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Brooklyn’s outstanding ‘Women in Law: Champions of Justice’ to be honored Oct. 22

Pro Bono Barrister

September 26, 2019 By Chuck Otey
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When considering Brooklyn female lawyers who deserve to be called “champions of justice,” many immediately envision someone like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

True, she’s a Brooklynite, through and through; she’s brilliant and courageous.

Justice Ginsburg is an international figure, so who are the more local champions?

Among the leading ladies of justice in the public eye, of course, one of the most notable and visible has been former Kings County Supreme Court Justice Patricia DiMango.

Hon. DiMango cleaned up the congested Bronx Criminal Court calendar in Herculean fashion when many – mostly men – had earlier failed to accomplish the task. Now she’s a nationwide star in the legal firmament thanks to her superb performance on television’s “Hot Bench.”

All of this qualifies her to be the keynote speaker at the Brookyn Eagle’s “Women in Law: Champions of Justice” reception set for Oct. 22 at the Water Club on Manhattan’s east side.

This groundbreaking event will cite “women in leadership in law and administration” in the Brooklyn courts, a well-placed source informs us.

Likely to become an annual celebration, the Water Club will host a cocktail hour starting at 6 p.m. with dinner running until 9 p.m., including a star-studded awards presentation.

Who are the attorneys who will share the spotlight as the Eagle’s 2019 class of female champions of justice? Stay tuned! 

For tickets and other information, contact Alice Peters at (718) 643-9099 ext. 107 or [email protected].

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(Columnist’s Note: In carrying out our mission to “tell about the good that lawyers do,” we often call upon former Brooklyn Law School Dean Nick Allard for his valued comments and observations pertaining to the rule of law and the well-being of the bar. Here are some of his most recent and timely comments.)

Former Brooklyn Law School Dean Nicholas Allard.
Eagle file photo

Are we at risk of falling ‘into a dark dystopian world dominated by power, violence, privilege, immorality and serendipitous happenstance?’

“Long ago, Archimedes said, ‘Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough and I will move the world.’ The ancient Greek scientist, mathematician and inventor was talking about his discovery of the mechanics of moving heavy objects with small forces.

“His vivid words about the laws of physics also are an apt description about how, throughout history, law has been a great lever advancing society on a long upward arc of progress. Lawyers standing on the firm ground of truth and facts have moved society forward toward justice, equality and freedom. Yet much work remains to be done. 

“For starters, 21st century lawyers will still need to continue to fulfill their public duty in the service of others to deliver the promise of the Constitution to ‘form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

“We live at a time when our free democratic, civilized way of life based on law and justice faces severe threats on many fronts. Good, socially responsible lawyers are needed as much as ever to protect people and society from harm and find new solutions to old problems.

“All across America and throughout the world, people are fighting over nothing less than the future of democracy, the future of humanity. We are involved, for example, in historic battles over democracy, individual rights and liberties, globalism and the environment and the rule of law. 

“The outcomes of these struggles will determine whether the fundamental values, norms and institutions that have been vital to empowering people and improving the human condition will continue to evolve and endure. 

“If not, instead we could fall into a dark dystopian world dominated by power, violence, privilege, immorality and serendipitous happenstance. Soon we also will learn whether we can discover the way and the will to stop poisoning our air and water and burying the living earth and sea under our garbage.

“It is neither grandiose nor new to expect lawyers to deal with such large contemporary challenges. Lawyers can advance the public interest in myriad roles: as architects of economic opportunity, peacemakers at home and abroad, builders of bridges over chasms of differences no matter how wide and deep, and defenders of liberty and equal justice for all. Legal training historically also has been one of the most useful paths for participating in politics and governance. 

“Newly minted and aspiring lawyers can be encouraged not to be overwhelmed as they face daunting, but not insurmountable, challenges. There are many reminders of the epic role that law has played in saving mankind from its worst nightmares, and how law helps our dreams and ambitions come true. 

“In this vein, young lawyers are taught, for example, of the women’s suffrage movement that led to the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote 100 years ago, the Nuremburg trials after World War II that began to hold the villains of the Holocaust accountable for their crimes against the human race, the genesis of the idea that every person is entitled to four freedoms that ultimately was included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations, and the judicial and legislative stepping stones of the movements that have so far brought us closer to the still not fully realized goals of racial and social justice.

“Obviously, the work of lawyers making good use of the great lever of law is unfinished. Discrimination of all sorts against those who are different persists while the benefits of equal justice under the rule of law still have not been extended universally. 

“And so, the cause endures.” 

— Nicholas W. Allard

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For the balance of Allard’s article, go to www.nationaljurist.com/national-jurist-magazine/commentary-law-great-lever-progress.


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