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Westchester Women’s Bar Association

NOVEMBER 2018

WWBA

LAW DAY CELEBRATES ITS

65TH ANNIVERSARY

Gina Bucciero

O

n May 25, 2018, WWBA Community Outreach Committee Co-Chairs, Honorable

Lisa Margaret Smith, Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New

York, and Deborah A. Scalise, Esq. of Scalise and Hamilton, LLP, welcomed

students from Yonkers Public School 23 for the 65th Anniversary of Law Day. Sponsored

by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the WWBA and

the White Plains Bar Association, students were treated to a fun and interactive day of

learning about the justice system. Held at the U.S. District Courthouse in White Plains,

the theme for this year’s program was “Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom.”

photos and article continued on page 4 ➥

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

NOVEMBER 2018

Sights and Scenes from the

WWBA

(page 5)

An Interview with

Hon. Mary H. Smith

(page 7)

November Litigation Tip:

Document Authentication

(page 9)

Upcoming Events

(page 12)

Westchester Women’s Bar Association News

news

www.wwbany.org

SAVE THE DATE

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP

MEETING

November 7, 2018

White Plains, New York

STRATEGIES FOR REAL

ESTATE & LITIGATION

CLIENTS UNDER ADA &

NYS/LOCAL HUMAN

RIGHTS LAWS

November 14, 2018

White Plains, New York

AN INTRO TO ZONING

BOARD PRACTICE

November 27, 2018

White Plains, New York

PRESIDENT’S

MESSAGE

“Develop an attitude

of gratitude,

and give thanks for

everything that happens

to you, knowing

that every step

forward is a step toward

achieving

something bigger

and better than your Kim Berg

current situation.”

~ Brian Tracy, Author

Certainly a fitting quote for the

month of November in which our

Thanksgiving holiday falls and, even

more so, a fitting quote for us as attorneys,

judges and law students. In our

profession, we are continually striving

to achieve something bigger and better

for the clients who come before us and

who we represent, as well as in the work

we do with the WWBA to promote justice

for all, regardless of sex, advance

the social, economic and legal status

of women through the law, and raise

the level of competence and integrity in

the legal profession.

I have always been impressed by

all of the positive mental and physical

benefits that people who are grateful

realize simply by having an “attitude of

gratitude.” This attitude remains elusive

to many despite the benefits which

are often spoken of by motivational

speakers and authors. Having an “attitude

of gratitude” is known to foster

and solidify meaningful relationships

and the benefits include better sleep,

less aggression, increased empathy,

improved self-esteem, being more forgiving,

and possessing better coping

continued on page 3 ➥

Page 1

The Westchester Women’s Bar Association is a Chapter of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York


WWBA Member Newsletter

NOVEMBER 2018

Published Monthly by the

Westchester Women’s

Bar Association, a Chapter of

the Women’s Bar Association

of the State of New York

~ 2018/2019 Officers and Directors ~

President KIM BERG

President-Elect ANGELA MORCONE GIANNINI

Vice Presidents

HON. LISA M. SMITH AMANDA C. FRIED KRISTEN MOTEL

Treasurer

NATANYA L. BRIENDEL Recording Secretary SHERRY BISHKO

Corresponding Secretary ELIZABETH Z. MARCUS

Immediate Past ast President

LISA M. DENIG

Elected Directors Westchester Board

SUSAN EDWARDS COLSON LISA M. DENIG LONYA A. GILBERT

JENNIFER L. GRAY JACQUELINE HATTAR

State Directors Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York

ROBIN D. CARTON LUCIA CHIOCCHIO DEBORAH FARBER-KAISER

MARIAN GENIO THERESA A. GIROLAMO ANNETTE G. HASAPIDIS

SUSAN MILLS RICHMOND JENNIFER ROBINSON

Executive Director ELISABETH CAMPOS

© Copyright 2018 Westchester Women’s Bar Association. All rights reserved.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) only and do not reflect the official position of the Association.

