By Charisma L. Miller, Esq.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn’s legal community came out in full force at the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association’s 95th annual dinner Wednesday evening. Held at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Palm House, the evening was rife with celebration for the association, its members and this year’s award recipients.
Outgoing president Appellate Division, 2nd Department Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix gave the opening remarks for the “signature event of the year.” Supreme Court Justice Deborah Kaplan introduced and presented the Beatrice M. Judge Recognition Award to one of her “very best friends,” Elaine Avery. “I have the pleasure of presenting [Elaine] with an incredibly well deserved honor,” Kaplan noted.
Avery, a family and matrimonial law attorney, was “honored that the Brooklyn Women’s Bar thinks of me in such high regard.” Tearing up as she spoke of her father, who was also her law partner, and other family members who have supported her throughout the years, Avery gave a special thank you to her 96-year-old grandmother, who was also the first on the dance floor Wednesday night.
Honored for her distinguished service, Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Joanne Quiñones received the Sybil Hart Kooper Award. As a past BWBA president, “Joanne gave this great organization everything she had as she tirelessly worked to gain new members, gain new delegates, and make the Brooklyn Women’s Bar as diverse as the borough itself,” said Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper. Quiñones, a former court attorney for Cooper, places the “Brooklyn Women’s Bar in a special place in [her] heart.”
Brooklyn attorney Helene Blank gleefully presented Supreme Court Justice Marsha Steinhardt with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Steinhardt is “a Brooklyn girl through and through,” noted Blank. “She was born here, went to Brooklyn College and Brooklyn Law School. She lives here and she works here. There is no one with more solid Brooklyn credentials,” Blank continued.
For Steinhardt, the motto “success is not forever and failure is not fatal” is what guided her in achieving her goals. While the a lifetime achievement award may, for some, be for a member of the bench who has since retired, “tomorrow and for many years to come, you will find [Steinhardt] on the bench.”