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Exalting legal eagles: Bar association honors local attorneys, judges at annual awards dinner • Brooklyn Paper

Exalting legal eagles: Bar association honors local attorneys, judges at annual awards dinner

Past and future: From left, Brooklyn Bar Association President-Elect David Chidekel, sitting President Aimee Richter, and attorney Steven Cohn at the Brooklyn Bar Association Foundation’s annual awards gala on Dec. 4.
Community News Group / Colin Mixson

It was a celebration of their service.

Hundreds of local legal eagles wined and dined at a Downtown hotel on Monday during a swanky dinner and awards ceremony where there was not a strange face in the house, according to a host.

“We had like 850 people and they all knew each other,” said Aimee Richter, president of the Brooklyn Bar Association. “It was a fantastic evening.”

The attorneys and notable guests including Kings County Democratic Party boss Frank Seddio and District Attorney Eric Gonzalez began their night sipping drinks during a top-shelf cocktail hour, before they — along with the lawyers’ families and associates from other bar associations and local institutions — filtered into the banquet hall at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge for a three-course meal and awards ceremony hosted by the Brooklyn Bar Association Foundation, the organization’s charitable arm.

Hosts began the honors by recognizing three retiring court justices: Hon. Randall T. Eng, Presiding Justice of the Second Department of the Appellate Division; Hon. Martin M. Solomon, a justice at Kings County Supreme Court; and Hon. Neil J. Firetog, Kings County’s Acting Supreme Court Justice — all of whom received plaques from the foundation commemorating their civil service.

The festivities continued with the presentation of inaugural Vivian H. Agress Trailblazer award, which is named for the Brooklyn Bar Association’s first female president and was awarded to seven past presidents: Hon. Miriam Cyrulnik, Lynn R. Terrelonge, Hon. Nancy T. Sunshine, RoseAnn C. Branda, Diana J. Szochet, Andrea E. Bonina, and Rebecca Rose Woodland.

And the party concluded on a high note, when hosts awarded the foundation’s top honor, the Brooklyn Bar Association Annual Award, to State Supreme Court justices Rachel Adams and Bernard Graham, who were recognized for their legal acumen as well as for their even-handed approaches to justice and all-around congeniality, according to Richter.

“We look for judges that give something special,” she said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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