Editor-in-Chief: Elizabeth Z. Marcus • Designed and Printed by IPM Media Group, Inc. (516) 809-0501

2018-2019 WWBA Committee Chairs

S T A N D I N G C O M M I T T E E S

By-Laws ............................................. Hélène Côté, Anna L. Georgiou

Corporate & Commercial ................ Lisa M. Bluestein, Virginia Trunkes

Criminal Law ........... Lisa M. Denig, Hon. Sandra A. Forster, Amy Puerto

Families’, Children & the Courts .......... Joy S. Joseph, Lauren Morrissey

Amanda Rieben

Grievance/Ethics ................................................... Deborah A. Scalise

Judicial Screening ............... Hon. Sandra A. Forster, Loren I. Glassman

Judiciary ........................................................ Hon. Linda S. Jamieson

Lawyering & Parenting .......... Joelle M. Burton, Jana Kosberg-Kleidman

Legislation ...................................... Natanya L. Briendel, Kitley Covill,

Angela Morcone Gianinni

Matrimonial ...... Robin D. Carton, Dolores Gebhardt, Lonya A. Gilbert

Annual Dinner ................... Kim Berg, Lisa M. Denig, Robin D. Carton,

Amanda C. Fried, Andrea Friedman, Angela Morcone Giannini,

Jennifer L. Gray, Jennifer N. Netrosio, Katie Wendle

Annual Dinner Souvenir Journal ............................... Andrea Friedman

Appellate Practice ......................... Lisa M. Denig, Hon. Mark C. Dillon,

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Archive & Historian ...................................................... Susan L. Pollet

Awards .............................. Elizabeth Barnhard, Deborah Farber-Kaiser

Bankruptcy .................... Susan Mills Richmond, Wendy Marie Weathers

Breast Cancer Awareness ....................................... Adrienne J. Orbach

Collaborative Law ............................ Kathleen Donelli, Michelle Lewis,

Lynn J. Maier, Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Community Outreach ... Deborah A. Scalise, Hon. Lisa Margaret Smith

Construction ............................................. Aisling Brady, Sushmita Roy

Continuing Legal Education ..................................... Ann M. McNulty

Cyber Law .............................................................. Georgea Mancuso

Diversity and Inclusion ............. Jacqueline Hattar, Stephanie Melowsky

Domestic Violence ....... Natanya L. Briendel, Beth Levy, Audrey E. Stone

Education Law ........................ Adrienne J. Arkontaky, Julie P. Passman,

Susan Mills Richmond

Elder & Health Law & Reproductive Rights ....... Elizabeth A. Cumming,

Moira Laidlaw

Employment Law .................................................. Kim Berg, Sara Kula

Environmental & Land Use .......... Lucia Chiocchio, Anna L. Georgiou,

Jennifer L. Gray, Katherine Zalantis

Gender Dynamics ....................................... Hon. Terry Jane Ruderman

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A D H O C C O M M I T T E E S

Membership ....................... Sherry Bishko, Marian Genio, Kristen Motel

Networking ...................... Jennifer Robinson, Alsion Sloto, Erica Sattler

New Lawyers ................................... Elizabeth Z. Marcus, Katie Wendle

Professional Development .. Susan Edwards Colson, Stephanie Melowsky

Programs .................................. Natanya L. Briendel, Amanda C. Fried

Public Relations ............................... Joelle M. Burton, Jennifer L. Gray

Real Property .................................. Michelle Murphy, Allyson Lanahan

Sponsorship ......................... Lucia Chiocchio, Susan Edwards Colson,

Marian Genio, Deborah Farber-Kaiser

Taxation ........................................................... Patricia Rusch Bellucci

Trusts & Estates ............................... Gail M. Boggio, Nancy J. Rudolph

Karen J. Walsh

Golf Outing .................................. Gail M. Boggio, Adrienne Orbach

Holiday Party and Boutique ...... Dolores Gebhardt, Jennifer N. Netrosio

Immigration ........................................ Nicole Feit, Laura A. Rosmarin

Insurance Law .............................................................................. TBD

Intellectual Property .. Elizabeth M. Barnhard, Theresa O’Rourke Nugent

Judgment Enforcement & Collections ...................... Daniel F. Florio, Jr.

