Association mining

Kings County Criminal Bar Association returned to in-person events

From left to right: Hon. Miriam Cyrulnik, KCCBA President Darran Winslow, Hon. Heidi Cesare and the Hon. Dineen Riviezzo. Photos of eagles by Mario Belluomo

After more than two years away due to the COVID pandemic, the Kings County Criminal Bar Association made a triumphant return this month by hosting its annual dinner at Giando on the Water.

The KCCBA had already begun testing the waters with smaller, in-person continuing legal education events at the Brooklyn Bar Association, and finally felt ready for something big.

It is the first official in-person event since last year’s pandemic when the KCCBA hosted two Legal Aid Society lawyers, Julie Schaul and Robyn Lear, for a CLE titled “Speedy Trial and Discovery After COVID”. It was actually a hybrid event with 125 people registered, about 25 in person, and nearly 100 people joining the group online.

The KCCBA had attempted a holiday party in December, but canceled it due to COVID concerns at the time. So, it wouldn’t be until March 10 that the group would try another CLE in person.

From left to right: Gary Farrell, Hon. Barry Kamins and Michael Jaccarino.

The March meeting also had a strong turnout of at least 25 people, once again in person, with over 125 online this time as the Hon. Matthew D’Emic, Kings County Supreme Court Administrative Judge, Criminal Warrant and the Hon. Kings County Criminal Court Supervising Judge Keisha Espinal presented “State of the Criminal Courts 2022.”

In April, Justice Barry Kamins, former KCCBA Chairman and former Kings County Supreme Court Administrative Judge, on criminal warrant, presented his “Annual Search and Seizure Act Update,” and Allison Lewis of the Legal Aid Society gave him an annual “DNA: Overview and Updates” lecture.

The big comeback came on May 4 when the KCCBA met at Giando on the Water. It’s the same place he’s held his last six annual dinners, but it was only the first since 2019.

The dinner looked different this year – newly installed President Darran Winslow hosted it for the first time – and the crowd was a little smaller than usual, but still strong with more than 100 people in attendance. There were no winners as is usually the case.

From left to right: Maria Neri, Michael Farkas and Bill Neri.

The committee that organized the event said the Association was simply looking to get back together and regain a sense of normalcy, even if that meant it held the event without winners. Of course, Winslow said, the group will seek to honor many members of its community at next year’s dinner who have helped guide the profession through COVID.

The KCCBA is just getting started too. Now that it feels like the COVID bump has passed and members want to return to in-person events again, the KCCBA is planning a CLE at Yankee Stadium in July.

He will host his annual charity golf outing on August 11 at the Marine Park Golf Course. If people are interested in playing golf with the KCCBA, they should contact Paul Hirsch at [email protected].

There is no date for his next CLE, however, once the group is back for monthly meetings in September, he expects to be fully back in person, with no hybrid option, but with dinner. and drinks served as they have traditionally done in the past (sushi and soft drinks).

Jay Schwitzman (left) and Andrew Rendeiro.

Celebrate 150 years with the BBA

The Brooklyn Bar Association turns 150 in June and the association will celebrate with a party at El Caribe at Mill Basin this Thursday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m. There are still a few tickets available on while supplies last.

The event will honor longtime chief executive Avery Eli Okin, who is retiring after 36 years in June, and former chairman Steven Cohn. It will also recognize all its former presidents who have contributed to its glorious success.

Sponsorship opportunities are always available. Please consider helping to sponsor such a special event as we honor some of the people who have meant the most to this association over the years. Sponsorships are available from $150 to $25,000. Please click here for details.

Robert Abruzzese is the former legal editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and the current director of member services for the Brooklyn Bar Association. Now as a legal columnist for the Eagle, Abruzzese writes about the BBA and the local legal community. For more information on joining the Brooklyn Bar Association, you can contact him by email at [email protected].