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Brooklyn Bar Association welcomes judges to Remsen Street for Judiciary Night

April 15, 2016 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: Hon. Barry Kamins, Steve Cohn, Hon. Johnny Lee Baynes, Hon. Cheryl E. Chambers and Hon. Robin S. Garson. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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The Brooklyn Bar Association (BBA) held its annual Judiciary Night at the bar association headquarters in Brooklyn Heights on Wednesday. The event gave BBA members an opportunity to meet the judges and the court’s newest judges to get to know the more experienced ones.

“I remember when I was a brand new judge, coming to this event and how special it was,” said Hon. Dora L. Irizarry, who will be sworn in as the chief judge of the Eastern District of New York today. “For you new judges coming in, you need to talk to the judges who have been around for a while, seek their advice. They’re always willing to share experiences with you and it’s so important to have that flow of information to feel that there is someone to share the job with you.”

The event was a relaxed one, which gave judges, lawyers and court employees an opportunity to get to know each other outside of the courtroom in a more laid back atmosphere. There were speeches, but they contained mostly introductions of new judges, some bits of advice and quite a few jokes.

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“It’s great to congratulate our new judges and it’s good to see many of them here,” said Andrew Fallek, past president of the BBA. “For those of you who are brand new judges, there is a sense of excitement, brand new stationery and new license plates.”

Justice Randall T. Eng offered some advice to the newcomers: “There is one thing that can’t be measured until you get on the bench, and that is judicial temperament. You are going to be measured by the wisdom of your decisions, but also by the way you deal with attorneys, litigants and the public at large.

“Your reputation will be forged and honed in that crucible and that is the courtroom,” he continued. “It is so important to remember what your role is and that’s to be fair, neutral and impartial. You’ll be sorely tried too. No matter what happens, keep a level head and know that your intellect, your background, your experiences are going to help you make the right decision.”

The administrative and supervising judges on stage included Hon. Lawrence Knipel, Hon. Margarita Lopez Torres, Hon. Randall T. Eng, Hon. Michael Yavinsky, Hon. Dora L. Irizarry, Hon. Jeffrey S. Sunshine, Hon. Reginald A. Boddie and Hon. Amanda E. White. They were joined by BBA President Arthur Aidala, past President Andrew Fallek and New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) President David Miranda.

Miranda took the opportunity during his speech to praise the good work of the Brooklyn bar.

“So many of the leaders in the BBA are also leaders in the NYSBA,” Miranda said. “You should be proud of the work that Arthur is doing, but some of your other past presidents are also great leaders in our association. Dominick Napolitano is on our Executive Committee now, Manny Romero preceded him and Judge Barry Kamins also served on the Executive Committee.”

Many also expressed appreciation for Aidala, who now has fewer than 50 days remaining as president of the BBA.

“I want to thank Arthur Aidala for a wonderful presidency,” said Justice Knipel. “You’ve been a very dynamic president and have brought in all sorts of luminaries from supreme court justices to TV personalities. We have had a great ride. Thank you.”


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