Litigation ....................... Angela Morcone Giannini, Jacqueline Hattar

Kimberly Sheehan

Long Range Planning ............... Susan Edwards Colson, Lisa M. Denig

Linda Markowitz

Mediation ........................... Hon. Sondra M. Miller, Lauren S. Morrissey

Donna Erez Navot, Abby Rosmarin

Past Presidents ............ Jane Bilus Gould, Mary F. Kelly, Linda Markowitz

Practice Management ......... Jamieson L. Keiser, Wendy Marie Weathers

Pro Bono ........................................... Marian Genio, Natalie Sobchak

Social Media .................................. Kristen Motel, Jennifer N. Netrosio

Technology/Website .......... Donna E. Frosco, Theresa O’Rourke Nugent

Wellness ................................ Jennifer Netrosio, Susan Mills Richmond

Women in Leadership ............................................ Adrienne Arkontaky

Network of Bar Leaders ................................................................. TBD

Pace Board of Visitors ....................... Gail M. Boggio, Lonya A. Gilbert

WBASNY Judicial Screening Committee ................. Gail M. Boggio,

Lisa M. Bluestein

WBASNY Nominations Committee .... Gail M. Boggio, Lisa M. Bluestein

WWBA Foundation President ...................................... Susan S. Brown

WWBA Representative Director to the WCBA Board .. Dolores Gebhardt

Page 2

Westchester Women’s Bar Association News


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President’s Message

from page 1

skills. The effects are clear and thus we

should all make a conscious effort to be

thankful, not only on Thanksgiving, but in

our daily lives. Being thankful is simple,

although not always easy to do, and is

one of the most overlooked free tools that

we have access to each day.

As members of the legal profession,

we are often surrounded by stressful situations,

difficult interactions, competing demands,

and resultant time pressures. Our

physical and mental health is at stake and

we must strive to maintain wellness for our

own benefit and for those around us. As

part of my belief in always trying to achieve

“work life balance” in the various aspects

of our lives, this year I formed the Wellness

Committee to promote some of these concepts.

Thus, I hope this month’s message

resonates with you and that you are able

to ultimately develop a perspective that

permits you to have an “attitude of gratitude”

in your daily lives as I truly believe

you will benefit.

Speaking from my personal experience,

I am often on the receiving end of other

people’s expressions of gratitude toward

me and my efforts on their behalves. This

thankfulness certainly has a positive impact

on my motivation, energy and drive

to continue to do the work I do on a daily

basis. I can literally recall as I write this

countless times where an expression of

thanks and appreciation made me feel

good about myself and the efforts that I

put in to the particular situation thereby

giving me the drive to keep going. This

could have been, for example, from various

clients who have sent me thank you

gifts, cards, or even a simple email showing

their appreciation for the work I have

done for them. I fondly recall the late

United States District Judge, Hon. Charles

L. Brieant, who always concluded with a

thank you to counsel and clients for their

preparation and attendance before him at

conferences and trials. I am inspired in

each of the martial arts classes that I take

by our instructor ending the class with the

directive to bow, show respect for and

thank our training partner. All of these

examples have built bonds, whether it be

between lawyer and client or student and

training partner, and have made my expecontinued

on page 4 ➥

Editor’s Note

Westchester Women’s Bar Association News

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into

joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

~ William Arthur Ward

Making Dates and Getting Published

NEWSLETTER SUBMISSIONS

❑ Deadline for newsletter submissions is the 12th of the month prior to publication (submissions

received after the deadline are subject to the discretion of the editor).

❑ Send submissions as email attachments to Elizabeth Z. Marcus at secretary@wwbany.org.

❑ Articles should be 1,000 words or fewer. Remove all pagination, headers, footers or other

formatting, other than bold, underline or italics. Authors are encouraged to submit photographs

for publication with their submissions and include a short biographical statement with

their submissions.

