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Brooklyn Supreme Court judges host annual courthouse holiday party

December 14, 2017 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: Hon. Kenneth Sherman, Hon. Lawrence Knipel, Hon. Theresa Ciccotto and Hon. Peter Sweeney. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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The Brooklyn Supreme Court held its annual holiday party last Friday in Downtown Brooklyn’s Surrogate Court, where approximately 300 court employees got together to share lunch and some holiday spirit.

“We’re working in an environment where staffing is down. It’s an incredibly low level, so everyone over the last seven years has been doing more and more work,” said Marc Levine, who helped to organize the party with Justice Wayne Saitta. “Some of us haven’t had a raise since 2010 and it hurts morale. We can’t do anything about that, we can’t give bonuses, but we can host this party to show our support and say thank you.”

The party started at noon and went until about 3 p.m. which allowed court employees, including judges, clerks, court reporters, court officers and interpreters, to stop in as they were able to. People came from courts all over the borough, plus the County Clerk’s Office.

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“The people who make the courts are the clerks, the court officers, the interpreters,” said Surrogate Court Judge Margarita Lopez Torres. “Those are the ones that make it work and make us look good. When I started, it was the clerks who trained me, and the court officers, telling me what to do and what to say. I’m glad that I followed their advice.”

The sponsoring judges paid for most of the event and partygoers only needed to chip in $16 each.

“The places that we got the food from were very generous — the Mac Shack NY, F Monteleone Bakery & Cafe, C & C Catering,” said Levine. “They were generous to us because they knew it was for the Supreme Court. We definitely owe them a debt of gratitude as well.”

The Supreme Court had a longstanding tradition of hosting an annual holiday party. However, due to budget constraints, it went more than 12 years without such a party until Levine took the initiative to organize one for the first time three years ago in nearly a decade.

“Thank you, Marc, for reviving a holiday tradition of having a party,” said Justice Lawrence Knipel, administrative judge for the Supreme Court, Civil Term. “For a dozen or more years we didn’t have one in the court and now we do again thanks to his extracurricular work.”


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