Honoring ‘some of Brooklyn’s best’: Brooklyn Bar Association hosts annual awards dinner at El Caribe

Former television host Geraldo Rivera surprises former Brooklyn Bar Association President Arthur Aidala with a birthday celebration during the Brooklyn Bar Association Annual Dinner at the El Caribe.
Photo by Corazon Aguirre

The Brooklyn Bar Association held its first in-person awards dinner since before the pandemic this week, honoring guests for their service and accomplishments in their fields.

This year’s gala, which took place on Dec. 5 at the El Caribe Country Club in Mill Basin, saw four individuals awarded top prizes.

Winners included past winner and past president Arthur Aidala, Esq. (managing partner for Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins), who took home the President’s Award; Hon. Larry D. Martin (Justice of the Supreme Court, Kings County), who took home the Distinguished Judicial Service Award; Hemalee J. Patel, Esq. (General Counsel for the NYC Board of Elections), who took home the Vivian H. Agress Trailblazer Award and Hon. Bruce M. Balter (Retired Justice of the Supreme Court), who took home the Brooklyn Barrister Special Recognition Award.

Mayor Eric Adams addresses the crowd.Photo by Corazon Aguirre
President of the Brooklyn Bar Association Richard A. Klass, Esq, Hon. Larry Martin and Hon. Steven D. Cohn.Photo by Corazon Aguirre
Hon. Esther M Morgenstern and Hon. Theresa Ciccotto.Photo by Corazon Aguirre

“This year has been a great one for the BBA,” BBA President Richard Klass said Monday. “We are pleased that in-person programming has brought so many of you back into our beautiful building. The camaraderie and bonhomie among the people who have attended our events is heart-warming. It is such a great honor to be the President of the Brooklyn Bar Association. The BBA is mostly comprised of solo and small firm practitioners who learn on the ropes and get back to their feet. Tonight, we are honoring some of Brooklyn’s best!”

In addition to honoring this year’s winners, heads of the Brooklyn Bar Association also took the opportunity to express their gratitude and appreciation for judges who have retired since 2020, or are retiring this year.

Those judges included Hon. Loren Baily-Schiffman, Hon. Edgar G. Walker, Hon. Marsha L. Steinhardt, Hon.  Bruce M. Balter, Hon. Mark R. Dwyer and Hon. Michelle Weston.

Roseann Hiebert, Salaria Robinson, Kimberly Hilaire and Louise Feldman.Photo by Corazon Aguirre
Attorney General Letita James.Photo by Corazon Aguirre
Photo by Corazon Aguirre

Established in 1872, the Brooklyn Bar Association’s primary purpose is to promote professional competence among attorneys and increased respect for the legal system, according to its mission.

Democrat District Leader Frank Seddio and wife Joyce Becker-Seddio.Photo by Corazon Aguirre
Dawn Addabbo, Rachel Gold, Hon. Katherine Levine.Photo by Corazon Aguirre
Hon. Lawrence Knipel.Photo by Corazon Aguirre
AG Letitia James, Hon. Jeffrey Sunshine, Hon. Nancy T. Sunshine.Photo by Corazon Aguirre
Hon. Ingrid Joseph, Hon. Caroline E. Wade.Photo by Corazon Aguirre
Christina Pesce, Hon. Michelle Weston, Hon. Michael Pesce.Photo by Corazon Aguirre