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Two law clerks named Employees of the Year at Brooklyn Supreme Court

March 29, 2019 Rob Abruzzese
Maria Aragona, president of the Confederation of Columbian Lawyers, and Andrew Wenzel were named Employees of the Year in the Brooklyn Supreme Court. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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The Kings County Supreme Court named two court clerks Employees of the Year during a ceremony in the lobby of the Civil Term courthouse in Downtown Brooklyn on Tuesday.

Maria Aragona, president of the Confederation of Columbian Lawyers and law clerk to Hon. Kenneth Sherman, and Andrew Wenzel, law clerk to Hon. William Harrington, were each given a plaque during a ceremony and their portraits will be hung in the courthouse.

From left: Maria Aragona, Hon. Kenneth Sherman, Hon. Lawrence Knipel, Andrew Wenzel, Hon. William Harrington, Hon. Bernard Graham and Charles Small. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
From left: Maria Aragona, Hon. Kenneth Sherman, Hon. Lawrence Knipel, Andrew Wenzel, Hon. William Harrington, Hon. Bernard Graham and Charles Small. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese

“I just want to thank the committee for the work they put into this,” said Justice Bernard Graham, chair of the Employee of the Year committee. “This is something that is a good part of our quality of life here. We had an exceptional cast of applicants and nominees. We wound up with two of the best employees the court system has in the five boroughs. And I say that without any hyperbole.”

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Aragona is a summa cum laude graduate of St. John’s University and began working at the court as an assistant law clerk with Justice Sherman in 2012. By 2015, she was named principal law clerk.

From left: Hon. Lawrence Knipel, Hon. Donald Kurtz, Hon. Suzanne J. Adams and Hon. Anthony Cannataro. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
From left: Hon. Lawrence Knipel, Hon. Donald Kurtz, Hon. Suzanne J. Adams and Hon. Anthony Cannataro. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese

Aragona is president of the Confederation of Columbian Lawyers for the State of New York, a trustee of the Brooklyn Bar Association, and vice president of both the Catholic Lawyers Guild and the Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn.

“Known for her work in various trial parts, Maria has a well-known reputation throughout the legal community for her ability, work ethic and professionalism,” said Hon. Lawrence Knipel, administrative judge of the Brooklyn Supreme Court, Civil Term. “She also plays a prominent role in numerous local community organizations and bar associations.”

Hon. Bernard Graham unveils portraits of the Employees of the Year that will be hung in their respective courthouses. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
Hon. Bernard Graham unveils portraits of the Employees of the Year that will be hung in their respective courthouses. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese

Justice Sherman joked that he always appreciated having such a good employee but knew that he would eventually have to give a public speech when she was named Employee of the Year.

“Maria refuses to accept the notion that she can’t help everyone,” Justice Sherman said. “There is hardly a person in this courthouse who hasn’t been helped by Maria in one way or another. We have a high calling here to deliver justice to our fellow citizens. Maria has never lost sight of that charge.”

Court employees plus many members of the Columbian Lawyers Association crowded the lobby of the Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term, to watch the Employee of the Year ceremony. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
Court employees plus many members of the Columbian Lawyers Association crowded the lobby of the Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term, to watch the Employee of the Year ceremony. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese

Wenzel worked for the Kings County District Attorney’s Office as an assistant DA and then for the for the Corporation Counsel of the New York City Law Department. Four years ago, he went to clerk for Justice Harrington.

From left: Hon. Lizette Colon, Hon. Gina Levy Abadi, Maria Aragona, Hon. Anthony Cannataro, Hon. Suzanne Adams and Hon. Kenneth Sherman. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
From left: Hon. Lizette Colon, Hon. Gina Levy Abadi, Maria Aragona, Hon. Anthony Cannataro, Hon. Suzanne Adams and Hon. Kenneth Sherman. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese

“Andrew Wenzel stands as a colossus in the legal community. My feeble words are inadequate to describe the enormity of his intellect,” Justice Harrington said. “Not only is he blessed with a keen mind, but his work ethic is unparalleled. As a matter of fact, even though he is bogged down with a lot of work, he insisted on writing this speech for me.

“Seriously, I’ve been a judge for over 15 years and in that time, I have made a lot of decisions, but by far and away the best was hiring Andrew,” Harrington continued. “He has exceeded all of my expectations, he works hard every day and it’s a great comfort to me to know that I can rely on him for legal advice, and know that his conclusions are always sound and well informed.”

From left: Hon. Lara Genovesi, Hon. Marsha Steinhardt and Hon. Pamela Fisher. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
From left: Hon. Lara Genovesi, Hon. Marsha Steinhardt and Hon. Pamela Fisher. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese

Wenzel joked that he was nominated as Employee of the Year because he is the person who hands out the cheesecake that Justice Harrington is known to make on occasion.

“I think there is a misconception that I’m the one who decides who gets the cheesecake,” Wenzel joked. “I’m not. You’re not getting any more cheesecake.”

Hon. Ellen Spodek and Hon. Carl Landicino. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
Hon. Ellen Spodek and Hon. Carl Landicino. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese

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