President Adrienne B. Koch NYCLA Civil Court Practice Committee Dinner Remarks

NYCLA President Adrienne B. Koch Remarks
NYCLA Civil Court Practice Committee Annual Dinner

The View at Battery Park
June 6, 2024


Good evening, everyone.  I’m so pleased to see all of you here to help NYCLA celebrate the people we honor tonight – people whose record of service to our justice system deserves every bit of the thanks and recognition we give them here, and then some.

You’ll hear more about each of these people individually as we move through the program.  Right now, though, I want to spend a few minutes on why their work and contributions are so important to NYCLA.

One of the key aspects of NYCLA’s mission is to promote the administration of justice and reforms in the law in the public interest.  We do that in various ways – including through programs, proposals, advocacy, and sometimes critique – and our Civil Court Practice Section is an important participant in those efforts. 

But regardless of what form those efforts take, we always strive to make them in a way that is positive, supportive, and constructive.  I might even dare to say we do it with love.  Because we are proud of our justice system here in New York City – and we love it enough to want to play a role in helping it continue to evolve, and continue to be the best it can be.

Why am I saying this now?

Because lately – especially in the last week – our justice system here in New York City has come under attack.  People in other parts of the country, and even some here in our own state, are saying it’s rigged; it’s a sham; our courts are kangaroo courts.

Those attacks are ostensibly directed at one court and one judge in particular, but make no mistake: they target our whole system.  NYCLA’s officers issued a statement last week in which we called those attacks dangerous and irresponsible, and I anticipate that we will have more to say about that in the coming days and weeks.  Because – as I’ve said many times – NYCLA will never stop defending our judges.

Tonight, however, what I want to say is this.  We New Yorkers are proud of our justice system. We are especially proud of our Civil Court – the people’s court – which is the face of that justice system for so many New Yorkers. 

And we are proud of the people who work hard every day to ensure that that system works – and who, as we all know, do so with resources that are often only a fraction of what many of us wish we could give them. We are committed to supporting them, and tonight we celebrate them.

And for the record, with all due respect to kangaroos I can say with confidence that we have none in our courts.  Not a single one.

Thank you to our Civil Court Practice Section for putting this event together – and especially to Judge Catanzaro, Steve Smollens, and the dinner committee.  I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again: it takes a whole lot of work to make it look this easy.

And thank you all for being here to support NYCLA, our Civil Court Practice Section, and most importantly our extraordinary honorees – who have done so much for us and for our great City.  

Please enjoy the rest of the program.