President’s Message – July/August 2017

July 11, 2017 Comments Off on President’s Message – July/August 2017

By: Stephanie Dellolio, Attorney at Law

Thank you for attending the 137th annual dinner meeting of the GBBA. I am honored to serve as President for the 2017-2018 year and pledge to work diligently as an effective steward of this prestigious organization.

When I asked our distinguished past presidents and officers for some sage advice in preparing this acceptance speech, I received the same guidance that I receive for legal briefs: keep it short! So I will try and comply.

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor opined in 1999 “that life as a lawyer is a bit more complex than it was a century ago.” However, certain fundamentals remain the steadfast pillars to the practice of law: the pursuit of justice through counseling clients, written and oral presentation, and tireless advocacy in resolving legal disputes. Today, as it has since 1880, the GBBA continues its dedication to advance these goals.

The GBBA brings value to its members by cultivating comradery and professionalism through its social and charitable events, committee meetings, and informative continuing legal education seminars. Whether you are a seasoned attorney practicing for decades and can remember the days of the Algonquin Club and typing short calendar reclaims on pink carbon paper slips or you are a newly admitted attorney seeking to build your knowledge and reputation, there is no substitute for personal, face-to-face interaction with your fellow, local GBBA members.

In fact, local bar associations are arguably more important than ever given that the next generation of emerging legal technology will undoubtedly lead us to more hours in front of a computer screen. As great as technology is, there is no virtual platform capable of replacing a firm handshake, a pat on the shoulder, and enjoying a good laugh with the company of your colleagues and friends.

Whether your practice involves taxes, torts, trials, or technology, please consider joining or even chairing a committee, attending a nuts and bolts CLE seminar, or conversing with colleagues at a seaside social.

In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, the GBBA supports the local courts through bench-bar relations and supports the local community through charitable events. For example, the time-honored Annual Golf Classic Outing is scheduled for June 19th where the proceeds are donated to the Center for Family Justice, an emergency crisis provider for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

As the incoming elected President, I would like the members of the GBBA to know that I will do everything in my power to be an effective facilitator.

The first annual dinner of the GBBA was held on August 6, 1880. The 13 original founders sought to unite local attorneys, establish congeniality, and promote the dignity and integrity of the bar and the profession. The founders be-lieved that the best way to effectuate their goal was to meet over a good dinner, noting that “the will relaxed wonderfully under the influence of a good punch.” So please enjoy the evening and have a glass of good punch.

In closing, I would like to share a passage from Albert Einstein which encapsulates my upcoming endeavors at the helm of the GBBA:
A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give the same measure as I have received.

Thank you Judges, Members and friends of the GBBA for your continued support, for attending this evening’s festivities, and for continuing the tradition of the founding members. And a special thanks to my firm, Ury & Moskow, LLC, in Fairfield for always encouraging my commitment to the GBBA and the legal profession and for the firm’s commitment to the pursuit of justice.

 

Click here to read the rest of the July/August News Brief!

July/August News Brief Available Now!

July 11, 2017 Comments Off on July/August News Brief Available Now!

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Click here to read the July/August News Brief!

President’s Message – May/June 2017

May 30, 2017 Comments Off on President’s Message – May/June 2017

I know that time passes quickly, but it is almost impossible for me to believe that my year as President of the GBBA will be over in just a few short weeks. I must thank the officers, directors, and members of the GBBA for their support during my term as President. I have greatly enjoyed the experience to work with all of the devoted committee chairs and co-chairs who have worked hard to make the past year successful.

With the mandated minimum continuing legal education of 12 credit hours per year now in effect, the GBBA’s committees have and will continue to provide useful and interesting seminars. For example, on April 27th, the GBBA’s Estate Planning/Probate and Elder Law Committee sponsored a 2 credit CLE seminar, Medicaid 101, which was extremely well-attended and very informative. The positive feedback from over 50 attendees noted that the topic, price, and convenience of location were greatly appreciated.

Not only does our membership remain strong in numbers, it has remarkably increased over this past month. My special thanks to Attorney Venoal M. Fountain, Jr. from Hirsch & Levy, LLC, who kicked-off the revitalization of the Young Lawyers Committee of the GBBA with a social held on April 25th. This event brought in several new commit- ments of membership to the GBBA as well as the Young Lawyers Committee.

