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Columbian Lawyers venture to Staten Island to hear Justice Aliotta Speak on guardianships

January 10, 2019 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle

The Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn held its monthly meeting in Staten Island on Tuesday where Supreme Court Justice Thomas Aliotta was the guest speaker.

Members of the Columbian Lawyers, for the most part, live and work in and around Brooklyn. However, many of its members also live or practice in Staten Island. As a result, the association routinely hosts one meeting each year in that island borough.

“Because we do have so many members who either live or practice in Staten Island, this has become an annual tradition of sorts,” said Joe Rosato, president of the Columbian Lawyers.

“It’s usually in January, and we use it as an excuse to ask someone from there to be our guest speaker.”

Justice Thomas Aliotta, who sits in the Richmond County Supreme Court and the Appellate Term, Second Department, Second and Eleventh Judicial Districts, handles the city calendar as well as the guardianship calendar. At Tuesday’s meeting, he discussed some of the more recent updates in Guardianship practice.

“Judge Aliotta led a really informed discussion on practical approaches to handling guardianship cases,” Rosato said. “He really stressed how these cases can affect the families involved and how important the courts are to helping families solve real life issues when they are in need.

Justice Aliotta is an active member of the Columbian Lawyers of Brooklyn. Rosato explained that it makes his job as president easier to have so many esteemed members to present continuing legal education seminars so they don’t have to go outside of the association for speakers on such complex topics.

“The area of guardianship law is constantly changing and it’s a very important area to our members so it’s a tremendous benefit when we can constantly look to our own members for issues like that and others,” Rosato said. “It’s an invaluable resource that helps our members to really understand those changes in the law so we can better help our clients.”

There was a poignant moment during the meeting when the group took time out to remember a loved and respected member for more than 40 years, Bartholomew M. Verdirame. Dominic Famulari gave a brief memorial for the past president of the organization.

“Dom gave a tremendous speech where he recalled some of his fond memories of Bart’s love and support for the organization,” Rosato said. “We truly suffered a great loss of a wonderful man. In recent years, he had received the St. Thomas Moore Award from the Catholic Lawyers Guild and the Columbian Lawyers gave him the Hon. Anthony J. Cutrona Award, which has only been given out three times.

“Bart was a loving human being who helped each of us in any way he could. He devoted his life to his family and the law,” Rosato continued.