Brooklyn Heights

Andrea Bonina and Dan Alessandrino Among Honorees at BBA Annual Awards

October 5, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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The Brooklyn Bar Association will host its Annual Awards Reception on Remsen Street on Wednesday, October 11, when it will honor four people including past president Andrea Bonina and Daniel Alessandrino, the chief clerk for criminal matters at the Kings County Supreme Court.

Bonina will be awarded with the Distinguished Service Award, one of the BBA’s most prestigious awards. Alessandrino will be getting a special award, the Avery Eli Okin Award, which is named after the association’s former executive director who served for more than 35 years until his retirement in 2022.

The other honorees include Erik Newton, the chief supervising clerk of the foreclosure department at the Kings County Supreme Court. He will receive the Nathan R. Sobel Award. Tina Davis, a court clerk specialist and supervisor of the guardianship and adoption part in the Kings County Surrogate’s Court, will be given the Frieda S. Niznowitz Award.

For five decades, Alessandrino has been an integral part of the New York Court system, rising through the ranks from a uniformed court officer in 1973 to his current role as chief clerk of the Criminal Term in Kings County. With nine official titles and numerous unofficial capacities, Alessandrino has been the linchpin in one of the nation’s busiest criminal courthouses. 

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Born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn, Alessandrino initially aspired to follow his father’s career as a commercial artist. However, after missing out on a spot at Cooper Union, he opted for a different path. At the age of 20, he entered the Brooklyn Criminal Court at 120 Schermerhorn St. as a Uniformed Court Officer. He never looked back. 

Over the years, Alessandrino’s roles have been varied and influential. In the 1980s, he served as the supervising investigator of the Statewide Applicant Verification Unit and later as the security supervisor for the New York City Family Court. 

By 1987, he was appointed assistant director of court security services for the courts within New York City. In 1999, he became the first deputy chief clerk and served as chief of operation for the New York City Criminal Court.

While judges may pass the rulings, Alessandrino’s role as chief clerk puts him in charge of day-to-day court operations. From weather emergencies to policy changes, layoffs, or transfers, his word is often final. 

“I’m in a support role for the judges,” he says, a role that he clearly values and excels in.

Bonina, a partner in the Brooklyn-based law firm Bonina and Bonina, P.C., has carved out a career distinguished by leadership, community service and legal expertise. After graduating from Brooklyn Law School in 1992, she joined her father’s firm, where she practices alongside her brother John Bonina, focusing predominantly on personal injury and medical malpractice cases. 

Bonina’s influence extends beyond her law practice. She served as the Brooklyn Bar Association president from 2010 to 2011 and has chaired the Audit Committee since 2015. In 2014, she was honored with the Brooklyn Bar Association Foundation’s Annual Award, its highest accolade, and in 2017, received the Vivian H. Agress Trailblazer award. 

A constant presence in the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), Bonina represented the Brooklyn Bar as a delegate to the NYSBA’s House of Delegates from 2008 to 2012 and resumed this role in 2014. 

In a landmark appointment in 2018, she became the first woman in more than three decades to chair the Grievance Committee for the Second, Eleventh and Thirteenth Judicial Districts, a position she was well prepared for, having served on the committee since 2014. 

Beyond her roles in legal associations, Bonina is a sought-after speaker, presenting lectures for an array of legal institutions and associations including the Appellate Division, Second Department, and the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers. She has also served as President of the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association from 2005 to 2006.



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