Thanks to the Honorable Barbara N. Bellis’ invitation, Attorney Kathleen M. Dunn, Chair of the GBBA’s Com- munity Outreach Committee, coordinated a very successful “Student Courthouse Visitation” held on March 27th. Sixteen young students from the High Horizons, Marin, and Blackhem schools began their morning at the Superior Court by participating in an answer and question session held in Judge Bellis’ courtroom. The students moved onto a voir dire examination. They finished the day in the Honorable Robert J. Devlin, Jr.’s criminal courtroom, again with a question and answer session and then observing Judge Devlin adjudicate criminal cases. The GBBA extends a sincere thanks to all for such a wonderful event. Due to the positive feedback from the school representatives and students, it is our hope that the event will be repeated in the near future.

The Annual Law Day ceremony, an event celebrating the role of law in our society, the legal profession, and justice, was held on May 1st at the Holiday Inn in Bridgeport. The Law Day Committee selected The Center for Family Justice as this year’s recipient for the prestigious Liberty Bell Award. The Law Day Committee also presented awards to students for exceptional essays as in past years.

All the activities and those of the past years exemplify the GBBA’s commitment to the local community and for the opportunities to participate in these events. I am extremely proud and pleased.

May I remind all members about the Annual Dinner Meeting on May 16th at Tashua Knolls. In my succession, Attorney Stephanie Dellolio of Ury & Moskow, LLC will be elected as President. I wish to thank Stephanie for her incredible help and support to me during the past year.

I hope to see everyone at the Annual Dinner where Nancy Ganassini will be presented with the Distinguished Service Award for her 14 years of dedication and service as the Executive Director of the GBBA. Attorney Daniel D. Portanova will also be honored with a Career Service Award at the dinner. Several members of the bar will be congratu- lated for 50 years of dedication to the profession of law in the State of Connecticut as well.

I will see you all at the Annual Dinner.

President’s Message – March/April 2017

May 30, 2017 Comments Off on President’s Message – March/April 2017

Greetings to All:

It is hard to believe that we now find ourselves in the middle of February. I have been asked by many fellow lawyers regarding GBBA seminars to comply with the annual CLE requirements. Just recently we had a Board meeting, and all committee chairs and co-chairs were requested to appear and report. Several chairs reported that they are planning seminars – two hours in duration to meet CLE annual requirements. Of particular concern is the planning and scheduling of a seminar in the subject of Ethics as everyone has an annual requirement of two hours in Ethics. Once our seminars are organized, all members will be notified.

On Wednesday night, February 8th, The Center for Family Justice had a ceremony for the opening of its first legal “incubator” program located at its Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport headquarters. A team of five newly graduated attorneys will operate independent law practices, while offering legal assistance to victims of domestic and sexual violence in the greater Bridgeport area. Five young female lawyers have separate offices in the facility, will work with victims of abuse, and will offer legal services at a reasonable price as these lawyers build their practice.

Debra Greenwood, President and CEO of the Center, and Angela Schlingheyde, the attorney in charge of the State of Connecticut’s first legal “incubator” program, both acknowledged the help from two of our local lawyers, Janine Becker and Matthew Reale. I commend these two lawyers (Janine Becker is immediate Past President of the GBBA, and Matt Reale is our current Secretary), and urge all members of the Bar who are willing to contact the Center for pro bono and mentoring work.

Attorney Etan Hirsch is actively co-chairing the young lawyers section of GBBA with Attorney Venoal Fountain. Unfortunately over the past several years, there has been a decline in this section perhaps due to the stresses of work and young family life. Etan and Venoal are attempting to invigorate this necessary section for the survival of GBBA, and we thank them for their continued efforts.

Preparations are well in the works for the Annual Law Day Program. This year, the Hallen School Choir will perform, and the Liberty Bell Award will be presented to The Center for Family Justice. I urge all members to attend the luncheon at the Holiday Inn. Notices will go out on a timely basis. Law Day is a national celebration of the rule of law and the U.S. legal system.

The Annual Dinner Committee has selected the honorees for this year: Nancy Ganassini (our retired Executive Director) and Attorney Daniel Portanova will be this year’s recipients. More details on this May event will follow.

On February 16th, the GBBA hosted the Winter Social at the Barnum Publick Restaurant. The event was well attended, and thanks to Katie Santos (Acting Executive Director) and her assistant, Mariah Miklus, for their help in organizing this successful and fun event.

On February 16th, I also attended the Bridgeport Security Commissioner’s quarterly meeting under Judge Barbara Bellis’ direction. All issues of safety and security were discussed concerning both Courthouses. Marshal Gary Hughes chaired the meeting, and explained that despite severe budget cuts which has diminished the number of marshals, safety has been maintained. If there is suspicion of violence in any area of both Courthouses, extra marshals are available. Apparently, the separate entrance for attorneys is up and running, but if there are any complaints or observations, please advise.

