Anthony Lamberti sworn in as president of the Brooklyn Bar Association
New Task Force on Equal Access to Justice announced
The Brooklyn Bar Association held its first-ever Zoom installation on Wednesday where Justice John Levelthal installed its new president, Anthony Lamberti, and its officers and trustees.
“I’m gratified that the Brooklyn Bar Association is embracing state of the art of technology to continue our annual traditions,” said past president Greg Cerchione, who served as master of ceremonies for the installation.
“You learned the law alongside two of the most respected jurists in the Brooklyn Supreme Court, Justice Sebastian Leone and Justice Leonard Skolnik,” Cerchione continued. “You have earned a reputation in our community as a skillful and well respected advocate in elder law and guardianship and most importantly as a consummate professional and gentleman.”
The entire ceremony lasted about 45 minutes as court officer Sgt. Jessica Hernandez sang the national anthem and Monsignor Jaime Gigantiello performed the invocation. Justice Barry Kamins, chief of public safety in the courts, Michael Magliano and Borough President Eric Adams each gave brief remarks.
“It would be an understatement to say that Anthony is taking over at a time of great uncertainty in our legal profession and not to mention most aspects of our society,” Kamins said. “We are so grateful to Frank Carone, who was our fabulous president at the time the pandemic hit and led us through some very difficult months. In times like these the Bar Association needs someone at the top with an extremely steady hand and I cannot think of a person better to do this than Anthony Lamberti.”
Lamberti has a legal career that goes back over 30 years and started when he was a court officer and going to night classes at Brooklyn Law School. Chief Magliano shared the story of Lamberti’s first day on the job, when he had to keep a defendant from jumping out of a courthouse window.
“What should have been a routine sentencing wasn’t so routine,” Magliano said. “[The defendant] decided he didn’t want to be sentenced, jumped on the defense counsel’s table and took a running leap for the window. With two other officers in hot pursuit, your president was soon thereafter … That story is told to our recruits in our academy that you should be prepared on day one.”
Prior to the ceremony, Justice Leventhal shared some stories about Lamberti, including the fact that he was a John Jay College of Criminal Justice alumnus of the year and is in the school’s athletic hall of fame for being an all-conference baseball player with a career batting average of over .400 with 100 runs scored.
“Chief Mag, apparently he was a very fast runner at one time,” Justice Leventhal joked. “That’s how he caught that defendant who was running out the window.”
Justice Leventhal then installed Lamberti, as well as new officers Armena Gayle, the president-elect; Richard Klass, the first vice president; Joseph Rosato, the second vice president; Anthony Vaughn Jr., the secretary; and Christina Golkin, the new treasurer.
The new trustees who were installed included Imran Ansari, Grace Borrino, Andrea Caruso, Jason Friedman, Dewey Golkin, Daniel Miller and Joy Thompson, who also serves as president of the Women’s Bar Association for the State of New York.
After the ceremony was over, Lamberti thanked everyone who spoke, including Greg Cerhione and outgoing president Frank Carone, his family and everyone who helped him to attain his position.
Lamberti then changed topics to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing protests that have been happening in Brooklyn and across the country against police brutality. Lamberti also announced the creation of the Brooklyn Bar Association Task Force on Equal Access to Justice, which will be co-chaired by Justice Kamins, the former administrative judge of the Supreme Court, Criminal Term, and Anthony Vaughn.
“The pandemic has significantly altered our practices and how we’re representing clients,” Lamberti said. “I was fortunate enough to go to a meeting with the administrative judges on Zoom. We’re all working cooperatively with the clerks, the judges, Hon. George Silver and the court staff to ensure that we can safely return to the court and that it would be safe for everybody.
“More importantly, the death of George Floyd has brought the issue of police/community relations, improper police conduct, and distrust of the police and governmental institutions by segments of our population to the forefront,” Lamberti continued.
“[The mandate of the Task Force on Equal Access to Justice] is to look at police practices, procedures, comment on and propose legislation, advocate for legislative changes and to conduct educational and town hall meetings in our auditorium, if possible, to educate the public and get dialogue from elected officials on these issues,” he said.