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Angelicque Moreno installed as first Latina president of NYS Academy of Trial Lawyers

May 13, 2019 Rob Abruzzese

Brooklyn attorney Angelicque Moreno became the first Hispanic woman to serve as president of the NYS Academy of Trial Lawyers when she was installed as its 15th president during a ceremony at the Issue Project Room in Downtown Brooklyn on Thursday.

“I’m proud to have been president this past year and I’m also very proud to hand the gavel tonight to our next president Angelicque Moreno,” said Francis Letro, the immediate past president of the academy.

Nearly 150 of the state’s top judges and lawyers crowded into the hall to witness as Moreno was sworn in by Hon. George Silver, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for New York City.

Awards, in the form of bobblehead dolls, were also given to two honorees — Hon. Jenny Rivera, associate justice of the NYS Court of Appeals, and Andrea Bonina, a former president of the Brooklyn Bar Association.

“I’m so thrilled about the great relationship our court system has with this organization,” said Justice Silver. “We’ve met several times and through our great ‘Excellence Initiative’ established by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore there is so much great cooperation between the bench and the bar. Angelicque has already shown what a great leader she is going to be and a great advocate for access to justice.”

Prior to being sworn in, Moreno introduced each of the honorees, and presented them with bobbleheads of their likeness, as is the academy’s tradition. Justice Silver noted that the judge conducting the ceremony should also get a bobblehead in the future.

“I’m particularly grateful for this award because I have so much respect for trial lawyers,” Justice Rivera said. “The reality is that you are the ones who really protect people who otherwise would stand naked at the courthouse. They don’t know the law, and they depend on you.”

When Bonina was presented with her award, she said a few quick thank-yous, but then spent the rest of her time talking about the incoming president.

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“When Angelicque walks into a room, it’s like a force field surrounds her that crackles positive energy that says, ‘let’s go, let’s get it done,’” Bonina said. “You are brilliant, you are a great trial lawyer, but most importantly you are kind, thoughtful and you carry yourself with a tremendous amount of integrity. I’m glad that you have been elected to be our leader.”

Prior to being sworn in, the immediate past president Fran Letro read a letter from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

“As the first latina to be selected to this position you have the double honor of holding a prestigious office and representing a landmark in your organization’s history,” read Sotomayor’s letter. “I am always glad to hear the news of increasing diversity in the legal profession and the advancement of a fellow Latina, and Cardinal Spellman alumna hits particularly close to home for me.”

After being sworn in by Justice Silver, Moreno recalled growing up in the projects in the South Bronx and told her listeners how unlikely it was that she would be in that position on Thursday. She explained that the biggest reason for her accomplishments was that her mother always pushed her to become educated.

“My mother would not hear of any such defeatist points of view,” Moreno said. “She would tell me that the passion that I loved to argue with her every day was what I needed to go to law school. My mother made it her mission to see me complete my education.”

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