Housing Court Bar Association says goodbye to retiring colleague
Judge Kuzniewski Lectures on Adult Protective Services
The Kings County Housing Court packed Rocco’s Tacos in Downtown Brooklyn on Thursday for its first monthly meeting since the summer break. Many attorneys were on hand to meet a new judge, listen to a lecture from a veteran judge and to say goodbye to a retiring attorney.
“It’s gratifying to see so many people here for this meeting today,” said President Michael Rosenthal. “I’ve been trying to figure out why, and I think it’s one of three reasons, but whatever your reason, I’m glad that you came. Come more often.”
The Housing Court Bar Association meetings, which are typically held on the first Thursday of the month at Rocco’s, are more informal than typical bar association meetings, as no Continuing Legal Education credits are given out. Still, they are useful to attorneys as there is usually a Housing Court judge on hand for a discussion.
This month, it was Judge Jeannine Baer Kuzniewski. She discussed Adult Protective Services (APS) and warrants, admitting to the group that she understands that attorneys struggle to deal with APS and letting them know how the courts are trying to deal with it. She also offered suggestions on what attorneys can do for themselves to make the process easier.
“This is a topic that everyone has been asking about,” Rosenthal said. “So it was perfect that when I asked [the judge] to come speak for us, she said that she had just rendered a decision regarding APS.”
The group also got a chance to meet the newest Housing Court judge, Hon. Daniele Chinea, who was the former court attorney for Hon. Michelle Schreiber. Chinea didn’t have a long speech; she merely introduced herself to the group as a way to get to know some of the attorneys better.
Finally, the big event turned out to be a goodbye for attorney Eliezer Kraus, who is moving to Israel after practicing law in Brooklyn for 28 years.
“Someone asked me why I felt the need for this little goodbye; well, unfortunately, when most of us leave the courthouse, it’s either because we are dying or too sick to come to court,” Rosenthal said. “To have someone leaving the building because they can, because they want to, is a wonderful thing, and we all aspire to do what Eli is doing.”
Kraus explained that he came to the decision with his family nearly a year ago and spent time trying to make plans for the future of his law firm before he finally made an announcement.
“I’m not sure if you are all here because you are happy to see me go or if you want to make sure that I am going,” Kraus said. “After 28 years, you don’t really remember a lot. What I’m going to carry with me is the faces and the smiles. I’m going to miss it.”
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