Law Secretaries Association honors Administrative Judge Lawrence Knipel
The Association of Law Secretaries to the Justices of the Supreme and Surrogate’s Courts of New York City honored Justice Lawrence Knipel and three others during its annual dinner at Battery Gardens in Manhattan on Tuesday night.
Knipel, administrative judge for the NYS Supreme Court, Kings County, Civil Term, was honored along with his Manhattan counterpart Administrative Judge Peter H. Moulton, Richard Lazarus, a former president of the organization, and Dina Kolker.
“The role of a law secretary is crucial to the wheels of justice,” said President Abigail Shvartsman. “We should be proud of our role in the judiciary. I know that I am. I am proud to look out into this crowd and call you my colleagues and friends.”
Shvartsman also recognized Julia Herd and Lauren Boyle for their contributions to the association.
Before the event officially got underway, Shvartsman held a moment of silence for Joseph L. Forstadt, a former member who passed away on March 23, 2017, and Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, a past honoree.
Knipel and Moulton both received the William Goodstein Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Court. Knipel was introduced by Shvartsman, who praised Knipel for his leadership in Brooklyn.
“Justice Knipel is known for his efficiency, professional demeanor and his ability to learn from everyone,” Shvartsman said. “Of course, his most prestigious accomplishment to date is that he was a law secretary to Judge Martin Schneier and to Judge Jules Spodek. I’ve had firsthand experience to Judge Knipel’s administration, as I work in Kings County, and it is my absolute pleasure to present him with this award tonight.”
Knipel called his 11 years as a law secretary some of the best years of his life and thanked the organization for the work it does.
“I think this is a marvelous thing that has developed here and is so obviously successful,” Knipel said. “It’s wonderful to have an association to help with this and all of the other issues that come up. You know you always have a friend in me because I understand the important work that you all do. We need you to make us look good and that’s why there is such a strong bond between a judge and their law secretary.”
Moulton, who was introduced by Michael Saks, talked about how great it was to be recognized alongside such distinguished honorees. Then described how his own experience as a law secretary set the tone for his entire career.
“I was a law clerk to Justice Leland DeGrasse for seven years and it was a great job. He instilled in me a sense of mission. You need a sense of mission to be a law secretary because it’s an important job, but one without much recognition. For most of the world, the work of a law secretary is hidden.”
Lazarus was presented with the Faith O’Neal Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Association by Judge Darrell L. Gavrin. Kolker was given the Joseph L. Forstadt Award by Burt Lipshie, who explained about the awards namesake.
“Even though it says Joseph L. Forstadt Award, it is now the Joseph L. Forstadt Memorial Award,” Lipshie said. Forstadt died in March.
“I’ve never had to balance work and family because I have lots of families — I have my Stroock & Stroock & Lavan family, I have my home family, and, thanks to Joe Forstadt, I now have my court family, the law secretary associations and the judge associations that I work with,” Kolker said.
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