Chuck Otey's Pro Bono Barrister for November 4

Scussura, Hostpial Heads Honored at 3rd Ave. Pioneers

Notables from around the borough, including a contingent of Kings Supreme Court justices, were in attendance last Monday night when the Third Avenue Merchants, a civic-business group, cited Chamber President Carlo Scissura, Maimonides Hospital Sr. Vice President Douglas Jablon, Lutheran Medical Sr. Vice President Myles Davis and other leaders on the occasion of the MTA’s Twentieth Anniversary Pioneer Reception, held before a packed house at the Café Remy on Third Avenue.
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Do Cuomos Carry Grudge Against Bench?

Why is Gov. Andrew Cuomo battling with Chief Judge Jon Lippman over Proposition 6 (the mandatory age judge retirement age)? His opposition to extending retirement ages for some jurists is puzzling to many. Others see an explanation for this resistance, based not on its merits but Cuomo family history.

Is Cuomo perhaps taking a page from his father’s playbook by coming out so strongly against this proposition amending the state constitution to enable jurists to serve past the current mandatory age of 70? Could there be lingering resentment because the so-called Democratic machine around here was anything but helpful to Mario Cuomo when he started his political career?

Is it a Cuomo family thing to oppose any measure which might in any way aid jurists of a certain era, such as those who might have been rising through the Democratic organization in 1977, when the elder Cuomo lost a hotly-contested Democratic mayoral primary to then-Rep. Ed Koch?

Surely this is nothing more than coincidence, some observers say, suggesting that the latter Cuomo has no such bias. By now, the Cuomos have buried that hatchet. Right?

As he rose in politics, Mario Cuomo, said to have once maintained a law office on Court Street,  was far to the political left of mainstream Democrats

Some people who still recall the bitterness that existed between the first Governor Cuomo and powerful bosses like the late Kings Democratic Chair Meade Esposito. It was well known during those years thatr Cuomo felt no obligation to recognize Kings Democrats with state jobs.

As Mario Cuomo’s chief political operative since his teenage years, the current Gov. Andrew Cuomo, born almost 20 years earlier on Dec. 6, 1957, certainly recalls the political slight to his father. And as we’ve seen and learned, Andrew Cuomo seems to be short on forgiveness and long on resentment.
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Judge Lippman: Age Limit Ignores Fact of Longer Lives

Chief Judge Lippman brings no political or personal bias to this discussion. He correctly views the current forced judicial retirement as terribly out of date. "It’s an anachronism in the year 2013 to have a constitutional presumption of senility at age 70,” he told The New York Times. "To me, it’s bad public policy. It’s bad for the public to make experienced judges leave the bench when they are at the top of their game."

It bears repeating that the current rule came into being shortly after the Civil War. Life expectancy for the average American male at that time was just over 60 years of age.

Cuomo claims Proposition 6 is unfair because raising the retirement age for each and every judge should have been included. Anyone familiar with his resistance to salary raises and other compensation measures for jurists has to scoff at this inconsistent position.
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Admin. Justice Knipel Values Experience of Senior Jurists

Chief Judge Lippman estimates passage of Proposition 6 would enable him to  deploy “an extra 20 to 28 older judges” to relieve congested court calendars throughout the state.

Kings County Chief Admin. Justice for Civil Matters Lawrence Knipel regularly cites the benefit of having experienced jurists who don’t face a severe learning curve and whose service would notably reduce the judicial budget.
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Brooklyn Bar CLE Agenda Really Big In November

The Brooklyn Bar Association’s CLE program is jam-packed this month. On Nov. 1 the BBA held a full-day agenda reviewing many areas of the law. On Nov. 4, the topic will be Elder Law, with an update by Bernard Brooks. The BBA Elder Law Committee is headed by Anthony Lamberti.

Debt collection will be reviewed Nov. 6 by a panel headed by Richard Klass. A somewhat related topic, money laundering, will be dealt with the evening of Nov. 6 with a program titled: "How To Advise Commercial Clients About `Dirty Money.’”

On Nov. 12 there will be a very timely program, "Is Stress Stressing You out? How to Balance Your Life and Career and Avoid Misconduct."

All evening programs start 6 p.m. at 123 Remsen St. Further information is available by contacting CLE Director Meredith Symonds at [email protected]
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Bay Ridge Lawyers Plan ‘Holiday & Judges Night"

The Bay Ridge Lawyers Association, headed by President Joann Monaco, has set the date -- Dec. 19-- for its very popular Holiday Party and Judges Night. In a change of venue from previous years, the fete will take place this year at the Bay Ridge Manor on 76th Street.

This 6 p.m. gathering, traditionally chaired by Ray Ferrier, draws attendance from over much of the borough, especially the Downtown court system, so many members of the judiciary will be on hand that night.

The BRLA was the first Brooklyn law organization to initiate a CLE program, and its members this past week received credit for taking part in a program featuring Lawrence Lipschitz. He outlined a topic of particular interest to many these days: "The Impact on Title of a Power of Appointment.”

President Monaco’s officers’ slate consists of Vice President Lisa Becker, Secretary Grace Borrino, Treasurer Stephen Spinelli, Corresponding Secretary Margaret M. Stanton and Pasqualino Russo, immediate past president.