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The Cervantes Society honors pair of Brooklyn lawyers at annual ceremony

November 2, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Hon. Deborah Dowling, Hon. Lawrence Knipel and Major Luz G. Bryan, president of the Cervantes Society, at the society’s 20th annual awards ceremony, where a pair of Brooklyn lawyers were among the honorees. Eagle photos by Mario Belluomo
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The Cervantes Society held its 20th annual awards ceremony celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at the New York County Supreme Court in Manhattan last Wednesday, where two Brooklyn attorneys were among those honored.

Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts of New York State Lawrence K. Marks was honored along with a pair of Brooklyn attorneys: Betty Lugo, president of the Puerto Rican Bar Association, and Christina Golkin, chair of the Brooklyn Bar Association’s LGBT Committee.

A pair of retired senior court officers from the Bronx, David Fliegelman and Francisco Navarro, also received a special recognition during the ceremony. The Gilberto Ramirez Scholarship Award was presented to Tatyana Morales.

Retired Appellate Judge Ariel E. Belen, who sat in Brooklyn Supreme, served as the master of ceremonies for the event and Associate Justice of the New York State Court of Appeals Jenny Rivera was welcomed as a special guest at the event.

Lugo received the Community Service Award and spoke about the critical and important function of the court employees and also emphasized the importance of diversity in the court system.

“Court officers, clerks, interpreters, secretaries and others have the judge’s back and make sure the court runs smoothly,” Lugo said. “They contribute tremendously to the administration of justice.

“Our diverse judges are retiring,” Lugo continued. “I am concerned that we do not have a pipeline, as there were no Hispanic judges that came out of the Manhattan or Brooklyn panels. We all need to work on this and, as president of the Puerto Rican Bar Association, I look forward to discussing this with Judge Lawrence Marks who is also an honoree tonight.”

Golkin, who was instrumental in helping to create the LGBT Committee of the Brooklyn Bar Association, was presented with the Spirit Award.

“I was extremely honored to be recognized along with the chief administrative judge and the president of a bar association,” Golkin said. “I found it fitting to receive the Spirit Award because I thought what I did was pretty exciting and it required a lot of energy to get it going.

“I think it’s such a great thing that the Cervantes Society has done to embrace diversity and thought it was important and commendable that they included LGBTQ as a part of that diversity,” Golkin continued.

The Cervantes Society is an organization of Hispanic Employees within the Unified Court System. It was created in 1996 and was designed to establish a network of ideas, activities and resources that promote fellowship and career enhancement among its members. Any employees of the Unified Court System are eligible to join.


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