FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Anita Aboulafia 212-267-6646, ext. 225 (phone) 212-406-9252 (fax) firstname.lastname@example.org
PUBLIC SERVICE PROFESSIONALS TO BE HONORED AT NYCLA,
TRIBUTE TO HON. BETTY WEINBERG ELLERIN AND EPPLER COMMITTEE PRIZE AWARDED
SEPTEMBER 23, 2005 – NEW YORK, NY – The New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA) will hold a Public Service Awards Program on Wednesday, September 28 beginning at 5:30 PM at its Home of Law, 14 Vesey Street. The Hon. Betty Weinberg Ellerin, Appellate Division, First Department, will receive NYCLA’s Award for Conspicuous Service, which acknowledges her 50 years of public service, public sectors attorneys and a non-attorney court clerk will be honored and the NYCLA Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Issues Committee will receive the Klaus Eppler Committee Prize for its groundbreaking survey of the policies and practices of New York’s largest firms on LGBT issues.
According to Norman L. Reimer, NYCLA President, “At a time of soaring educational costs and diminishing government support, it is absolutely critical that our profession recognize the enormous sacrifice of those who choose public service careers. NYCLA’s Public Service Awards program is one way for the entire profession to express its gratitude not just to a handful of outstanding awardees, but to all those who have chosen public interest careers.”
Hon. Betty Weinberg Ellerinop
Justice Ellerin is first woman appointed to the Appellate Division bench and, in 1999, she was the first woman to serve as Presiding Justice of that Court. She chairs the National Task Force on Gender Bias in the Courts and the New York State Judicial Committee on Women in the Courts. She is also the founder and a director of the Women’s Bar of the State of New York.
Public Service Awards
The public sector attorneys to be honored are: Laura Klein Abel, Deputy Director of the Poverty Program, Brennan Center for Justice; Peter Diskint, Chief Clerk of the Appellate Term, First Department, Supreme Court, State of New York; Muriel Goode-Trufant, Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and Chief, Special Federal Litigation Division, New York City Law Department; Kristine Hamann, Executive Assistant District Attorney, New York County District Attorney’s Office; Roberto G. Lebron, Assistant Attorney General, Harlem Regional Office, State of New York, Office of the Attorney General; Sandy Russo, Coordinating Attorney in Housing Law, Legal Services for New York City; and Irwin Shaw, Attorney-in-Charge, Criminal Defense Division, The Legal Aid Society.
Hon. Francis T. Murphy Award
Gloria Smyth-Godinger, Chief Clerk of the Trial Support Office in Supreme Court, will receive the Hon. Francis T Murphy Award, which was established in 1997 to acknowledge Judge Murphy’s contributions to the bench and bar and is presented to a “court employee who exemplifies the highest ideals of public service.”
Criminal Justice Public Service Fellowships
The Criminal Justice Public Service Fellowships, awarded each year to newly admitted attorneys practicing in the public sector in the criminal justice field who have accrued substantial law school debt, will be awarded to Monyca White, Staff Attorney, Criminal Defense Division, The Legal Aid Society, and John T. Carlton, Assistant District Attorney, Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. The Fellowships are awarded based on an essay competition. This year’s topic was “Should All Custodial Interrogations Be Recorded?”
Eppler Committee Prize Award
The NYCLA Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Issues Committee is receiving the Klaus Eppler Committee Prize for its report, “Making Progress: How New York’s Top 24 Law Firms Address Issues of Concern to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community.” The prize is awarded to a committee or section that has written a report that has had or may have the greatest impact in effecting improvements in the law or in our judicial system. The award consists of a certificate and a $500 prize to enhance the Committee’s work.
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.