Pro Bono Barrister: Brooklyn law briefs

BBA Foundation Committee Holds Public Forum on Criminal Law

Continuing a vital service, now in its fifth year, the Brooklyn Bar Foundation Law Committee, headed this year by Fern Finkel, held a very timely Public Forum on Criminal Law last week at BBA headquarters, with the aid of past president Diana Szochet and the ever-efficient BBA Executive Director Avery Okin.

Inns of Court To Gather at BBA for 'Ethics' Panel

Practicing attorneys constantly meet with ethical challenges, small or large. It goes with the nature of the profession, which is dedicated to the law blended by ethical considerations.

For example: a personal injury client's wife calls and wants to know how her husband's case is coming along. She' s not a client. Can you discuss the case with her?

A commercial lawyer, representing a corporate client selling out her entire business, knows there are certain unperfected liens pending about which his client has not been forthcoming to the buyer. Does the attorney withdraw if the client refuses to disclose the liens?

These may not be hard problems to solve but they are typical of the "Ethical and Practical Solutions to Regularly Unanticipated Problems in Practice,” the topic of the next Kings County American Inn of Court CLE-accredited session set for 6 p.m., Jan. 22 at the 123 Remsen St. headquarters of the Brooklyn Bar Association.

Presenting a series of dilemmas, the panel leaders Hon. Miriam Cyrulnik and (President) Marc Dittenhoefer, will then ask the panel and members at large: "Can You Solve This?"

While Inn Adminstrator Marie Lattanzi is dealing with the myriad problems presented when her Rockaway home was inundated by the Hurricane Sandy surges, Executive Director Jeff Feldman has been setting up meetings and agendas.

Very importantly he is seeing that, in the spirit of the ancient English Inns of Court, barrister collegiality is enhanced by a pre-seminar repast in the form of a delicious buffet. Members must arrive around 5:30 to enjoy this feast. E.D. Feldman, who needs a count, asks for confirmations by phone (718 875-5870)

Welcome Justice Knipel As New Administrative Judge

The decision to name Justice Lawrence Knipel the new Kings County administrative judge for Civil Matters has been well received in the legal community. He succeeds former Administrative Judge Silvia Hinds-Radix. who served smoothly and with honor.

Justice Knipel has handled the basic and most complex matters he started on the Civil Court bench back in 1991. He earlier served as Law Secretary to Justices Jules Spodek and Martin Schneier, both now retired.

He ascended to the Supreme Court Bench in 1998. Known for his communication skills and calm court demeanor he has served on the Kings County Judicial Outreach and Education Program Committee and as a member of the Judicial Fiduciary Reform Committee.

Connors & Sullivan's Keating Helps Firm Do Good Deeds

One of the borough's leading community-oriented firms is the prominent operation of Connors & Sullivan expertly guided by Michael Connors who not only authors his own radio show but offers a score or more of free elder law seminars in Brooklyn and beyond.

The respected law firm has long been involved in southwest Brooklyn civic endeavors calling on its talented administrators, like Arlene Keating, and others to reach out and help implement its pro bono obligations.

As all veteran barristers well know, in a successful firm lawyers may come and go but administrators become their institutional bedrock. As a solid part of the C & S bedrock, Arlene has served a number of volunteer efforts, at senior centers, the annual Ragamuffin Parade Committee (which she now heads)and as the driving force behind the influential Bay Ridge Community Council, an umbrella organization comprised of more than 100 local civic, business and religious groups.

This is a busy week for Executive Secretary Keating and BRCC President Renee Dorsa. They are getting ready for the Council's prestigious Presidents Reception at the Bay Ridge Manor starting noon on Saturday, Jan, 26 which will pack the popular venue with civic and political luminaries.

Invited guests include presidents of almost one hundred constituent members. Sen.Chuck Schumer; usually bikes in from Park Slope to deliver some witty bon mots. Mayors often take part and sure to be there are elected officials such as Sen. Marty Golden, Cong. Michael Grimm, Assembly members including Alec Brook Krasny, Nicole Malliotakis, Peter Abbate, Felix Ortiz and Councilman Vinnie Gentile.

Handling the politically and socially challenging guest speakers agenda is, of course, Arlene Keating who as BRCC Executive Secretary — and other reasons — is naturally in charge.

Borough President Marty Markowitz will almost certainly be there as will Bay Ridge's favorite son -- Barrister Carlo Scissura, in his first year as president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Closing note: sorry, but if you're not already invited you can't go. It's entirely by invitation and at no charge to guests with the BRCC the paying host.

column. Rather, they should seek out the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project at 718-624-3894.