Brooklyn Boro

Justice Chambers presides over NYSBA Judicial Section luncheon

February 11, 2019 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Brooklyn Appellate Division Justice Cheryl Chambers presided over the New York State Bar Association’s annual Judicial Section Award Ceremony and Luncheon on Friday, Jan. 19, during the state bar’s annual meeting in New York City.

Justice Chambers, who sits in the Appellate Division, Second Department, and is the presiding member of NYSBA’s Judicial Section, led the luncheon where Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Matthew Diller took part in a half-hour discussion titled “Threats to the Rule of Law and What We Can Do to Counter Them.”

Hon. Cheryl Chambers with Hon. Alan Scheinkman, presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, and Hon. James Murphy. Photo courtesy of the New York State Bar Association

“We are honored to have had as guests two great legal minds to discuss one of the most important issues facing our nation: the preservation of the rule of law,” Justice Chambers said.

A common theme at this annual meeting has been the importance of an independent judiciary and the advancement of fairness, efficiency and justice for all. Bharara fit into this vein perfectly, as he has often spoken about the importance of an independent judiciary.

Hon. Cheryl Chambers (right) and James Murphy (left) present Hon. Elizabeth Garry with an award on behalf of the NYSBA’s Judicial Section. Photo by Cathleen McDonald, Office of Court Administration

“The values of America are being tested,” said Bharara.

“What is at risk?” he continued. “Democracy works on the honor system; there are norms that we adhere to. Unless all people respect the system it’s not going to get very far. Once boundaries are pushed and norms are undermined, democracy is imperiled.”

Bharara pointed out that, with the backdrop of having a U.S. President who is under investigation, people are very interested to hear what lawyers have to say on the situation. “Committed citizens want to understand how things work,” he said.

The Judicial Section’s Distinguished Jurist honoree, Judge Raymond Lohier, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, with Justice Chambers, who presented the award. Photo courtesy of the New York State Bar Association

“Law students are realizing they can make a difference through the law,” Diller said in agreement.

Prior to the Bharara and Diller discussion, Justice Chambers presented Hon. Raymond Lohier, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, with the Distinguished Jurist Award.

She also recognized Hon. Elizabeth Garry, presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Third Department, and Hon. Alan Scheinkman, presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, for their contributions to the bench and bar.

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