Over the last ten to fifteen years, Staten Island’s legal community has experienced many advancements that impact the way in which we practice law.
The County Clerk’s office moved from the basement of 18 Richmond Terrace to its present home at 130 Stuyvesant Place. A new Article 81 part was established abolishing the need for attorneys, family members, and disabled persons to travel to Kings County for what is an extremely delicate and at times emotionally draining proceeding. Through the efforts of Senator Andrew J. Lanza and Assemblyman Michael J. Cusick, Staten Island became the Thirteenth Judicial District. The creation of the Thirteenth Judicial District resulted in judicial independence for Staten Island and the creation of an Administrative Judge’s position where Judith N. McMahon, Staten Island first elected Supreme Court Justice, now serves. Finally, in the coming months the new Courthouse will be completed and ready for business.
These advancements have improved the practice of law on Staten Island and the Richmond County Bar Association has been an integral part in working to make these advancements happen. The RCBA has hosted legislative breakfasts, welcomed Office of Court Administration officials to the RCBA’s membership meetings and met with members of the Judiciary.
In order for the RCBA to continue to remain active in improving the legal system we must continue to grow our membership and secure our financial stability for the future. The Young Lawyer’s Committee, revived by Denise Marangos, Esq., and now led by Jeffrey Alfano, Esq. and Carol Wojtowicz, Esq. has been successful in recruiting young lawyers. The Volunteer Lawyers Project has also brought new members to the RCBA. In regard to financial stability, the Executive Board has established relationships that have resulted in sponsorships for our CLE Seminars, Annual Meetings, General Membership meetings and other RCBA sponsored events.
I look forward to a prosperous 2012-2013 year in which the RCBA continues to grow in numbers and secures financial stability for years to come.
THOMAS A. SIPP