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Christopher Wright installed as new president of the Brooklyn Criminal Bar

January 29, 2019 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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The Kings County Criminal Bar Association officially has a new leader after Christopher Wright was sworn in as president during an installation ceremony at the Brooklyn Bar Association on Thursday.

Wright was sworn in by Hon. Matthew D’Emic, the administrative judge for the Brooklyn Supreme Court, Criminal Term, along with Darren Fields as executive vice president, Paul Hirsch as treasurer and Allana Alexander as secretary. Arthur Aidala, Wayne Bodden, Michael Hueston and Estelle Roond remain as vice presidents.

The new members of the board of directors were also installed. The new directors include Nicole Bellina, Michael Jaccarino and Queenie Paniagua.

Paul Hirsch (left) and Darren Fields are among the officers and directors installed.

“To me it’s a thrill that the finest criminal practitioners in the city elected me as their president for this wonderful organization,” said Wright. “I’m beyond ecstatic. I want to say that I look forward to working with Darren Fields, Allana Alexander and Paul Hirsch.”

Immediately after he was sworn in, Wright took a moment to talk about the contributions of the immediate past president, Michael Cibella, as well as the two previous presidents before him, Michael Farkas and Jay Schwitzman, for being the leaders who turned the organization around.

“I want to say a huge thank you to Cibella, Farkas and Jay Schwitzman,” Wright said. “Starting with Jay six years ago, they turned this ship around and have all done a phenomenal job. It will be particularly hard to fill Cibella’s shoes as he did such an awesome job and did it with grace, pinasch and style. Ben fatto I complimenti, signore Cibella.”

Estelle J. Roond being sworn in as vice president.

Wright explained that he’s not “looking to reinvent the wheel” and that he’s going to stick to the events and programs set up by his three predecessors. In particular, he mentioned that he’s working on plans for the annual dinner dance at Giando’s On The Water on April 13, a continuing legal education seminar hosted during a Yankees/Mets game on June 11, the summer party, the golf outing — and he’s even started on next year’s holiday party.

“It’s a lot to do, and Lord knows how my private practice will survive,” Wright joked.

Wright is the first former Legal Aid attorney to lead the association, but in his speech he talked about the importance of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office under Eric Gonzalez and the borough’s “strong independent judiciary.”

“If you walk into other courtrooms around the city and it can feel rigged that the judge and DA are on the same page, but that’s not the experience here in Brooklyn,” Wright said. “It’s truly an independent judiciary here in Brooklyn. They make us better attorneys.

“This organization brings together all of the pieces of the criminal justice system,” Wright continued. “It has collegiality. It’s not contradictory to zealousness. This organization and practice in Brooklyn makes the best attorneys in New York City. If you make your bones here and go anywhere else you will kick butt.”

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