January 24, 2018: Four Honored for Distinguished Service in Criminal Justice by New York State Bar Association

By Communications Department

New York State Court of Appeals Judge Jenny Rivera and Justine M. “Tina” Luongo, attorney-in-charge of the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Division, are among the four individuals honored for outstanding contributions to the criminal justice community.

The recipients were honored January 24 by the Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section of the New York State Bar Association during its Annual Meeting in New York City.

“The Criminal Justice Section of the New York State Bar Association is pleased to honor those exemplary attorneys and jurists who have devoted their careers to serving the criminal justice community,” said Tucker C. Stanclift of Queensbury (Stanclift Law), chair of the Criminal Justice Section. “We congratulate each winner for their outstanding contributions.”

Award winners honored at the Annual Meeting include:

Hon. Jenny Rivera, Vincent E. Doyle, Jr. Award for Outstanding Judicial Contribution in the Criminal Justice System

Judge Rivera was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2013. She has been an administrative law judge for the state Division for Human Rights. Previously, she was a tenured faculty member of the CUNY School of Law, where she founded and served as director of their Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality. She also clerked for Justice Sonia Sotomayor in the Southern District of New York.

Justine M. “Tina” Luongo, Michele S. Maxian Award for Outstanding Public Defense Practitioner

Luongo is the attorney-in-charge of the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice. As the chief defender, she leads 1,100 staffers responsible for representing more than 200,000 people in their trial, post-conviction and parole matters.  She also oversees two law reforms units that are involved in class action litigation and legislative advocacy that have forced critical reforms in the criminal justice system.

Hon. William C. Donnino, Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Criminal Law Education

Judge Donnino is a justice of the Nassau County Supreme Court, having sat on the Supreme Court criminal bench for more than 28 years. Each year he teaches a multi-hour course for newly elected or appointed judges, which includes most aspects of judging. He often lectures the bench and bar on a variety of criminal law subjects and co-chairs a committee that writes guideline jury instructions.

Elkan Abramowitz, Charles F. Crimi Memorial Award

Abramowitz is a white-collar criminal defense lawyer and civil litigator at Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello in New York City. Elkan became a principal at a predecessor firm to Morvillo Abramowitz in 1979. He has served as assistant deputy mayor for the city of New York and as the chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

About the New York State Bar Association

The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, the Association has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.


Contact: Christian Nolan 

Senior Writer

[email protected]


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