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Law Secretaries Association honors five at Annual Gala

April 13, 2016 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Association of Law Secretaries to the Justices of the Supreme and Surrogate’s Courts in the City of New York held its annual awards dinner on Monday. The five honorees of the night are pictured from left: Hon. Peter Tom, Hon. Joseph J. Maltese, Hon. Nancy T. Sunshine, President of the Law Secretaries Abigail Shvartsman, Inga O’Neale and Kevin Morrissey. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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The Association of Law Secretaries to the Justices of the Supreme and Surrogate’s Courts honored five distinguished jurists, including three from Brooklyn, during its annual dinner at Battery Gardens in Manhattan on Monday.

Associate Justice Hon. Joseph J. Maltese, Appellate Division, Second Department; Hon. Nancy T. Sunshine, county clerk, Kings County; and Inga O’Neale, Esq., past president of the association and principal law clerk to Hon. Larry D. Martin, were among the honorees from Brooklyn. Hon. Peter Tom, associate justice and acting presiding justice, Appellate Division, First Department; and Kevin Morrissey, Esq., first vice president of the association, were honored as well.

“What makes each of our honorees so special is that they have all stood in the membership’s shoes and are uniquely aware of what goes on in our daily routines and our concerns working behind the scenes,” said Abigail Shvartsman, president of the Association of Law Secretaries. “It’s such an honor to recognize the achievements and exceptional contributions that these former law clerks have had on our system.”

The William Goodstein Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Court was given to Hon. Peter Tom, Hon. Joseph J. Maltese and Hon. Nancy T. Sunshine.

“Justice Maltese, a former law clerk, has had a wide-ranging legal career from private practice to becoming a judge, including his lengthy and distinguished military career,” said association member Michael Degree when presenting Maltese with his award. “Throughout the years, from when we first met, I have known Justice Maltese to be a dedicated family man, faithful to the principles of law [and sensitive] to the needs of his community.”

“Achievements, once met, do not stop,” said Sunshine, who once clerked for Hon. Gloria Cohen Aronin. “What they really do is pave our way for future advancements. I really want to thank my colleagues from the county clerk’s office because they make me look good every day. I appreciate the love and support for the good humor of my husband, Judge Sunshine.”

When presenting O’Neale with the Faith O’Neal Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Association, member Barbara Grcevic discussed O’Neale’s many accomplishments as former president of the association, including starting a newsletter and a mentor program and creating the Joseph L. Forstadt Award, which was given to Morrissey.

“Inga became president in 2013 and immediately went to work for her colleagues,” said Grcevic. “She proposed a website and the board opposed it for financial reasons. No problem. That didn’t stop her. She just started a hardcopy newsletter for her fellow law clerks informing them of association events and important developments in the law and faithfully issued that newsletter every quarter.”

The Association of Law Secretaries will meet again next month on Monday, May 9, for a Continuing Legal Education program. It will be an all-day event, lasting from 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in Manhattan. The session will cover topics including labor law, matrimonial, insurance, civil practice and law rules update, and medical malpractice.


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