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Presiding Justice Alan Scheinkman helps Columbian Lawyers say goodbye to Rex

E-filing is coming to the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department

February 13, 2019 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle

The Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn officially said goodbye to the Rex Manor, a place it called home since 1977, where it held its final monthly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

“We’ve called the Rex our home for over 20 years now,” said Hon. Carl Landicino. “It’s second nature for us to come here, listen to [continuing legal education seminars] and break bread with one another. This has become our home.”

The Rex Manor was originally opened as a pizzeria in 1935, after its original owner, Carmine Bartiromo, came from Italy to Brooklyn in 1934. It was named for the S.S. Rex, the ship on which Bartiromo sailed from Italy.

From left: Hon. Carl Landicino, Joseph Rosato, John Kafkalas, Anthony Mazzola and Steven Bamundo.

By the time the current owners purchased the Rex Manor in 1984, it had become a famous catering hall and restaurant in the community. The restaurant closed in 1998, according to the Manor’s website.

At the meeting, Joseph Rosato, president, and Steven Bamundo, executive director, presented the Manor’s owner, John Kafkalas, and general manager Anthony Mazzola with a citation on behalf of the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office to recognize the hall’s impact on the community over the years.

“The first meeting that the Columbian Lawyers had here was in 1977,” Judge Landicino said. “The speaker that day was Dominick Corso. We eventually came back full time in 1996 and have held our monthly dinners here ever since. It’s second nature to us. It’s our tradition; it’s the place we know.”

From left: Steven Bamundo, Gregory Cerchione, Hon. Alan Scheinkman and Joseph Rosato.

For its final meeting in the manor, the Columbian Lawyers got one of the most accomplished judges in Brooklyn as its guest speaker — Hon. Alan Scheinkman, the presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, who spoke about updates to his court, including its planned rollout of e-filing later this year.

Justice Scheinkman was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to his position in January 2018. Previously he served as the administrative judge of the Supreme Court, Ninth Judicial District, and the presiding justice of the Commercial Division of Westchester County. He also served by designation on the NYS Court of Appeals and as an associate justice of the Appellate Term, Ninth and 10th Judicial Districts.

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“Judge, you are a welcome addition to the Brooklyn legal community,” said Rosato. “We’re proud to have you as a part of our Brooklyn family.”

From left: Mark Caruso, Maya Petrocelli, Melanie Wiener and Andrea Caruso.

With nearly 150 members of the Columbian Lawyers Association in attendance, Justice Scheinkman remarked that he was amazed at how healthy and thriving the association is in a time when many bar associations across the country are struggling.

“For whatever reason, the current generation of lawyers are reluctant to join bar associations,” Justice Scheinkman said. “This is the epitome of what a bar association should be. This is an amazing experience.”

The process of fully digitizing the court system using e-filing has been a long and slow process in New York state, but Justice Scheinkman was pleased to report to the group that after the Appellate Division began gradually implementing it in March 2018, the system will finally be required by the Second Judicial Department soon. He didn’t have an exact date for that switch, but he did give attorneys instructions on its operations and was ready to answer questions.

From left: Hon. Frank Seddio, Hon. Loren Baily Schiffman, Hon. Sylvia Ash and Hon. Genine Edwards.

“We have been working very hard with the folks in the Kings County Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, and we are anticipating during 2019 doing e-filing in Kings County,” Justice Scheinkman said. “After a certain date, all of our papers filed in Kings County will have to be filed by electronic means. It will be a phase-in, and it will be rolled out so that whatever date we have, everything after that will be e-file.

“We’re anticipating that the Second Department is going to be the first [department] in the city of New York that will have e-filing,” he continued. “Hopefully this will go well. All of the details of how to do it are in your materials.”

The Columbian Lawyers will next meet at Marco Polo Restaurant on Court Street on Tuesday, March 5. Attorney Michael R. Rossi is scheduled to lecture on alternative dispute resolutions at the meeting.

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