Committee Event

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

5:00 p.m.  – 6:30 p.m.

 

Constance Baker Motley Symposium & Awards Ceremony and Honorary Ruth Bader Ginsburg Award 

 
An intimate discussion on the impact that RBG made through her famous dissents. For instance, her dissent in Ledbetter v. Goodyear has been cited as the catalyst for the Equal Pay Act of 2009 (the Lilly Ledbetter Act). Therefore, even though she was unable to move her fellow justices, her well-reasoned and impassioned dissent caused the Legislative Branch to take a second look at the injustice that was being perpetuated against women and they changed the law.

This discussion will explore how lawyers and the legal community can promote diversity and inclusion through its judiciary.  Discussion will follow on overcoming gender bias in the legal profession, leadership for women lawyers and the art of persuasion.
 

 

Chairs

Committee Chairs

Mirna M. Santiago, Esq.
Founder, Girls Rule The Law, Inc., Pawling, NY | Member, Hurwitz & Fine, PC, Melville, NY
Violet E. Samuels, Esq.
Samuels & Associates, PC, Queens, NY 

Program Chair

Kim Wolf Price, Esq.
Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, Syracuse, NY
Margaret T. Ling, Esq.
Big Apple Abstract Corp., Bayside, NY

 

Diversity Event Sponsors

GreenbergTraurig
Barclay Damon LLP

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

1.0 MCLE Credit-  1.0 Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias

This program is not transitional and is not suitable for all attorneys including those newly admitted

 

5:00 PM – 5:05 PM

Welcome and Introductions

Speaker

Scott M. Karson, Esq. | Lamb & Barnosky, LLP, Melville, NY

 

5:05 PM – 5:15 PM

Inaugural Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Beacon Award Ceremony

Presenter

Seymour W. James, Esq. | Baker Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, LLP, New York, NY

 

5:15 PM – 5:25 PM

John E. Higgins, Esq. Diversity Trailblazer Award Ceremony

Presenter

Violet E. Samuels, Esq. | Samuels & Associates, PC, Queens, NY

 

5:25 PM – 6:20 PM

I am Woman, Hear Me Roar: The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

An intimate discussion on the impact that RBG made through her famous dissents. For instance, her dissent in Ledbetter v. Goodyear has been cited as the catalyst for the Equal Pay Act of 2009 (the Lilly Ledbetter Act). Therefore, even though she was unable to move her fellow justices, her well-reasoned and impassioned dissent caused the Legislative Branch to take a second look at the injustice that was being perpetuated against women and they changed the law.

This discussion will explore how lawyers and the legal community can promote diversity and inclusion through its judiciary.  Discussion will follow on overcoming gender bias in the legal profession, leadership for women lawyers and the art of persuasion.

Speaker

Hon. Jenny  Rivera  | Associate Judge, Court of Appeals

Moderator

Hon. Cheryl E. Chambers | Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department
1.0 Credit in Diversity, Inclusion and the Elimination of Bias

 

6:20 PM – 6:30 PM

Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission Presentation

Speakers

Hon. Shirley Troutman | Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Hon. Troy K. Webber | Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department

 

Hon. Jenny Rivera 

Associate Judge, Court of Appeals

Jenny Rivera, Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals, has spent her entire professional career in public service.  She clerked for the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, on the Southern District of New York, and also clerked in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals Pro Se Law Clerk’s Office.  She worked for the Legal Aid Society’s Homeless Family Rights Project, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (renamed Latino Justice PRLDEF), and was appointed by the New York State Attorney General as Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights.  Judge Rivera has been an Administrative Law Judge for the New York State Division for Human Rights, and served on the New York City Commission on Human Rights.  Prior to her appointment, she was a tenured faculty member of the City University of New York School of Law, where she founded and served as Director of the Law School’s Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality.

Judge Rivera is an elected member of the American Law Institute.  She has published extensively on interpersonal violence, women’s rights, and issues that impact the Latino community.  She served on the American Bar Association Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities from 2010 to 2012, and as the Reporter to the Commission authored the Commission’s Report.  Judge Rivera has received several awards, including the ABA Spirit of Excellence Award and the NYSBA Diversity Trailblazer Lifetime Achievement Award.

She graduated from Princeton University, and received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden Scholar.  She received her LL.M. from Columbia University School of Law.
 
Judge Cheryl Chambers

Hon. Cheryl E. Chambers

Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department

The Honorable Cheryl E. Chambers is a trailblazing jurist and a distinguished leader in New York’s legal community.

Justice Chambers has served on New York State’s courts for more than 20 years. In 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed her to a senior seat on the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, Second Judicial Department. She is the first African American woman to serve in that capacity, and the second African American woman appointed to the Appellate Division.
Previously, she served on the New York City Civil Court Judge from 1995 to 1998, sitting in both the Criminal Court and the Civil Court in New York County and on the New York State Supreme Court from1999 to 2008, where she presided over high-profile, complex criminal matters. In 2008, she was designated an Associate Justice for the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department by Governor Eliot Spitzer.

