Appellate Term spotlighted during Association of Law Secretaries gala

May 26, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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The Association of Law Secretaries to the Justices of the Supreme & Surrogates’ Courts in New York City held its Annual Dinner at The View at Battery Park on Tuesday, May 2.

Judges from the Appellate Term from the 1st and 12th Judicial Districts, and the Appellate Term from the 2nd, 11th, and 13th Judicial Districts were celebrated for their dedication and service including Hon. Wavny Toussaint, Hon. Cheree Buggs, Hon. Marina Cora Mundy, Hon. Lisa Ottley, and Hon. Lourdes Ventura, who sits in Brooklyn.

From left: Hon. Marsha Michael, Hon. Lisa Ottley, Hon. Claudia Daniels-DePeyster (standing), Lola Waterman, and Chanel Lewis.

Also honored at the event was Nadine Johnson, who served as the ALS president from 2020 until 2022, and Alla Allison Ageyeva, who served as the ALS president from 2022 until 2023.

Nadine Johnson was presented with the 2023 Faith O’Neal Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Association from Hon. Desmond Green.

Each year the association recognizes members who have become judges. This year ALS recognized Hon. Devin Robinson, who currently sits as a judge in the Kings County Civil Court, and Hon. Mary Kavanagh, who is sitting in the Richmond County Civil Court, as the 2023 Gavel Recipients.

Hon. Devin Robinson and Hon. Mary Kavanagh, the 2023 Gavel Recipients, with Alexis Riley (right).

The evening commenced with a cocktail reception, followed by a warm welcome from the current President of the Association, Tiffany Malcolm. Each honoree’s accomplishments were highlighted and celebrated throughout the event.

President Tiffany Malcolm (left) presented the William Goodstein Memorial Award to members of the Appellate Division, First and 12th Departments (starting second from left): Hon. Shlomo Hagler, Hon. Alexander Tisch, Hon. Marsha Michael, Hon. Ta-Tanisha James, and Hon. Mary Ann Brigantti (not pictured).

Justice Toussaint, a beacon of inspiration as the first woman and person of color appointed as the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Term of the Supreme Court of New York. Toussaint, who also serves in the Supreme Court, Kings County Civil Term, has a storied legal career, with diverse roles in the New York City Civil and Criminal Courts, and the New York State Family Court. Her pioneering efforts, tireless service, and commitment to justice make her an invaluable asset to the court and a role model for many.

Justice Chereé Buggs, an integral part of the historic panel at the Appellate Term, Second Department, was also celebrated. Hailing from Queens, Buggs has proved her mettle not only as an elected Justice of the Supreme Court of New York, Queens County, but also through her active involvement in community forums and committees. Her dedication to law, equality, and community service is widely acknowledged.

Hon. Cheree Buggs with the William Goodstein Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Court.

Hon. Marina Cora Mundy was recognized for her significant contribution to New York’s first all-female appellate panel. From her humble beginnings as a Court Attorney to her appointment as a Housing Court Judge, and eventually being elected to the Supreme Court of Richmond County, Mundy’s career trajectory is a testament to her dedication, hard work, and the respect she commands in her field.

Hon. Marina Cora Mundy, second from right, with the other honorees from the Appellate Term, 2nd, 11th, and 13th Judicial Districts.

Another distinguished honoree was the Hon. Lisa Ottley, the first Black judge appointed as Supervising Judge of the Civil Court in Kings County. Besides presiding over cases in both the Civil and Family Court in Kings County, Ottley has also made her mark as a presenter at the Judicial Institute and as a former adjunct professor.

Hon. Lourdes Ventura was honored for her extensive service to the bench and beyond. Ventura’s varied roles, from working within the State Senate, serving as a partner at a law firm, to being an assistant Attorney General and a prosecutor for the Queens District Attorney’s Office, illustrate her versatility and commitment to the field of law.

In addition to these accomplished individuals, the Association of Law Secretaries acknowledged its former presidents, Nadine Johnson, who served from 2020 until 2022, and Alla Allison Ageyeva, who served from 2022 until 2023. Both Johnson and Ageyeva were celebrated for their impactful leadership and unwavering dedication to the Association during their respective terms.

Alla Allison Ageyeva, immediate past president of the Association of Law Secretaries, was presented with the Joseph L. Fordstadt Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Association by Burt Lipshie.

The Association also celebrated the members who had risen to the position of judges. This year, Hon. Devin Robinson was acknowledged for his significant contribution as a judge in the Kings County Civil Court. Robinson’s journey from commercial litigation to his current role is an inspiring story of perseverance and commitment to justice.

Jasmine Valle (left) with Hon. Lourdes Ventura.
From left: Steven Helfont, Allison Greenfield, Lauren Jones, Amira Ammar, and Tiffany Malcolm.

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