” said Aileen Fox. “We appreciate everything you’ve done coming to this point. We congratulate you and wish you all the best in this coming year. Any assistance, should you need, we will always be happy to help.”

Borrino thanked everyone and took a moment to single out RoseAnn Branda for being her mentor as well as talking her into joining the association.

“I would not be here if it weren’t for RoseAnn,” Borrino said. “When I graduated law school, she took me under her wing and became a mentor. She told me to join the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association. I joined and no other association made me feel the way this one did. They didn’t just become my colleagues, they became friends and I know they mean it when they say I can reach out to them for help.”

After all of the speeches were over, Judge Barbara Panepinto swore in Borrino as president as well as the other officers Stephen A. Spinelli, Margaret Stanton, Joseph R Vasile and Mary Ann Stathopoulos, and directors Hon. Elizabeth Bonina, Stephen D. Chiaino, Matthew Ellias and Joann Monaco.

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