New York City

Annual Law Secretaries’ dinner celebrates distinguished legal service

June 11, 2024 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
From left: Hon. Rowan Wilson, Alexis Riley, President Tiffany Malcolm and Hon. Joseph Zayas. Eagle photos by Mario Belluomo
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The Association of Law Secretaries to the Justices of the Supreme and Surrogates’ Courts in the City of New York held its annual dinner at Sixty Pine on Wednesday, May 29. The event honored several distinguished members of the legal community, including Chief Judge Rowan Wilson.

Chief Judge Wilson received the 2024 William Goodstein Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Court. Joining him as a recipient of this prestigious award was Hon. Joseph Zayas, the chief administrative judge for the State of New York.

President Tiffany Malcolm presents Hon. Rowan Wilson, chief judge of the State of New York, with the 2024 William Goodstein Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Court.
President Tiffany Malcolm presents Hon. Rowan Wilson, chief judge of the State of New York, with the 2024 William Goodstein Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Court.

Tiffany Malcolm, the outgoing president of the association, was recognized with the 2024 Faith O’Neal Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Association. Malcolm, who served as president for the past two years, received her award from Amira Ammar.

Malcolm received her B.S. in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University in 2009 and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in 2013. Malcolm has a strong background in public interest law, having interned with various public defender offices and the National Coalition on Homelessness and Poverty. She worked as a staff attorney at The Legal Aid Society in Queens before joining the New York State Unified Court System as Principal Law Clerk. She currently clerks for Hon. Nicole McGregor Mundy in the Queens Supreme Court, Civil Term, and actively participates in numerous bar and civic associations.

President Tiffany Malcolm also received an award, the 2024 Faith O’Neal Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Association, from Amira Ammar.
President Tiffany Malcolm also received an award, the 2024 Faith O’Neal Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Association, from Amira Ammar.

Elizabeth Masiuk, representing Steptoe LLC, was awarded the 2024 Joseph L. Forstadt Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Association.

Masiuk is an associate at Steptoe LLP, focusing on reinsurance, insurance and complex commercial litigation disputes while also maintaining an active pro bono practice. She has previously served in the Obama administration, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the U.S. House of Representatives. Masiuk holds both her bachelor’s degree and J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dina Kolker (right) presents Elizabeth Masiuk with the 2024 Joseph L. Forstadt Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Association.
Dina Kolker (right) presents Elizabeth Masiuk with the 2024 Joseph L. Forstadt Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to the Association.

The evening also featured the presentation of the special “Gavel” award, given annually to members who have ascended to the bench. This year’s honorees included Hon. Yael Wilkofsky of the Manhattan Family Court, Hon. Joaquin Orellana of the Bronx Civil Court and Hon. Raymond Fernandez, who now serves as an Acting Supreme Court Justice in the Bronx Supreme Court.

Hon. Raymond Fernandez is a judge of the Court of Claims and an acting Supreme Court justice for the Supreme Court, Bronx County Civil Term. He oversees a wide range of cases and previously served as principal law clerk to Hon. Doris M. Gonzalez. With a background in complex litigation, including toxic torts and personal injury claims, Fernandez has also worked as a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society in Queens. He is a CUNY School of Law graduate and an active member of several bar associations, recognized for his outstanding service to the legal community.

Hon. Raymond Fernandez, now an acting justice of the Supreme Court, Bronx County, is one of the 2024 Gavel Recipients, presented by Board Member Barbara Grcevic.
Hon. Raymond Fernandez, now an acting justice of the Supreme Court, Bronx County, is one of the 2024 Gavel Recipients, presented by Board Member Barbara Grcevic.

Hon. Joaquin Orellana is a judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Bronx County. A lifelong Bronx resident, he graduated from St. John’s University and earned his law degree from Touro Law School in 2001. Orellana has a diverse legal background, having worked in personal injury, employment law, discrimination, and civil service litigation. He served as a law clerk in various Bronx courts and was elected as a Civil Court judge in 2023.

Hon. Yael Wilkofsky is a judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York, currently sitting in New York County Family Court. She has a distinguished career in public service, including roles at the Innocence Project, the City Bar Justice Center and the Legal Clinic for the Homeless. Wilkofsky served as the principal law clerk to Hon. Cynthia S. Kern for more than 12 years before being elected to the Civil Court in November 2023. She now presides over child abuse and neglect proceedings.

Hon. Yael Wilkofsky, judge of the Manhattan Civil Court, accepts her 2024 Gavel from Barbara Grcevic.
Hon. Yael Wilkofsky, judge of the Manhattan Civil Court, accepts her 2024 Gavel from Barbara Grcevic.

Following the awards ceremony, Chief Judge Rowan Wilson installed the new slate of officers. Among them was Hon. Alexis Riley, who took on the role of president-elect. Riley is currently running unopposed for a position as a Brooklyn Civil Court judge and is expected to be elected later this year.


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