Kings Inn of Court sets September 25 CLE session

Chuck Otey's Pro Bono Barrister

September 18, 2018 By Charles F. Otey, Esq. Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Photo courtesy of Chuck Otey
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The Kings County American Inn of Court, led by President Victoria Lombardi, will hold its first CLE program on Tuesday, Sept. 25 as it enters its 17th year of service. Among those pictured back when the Inn received its charter are founders then-Justice Gerard Rosenberg (left), then-Justice Ed Rappaport (second from left) and then-Justice Abraham Gerges (far right). Representing the National Inn Board and presenting the charter is Hal Braff (center). The only founder not shown is Justice Marsha Steinhardt. Photo courtesy of Chuck Otey


Bay Ridge Lawyers Set ‘Passing of the Gavel’ Installation for Sept. 26 

When the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association (BRLA), founded in 1954, holds its first regular meeting of the season on Wednesday, Sept. 26, members will observe a tradition of the organization that began more than 50 years ago: the passing of the gavel.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Initially proposed by late President Harry English, the ceremony involves passing the gavel from the oldest (in terms of title) to the youngest president and is part of the installation of officers, which will take place that night when the BRLA gathers at Mama Rao, 6408 11th Ave.

The name of the oldest president in attendance won’t be known until the meeting gets underway, but the evening will see the installation of President Joseph Vasile, who is succeeding outgoing President Margaret Stanton.

Officers assisting the new president include Vice President Maryann K. Stathopoulos, Secretary William Gillen, Treasurer Dominick Famulari and Corresponding Secretary Adam Kalish.


GOP in Congress Holding Back on Trump Until After Mid-Term Elections?

When Paul Manafort, a man connected with corrupt politicians like Vladimir Putin, flipped on President Donald Trump, many wondered why sensible Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham didn’t abandon the sinking Trump ship.

After all, just a few weeks back Graham was at the funeral of longtime friend and ally Sen. John McCain — a true American hero (although Trump prefers heroes “who weren’t captured”) who has been at the forefront in the campaign to label Trump unfit for office. In fact, the very astute Arizona senator had arranged his extended funeral observance in such a way as to diminish the sitting president even further.

Is it a puzzle? Did Graham abandon McCain the day after eulogizing him? That’s arguable, but here’s the hard truth: Trump’s political power may be fractional, but it runs deep and angry, especially in red states when incumbent Republicans know that the president’s endorsement could spell the difference between victory and loss.

Some say that all gloves will be off after the mid-term elections, whether or not the Republicans maintain control of the House and the Senate. They may be right.


Can Lawyer Be Disciplined for Texting While Driving?

The Bencher — a magazine published by the American Inns of Court — recently published a story suggesting that lawyers could face bar sanctions if they engage in “driving while distracted” and bring about an accident involving personal injuries.

In a column titled “Technology in the Practice of Law,” author Richard Hermann inveighs against this growing danger and says that “amendments to the American Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct Comment 8 to Rule 1.1 requires (8) to maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks of technology.

“If there is any risk that can be associated with inattentive driving, it is using an electronic device such as a cell phone or smart watch.”

Hermann’s conclusion, which may stir quite a bit of discussion, warn, “And if a member of the bar is found liable for engaging in this form of distracted driving, the issue should be brought to the attention of disciplinary counsel … We need to step up and be leaders for the sake of our communities, our clients and our families; we need to raise the bar.”

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