Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge Lawyers host Justice Lopez Torres for Surrogate Court update

October 29, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Surrogate Court Judge Margarita Lopez Torres (left) and Bay Ridge Lawyers Association President Grace M. Borrino. Photos by Rob Abruzzese.

The Bay Ridge Lawyers Association (BRLA) got together for its monthly membership meeting Wednesday at Hunter’s Steak and Ale House in Bay Ridge, where Justice Margarita Lopez Torres presented a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar titled “An Overview of Article 17-A of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act.” 

Lopez Torres began her legal career in 1979 and is considered one of the most respected judges in Brooklyn. Due to the complexity and importance of the surrogate court’s issues, the BRLA wanted someone of Lopez Torres’ stature on hand for the lecture. 

“She is a very hard-working judge who is very hands-on and inspects everything very carefully,” said past President of the BRLA Helen Galette. “I know from working with her that she believes that people who come to her court are her customers, so she does her best to address their needs. She’s just a very fair and strong judge. I’ve never seen anybody work so hard. She really looks at every detail, and that’s why we’re lucky to have her here today.”

Article 17-A of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act pertains to guardians of mentally retarded and developmentally disabled persons. In most cases, the disabled’ persons’ conditions originated when they were under 22 years old.

“I want people to realize that nothing should be done in a perfunctory manner,” Lopez Torres said. “These cases are very important, and a lot of care has to be given to these cases. They are the most important cases in the surrogate’s court.”

Lopez Torres gave an hour-long lecture on the topic and took questions from the members.

The BRLA will cover matrimonial law at its next CLE meeting on Nov. 18. Supervising Justice of Supreme Court, 2nd Judicial District, in Matrimonial Matters Jeffrey S. Sunshine will be the guest speaker at that event. The BRLA will host its annual holiday party on Dec. 10 at Cebu Bar & Bistro in Bay Ridge.

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