RCBA - 2020 Law Day

This year’s Law Day theme is “Your Vote, Your Voice, Our Democracy: The 19th Amendment at 100.”

The topic commemorates the enactment of the Constitution’s 19th Amendment guaranteeing that citizens’ right to vote cannot be denied or abridged because of a person’s sex.

To ensure that the County’s recognition and appreciation of the importance law in our society is continued, and to highlight this year’s important topic, the RCBA Law Day Committee has compiled some virtual resources to help recognize and educate people on the Women’s Suffrage Movement. We invite you to share these resources with anyone that has interested, particularly students.

Please visit these links:

  • American Bar Association's page with Education Links / Course Suggestions, click HERE.

  • Staten Island Museum's Exhibit, "Women of the Nation Arise: Staten Islanders in the Fight for Women’s Right to Vote," click HERE.

  • Judge Panepinto's Law Day Message for Staten Islanders:

  • Questions & Answers:

The Law Day Committee of the Richmond County Bar Association* would like to offer SPECIAL THANKS to the Staten Island Museum and Judge Barbara Irolloa Panepinto for making this year's Law Day possible.

* Irini Bekhit, Esq.* Michael Gervasi, Esq.* Angela Teutonico * Pete Weinman, Esq.


Justice Barbara Irolla Panepinto was elected to serve Richmond County as a New York City Civil Court Judge in November 1996, becoming the first Staten Island woman elected to its judiciary and in November 2016 she was again re-elected. In January 2000, she was promoted to the Supreme Court for the Judicial District of Brooklyn/Staten Island and presided over Civil and Matrimonial proceedings in Kings Supreme Court. In January 2002, Justice Panepinto returned to Staten Island when she was appointed Supervising Judge of the Civil Court in Richmond County. Since January 2004, she has been assigned to the Richmond County Supreme Court in the thirteenth Judicial District and presides over Matrimonial matters there. In June 2019 she was appointed by the governor to Justice of the Supreme Court. She also has taught an undergraduate course at Wagner College on Family Law.

Prior to her election in 1996, Judge Panepinto had been employed for six years in the quasi-judicial role of Hearing Examiner (Support Magistrate) in the Family Court. The Judge had previously served as the legal advisor for three Family Court Judges, and prior thereto had been trial counsel for the Office of the Corporation Counsel of New York City, prosecuting in Family Court.

Before attending law school when her daughter was a toddler, Justice Panepinto was a teacher, a mental health worker, and a probation officer, and holds a license as a Registered Nurse. Judge Panepinto earned a MS degree in Counseling from the former Richmond College CUNY and a BA degree in Psychology/History, with a minor in Education from St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn. She also earned an Associate Degree in Nursing from the former NYC Community College CUNY. In addition, the Judge has earned additional graduate credits in the field of Criminal Justice. The Judge is married to Joseph Panepinto, formerly the CYO director and recently retired as a consultant with Catholic Charities of Staten Island. Their daughter, Lauren, graduated from Staten Island Technical HS and the School of Visual Arts with a Degree in Graphic Design. She is currently a Vice President and Creative Director of Orbit Books, the science fiction division of Hachette/Little Brown Publishers.

Judge Panepinto belongs to several legal organizations, including the Richmond County Bar and the Staten Island Womens’ Bar Associations, the Columbian Lawyers and the Brooklyn Womens’ Bar Association. In addition, she belongs to the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) and the Supreme Court Judges Association, and previously the Designated Supreme Court Judges Association and has served on the Executive Committees of some of these. She has also been a long-serving member of the Board of Directors, and the past Co-President of the Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert (JALBCA), an organization founded by the Chief Judge of New York to fund educational programs and provide mammography/screening services to underserved women in the community.

The Judge is a member of several service organizations including the World of Women and serves on its Advisory Board. She has belonged to the Business and Professional Women of Staten Island, the Soroptimists, and was on the Board of Directors of NYCID/YPIS, a Staten Island Community Resources mediation agency (CCDR). She is a long-serving member of the Board of Directors of Amethyst House, a residential facility for women recovering from substance abuse. The Judge previously served on the Geller House Advisory Board of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services and was a member of the Board of Visitors at the South Beach Psychiatric Center, appointed by the governor as an ombudsperson to oversee operations and investigate patient care.

Judge Panepinto has also been involved with local cultural, charitable, civic and educational organizations, including the Italian American Women of Staten Island, the DaVinci Society of Wagner College, and the NAACP, and speaks to other local groups about relevant topics. She has been honored for her community service by various organizations, as well as by the former NYC Comptroller, William Thompson, and the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association, receiving their special service awards.