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Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association does lunch with Judge Knipel

September 14, 2017 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association and president Michele Mirman continued its Lunch with a Judge series on Tuesday when they sat with Justice Lawrence Knipel, administrative judge of Brooklyn Supreme Court, Civil Term. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese

The Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association (BWBA) continued its popular Lunch with a Judge series with Justice Lawrence Knipel, the administrative judge for the Brooklyn Supreme Court, Civil Term, in Downtown Brooklyn on Tuesday.

The BWBA holds similar events regularly and it gives their members a chance to get to know various judges in the borough in a less formal atmosphere than typical. Judges will often share part of their background, explain how they got to the bench and offer advice to BWBA members.

On Tuesday, Knipel, who runs the Supreme Court, Civil Term, spoke about what’s going on in the courtroom and discussed how things can be improved.

“Justice Knipel has a great history as a Supreme Court judge here in Brooklyn,” said Michele Mirman, president of the BWBA. “He’s won numerous awards, including from us, and he’s been a true innovator. What we like about him most, though, is that he’s willing to listen.

“If you have something to say, or if we have concerns about something happening in the court, he’s always willing to listen to us as practitioners and is willing to welcome anyone with a problem into his chambers,” Mirman continued.

In his update about the court, Knipel explained that it is the busiest Supreme Court in the state with approximately 46,000 cases pending at any given time, and explained that’s about 15,000 more cases than the next busiest court.

Knipel also explained that while many courts across the state are experiencing a decline in jury trials, Brooklyn Supreme Court has seen a rise from 611 jury trials in 2015 to more than 900 in 2016. He said that they will have at least 900 again this year.

The average wait for those trials is about eight or nine months after the trial has had a notice of issue. Recently, the court has instituted a new program to track these trials to make sure that they are ready in a reasonable time.

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“We’re trying to move things along,” Knipel explained. “We’re instituting a new program and so far, it’s been a fantastic improvement from just a year ago.”

Knipel also mentioned that the court recently hired four new clerks and expects to hire two more by November.

The next Lunch with a Judge event hasn’t been schedule yet, but BWBA holds them regularly throughout the year. BWBA does have two continuing legal education (CLE) seminars scheduled and a membership party, which will be held at Borough Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 5:30 p.m.

The two CLEs follow a similar theme to one the BWBA held during August on how women can close the pay gap. On Sept. 18, BWBA will host a financial wellness CLE and on Thursday, Nov. 9 it will cover long-term investing. See http://brooklynwomensbar.org/ for more information on these events.

“Women lawyers make on average about 83 cents per every dollar that a male attorney will make, so I’ve made it my mission to combat that,” Mirman said.

 

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