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Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association honors county clerk and founder of Defender Services at annual dinner

June 16, 2017 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association and its President Sara Gozo honored two during the 99th annual dinner including Hon. Nancy T. Sunshine (right). Eagle photos by Mario Belluomo
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The Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association hosted its 99th annual dinner at the Liberty Warehouse in Red Hook on Thursday where it honored a pair of accomplished women from Brooklyn’s legal community and said goodbye to outgoing President Sara J. Gozo. 

“Since my installation on exactly this day one year ago, I have had the distinct honor of serving as the BWBA president,” Gozo said. “It was a great year and I feel that we have all taken the organization to even greater heights including adding over 100 new members to its ranks.”

The honorees included Hon. Nancy T. Sunshine, County Clerk of Kings County, Clerk of the Supreme Court and Commissioner of Jurors, who received the Beatrice M. Judge Recognition Award, and Lisa Schreibersdorf, the founder and executive director of the Brooklyn Defender Services, who got the Sybil Hart Kooper Award.

BWBA also recognized photographer Mario Belluomo and this reporter with plaques and honorary memberships within the organization for coverage during the past year.

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After Gozo presented Sunshine, the first female county clerk in Brooklyn, with her award, Sunshine talked about Beatrice M. Judge, the first female to sit on the bench of Kings County Supreme Court. She also talked about how much still needs to be done to ensure women’s rights.

“It’s really very special to receive an award named after such a distinguished attorney, leader and first justice of the Supreme Court of Kings County,” Sunshine said. “Not only did she make society better for all of us, but because of her perseverance and achievements she opened the door for other women to follow and achieve. We also have to commend the BWBA because they are a strong organization that advocates and supports the advancements of women’s professional achievements.”

Hon. Anne Y. Shields, a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York, presented Schreibersdorf, and joked that after the fifth time introducing Schreibersdorf for an award that she feared she might accidentally introduce her again during her own daughter’s upcoming wedding. 

“Lisa wasn’t like most of us who worked at the St. John’s Law Review,” Shields said. “Most of us thought that big law was our dream job, but not Lisa. She was different and never wavered on what was her dream job — working as a criminal defense attorney for the indigent. Over the course of her career, she continues to fulfill her commitment of serving the legal needs of the most underserved people of our community.” 

Schreibersdorf explained part of her family’s history that included her grandparents, who originated from Hungary, getting involved with helping protecting people from the Nazis while they lived in Paris during World War II and eventually escaping themselves, first to Israel and then to the U.S. “I think you’re starting to see the theme about my family,” she said. 

“My family story and the history make me who I am,” Schreibersdorf said. “I’m not afraid and if I, if we, don’t stand up for immigrants, who will be tortured, starved, raped or face any number of atrocities in their home country — how different is that than the people who didn’t stand up for the Jews, the gypsies, gay people and others who were exterminated for who they were?”


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