My best to all the members of the GBBA!

The Debate League Needs Your Help!

April 19, 2017 Comments Off on The Debate League Needs Your Help!

So far, we have raised $25! Let’s help these kids take home our Trophy!

The Bridgeport Public School Debate League needs our help!

The championship for the middle and high schools will be held on May 13th at the new Geraldine Claytor Magnet Academy. The winner takes home the GBBA trophy.

They need $750 to make the championships happen!

Any and all donations are accepted

Please contact Kathleen Dunn, Chair of the Community Outreach Committee KMDUNN1017@aol.com for more information.

Please make checks payable to GBBA and send to GBBA offices:

1057 Broad Street, 4th Floor, Bridgeport, CT 06604

Resolution of Amendment to Article VI of the GBBA’s Bylaws

March 2, 2017 Comments Off on Resolution of Amendment to Article VI of the GBBA’s Bylaws

Click here to read a resolution of amendment to Article VI of the GBBA’s Bylaws. Please review the proposed amendments which will be voted on at the next GBBA Board meeting on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 4 p.m. at the offices of the GBBA (1057 Broad Street, 4th Floor, Bridgeport). Thank you.

March/April News Brief Available Online Now!

March 2, 2017 Comments Off on March/April News Brief Available Online Now!

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January/February 2017 News Brief Available Now!

January 10, 2017 Comments Off on January/February 2017 News Brief Available Now!

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Click here to view the January/February 2017 News Brief

President’s Message January/February 2017

January 10, 2017 Comments Off on President’s Message January/February 2017

Greetings and a Happy New Year to All:

 

One of the most active Committees in our Bar Association is the Foreclosure Committee chaired by Attorneys Louis Zowine and Edward P. McCreery, III. They faithfully schedule monthly meetings which are well attended and very informative! Although Lou threatens to leave and retire when he sells his Trumbull home, I commend him for his superlative work for the GBBA!

 

The Budget Committee met, and with Nancy Ganassini’s help, worked out a viable 2017 list of anticipated

expenses and revenue. Invoices went out recently for our 2017 dues with an earnest request to add an additional sum for “sustaining members.” Dues, and this additional charge, have resulted in a financially stable Bridgeport Bar Association, and I personally urge members to send in dues as we face 2017 expenses. Membership applications are available on the GBBA’s website.

 

Thanks to Attorney Fred Ury for a very informative and well attended seminar on the new enacted MCLE

requirements.

 

Our Law Day Committee has been very active planning the GBBA’s annual Law Day celebration which will  held at the Bridgeport Holiday Inn as it has for the last several years. The Hallen Elementary School chorus will

participate, and this year’s Liberty Bell Award will go to The Center for Family Justice located on Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport. Please await the notice which will go out in April.

 

Attorney Kathleen Dunn organized a very successful hot lunch at The Thomas Merton Center. Kathleen makes a supreme effort to buy all the food which is prepared by GBBA “helpers” who then serve a hot lunch to over 200 people including young families with children! What a joy it was to see such happy faces…thanks Kathleen!

 

The holiday season is always a happy one, but this year was dampened by the loss of Attorney Irv Kern who died at an early age after practicing with Cohen and Wolf for over 40 years. The enormous crowd at his funeral service attested to Irv’s great personal appeal and expertise as a lawyer. Shortly after, we lost Attorney Vincent Simko, a veteran lawyer whose energy had no bounds! Both “gentlemen of the law” will be sadly missed.

 

The GBBA hosted its annual Holiday Party this year with record attendance at the Black Rock Yacht Club. As many members knew in advance, our wonderful Executive Director, Nancy R. Ganassini, announced her retirement, and we used this festive occasion to celebrate and honor Nancy for 14 years of service! Along with speeches, the GBBA gave Nancy a monetary retirement gift which was well deserved. Thank you, Nancy: you will be missed by all!

 

Recently I had a conversation with a fellow lawyer who was convinced, and had no trouble in convincing me, that lawyers, perhaps in general, and in our area, have lost the respect of the community. My point is that the community at large rarely sees or hears about all the good works, pro bono work, and other endeavors that attorneys and bar do for the common good. I am open to all suggestions as to how to “plead our case” so that our profession (one that I have proudly been member for 45 years) can regain the respect that attorneys once had. We are all proud of our profession, and we should be able to say so!

 

GBBA named Best CT Bar Association in Education!

December 8, 2016 Comments Off on GBBA named Best CT Bar Association in Education!

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