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Kings County Criminal Bar Association honors Justice Dineen Riviezzo, three others

April 26, 2018 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Kings County Criminal Bar Association honored four people during its annual dinner dance at Giando on the Water on Saturday. Pictured from the left are honorees: Hon. Dineen A. Riviezzo, Danielle V. Eaddy, KCCBA President Michael Cibella, Siobhan Shea-Gillespie and Stuart D. Rubin. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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The Kings County Criminal Bar Association honored four, including Justice Dineen Riviezzo, during its annual awards dinner that was held at Giando on the Water in Williamsburg on Saturday.

“It’s been a big year here in Kings County for the Criminal Bar Association,” said association President Michael Cibella. “We elected a board member as the new district attorney, Eric Gonzalez and we had another board member, Ellen Edwards, elected to the bench and is sitting in criminal court.”

Riviezzo received the Gustin L. Reichbach Judicial Recognition Award. The other honorees included Siobhan Shea-Gillespie, the case management coordinator at Brooklyn Supreme Court, who got the Non-Judicial Court Employee Award; Danielle V. Eaddy, chief of the grey zone trial bureau at the Brooklyn DA’s Office; and Stuart D. Rubin, a senior staff attorney with Brooklyn Defender Services.

George Sheinberg and Hon. William Miller were also recognized for their career achievements which have each spanned more than 50 years.

Riviezzo has presided over the Youth Part at the Brooklyn Supreme Court since New York State began to implement its Raise the Age legislation that treats kids age 16 and 17 as children rather than adults in court. She has been helping attorneys on both sides of the criminal justice world navigate the often confusing changes to the law.

“It’s not just the youth part,” said Cibella. “She’s not just handling cases of kids stealing cell phones. There are homicides, DNA hearings, she’s rolling up her sleeves and handling some of the most serious and deadly cases in our system. She does it with grace and such care of what is before her because she knows the decisions she makes impacts people’s lives.”

Riviezzo thanked her family and everyone involved with her court part. She also took a moment to remember Judge Elizabeth Foley, who passed away this past January after a battle with leukemia.

“Judge Foley and I began this incredible judicial journey together 12 years ago,” Riviezzo said.

When presenting Shea-Gillespie with her award, Cibella explained the vital role that court clerks have in keeping the courthouse running smoothly and explained why she is one of the best. Shea-Gillespie thanked the people she worked with and mentors who encouraged her to become a court clerk after she started as a court officer.

Eaddy, a former defense attorney, was a board member of the group before she went back to work at the Brooklyn DA’s Office a couple of years ago. She had many people to thank in her speech, but afterward she issued them all a challenge.

“Having been both a prosecutor and defense attorney, I feel that there are true believers on both sides,” Eaddy said. “I would ask everyone to stop and take a look at the other side. If you are a prosecutor, you may see a very strident defense attorney, but they are literally fighting for someone’s life. You have to understand that. If you see a prosecutor, remember they are trying to do justice. If you are a judge, try to mentor from the bench.”

Finally, Rubin was introduced by Cibella as a highly regarded criminal defense attorney, who three years ago went to work for the Brooklyn Defender Services after 30 years as a defense attorney.

“With an acquittal rate of 67 percent, two out of every three cases he tried, his client walked out of the courtroom with him,” Cibella said. “That’s outstanding. That’s not just at the trial level. It’s at the appeals level. We’re one trick ponies, but he tries cases and handles appeals, and wins them.”

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