David Chidekel installed as Brooklyn Bar Association president
The Brooklyn Bar Association held a ceremony at the federal courthouse in Downtown Brooklyn on Wednesday, during which it installed David Chidekel as its new president, as well as the other officers and directors.
“How do you measure a very special year like this past one being president of the BBA?” outgoing president Aimee Richter asked. “It seems like I went to 100 events, though it may have been less.
“I was the ninth female president out of 103, I conducted 10 board meetings, we added 92 new members, we had over 800 people at our annual dinner, there was a new award created for Vivian Agress, we had 24 members inducted into the Supreme Court of the United States and for 365 days, I had the honor of leading this organization,” continued Richter, who served as mistress of ceremonies. “Now it’s time to turn it over to our new president, David Chidekel.”
Chidekel was installed by Hon. Dora Irizarry, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The list of people who spoke on his behalf included Hon. Joanne Quinones, Charles Small, Hon. Larry D. Martin, and Hon. Martin P. Murphy.
Other officers who were installed included Frank Carone as president elect, Anthony J. Lamberti as first vice president, Armena D. Gayle as second vice president, Richard Klass as secretary and Joseph S. Rosato as treasurer.
Hon. Barry Kamins introduced the judges and told some jokes and Hon. Miriam Cyrulnik installed the trustees.
Before a string the string of speakers took to the podium, the bar association recognized its “retiring” trustees Fidel F. Del Valle, Glenn Verchick and Anthony W. Vaughn Jr.
Justice Quinones greeted the crowd of nearly 200 judges, lawyers, and Chidekel’s friends and family members by talking about how she met him at multiple bar association events hosted by different groups. She called him a “bar rat” because he goes to so many events, but after admitting that she too is a bar rat, she changed the term to ambassador.
“In getting to know David, I realized that he doesn’t go to all of these bar events because he likes a good party,” Justice Quinones said. “I mean, he loves a good party, but his primary focus was to bring people of all walks of life together for a common goal. He has a sincere desire and will put in the effort to make the Brooklyn Bar Association a more racially and ethnically diverse bar.”
Justice Martin walked up to the podium with a grin and simply asked, “Do you want to hear a story?” Justice Martin proceeded with a tale that he titled, “a Bronx Tale by way of the Battle of Gettysburg.” That story ended with Martin recalling a trial Chidekel that involved a love triangle and an unbeaten assistant district attorney, now Justice Shawndya Simpson.
“It was a tough case for the defense for sure because the people had the facts and law in their favor, but Earnest had David as his attorney,” Justice Martin said. “David gave one of the most brilliant, rousing summations that I’ve ever heard. I asked him about it after the trial and he told me that he honed his summation skills watching Pentecostal ministers in storefront churches in the Bronx. It’s the truth. He was acquitted.
“With a lawyer like David at the helm of this bar association there is no doubt that it will be a successful term,” Justice Martin concluded.
After all of the speeches and the induction of the officers and trustees, Chidekel took to the stage and had a long list of people to thank starting with Hon. Marsha Steinhardt and ending with his wife and family. The South Bronx native then switched to the subject of Brooklyn, a clear inspiration for him.
“Look at Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, the promenade, the views, the architecture. Coney Island where your mind and senses are thrilled and cultivated,” said Chidekel, a former professional musician, who played the conga drums. “Crown Heights is the mix of this incredible culture from the West Indies and the Hasidim. Sunset Park and Borough Park, the mix of the Asian community, the Latin community and the Jewish community. Anything and everything can be found in Brooklyn.
“What is it that makes this bar special?” Chidekel finally asked. “We’re family. We respect each other, learn from each other and teach each other. Together we help each other to achieve that dream. One group helps the other group using the ladder that is Brooklyn. It’s so important to keep this ladder going. This bar association was the first major bar association to have a woman president in Vivian H. Agress. We had the first African-American president of a major bar association in Lynn R. Terrelonge. We might have totally different cultures, but what do we share? Brooklyn.”
ABOVE: From left: Charles Small, chief clerk of the Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term; Hon. Joanne Quinones, acting justice of the Supreme Court; Hon. Larry D. Martin, justice of the Supreme Court; and Hon. Martin P. Murphy, acting justice of the Supreme Court. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
ABOVE: Officers and directors of the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association showed up in full support (from left): Hon. Genine Edwards, Hon. Connie Mallafre Melendez, President Carrie Anne Cavallo, Susan Mauro, Hon. Sylvia G. Ash, Hon. Marsha Steinhardt, Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix, Hon. Joanne Quinones, Natoya McGhie, Joy Thompson and Hon. Theresa Ciccotto. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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