Message from the President

As we shed our winter coats, it is with great pride that I reflect on our Chapter’s recent successes and highlight the events that we have planned for the remaining year. It is hard to imagine that a few years ago, the Eastern District of New York Chapter had less than 100 members and was planning its first continuing legal education program. Today, we have become one of the most active chapters in the country, offering quality programs for our members throughout the year and numerous opportunities for networking and professional development.

In November, we held Part Two of our Fourth Civil Practice Update. Our panelists included Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke, Professor Martin Schwartz, Professor Emeritus of Law at Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, and Marc A. Mandelman, Esq. The panelists spoke about a wide variety of topics including the latest developments in Section 1983 and employment law. On March 9, 2016, we hosted our annual Criminal Practice Update. Judges Joseph Bianco and John Gleeson returned for the fourth time to lead the program and were joined by defense attorney Anthony LaPinta, Esq., and A.U.S.A John Durham, Deputy Chief of the Long Island Criminal Division. The panel explored important recent Supreme Court and Second Circuit criminal cases, addressed mandatory minimums, and provided comprehensive tips on trial advocacy.

Prior to both programs, the Chapter hosted a “Meet the Judges” reception. The Meet the Judges receptions are always free to anyone enrolled in our CLE sessions and they provide a fantastic opportunity to mingle with distinguished practitioners and judges. Indeed, at the March 9 reception, approximately one hundred members of the bench and bar took advantage of the session in order to say goodbye to Judge Gleeson during his last hours on the bench.

I am also proud to welcome our newest Board member, Magistrate Judge Anne Shields, who recently assumed the duty as co-chair of the Continuing Legal Education Committee. Wasting no time, Judge Shields has planned an exciting program for April 6, 2016, entitled “Life After Cheeks.” This two-hour program provided an overview of recent Second Circuit Fair Labor Standards Act cases and offered practitioners practical business advice to pass on to clients. Judge Shields will be joined at the program by Judge Locke, Keith Gutstein, Esq., Troy Kessler, Esq. and Robyn Weinstein, Esq. Judge Shields and I are also working on a joint program with the Court to train attorneys interested in becoming FLSA mediators. The program is currently planned for June and will be free to attorneys chosen by the Court to participate in the mediation program.

In addition, to meet the needs of our diverse and ever growing membership, the Chapter has increased the number of opportunities for our members to socialize with other federal practitioners and judges, to mentor law students and to support the community as a whole. In January, the Chapter launched a new program entitled “The Bench in Your Backyard” aimed at exposing middle school students to the workings of the Federal Court and educating them about the federal justice system. Working in partnership with several members of Judge Katzmann’s committee for Public Engagement and Civic Education, the Chapter has already hosted close to three hundred students from local middle schools and several Girl Scout troops. This month, the Chapter is hosting a very exciting reception marking the passing of the torch from Chief Judge Carol Amon to Judge Irizarry. The program, which will take place in Brooklyn on April 15, will give several hundred federal practitioners an opportunity to recognize the outstanding job done by Judge Amon and to welcome Judge Irizzary to her new position in a relaxed and festive setting.

Finally, the EDNY Chapter has always believed that the future of the organization lies in our ability to welcome future members of the bar through law school outreach programs. I am pleased to announce that the EDNY Chapter now has active student organizations at Touro Law Center, Hofstra Law School and St. John’s University School of Law. Throughout the year, the FBA will be participating in a number of joint programs with the law schools.

In conclusion, I want to encourage each of you to promote membership in the FBA within your firms and to your colleagues. Our Chapter is committed to providing quality educational and social programs throughout the year and growing our membership is the best way to ensure the Chapter’s financial future for years to come. Thank you again for your support of our Chapter. I look forward to seeing you all at future events.

Dina Miller