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What Happens in Vegas: Brooklynites travel with Richmond County Bar Association

November 29, 2016 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Richmond County Bar Association (RCBA) brought along members of the Brooklyn legal community during a weekend trip to Las Vegas for a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) session from Nov. 10-13. Pictured from left are three of the CLE lecturers: Vito Cannavo, RCBA President Christopher Caputo and Mario Romano. Photo courtesy of the Richmond County Bar Association

The Richmond County Bar Association (RCBA) was in Las Vegas from Nov. 10-13 for its sixth annual Continuing Legal Education (CLE) trip to Sin City where it was joined by members of the Brooklyn legal community.

“We are proud to have had over 50 people attend the seminar this year,” said Richmond County Bar Association (RCBA) President Christopher Caputo. “This was our sixth year and the numbers keep growing every year because Brooklyn and the Columbian Lawyers send a bigger group each year.”

Most of the members traveling with the group made it to Vegas Nov. 10. That evening, there was a reception dinner. On Nov. 11, the group met for a CLE meeting from noon until 5 p.m. Following the CLE, the RCBA met again that night for dinner, and Nov. 12 was free for members to have fun roaming the city.

“It’s always nice to be able to get away from the courtroom setting and get a chance to fraternize with your fellow attorneys, colleagues and event judges in a setting that is not adversarial,” Caputo said. “When you spend time with people in a more relaxed atmosphere, I find that it can really help the relationship grow, and that carries over into your professional appearances with these people.”

Caputo, who is a member of the Columbian Lawyers of Brooklyn, was one of four CLE speakers during the event. His topic — appropriately — was ethics. Other speakers included Toni Ann Barone, who spoke on the jurisdiction of the Surrogate’s Court; Vito Cannavo, who spoke on NYPD and FDNY liability under the general municipal law; and Mario Romano, who spoke on Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) basics.

Caputo said that Romano’s lecture “To Blow or Not to Blow” was both highly informative and the most fun lecture of the day. Romano had a breathalyzer handy during the lecture and had three volunteers, each of whom had a predetermined number of drinks, test out the equipment so the audience could get a better understanding of how the process works.

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“I wanted to give DWI basics to the civil practitioners so that they know what to do when they get that call from a client in the middle of the night,” Romano said. “The point of the lecture is give them a few scenarios and to tell them how to advice their clients in each one. Under most circumstances, if it is your first time arrested for DWI, it’s better to blow a 0.20 — more than double the legal limit — than to refuse to take the test.”

“It gives a firsthand look at the factors that go into a BAC [Blood Alcohol Content] test — the amount of food you eat, the amount of time, your height, weight, all these different aspects, and we got to see it in a comfortable setting when nobody is driving,” Caputo said.

Caputo said that the trip was considered a success and that the group is already in the very early stages of planning to go back for a seventh visit next year.

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