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Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn looks to return to regular meetings on Zoom

September 16, 2020 Rob Abruzzese

After the COVID-19 pandemic hit New York City, the Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn, like many other bar associations, was forced to cancel a handful of planned events and to resume meetings through video conferencing.

Immediate past President Susanne Gennusa kept the group together virtually and reintroduced the bar association’s newsletter to provide regular updates about the group and the legal community.

On Tuesday, current President Christopher Caputo addressed the bar association through that newsletter for the first time as president and promised that it would begin having regular monthly continuing legal education seminars over Zoom — the first time the association will host a CLE since March.

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“COVID-19 has exacted a tremendous toll on our lives, both personally and professionally,” Caputo said. “It has caused disruption and destruction both here in the United States as well as in our family’s homeland of Italy. But to coin a popular phrase, we are ‘Columbian Strong!’”

Caputo recalled his ceremony and explained the ways that some of the association’s members, like Gennusa, Executive Director Steven Bamundo and Executive Secretary Lucy DiSalvo, are pitching in from behind the scenes.

“It’s evident through the involvement of our past presidents and specifically the stewardship of our immediate past President Susanne Gennusa, who steered our Columbian ship safely and ably through the waters of this pandemic, and it will continue with the help of our impressive slate of officers and directors who pledged to serve us at our installation ceremony.

Immediate past President Susanne Gennusa with current Brooklyn Bar Association President Anthony Lamberti at the Columbian Lawyers Association’s most recent in-person meeting in March.

“With the unparalleled help of our invaluable Executive Secretary Lucy Di Salvo, I anticipate that we will not only adapt to but will actually embrace new technology platforms such as Zoom to continue with the business of the association,” Caputo went on to say. “That business includes our monthly CLE meetings, which help support our stated goals to associate our members together for mutual benefit, to foster advancement of the professional and technical skills of our members, and to encourage association among the members for the mutual exchange of knowledge and experience.”

Caputo appealed to members to make an effort to recruit new attorneys for the association, particularly recent law school graduates who have been placed in the unenviable position of being the first ever to take the bar exam online.

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“There are many selling points for our organization including, but not limited to, networking opportunities with both the bench and the bar and quality CLE presentations, but I suggest that the most recognizable inducements to join are the genuine smiles and laughter consistently exhibited by our membership,” Caputo said.

Caputo didn’t give an exact date yet for when CLE meetings would resume or who the first speaker would be. For years, the Columbian Lawyers typically met on the first Tuesday of the month at the Rex Manor. The association’s last in-person meeting was on Wednesday, March 10, when Anthony Lamberti, president of the Brooklyn Bar Association, was the guest lecturer.


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