Arthur Aidala holds final meeting as Brooklyn Bar President
In his last act as president of the Brooklyn Bar Association (BBA), Arthur Aidala honored 13 people, including court officer Capt. James C. Campbell with the president’s award, during the BBA’s Annual Meeting this past Thursday. The event was held at the bar association building on Remsen Street.
“Good evening, everybody. My name is Arthur Aidala, and I am the proud 100th president of the Brooklyn Bar Association,” Aidala said for the last time within the halls of the bar association headquarters. “One of the duties that I was fortunate enough to perform as president is to be able to choose this evening’s awards.”
Capt. Campbell was given the Hon. Nathan R. Sobel Award. Also honored that evening was Andrew M. Fallek with the Freda S. Nisnewitz Award for Pro Bono Service, as well as Christina Golkin, Robert Abruzzese and Rabbi Seth Wax with Distinguished Service Awards.
Armena D. Gayle, who has been elected to be the BBA’s next treasurer, was recognized as a retiring trustee. Domenick Napoletano, Andrew Bokser, RoseAnn C. Branda, Joseph R. Costello, Joseph H. Dirks, Doron Leiby and Aimee L. Richter were also given Certificates of Recognition by the BBA on behalf of the NYS Unified Court System, Office of Court Administration, for their work in Part 137, the attorney/client fee arbitration part.
“Part 137 is basically a voluntary position, a thankless position, where lawyers volunteer when a client is complaining about a legal fee,” Aidala explained. “This is just a little token of our appreciation for your hard, thankless work.”
Each of the honorees was recognized as someone who set out to complete a particular mission and accomplished that task. Campbell, for instance, helped to create the NYS Court Officers Ceremonial Unit, as well as the NYS Court Officers Special Response Team.
“The way we have all of the flags and the ‘Pomp and Circumstances’ at every event [now] was because of him,” Aidala said. “When [BBA Executive Director Avery Okin] told me I could give a president’s award, there was no other name that came into my head considering what [he’s] done for our legal community.”
Fallek received the Freda S. Nisnewitz Award for his work in helping to create the Lunchtime Assistance Program. The program helps pro se litigants navigate the system.
“About three years ago, Judge Yvonne Lewis called me to a meeting with the Kings County Supreme Court Library and told me the library [was] having a big problem because pro se people were crowding the library and monopolizing all of the clerks’ time,” Fallek said. “She asked me if the Brooklyn Bar could help out. So I did a little research and I realized that the best thing I could do to help the library would be to help these people.”
Golkin was honored for creating and becoming the chairperson of the BBA’s first permanent LGBTQ committee. “She came in, she said she wanted to form the committee, she took the bull by the horns and did it,” Aidala said of Golkin. “They’ve had several positive events already, and I think it was the genesis of something that will continue on for many years to come.”
Rabbi Wax was honored for his work with the Brooklyn Brandeis Society, including its regular “Tuesday with Talmud” class that is co-sponsored by the BBA.
The BBA also voted on its officers for the next year and unanimously approved Hon. Frank Seddio as its next president. Aimee L. Richter is now officially president-elect, David M. Chidekel is first vice president, Frank V. Carone is the second vice president, Anthony J. Lamberti is secretary and Armena D. Gayle is the treasurer.
The new class of trustees for 2019 includes Elaine N. Avery, David J. Hernandez, Adam Kalish, Richard Klass, Deborah Lashley, Joseph S. Rosato and Pauline Young.
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