By Charles Otey, Esq.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Aronin-Goldberg Forum Set by Justice Kurtz
The very popular Aronin-Goldberg Forum is ready to get underway at 9 a.m., Feb 27, in the 11th-floor boardroom at 360 Adams St., according to Chair Justice Donald Scott Kurtz.
A longstanding tradition, these forums, initiated in the mid 1990s by then A.J. Hon. Michael Pesce, present an opportunity for lawyers, justices and administrative personnel to exchange views and ideas on improving courthouse procedures.
A special feature at this session will be the introduction of the new chief administrative justice for civil matters, the Hon. Lawrence Knipel.
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Koch Visited Bay Ridge, Keeping Campaign Promise
Late during the 1977 mayoral campaign, candidate Ed Koch ran into a scheduling dilemma. Vice President Walter Mondale was flying in to boost attendance at a Koch fundraiser in Manhattan on the same night when his top aides, Pam Chanin and LoCicero, had already promised columnist Chuck Otey, head of a Bay Ridge civic group, that front-runner Koch would take part in a Bay Ridge mayoral town hall also featuring Mario Cuomo and Vito Battista. In lieu of Koch's appearance, Chenin and LoCicero guaranteed that front-runner Koch would come to Bay Ridge and tour Greater Bay Ridge via a community bus after the election.
They kept their promise. The spring bus event, which attracted two score of local civic and political figures was arranged by a committee whose members are seen in photo at immediate right. After breakfast, the tour group-- with the new mayor in tow-- bused through the entire waterfront community, ending at Griswold’s Restaurant, followed by a program including Koch and Zeferetti, MC’d by Otey (photo, far right).
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Finkel-Matrimonial Law Problems Topic Of Foundation Forum
As the organized bar struggles to find ways to serve those in need, the Foundation Law Committee of the Brooklyn Bar Association, chaired by Fern Finkel, is moving ahead with its initiative to provide free legal advice to all at a series of public forums.
Having held valued discussions with noted experts a score of times since the program was initiated under then BBA President Diana Szochet five years ago, the Foundation Panel will tackle a problem that faces so many these days-matrimonial law.
Chair Finkel advises that this forum is set for March 4 at BBA headquarters, 123 Remsen St., getting underway at 6 p.m. that night. There will even be light refreshments!
Those attending will hear veteran lawyers discuss issues such as the basic contested divorce 'including issues of support, discovery and custody."
Attorneys “reflecting various perspectives" will include Hemalee J. Patel, foundation vice chair serving as program organizer and moderator; Meredith A. Lusthaus, partner, Coffinas and Lusthaus; as well as Lawrence N. Rothbart Reservations are advised and those who plan to attend should contact BBA Executive Director Avery Okin at. (718) 624-0675.
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Reduce Law School To Two Years!!??
When the ABA's Task Force on the Future of Legal Education assembled in Dallas recently, it came up with some rather radical ideas to deal with the precipitous loss of legal positions which is directly linked with the drop in applications to law schools around the country.
By some estimates, law school graduates outnumber almost two to one the amount of openings in law firms, it was pointed out.
With tens of thousands of quasi-legal jobs being outsourced to India and other technology centers spawned by the Internet, the future may be even worse, some of the participants said.
Rhode Island lawyer Thomas Lyons III told The Times that in addition to outsourcing many millions of dollars of legal work, the problem is exacerbated by "a glut of underemployed and indebted law school graduates and [nevertheless] a high percentage of the legal needs of Americans going unmet."
Brooklyn Law School Dean Nicholas Allard told Reporter Ethan Bronner that large corporations no longer hired great numbers of inexperienced new attorneys. In the very recent past these behemoths were willing to train neophytes because they would ring up "large hourly bills". He suggested more 'practical training' for students.
One concept that has quickly stirred interest here is the following one reported on by Bronner: "Many [at the Dallas conference] recommended reducing the core of law school to two years instead of three to cut costs."
We agree with past BBA President Andrea Bonina who said on Facebook that drastically reducing so drastically the length of law school "wouldn't be a good idea." Others agreed with her. (So do we, and we're looking forward to hearing from her to comment in the next PBB).
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Law Professors Tenure A Target of 'Reformers'
Based on Bronner's report, it's likely that law schools will soon seek to pare down tenured faculty positions. Robert Weinberg, a retired founding partner of the Washington law firm Williams & Connolly, criticized tenured professors "as having high pay, low productivity, and a remote relationship with the practice of law.”
Weinberg, according to Bronner, would prefer more adjunct professors and a sharp cut in those with tenure. It just so happens that Weinberg is currently an adjunct professor at George Washington University School of Law.
University of Louisville Professor Jim Chen told Bronner that reducing law school to two years would instantly reduce the number of tenured professors which, Bronner reported, are the "biggest expense for law schools."
(Pro Bono Note: The second part of "No Fault Insurance: Did It Do More Harm Than Good" will be 'adjourned' to next week, due to 'space' issues. CFO, ESQ)
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PRO BONO BARRISTER is a weekly column dedicated to telling about the good that lawyers don. Send your comments or suggestions to this writer care of this newspaper or to COTEYESQ@aol.com
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