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Lombardi-Bodnar succeeds Hon. Hinds-Radix as Kings County Inn of Court president

Chuck Otey's Pro Bono Barrister

July 23, 2018 By Charles F. Otey, Esq. Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix passed the Kings County Inn of Court gavel to trial lawyer Victoria Lombardi-Bodnar recently. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
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Top Trial Lawyer Presides as Inn Enters its 18th Year


As Appellate Division Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix passed the Kings County Inn of Court gavel to trial lawyer Victoria Lombardi-Bodnar recently, she marked another successful year for the organization, which was created 18 years ago to promote traditions of professionalism and collegiality that evolved from the ancient London Inns of Court more than 800 years ago.

The Kings Inn was inspired by a strong and effective campaign led by then-Chief Justice Warren Burger to bring the London Inns to the U.S. Some American Inns joined his endeavor after an American Bar Association (ABA) convention held in London in 1985 — and attended by 25,000 American lawyers — when some had the opportunity to learn more about the Inns and their contributions to the legal profession.

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Based on her past performance on both the legal and dramatic sides (Inn members often depict actual characters), highly regarded trial attorney Lombardi-Bodnar has skills that will serve Inn members well as the various pupilage units rehearse for their CLE-accredited presentations over the next eight months.

The new Inn president is currently a principal at Silverson, Pareres & Lombardi, LLP. After graduating magna cum from Boston University, Lombardi-Bodnar earned her J.D. from Hofstra University Law School and promptly began her successful career in medical malpractice and general liability defense at Goldfarb & Bate. She journeyed next to Kopff, Nardelli and Dopf, where she became a partner.

In 1999, she became a named partner in Silverson, Pareres & Lombardi and joined the ranks of New York’s leading medical malpractice defense attorneys. 


Lombardi-Bodnar in High Demand on Medical Malpractice Lecture Circuit

Because of her well-earned reputation for trying — and winning — complicated brain injury and other challenging cases, she’s been asked to lecture by the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, New York State Bar Association and the Metropolitan Women’s Bar Association.

She was president of the Metropolitan Women’s Bar Association from 1997 through 1999 and later became chair of the board.

Lombardi-Bodnar’s elevation to the Kings County Nathan R. Sobel Inn of Court comes at a long-awaited time when women have been able to succeed and excel exclusively through their legal skills.

Bay Ridge Attorney Worked with Justice Burger’s Inn Program

Actually, late Bay Ridge lawyer Harry G. English was part of the movement to establish an Inn here and served on Justice Burger’s board. In keeping with Burger’s agenda, English — a former president of the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association — led a sizable retinue of local barristers to the ABA convention in London, where they spent time with the London Inn leadership, enjoying dinner and the pleasure of witnessing a mock trial performed for their benefit.

Upon returning to Brooklyn, English provided Burger with what he termed “a full and glowing report of our Inn experience” in London.  

“We are blessed with many excellent legal associations, but we hoped to build a program that would help inculcate closer working relationships among the bench and the bar, such as those that defined the English Inns of Court,” Hon. Gerard Rosenberg (ret.) explained. “That’s why our sessions feature dinners and other gatherings, where especially young attorneys can have meaningful discourse with members of the judiciary as well as fellow barristers.

“In addition, we followed the ancient Inns in setting up pupilage units that would each be responsible for effectively — and often dramatically — presenting skits featuring actual courtroom scenes in significant illustrative cases.”

Other Inn founders included Justice Marsha Steinhardt and former Justices Edward Rappaport and Abe Gerges.


Our Women Lawyers Are Showing the Way

Today, with more women than men graduating law school, many lawyers can’t recall a time when one could stroll down a courtroom corridor — say, at 360 Adams St. — and just about all the women to be seen were plaintiffs and witnesses.

Veteran trial lawyers like Mark Longo, George Neil Forman and Tom Moore, whose wife Judy Livingston is one of the state’s top trial lawyers, can all remember a time when women lawyers were the courtroom exception, not the rule. Today, as Moore will admit, “They rule!”

At a time like this, it’s informative to constantly view the achievements of women who have penetrated and shattered the deservedly maligned glass ceiling and hold within their grasp the talent and ability to protect the rule of law that is under unprecedented assault. So, we are proud to point out the achievements of women lawyers whom most of us know, starting, as we have, with new Inn President Lombardi-Bodnar.

To name just a few others:  Hon. Lillian Wan, recently serving here in the Family Court, was named as the first Asian-American woman on the Court of Claims. Then there’s Angelicque Moreno, who has gained deserved notice in the Kings County Inns of Court for her performances in the Inn’s illustrative mock trials, notably as Lil’ Bo Peep. She’s the president-elect of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers. Special mention is always in order for Hinds-Radix, a former chief administrative judge who ascended to the Appellate Division and whose leadership in the Kings Inn and other important bar associations has been outstanding and very well-received. 


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