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NYCLA CELEBRATES 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOME OF LAW AND INDUCTS
OFFICERS AND BOARD AT ANNUAL MEETING
NEW YORK – MAY 25, 2005 – The New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA) will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its landmark Cass Gilbert-designed Home of Law building on Thursday, May 26 beginning at 5:15 PM at St. Paul’s Chapel, which is across the street from NYCLA. In a first for the Association, the Annual Meeting will take place at St. Paul’s Chapel, followed by a reception at its Home of Law. Speakers at the event are: Hon. Michael Cardozo, New York City Corporation Counsel (a distant cousin of Hon. Benjamin N. Cardozo, who spoke at the dedication of the building in 1930 when he was the Chief Judge, New York State Court of Appeals); Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for The New Yorker; Hon. Judith S. Kaye, Chief Judge of the State of New York; Norman L. Reimer, NYCLA President; and Hon. John M. Walker Jr., Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. Robert MacCrate, former ABA President and retired partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, will deliver the Charles Evans Hughes Lecture.
The five NYCLA officers inducted will be: Norman L. Reimer, a partner at Gould Reimer Walsh Goffin & Cohen, LLP, as President of the Association; Edwin David Robertson, a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, as President-Elect; Catherine Ann Christian, Director of Legal Staff Training, the New York County District Attorneys’ Office, Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, as Vice President; Ann B. Lesk, a partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, as Secretary; and Joel B. Harris, a partner at Thacher Proffitt & Wood, as Treasurer.
In his remarks, Mr. Reimer will announce the commencement of a Centennial Capital Campaign to raise five million dollars in support of the Association’s mission and its Home of Law. The campaign will run throught the Association’s centenial on April 21, 2008. Mr. Reimer will also decry ‘multi-faceted attacks by ratings-driven media and an array of ideologues’ as posing an ominous threat to America’s legal system. In response Mr. Reimer will announce the formation of a special working group whose mission will be to develop a long-range strategy to guide the Association’s efforts to preserve judicial freedom and the separation of powers in our country.
In addition to the officers, the following directors will be elected: Ernest E. Badway, Saiber Schlesinger Satz & Goldstein; Louis Crespo Jr., Special Referee, New York County Supreme Court; Lucas A. Ferrara, Finkelstein Newman LLP; James B. Kobak Jr., Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP; David J. Lansner, Lansner & Kubitschek; Susan B. Lindenauer (retired), former Counsel to the President and Attorney-in-Chief, The Legal Aid Society; Morton Moskin (retired), White & Case LLP; William H. Sloane, Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP; Anthony L. Soudatt, solo practitioner; Rita Wasserstein Warner, Coblence & Warner; Stephanie G. Wheeler, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; and Eugene B. Nathanson, solo practitioner.
A Brief History of the Building
Ground for the building was broken on December 7, 1929, a brave move considering the economic climate of the times. It took a mere five and a half months for the building to be completed. The block had been owned by the Astors, who had a hotel on the corner of Broadway and Vesey Street. William Nelson Cromwell chose the site for the Home of Law because, with St. Paul’s Chapel across the street, no building would ever block the view.
On May 27, 1930, the building was officially opened at a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Hon. Benjamin N. Cardozo, Chief Judge, Court of Appeals; Hon. Samuel Seabury, former NYCLA President (from 1925-1927); William Nelson Cromwell, NYCLA President (from 1927-1930); and Charles C. Burlingham, President of City Bar, among many other notables. Since the U.S. Supreme Court was sitting that day, Hon. Charles Evans Hughes, former NYCLA President (from 1919-1921), could not be present, but communications were read from him and from Hon. Harlan Fiske Stone, Associate Justice, U. S. Supreme Court. Cass Gilbert, the architect, concluded the proceedings.
The New York County Lawyers’ Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as the first major bar association in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender. Since its inception, it has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.