Eastern Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bar Association Foundation’s annual awards dinner to honor legal luminaries and retiring judges

October 18, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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The Brooklyn Bar Association Foundation is set to hold its highly anticipated annual Awards Dinner, an event often dubbed the “Oscars” of Brooklyn’s legal community, on Monday, Dec. 4 at El Caribe in Mill Basin.

The dinner serves not just as a gathering of the borough’s legal minds but also as a definitive statement on the year’s most significant contributions to the field of law in Brooklyn. This year, the spotlight will be on Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix and Howard Fensterman, two figures whose work has indelibly shaped the legal landscape of Brooklyn.



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Sylvia Hinds-Radix: A Trailblazer in Legal Service

Currently serving as the corporation counsel of New York City, Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix has been a formidable presence in Brooklyn’s legal community. Hinds-Radix previously served as the administrative judge of the Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term, and also as an Appellate Division judge. She is the first African American/Caribbean female to hold her current position, a milestone that underscores her commitment to underserved communities.

In her role as corporation counsel, Hinds-Radix oversees a broad portfolio of legal issues affecting New York City. Her office represents the city, the mayor and the City Council, among other city agencies. Their work extends to various sectors, including education, housing, environmental protection, and civil rights.

“I have spent my entire legal career as a public servant, fighting for the rights of the underserved and ensuring that the rule of law was implemented with justice and fairness,” said Hinds-Radix.

Hinds-Radix began her legal career at District Council 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services. She earned her B.S. from the University of Massachusetts, a Master’s from Long Island University, and a J.D. from Howard University School of Law. She was born in Barbados.


Howard Fensterman: A Force in Law and Business

Howard Fensterman, the managing partner at Abrams Fensterman, has significantly influenced Brooklyn’s legal landscape. The firm, which Fensterman co-founded in 2000 with just 13 attorneys, has grown to become Brooklyn’s largest law firm, currently boasting over 110 attorneys and 240 employees.

In addition to his legal achievements, Fensterman has been politically active, serving as Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Long Island finance chair. His firm was instrumental in helping Eric Adams get elected as the mayor of New York City. Fensterman’s contributions also extend to health care policy. He was appointed by then-Gov. David Paterson to the New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council, serving from 2008 to 2014.

Fensterman has received numerous accolades, including being named to City & State Magazine’s Law Power 100 List in both 2022 and 2023. He received his J.D. from Georgetown Law Center and is admitted to practice in multiple states.

In addition to recognizing this year’s marquee honorees, the Brooklyn Bar Association Foundation’s annual Awards Dinner will pay tribute to a cadre of judges who are retiring this year — Hon. Joseph Gubbay, Hon. Esther Morgenstern, Hon. Evelyn Laporte, Hon. Mark Partnow, Hon. Donald Kurtz, Hon. Delores Thomas and Hon. Karen Rothenberg.

The gesture serves as both a salute to their lifelong commitment to public service and an acknowledgement of their collaborative efforts with the Bar Association to refine the mechanics of justice in Brooklyn. Their contributions have not only shaped case law but have also played a crucial role in mentoring younger legal minds and fostering a more effective judicial process. 


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