By Charles F. Otey, Esq.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn Bar To Honor Kuntz, Knipel, Lonuzzi
One of the main events in the Kings legal community will take place Dec. 9 at the Marriott on Adams Street when the Brooklyn Bar Association, led by President Andy Fallek, holds the venerable organization’s annual dinner.
Dinner Chair President-Elect Rebecca Woodland heads the committee setting up this fete, which will honor three outstanding legal figures: Eastern District U.S. Judge William Kuntz; Justice Lawrence Knipel, administrative judge for civil matters, Second Judicial District; and former BBA President John Lonuzzi.
As BBA leaders, aided by Executive Director Avery Okin, carry out the preparations for this really big party, which annually packs the big Marriott ballroom, the association’s vaunted Continuing Legal Education program moves ahead apace.
Every barrister over 45 can recall when a "LexisNexis" was thought to be a new model name for an expensive auto line.
Now it’s an everyday trial lawyers’ tool that seems to be always improving. To catch up on one of the latest innovations, lawyers can partake of a "CLE Luncheon with LexisNexis" on Dec. 17, reports BBA CLE Director Meredith Symonds.
Those who participate will earn two MCLE skills credits and also "Enjoy a delicious lunch while you learn about an innovative and interactive dashboard that combines medical and legal research in one single tool.”
Presenter Marian Langley promises this is an opportunity to "Better understand the medical issues, analyze standard of care and assess case value.” This program is sponsored by the BBA’s Technology Committee, led by Daniel Antonelli and Andrea Bonina.
Sharing the evening is the BBA’s Medical Malpractice Committee, headed by John Bonina Jr.
Director Symonds notes that a "delicious lunch" will be served before the presentation gets underway at 12:45 p,m. Pre-registration is advised and less costly. Email [email protected].
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Busy Holiday Season for Kings Bar Organizations
Heading into the holiday season, the Kings County American Inn of Court will hold its next CLE session on Nov. 26 at BBA headquarters, 123 Remsen St., starting at 6 p.m. Heading the Kings Inn this year is President Justice Ellen Spodek.
The Inn’s Holiday Party will take place Dec. 7 at the Moreso Restaurant at 420 E. 59th St.
Meanwhile, the Columbian Lawyers Association’s big yule Judges’ Night will take place on Dec. 5. President Robert Musso heads the Columbians.
When it comes to bar association holiday parties, one of the city’s best is the Bay Ridge Lawyers Holiday Party and Judges Night, set for Dec. 19 at the Bay Ridge Manor at 476 76th St.
President Joann Monaco heads the BRLA, now in its 61st year, and advises that attendees are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for "our Toys For Tots Drive benefiting the Children [of NCOs] at Fort Hamilton Army Base."
Chairing the party is Andrea Caruso.
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Will Councilman Gentile Get Judgeship From de Blasio?
While most here had their eyes on the mayoral race, it seems comparatively little attention was paid to the significant 43rd council district contest between veteran Democratic Councilman Vinnie Gentile and Republican-Conservative John Quaglione. A good portion of this southwest Brooklyn district includes many Republican-leaning neighborhoods but Gentile emerged victorious, winning over 60 percent of the vote.
He will become the longest-serving current councilmember, having first been elected back in 2002. He won a very tough special election against Republican Pasqualino Russo after outgoing R-C Councilman Marty Golden defeated him and took what had been his state Senate seat.
Taking nothing away from Gentile’s qualifications, it should be noted that Quaglione was the victim of elements far beyond his control, starting with Gentile’s very visible endorsement of now-Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio in the Democratic mayoral primary.
A bright and affable family man, Quaglione knows the district and has learned a lot by serving as a top aide to the above-mentioned Senator Golden the past several years. Yet, the Quaglione-Gentile race was shaken by two unpredictable developments.
First is the party-crippling eruption within Republican ranks, which pits Golden against his own county leader, attorney Craig Eaton. Ironically, Eaton and Golden had been close allies for several years and are practically next-door neighbors in Bay Ridge.
But internal struggles surfaced over the past year regarding selection of the ultimate GOP mayoral nominee. The Golden forces supported John Catsimatidis in the GOP primary, while Eaton’s team backed Joe Lhota.
Both hopefuls stepped into the political-economic vacuum left by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Lhota emerged short on personality and money but victorious over Catsimatidis, who has money but no viable agenda and is charismatically challenged.
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Quaglione Fared Well In Campaign Debates
John Quaglione more than held his own in debates with incumbent Gentile, and his literature was hard-hitting and professional. Both candidates fought hard but not dirty. Following defeat in his first run for elective office, Quaglione will now turn his talents to the 2014 Senate race to help the re-election of Marty Golden to a sixth term.
Meanwhile, many observers have been questioning whether Gentile would serve the full four-year term. During the campaign, rumors spread suggesting that Gentile might be ready to make his exit from elective politics.
Gentile and Mayor Bloomberg were bitter opponents from the start, when Gentile put out a piece of campaign literature picturing Bloomberg’s impressive East Side mansion. Fulminating over this “invasion” of his privacy, the mayor reportedly complained to Council Speaker Christine Quinn. There’s probably no connection, but Speaker Quinn named the Bay Ridge-Bensonhurst councilman to head a plum committee where his status and office budget would have risen considerably.
With his well-timed endorsement of de Blasio, Gentile substantially increased the likelihood of a judicial appointment or a commissioner’s post.
With 17 years of public service, the Democratic councilman has certainly paid his political dues. Prior to first seeking elective office, Gentile served eight years as a Queens assistant district attorney, this background suggesting the possibility of a Criminal Court judicial appointment.