Eastern Brooklyn

Columbian Lawyers Association hosts annual Dinner Dance, honors Yolanda Guadagnoli and installs John Dalli as president

June 18, 2024 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
Incoming President John Dalli and outgoing President Yolanda Guadagnoli at the Columbian Lawyers Association’s annual Dinner Dance at El Caribe in Mill Basin on Thursday, June 13. Eagle photos by Mario Belluomo
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The Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn recently held its annual Dinner Dance at El Caribe in Mill Basin, where members celebrated the accomplishments of outgoing president Yolanda Guadagnoli and welcomed the new president, John Dalli. 

The event featured a formal passing of the gavel, symbolizing the transition of leadership within the association.

Yolanda Guadagnoli Esq. was honored for her year-long term as president. Guadagnoli is the current borough chief of the Brooklyn Tort Division at the New York City Law Department, where she supervises a staff of attorneys, paralegals and support professionals.

She joined the Law Department as an intern in 1988 and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming deputy chief of Pre-Trial Operations in Brooklyn by 1994. In this role, she implemented initiatives that enhanced the city’s case preparation and defense, including establishing the Uniform P.C. Order in city cases to streamline discovery and case disposition.

Promoted to borough chief in 2006, Guadagnoli negotiates settlements for Brooklyn’s most challenging tort cases and supervises the city’s defense at trial. She is known for her zealous yet reasonable advocacy, with her mediation skills praised by both the bar and judiciary. Under her leadership, the number of city cases on the Brooklyn trial calendar behind standards and goals was reduced from 1,100 to 350, a notable accomplishment. Guadagnoli also introduced vertical litigation for more comprehensive case preparation.

Guadagnoli, a lifelong Brooklynite, graduated from Brooklyn Law School in 1990 and earned her undergraduate degree from New York University in 1987. She is vice president of the Catholic Lawyers Guild, Recording Secretary of the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association, and a former member of the Brooklyn Bar Association’s Supreme Court Committee. In 2019, she was admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States.


John Dalli Esq. was installed as the new president of the Columbian Lawyers Association by Hon. Carl Landicino, an associate justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department. 

Dalli, a founding member of Dalli & Marino, LLP, has been litigating and trying complex personal injury, nursing home negligence and medical malpractice cases across New York State since 1996. Since 2007, he has focused on prosecuting and trying elder abuse and nursing home negligence cases, handling numerous cases involving failures of care standards that resulted in falls, pressure ulcers, dehydration, medication errors and sexual abuse.

Dalli’s expertise in these sensitive matters has led to many successful verdicts and settlements. He has also represented families of brain-damaged infants due to negligent medical care and construction workers injured in workplace accidents. An active member of the Columbian Lawyers Association, Dalli also serves on the board of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and co-chairs its Nursing Home Litigation Committee. In 2020, he was appointed to the COVID-19 Nursing Home Task Force by the New York State Bar Association.

Dalli frequently lectures on nursing home negligence and elder abuse to bar associations and civic groups and has appeared on television news programs discussing nursing home neglect. His commitment to advocating for vulnerable populations and his extensive experience in elder abuse litigation make him a respected leader in the legal community.

During the ceremony, Justice Landicino also installed the new board of directors, including Mario Romano as the first vice president, Grace Borrino as the second vice president, Raymond Mollica as the third vice president, Mark Longo as the treasurer, Andrea Caruso as the corresponding secretary, Margherita Racanelli as the recording secretary and Gregory LaSpina as the historian. 

New board members Marisa Arrabito, Daniel Frisa, Anthony Auciello, Eva-Marie Cusack, Adam Kalish, Gregory Lendino, Rosamaria DeFrancisco and Rosa Pannitto were also welcomed.


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