Chuck Otey's Pro Bono Barrister For May 31

The late Justice Anthony Cutrona

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Justice Landicino To Preside at Columbian Lawyers Dinner

The Kings County Columbian Lawyers Association will hold its annual dinner June 13 at the El Caribe on Strickland Avenue.

Presiding over  this major event is Supreme Court Justice Carl Landicino.  He will salute outgoing President Codispoti on his excellent year of service and welcome new President Robert J. Musso.

This will be the first time in recent memory that this very significant  evening will not be presided over by the late Justice Anthony Cutrona.  But those who knew and admired Justice Cutrona are well aware that he created a tradition at this organization which will undoubtedly last as long as the  very fond memories of those who worked with him.

Justice Landicino is an excellent choice to be in charge June 14. Like Justice Cutrona, he knows how to preside over a courtroom and will use those skills to see that each and every honoree is respectfully recognized that night.

Justice Cutrona, ever the statesman, made sure that all in attendance  appreciated the importance of order, keeping the spotlight on the organization’s leaders and special guests. In short, there were no annoying “loud” tables when he started, or finished, the evening’s program.

The balance of the new roster to be installed that night consists of First Vice President Bartholemew Russo, Second Vice President Rose Ann Branda, Third Vice President Dean Delinites, Treasurer Mark Longo, Corresponding Secretary Linda Locascio, Recording Secretary Hon. Frank Seddio and Historian George J. Siracuse.

* * *

Big Steve Cohn Party Set at Polonaise Terrace

Some of Brooklyn’s best parties are those sponsored  by Steve Cohn through his Seneca Club of Brooklyn, which is holding its 114th Anniversary Dinner on June 6 at the Polonaise Terrace on Greenpoint Avenue.

Billed as “A Salute to Elected Officials and Community Stars,” this gala always succeeds in drawing  leading state and city office-holders while paying due accord to community volunteers.

Among those singled out will be Brooklyn Bar President Andy Fallek, District Attorney Joe Hynes, Borough President Marty Markowitz, Sen. Eric Adams, Democratic County Leader Hon. Frank Seddio and Assemblyman Joe Lentol.

* * *

Bay Ridge Lawyers Fete To Honor President Russo

The Bay Ridge Lawyers Association, one of  the most prominent local legal groups in the city, will honor President Pasqualino “Pat” Russo at the upcoming 59th Annual Dinner Dance set for June 13 at the Dyker Beach Golf Course on 86th Street in Brooklyn.

A former attorney with the State’s Inspector General and Chief Administrative Judge at the City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission, President Russo is now with the firm of Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP.

Officers waiting in succession include Vice President Joann Monaco, Secretary Lisa Becker, Treasurer Grace Borrino and Corresponding Secretary Stephen Spinelli. Immediate past president is Helen Z. Gallette.

* * *

Dittenhoefer Inn Term Coming to Productive End

The Kings County Nathan Sobel American Inn completed its CLE-year with one of its most interesting sessions in recent times.  The main feature was a presentation on the pitfalls and perils that await trial attorneys who ignore seemingly innocuous “90 Day Notices.”

While such “failure to prosecute” notices can be dealt with by an alert staff, Kings Inn lawyers were treated to an actual 3216 scenario presented by attorneys who had actually gone through a nerve-wracking 3216 experience.  Good news: it took years but they “won.”

Among those who took part in a very serious discussion about the vexing 3216 debate was Kings Chief Administrative Justice for Civil Matters Hon. Lawrence Knipel.

The superb offering served as a tribute to President Marc Dittenhoefer at his last meeting as Inn chief executive. This top trial lawyer has earned kudos for the entertaining and thorough manner in which he conducts various meetings. He can make even the most esoteric issue into a provocative moment.

Appropriately, he was the Inn leader who received a framed Inn of Court Charter from Presiding Appellate Division Justice Randall  Eng.  The treasured document was thoughtfully installed next to a painting of Surrogate Sobel.

Sharing the moment were three of the  Inn’s founders -- Justice Marsha Steinhardt, Hon. Gerard Rosenberg (ret) and former Justice Edward Rappaport.

President Dittenhoefer will be honored at the Inn’s Annual June Gala set to take place June 24 at the Battery Gardens in Battery Park. Inn members attend at no charge, but guest need to pay a fee. Further information should be obtained from Lucinda Di Salvo, secretary to Justice Spodek, at  (347) 401-9312.

The new Inn slate will consist of President Justice Ellen Spodek, President-elect Dave Chidekel, Counselor Justice Arthur Schack, Treasusrer Acting Supreme Court Justice Miriam Cyrulnik and Secretary Jon Besunder.

Reflecting  English Inns of Court tradition, the Kings chapter has  been governed by a Board of Masters that includes:  Hon. Gloria Aronin, Jon Besunder, Appellate Division Justice Cheryl  Chambers, Larry DiGiovanna, Steve Finkelstein, Steven Goolnick, Appellate Division Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix, Justice Barry Kamins, Federal Judge William Kuntz, Justice Carl Landicino, Victoria Lombardi, Mark Longo, Judge Joanne Quinones and Paul Weitz.
* * *

Catsimatidis, Lhota Handle Awkward Moment In Ridge

Certainly there’s no love lost between mayoral candidates John Catsimatidis and Joseph Lhota.  So it was clear that a meaningful encounter  was in the offing when the Republican and Conservative candidates and their teams met up with each other along Third Avenue, which was the scene of the 147th Annual Memorial Day Parade.

The Catsimatidis entourage was led by Kings Republican Chair Craig Eaton. As their team moved sharply south on Third Avenue at 75th Street.   They unavoidably came face to face with candidate Lhota and some of his major supporters including  State Conservative Chair Mike Long, Sate Conservative Chair Gerry Kassar,  District Leader Fran Vella Marrone and GOP-Conservative Council Candidate John Quaglione, a top member of the staff of Republican-Conservative State Senator Marty Golden. (Quaglione will likely be the GOP-Conservative standard bearer challenging incumbent Democratic Councilman Vinnie Gentile in November.)

There was hesitation and visible uncertainty when the Catsimatidis cohort moved within 15 feet of the Lhota line.  Words were uttered. Nervous smiles. Finally there were respectful nods of recognition between the two candidates—which enabled them all to move on and eased the moment.
* * *

Kings GOP Still Troubled By Split Among Leaders

Sen. Golden wasn’t there at that point. He was delayed at  home carrying out family responsibilities connected with the minor illness of his wife, Colleen Golden.

Some observers suggested the absence of the powerful senator at that particular point might have been sort of a blessing for all concerned.  The reason:   Golden had split very publically with GOP Leader Eaton (they’re Bay Ridge neighbors) over their choices for mayor.

Their break-up made state-wide headlines  with some shocking, unnecessary and unfounded charges  sullying the overall political environment.

At the city level, the disturbing dispute between their respective GOP and Conservative camps may have been beneficial for  little known Catsimatidis and Lhota.  As a result, each has gained better recognition numbers within the electorate. Yet, in the long run, this divisive feud may diminish GOP chances at the November polls.

May 31, 2013 - 3:00pm



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