Prior to her judicial service, Justice Chambers was an assistant district attorney in the Trial and Appeals Bureaus in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office (1985-1994). She held various roles of increasing responsibility rising to become Chief of the Domestic Violence Bureau after serving as a Deputy Chief in the Trial Division.

Justice Chambers has been a director the New York Bar Foundation since 2014 and she is slated to become Vice President as of June 1. She has been the Chair of the Bylaws and Governance Committee. Justice Chambers is a member of the State Bar House of Delegates. She is also a member of the State Bar’s Special Committee on Association Structure and Operations, which is focused on developing a plan to improve governance and operations. Since 2010, she has been a member of the State Bar’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion advocating for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and within the State Bar; a member of the Executive Committee of the Criminal Justice Section of the State Bar Association; and she is a Past Chair of the State Bar’s Judicial Section (2018-2019). She served seven terms as Chair of the State Bar’s Bylaws Committee (2006-2013).

She has served in leadership positions in many professional associations including the Metropolitan Black Bar Association where she served as Chair of the Board of Directors, the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association, the Judicial Friends and the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York. As a member New York County Lawyers Association’s Committee on Minorities and the Law, for decades she has assisted law students prepare for a career in law. She has also served on the advisory boards of a number of non-profit organizations including the New York Children’s Defense Fund and Girls for Gender Equity.

Justice Chambers is a frequent lecturer and has published numerous writings on a wide range of legal subjects including criminal law and procedure, evidence, domestic violence, commercial litigation, trial and appellate practice.

She is a Fellow of the American Bar Association and has received many awards including the Jewish Lawyers Guild Golda Meir Memorial Award, the Brooklyn Bar Association Trail Blazer Award, and the New York County Lawyers Association Conspicuous Service Award.

She received her law degree from Boston University School of Law and a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers Graduate School of Management, and her bachelor’s degree, with honors in political science, from Brooklyn College of the City of New York.

Hon Kennedy Annual Meeting

HONORABLE TANYA R. KENNEDY

Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department

Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in July 2020. Prior to her appointment, Justice Kennedy served as a Justice of the Supreme Court, New York County, commencing in January 2016, after election in November 2015. She was elected to Civil Court in November 2005 and thereafter served in Criminal Court (January 2006-September 2008), Civil Court (September 2008-December 2009), Family Court (January 2010-December 2010), as Acting Supreme Court Justice (January 2011-December 2012) and as Supervising Judge of Civil Court, New York County (January 2014-December 2015). She is also a former Adjunct Professor at Fordham University School of Law, where she taught a Juvenile Justice seminar for ten years.

Before her election to Civil Court, Justice Kennedy served as Principal Law Clerk to Hon. Barry A. Cozier when he was an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department (March 2001-December 2005) and when he was a Justice in the Commercial Division, New York County (May 1999-March 2001). Prior to her clerkship with Justice Cozier, Justice Kennedy served in the Office of the Corporation Counsel, New York City Law Department, as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Bronx Family Court Division (August 1992-August 1994) and in the Bronx Tort Division (August 1994-August 1997), where she was promoted to Tort Trial Specialist and later to Assistant Deputy Chief.

Justice Kennedy is a member of the Board of Directors of the New York City Bar Association and past chair of the organization’s Special Committee to Encourage Judicial Service. She is also an Executive Committee member of the Women in Law Section of the New York State Bar Association; Board Member of the Supreme Court Justices Association of the City of New York, Inc.; member of the Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York; member of the Board of Overseers of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she received her law degree; and an Advisory Board Member of Penn State Law.

Justice Kennedy is the Past President of the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ). During Justice Kennedy’s term as NAWJ President, the organization convened cutting-edge legal education for the bench, bar and community to address cybersecurity and the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, the dark web and virtual currencies, e-discovery, bail reform, the opioid crisis, mental wellness, dementia in the courtroom, engaging millennials and building a personal brand. After organizing a Legislative Caucus on Capitol Hill focusing on ensuring a healthy work environment free of sexual harassment, Justice Kennedy led NAWJ in trademarking “#WETOO IN THE LEGAL WORKPLACE.” She also established the ADA Compliance Policy, Law School Outreach, LGBTQ and Technology Committees as NAWJ President to further the organization’s mission to ensure equal access to justice for all.

