By Charisma L. Miller, Esq.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Bar Association Foundation held its annual dinner at the New York Marriott Brooklyn Bridge, Monday evening. Over 300 lawyers, judges, court personnel and supporters were in attendance to honor and recognize the gains and progress of their fellow members of the Brooklyn legal community.
Recognized for their time spent on the bench, retiring justices Hon. Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, Hon. Ariel E. Belen, Hon. Anita R. Florio and Hon. Sarah L. Krauss received recognition for their hard work and dedication to the Brooklyn Bar.
Comparing her time spent on the bench as time spent serving a sentence, Justice Florio, associate justice, Appellate Division, Second Dept., jokingly commented that she “served her time” and “was not released early for good behavior.” Though not a Brooklyn resident, Justice Florio noted that “as a tree grows in Brooklyn, so have my roots. I have roots in Brooklyn.”
Justices Sylvia Ash and Michael L. Pesce were presented with Brooklyn Bar Association Annual Awards for their achievements. Longtime friend of Hon. Pesce, former Judge Joseph Bruno, presented the award. Hon. Bruno, currently the commissioner of the New York City Office of Emergency Management, was elected in 1991 and 2001 as a judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York and in 2002 as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
Hon. Pesce looked around the room and commented on how many of his colleagues and former law clerks and secretaries have accomplished great feats. Many of them have become judges through out New York City.
Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix, introduced and presented an award to her friend Hon. Sylvia Ash. The “two Sylvias,” as they are often congenially called, met on the campus of Howard University. Justice Hinds-Radix told the audience of the Hon. Ash’s close knit family and the grounded support system that was a comfort to both Hon. Ash and Hon. Hinds-Radix.
As Justice Ash, humbly accepted her award, she reminded the audience of her son’s college team and their recent championship win. “I am taking advance orders for NFL tickets,” she said.
Attorneys Allen Lashley and Andrew Fischer, both former presidents of the Brooklyn Bar Association, also received awards at the ceremony.
While the evening was replete with celebration and recognition, an obvious presence was missing from this joyous occasion: the late Judge Theodore T. Jones. A moment of silence was observed for the memory of the beloved judge who passed away suddenly in November of this year. An empty chair on the dais exemplified the substantial role Judge Jones played in the Brooklyn Bar Association and in the lives of many attorneys, and how the Brooklyn legal community is still mourning this loss.