From Elena Karabatos President

Make the Most of the Nassau Academy of Law

Winter is in full swing and it is cold outside. What better way to stay warm than to come to the Nassau County Bar Association to fulfill your CLE requirements? The Nassau Academy of Law (NAL), the educational arm of the Bar, is doing great things. Recently, the NAL held its annual Bridge-the-Gap weekend, where both newly admitted and experienced attorneys can fulfill their required CLE credits during full-day live programs at the Bar Association.

One common misconception about the Bridge-the-Gap program is that it is intended solely for newly admitted attorneys. Not so! Our program attracts as many experienced attorneys as we do newly admitted attorneys. It is a great opportunity for even the most seasoned practitioner to catch up on CLE credits, learn something new and reconnect and network with colleagues.

This year’s Bridge-the-Gap weekend was particularly special, as it honored the late Honorable Joseph Goldstein, a respected jurist in Nassau County for 20 years. Justice Goldstein began his law career in 1956 as an attorney in private practice. He then dedicated himself over the next few decades to public service. Beginning in 1963, Justice Goldstein worked as a chief law assistant to the Board of Judges of Nassau County Court, and in 1972, he began serving as chief clerk of the County Court.

Justice Goldstein was elected to the Nassau County District Court in 1979, and then to the State Supreme Court in 1986. Upon his retirement from the bench in 1999, he worked at the firm of Dollinger, Gonski & Grossman.

Among his other affiliations and accomplishments, Justice Goldstein was the first jurist dean of the Nassau Academy of Law and had served as chair of the NCBA’s Continuing Legal Education and Technology Task Force committees. He was also a past president of the Jewish Lawyers Association and had been an adjunct associate professor of criminal justice at Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus. Justice Goldstein was a recipient of the NCBA President’s Award.

In his memory, Judge Goldstein’s family has generously offered to sponsor our annual Bridge-the-Gap weekend. It is their hope that future generations of attorneys will benefit from the educational opportunities that this event provides. We are grateful for this generous gift, which will help support the annual program for years to come.

Each year, the Nassau Academy of Law organizes and presents more than 180 substantive legal seminars in dozens of practice areas to educate attorneys on the newest developments in the law and to provide the practical skills to enable attorneys to most effectively represent their clients.

The Academy offers frequent and varied programs. For example, you could attend a presentation on Medicaid by the Real Property Committee in the afternoon, and then come back the same evening for a program on Animal Law. The centerpiece of this year’s dues structure enables all NCBA members to take advantage of free unlimited live CLE, whether presented at a committee meeting, an Academy lunchtime Dean’s Hour, or an evening program.

Can’t come to the Bar? Up to 12 CLE credits through CD/DVD rental are also included for free in the new dues package. Even the Bridge-the-Gap weekend is free! Free CLE is a true member benefit that we offer to our attorney members, and it is also extended to our new paralegal and law firm administrator members. There has never been a better or more exciting time to be an NCBA member.

I do encourage you to please pre-register for programs so the Academy can ensure seating for all who wish to attend. Give Jen or Patti a call at (516) 747-4464 and they will be happy to help you. Even if you don’t need the credit, come to learn or to network.

Have a meal while you are here. Our dining room is open daily from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. Our in-house caterer, Esquire Fine Dining, offers a wonderful buffet and a la carte menu. Not only is their food tasty but they are so accommodating to our members.

I would also like to extend warm congratulations to our newly installed judges, who were sworn in on January 25, 2019: Honorable Norman St. George, Justice of the Supreme Court, who we are excited to have as our new Administrative Judge; Honorable Helen Voutsinas, Justice of the Supreme Court; and Honorable Catherine Rizzo, Judge of the County Court.

Justice St. George is well equipped to take over as the Administrative Judge for Nassau County, as he has served as the supervising judge of the Nassau County District Court since 2013, and prior to that he served as a County Court judge. Justice St. George was a prosecutor in Nassau County

and also spent many years in private practice before joining the bench in 2004. He is a graduate of Hofstra Law School.

Justice Voutsinas joins the Supreme Court bench after having served as a District Court judge for seven years. Prior to her judicial career, she was a principal law clerk to Judge Steven Jaeger from 2005 to 2010, the deputy majority counsel for the Nassau County Legislature in 2004, and an assistant town attorney for the Town of North Hempstead from 2002 to 2003. From 1999 to 2001, she worked in private practice. Justice Voutsinas is a graduate of St. John’s Law School.

Judge Rizzo embarks on her judicial career after having been the principal law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thomas Feinman for 14 years. Prior to joining the court system, she worked in private practice for 10 years, litigating in both the state and federal courts. Judge Rizzo is a graduate of Quinnipiac School of Law.

Finally, I would like to thank Justice Thomas A. Adams for his leadership and dedicated service as Administrative Judge for Nassau County, and congratulate him on his new appointment as Presiding Justice of the Appellate Term, Ninth and Tenth Judicial Districts.

The Nassau County Bar Association is off to a great start in 2019. Stay warm in the cold weather!