Brooklyn Boro

Eight-hour 2015 Annual Update CLE is popular with busy attorneys

November 16, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Bar Association's 2015 Annual Update, an eight-hour CLE seminar, is one of the most popular of the year. From left: Michelle J. Stern, Amber Evans, David Paul Horowitz, Daniel Santola and Kate Langlois. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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Part of any lawyer’s life includes taking regular Continuing Legal Education (CLE) classes. It’s a good opportunity to network and brush up on the law. However, most honest lawyers would tell you that they don’t like going to them.

That’s why last Friday’s 2015 Annual Update at the Brooklyn Bar Association, which provides eight CLE credit hours in one day, was perfect for the busy lawyer who doesn’t always have the time to attend a monthly CLE session.

“People like getting a lot of their credits in at one time,” said Michelle J. Stern, executive director at the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers. “Assuming they’re not a new attorney, they have to take 24 credits every two years, or about 12 a year, so it’s nice to get a whole chunk done at once. We cover what I call, ‘The Usual Suspects Tort Topics,’ so they like it because it covers a bit of everything and it’s a quick update of each topic.”

Sitting through eight hours of CLE in one day sounds like a lot, but this is one of the most well attended CLE seminars of the year with more than 100 lawyers filling the bar association on Friday. Throughout the day, eight different lawyers spoke for about 40 to 50 minutes each on topics related to precedents and statutes for personal injury litigators.

After Glenn Verchick welcomed everybody to the event, Daniel Solinsky started on his topic of municipal liability, Michael Ross covered ethics, Sim Shapiro covered premises, David Paul Horowitz covered evidence and disclosure, Andrea Bonina covered product liability, Daniel Santola covered labor law, Mitchell Proner covered no fault and John Bonina wrapped up the day with medical malpractice.

“Even though it’s a long day, each presenter is quick, so it keeps it fresh,” Stern said. “Every speaker, for the most part, only speaks for 40 minutes. So if there is a topic they’re not as interested in, it’s over quick. It also provides more of an opportunity for networking and schmoozing your fellow attendees because you’re there all day.”

Even though the Brooklyn Bar Association hosts the event, it is co-sponsored and organized by the NYS Academy of Trial Lawyers, which has been doing marathon CLE seminars for about 10 years now. It started with a group of four members and it is currently at a little more than 2,200 members, who all get free CLE seminars as part their membership.

“The only thing lawyers dislike more than CLE is paying for it,” Stern said. “That’s why our membership is provided with free CLE.”

Friday’s was the final CLE seminar of the fall season for the Brooklyn Bar Association. It will resume with CLE sessions again in January. Check the BBA’s website,, for updates.

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