Remarks by NYCLA President Adrienne B. Koch at NYCLA Judicial Reception, April 3, 2024

New York County Lawyers Association Judicial Reception

Remarks by Adrienne B. Koch
NYCLA President

April 3, 2024


Good evening, everyone, and welcome.  I’m so happy to see all of you here joining us to help NYCLA honor and celebrate our newly appointed, newly elected, newly reappointed, and newly re-elected judges. 

You’ll notice I just said, “honor and celebrate,” and I do mean those words in two different senses.  “Honor” is perhaps the more straightforward of the two: we honor these judges this evening in the sense that we gather to show them our respect and admiration. 

We do that not only because to take the bench is a great achievement – although it clearly is – but also because these judges have themselves chosen, or reaffirmed a choice, to be part of the bulwark that protects the rule of law and the constitution that are so critical to our very way of life.

We live in a city that calls its police its “finest,” and its firefighters its “bravest.”  And rightly so.

But I’d like to suggest that if the police are New York’s finest, and the firefighters are New York’s bravest, then our judges are New York’s steadfast. 

Today more than ever, we need their faithful devotion to principle – the courage and firmness of purpose that judges exhibit every day, including in the face of recent and growing threats to the judicial system and its processes, and to our judges themselves. 

Their path is increasingly far from easy, and for choosing it they deserve our respect and admiration. This evening we gather to formally show them that.  as I said, to honor them.

But as I also said, we are here to celebrate too.  We celebrate the fact that members of our own legal community here in New York have risen to the high calling that is the judiciary.

We celebrate the special commitment they have made to that community – our community. And we promise to do our own part to help ensure that they have not only the respect, but also the support, that they need in order to carry out the vital work they have committed to doing.

This evening, however, we celebrate with fellowship. We are here to congratulate our judges and to thank them – in equal measure. 

And while we are at it, we can also enjoy one another’s company.  Because that’s also a big part of what it means to be a community, and it’s important in its own right.  Thank you all for being here to reaffirm that. Please enjoy the rest of the evening!