Mill Basin

Columbian Lawyers Association shows off Brooklyn’s judicial starpower

December 8, 2022 Rob Abruzzese
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MILL BASIN — Any attorneys looking to meet and connect with the judiciary is missing out on a huge opportunity if they’re not going to Judges Night.

The Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn always has a strong presence of the borough’s judges during its meetings, but none come close to matching the judicial starpower of its annual Judges Night, which took place at El Caribe in Mill Basin on Nov. 30.

Nearly 100 judges from Brooklyn and Staten Island were in attendance for the members-only event. No awards, nor speeches are given. However, each judge is introduced to the crowd so members get an opportunity to learn who each is and which court they work in.

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“The Columbian Lawyers have long known the importance of celebrating service of justices of the state,” said President Salvatore Scibetta. “In the corridors of any courthouse you will find people some of which are there to right a wrong, and what will transpire will dictate their foreseeable future. For many of these people it is the worst time in their lives and they have never had any material interaction with the government before this, but they lay themselves before the court to seek justice, this is where a judge first finds them.

From left: Hon. Heela Capell, Christopher Caputo, Hon. Caroline Piela Cohen, Hon. Saul Stein, and Hon. Richard Montelione. Eagle photo by Mario Belluomo

“In their service they dive into the very life, issue, problem or trouble set before them,” Scibetta continued. “At times that requires an immersion into the most extreme depravity of the human experience and yet these judges choose to serve at a time that matters most to the people before them.

“Having known many of the judges in this room professionally, and many also personally, I can confidently say that these people have sought justice in the right place. And while all of us should know of your sacrifice, both the Columbian lawyers and myself personally want to celebrate you and thank you for tirelessly doing it day in and day out.”

This year it was president-elect Yolanda Guadagnoli who presented the judges. Guadagnoli is active in many local bar associations and showed off great enthusiasm for her new position.

From left: Hon. Richard Montelione, Hon. Cenceria Edwards, Hon. Carolyn Wade, Acting Chief Judge Anthony Cannataro, and Hon. Debra Silber. Eagle photo by Mario Belluomo

“I always knew Yolanda would make a great president and seeing her take the stage today was a confirmation of that,” Scibetta said. “She was able to translate her personality, grace and command into a wonderful evening that embraced the gravity and comradery that this organization is known for.”

Scibetta thanked the judges for attending, especially the unexpected visit from Justice Anthony Cannataro, who is currently serving as Acting Chief Judge for the Court of Appeals and the State of New York.

“We were honored to have the great Justice Anthony Cannataro with us,” Scibetta said. “He is the living embodiment of what it means to be a superb justice.”

Hon. Thomas Aliota (left) and Hon. Donald Kurtz. Eagle photo by Mario Belluomo
From left: Hon. Joseph Maltese, RoseAnn Branda, Gregory Cerchione, and Hon. Cenceria Edwards. Eagle photo by Mario Belluomo
From left: Hon. Ellen Spodek, Hon. Rosemarie Montalbano, Linda LoCasio, and Carolyn Genovesi. Eagle photo by Mario Belluomo
Lola Waterman and Michael Benjamin. Eagle photo by Mario Belluomo
Pictured from left: John Dalli, Marisa Arrabito, Rosa Pannitto Betsey Jean-Jacques, Hon. Janet McFarland, and Salvatore Scibetta. Eagle photo by Mario Belluomo
Clockwise from top left: Hon. Lisa Lewis, Hon. Dena Douglas, Hon. Carolyn Wade, Hon. Ingrid Joseph, Hon. Wavny Toussaint, and Hon. Genine Edwards. Eagle photo by Mario Belluomo
Hon. Joseph Maltese (left) and Hon. Lawrence Knipel. Eagle photo by Mario Belluomo
President-elect Yolanda Guadagnoli. Eagle photo by Mario Belluomo
Hon. Lisa Ottley (left) and Hon. Lara Genovesi. Eagle photo by Mario Belluomo

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