She is a product of the New York public school system and a single parent household whose mother worked two jobs during Justice Kennedy’s early childhood and made sacrifices to ensure she knew life existed beyond the Bronx. Justice Kennedy’s mother also instilled in her the value of education and the importance of serving others. Justice Kennedy credits these life lessons, as well as those who saw her potential and provided her with various opportunities as the reasons
for her professional advancement, as well as her responsibility to inspire, motivate and assist others in the pursuing their dreams. As a result of her commitment to increasing the pipeline of underrepresented communities to the legal profession, Justice Kennedy participates in the Role Model Program of the founding chapter of the New York Coalition of 100 Black Women and hosts summer interns from the Sonia & Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship Program and from the Law and Society Major Internship Program of the Brooklyn Technical High School, which is her alma mater. She is also committed to the pursuit of higher education and serves as a mentor through her visits to various churches, schools, and other organizations as a motivational speaker. Her greatest pride and joy was the speakers’ bureau she founded and ran from 2011 to 2014 targeting at-risk youth where she invited guests to discuss their past mistakes and difficult life stories, as well as to provide advice to the youngsters on how to avoid the same pitfalls the guests previously encountered in their young lives. Justice Kennedy further promotes the advancement and empowerment of women through her membership in the founding chapter of the New York Coalition of 100 Black Women and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Tau Omega Chapter. In addition, Justice Kennedy is a life member of the NAACP Mid-Manhattan Branch, as well as a member of the Abyssinian Baptist Church.

She is a frequent speaker at various conferences whose numerous honors include the 2020 Inspiration Award from the NY Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law; 2019 Igniting Change Award from the Association of Black Women Attorneys; the Inaugural Women of Distinction Award from Cardozo Women’s Law Initiative of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; the 2018 Brooklyn Technical High School Hall of Fame Designation; the 2018 Corwin J. Breeden Harlem Public Service Award from Friends of Public School Harlem, Inc.; the 2017 Diversity Leadership Award from Penn State Law; the 2015 Alumni of the Year Award from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; the 2015 Salarie Kee Activism Award from the Harlem Hospital Center Community Advisory Board; the 2014 Award from the New York County Lawyers’ Association Civil Court Practice Section; the 2014 NAACP Mid-Manhattan Branch Outstanding Community Service Award; the 2013 Brooklyn Technical High School Alumni Foundation Distinguished Alumni Award; the 2012 Pat Irvin Personal Service Award from the Association of Black Women Attorneys; and the 2011 Distinguished Leadership Award from the NAACP New York City Housing Authority Branch. She is among one of eight Penn State University alumni selected by the Board of Trustees to receive the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award.
 
Judge Cheryl Chambers

HONORABLE CHERYL E. CHAMBERS

Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department

The Honorable Cheryl E. Chambers is a trailblazing jurist and a distinguished leader in New York’s legal community.

Justice Chambers has served on New York State’s courts for more than 20 years. In 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed her to a senior seat on the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, Second Judicial Department. She is the first African American woman to serve in that capacity, and the second African American woman appointed to the Appellate Division.
Previously, she served on the New York City Civil Court Judge from 1995 to 1998, sitting in both the Criminal Court and the Civil Court in New York County and on the New York State Supreme Court from1999 to 2008, where she presided over high-profile, complex criminal matters. In 2008, she was designated an Associate Justice for the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department by Governor Eliot Spitzer.

Prior to her judicial service, Justice Chambers was an assistant district attorney in the Trial and Appeals Bureaus in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office (1985-1994). She held various roles of increasing responsibility rising to become Chief of the Domestic Violence Bureau after serving as a Deputy Chief in the Trial Division.

Justice Chambers has been a director the New York Bar Foundation since 2014 and she is slated to become Vice President as of June 1. She has been the Chair of the Bylaws and Governance Committee. Justice Chambers is a member of the State Bar House of Delegates. She is also a member of the State Bar’s Special Committee on Association Structure and Operations, which is focused on developing a plan to improve governance and operations. Since 2010, she has been a member of the State Bar’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion advocating for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and within the State Bar; a member of the Executive Committee of the Criminal Justice Section of the State Bar Association; and she is a Past Chair of the State Bar’s Judicial Section (2018-2019). She served seven terms as Chair of the State Bar’s Bylaws Committee (2006-2013).

She has served in leadership positions in many professional associations including the Metropolitan Black Bar Association where she served as Chair of the Board of Directors, the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association, the Judicial Friends and the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York. As a member New York County Lawyers Association’s Committee on Minorities and the Law, for decades she has assisted law students prepare for a career in law. She has also served on the advisory boards of a number of non-profit organizations including the New York Children’s Defense Fund and Girls for Gender Equity.

Justice Chambers is a frequent lecturer and has published numerous writings on a wide range of legal subjects including criminal law and procedure, evidence, domestic violence, commercial litigation, trial and appellate practice.

She is a Fellow of the American Bar Association and has received many awards including the Jewish Lawyers Guild Golda Meir Memorial Award, the Brooklyn Bar Association Trail Blazer Award, and the New York County Lawyers Association Conspicuous Service Award.

She received her law degree from Boston University School of Law and a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers Graduate School of Management, and her bachelor’s degree, with honors in political science, from Brooklyn College of the City of New York.

 

Diversity Event Sponsors

GreenbergTraurig
Barclay Damon LLP

 


 

Interested in being a sponsor?

Contact Holly Klarman | [email protected]

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