Remarks of United States Magistrate Judges, Hon. Stewart D. Aaron and Hon. Barbara Moses – Boris Kostelanetz President’s Medal Honorees – NYCLA Annual Gala, March 14, 2023
Barbara: As many of you know, Judge Aaron is like a brother to me. And not just because we are named after a pair of Old Testament brothers. Judge Aaron was my elder brother in the NYCLA family. And now he is my younger brother on the Mother Court. My brother and I want to thank Vince Chang and the rest of the NYCLA family for this tremendous honor, and Chief Judge Swain, for her kind words this evening and for her extraordinary leadership of the court on which we serve. We also congratulate Judge Ciparick for her well-deserved recognition this evening.
Stewart: When Judge Moses and I talked about how to divvy up the short time we had this evening to address you, I told her that I wanted to perform a song that I wrote for this occasion based upon one that was made famous by Bob Hope, [singing], “Thanks for the memory, Of 583 Park, Carmen Ci-par-ik,” but Judge Moses protested.
Barbara: I did! And, as I told you, there are historical reasons of biblical proportions as to why Aaron should always listen to Moses.
Stewart: So, after further consultation with Judge Moses, we decided that we would briefly address two topics. My topic is the importance of bar associations.
Bar associations are vitally important, yet membership in bar associations, like so many other membership organizations, is declining. I urge all of you to join and support bar associations. Among many other reasons to support them, bar associations provide important connections between and bench and bar. Bar committees and bar events like this one provide opportunities for the bench and bar to work collaboratively on common issues and to get to know one another.
Bar associations also provide opportunities for education, networking, and mentorship. For example, NYCLA has a mentoring program to bring together experienced senior lawyers with those new to the practice or considering career change, as well as numerous CLE programs that keep lawyers abreast of the latest developments in the law.
So, I urge you to join and support bar associations. Whether it’s NYCLA, the New York City Bar, the Federal Bar Council or an Inn of Court (or like me, all of them), please help these vital organizations continue with their missions. Over to you, Judge Moses.
Barbara: Thanks, bro. I want to speak for my allotted 45 seconds about my deeply experienced and highly talented Magistrate Judge colleagues. There are presently 15 of us in the Southern District, and 16 across the river in the Eastern District – many of whom are here tonight and all of whom are available, on unanimous consent of the parties, to conduct every phase of a civil lawsuit. When that happens, the Magistrate Judge makes all pretrial rulings, presides over the trial, and enters judgment, which is appealable directly to the Second Circuit. One of the chief virtues of consent jurisdiction is efficiency. When you win a pretrial motion, your opponent cannot delay the case and increase your client’s costs by filing objections with the District Judge. Additionally, because Magistrate Judges do not try felony cases, we are almost always able to give you a firm trial date in a civil case, and stick to it.
Each of my Magistrate Judge colleagues has a substantial consent docket. But we are always happy to expand that docket. So if you have a civil case in federal district court, and have not yet considered whether to consent to the jurisdiction of the assigned Magistrate Judge, now would be a good time to do that.
Our heartfelt thanks, again, to the New York County Lawyers’ Association, not just for thinking of us tonight, but for all of the work that NYCLA does, year in and year out, to support the judiciary here in New York.