❑ Materials submitted allow the WWBA a limited copyright and full permission to reprint the

material in any WWBA publication or on its website without additional consent.

❑ Photographs must be high-resolution (150 dpi or more) and the subject and all persons in

each photograph must be fully identified.

PROGRAM SCHEDULING

❑ First visit the WWBA website: www.wwbany.org and click on the calendar at the home page to

view scheduled programs. Conflicts in scheduling will be assessed on a case by case basis, with

priority for early submissions.

❑ Contact Elizabeth Z. Marcus at secretary@wwbany.org to schedule a WWBA sponsored or cosponsored

program, including committee meetings, CLE programs, etc.

❑ Once you have reserved the date with Elizabeth Z. Marcus, proceed with planning your

program and creating your flyer.

❑ Flyers must be approved by the Programs Committee. In advance of the 12th of the month,

please send your flyer to the Program Committee Co-chairs for review and copy the Executive

Director. Once approved, please send your final flyer to the Executive Director, Elisabeth Campos

and the President for publication on the website calendar and the newsletter calendar. The

final flyer will also be emailed to the membership.

❑ We will also consider publicizing programs from outside organizations that may be of interest

to our members.

❑ Post-event: You may report on the success of your program and provide photographs of the

speakers and participants that can be included in an upcoming newsletter. Send your submission

to Elizabeth Z. Marcus, following the guidelines above.

A d v e r t i s i n g R a t e s

Full Page Display Ad

5-10 Issues - $525.00 per issue

1-4 Issues - $575.00 per issue

Half Page Display Ad

5-10 Issues - $275.00 per issue

1-4 Issues - $300.00 per issue

Contacts

Elizabeth Z. Marcus, Corresponding Secretary and Newsletter Editor-in-Chief: secretary@wwbany.org

Natanya L. Briendel, Programs Committee Co-Chair: tanyabriendel@gmail.com

Amanda C. Fried, Programs Committee Co-Chair: afried@cartonrosoff.com

Kim Berg, President: president@wwbany.org

Ann M. McNulty, CLE Chair: ann.m.mcnulty@morganstanley.com

Elisabeth Campos, Executive Director: executivedirector@wwbany.org

Quarter Page Display Ad

5-10 Issues - $165.00 per issue

1-4 Issues - $180.00 per issue

Business Card Ad

5-10 Issues - $60.00 per issue

1-4 Issues - $75.00 per issue

Classified – office space, furniture/equipment, employment & situation wanted (up to 5 lines)

Members - $50.00 first issue; $25.00 each succeeding issue; Non-Members - $75.00 per issue

Back Cover (3/4 page)

5-10 Issues - $650.00 per issue; 1-4 Issues - $700.00 per issue

Deadline for all ads is the 12th of the month prior to publication. Ads are subject to space limitations.

Contact Elizabeth Z. Marcus at secretary@wwbany.org for any questions regarding advertising.

Page 3


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Law Day 65th Anniversary

from page 1

The day began with a welcome

from Judge Smith and

then-WWBA President, Lisa M.

Denig. Students were introduced

to the justice system, including

the roles of judges and

attorneys in the pursuit of justice

for all. Students were also

treated to a presentation by the

Rye Neck High School Mock Trial

Team and participated as jurors

in a case involving school bullying,

People v Connors. Judge

Smith presided over the mock

trial and explained to the students

the Courtroom setup, procedures,

and process for hearing

a trial. The students ultimately

rendered a verdict in favor

of the defendant, Mr.

Connors.

Students also met with an

Assistant United States Attorney

(“AUSA”) who spoke with the students

about the role of an AUSA

and answered questions about

an attorney’s job and role in the

justice system. Ms. Scalise explained

the role of defense

counsel and what it takes to become

a lawyer. Following the

presentations, the students were

introduced to U.S. Marshalls and

learned how the Marshalls keep

the Courthouse safe. Some students

even tried on the

Marshalls’ protective gear.

Courthouse Security officers also

explained how they protect the

judges and the public from

weapons through the use of

metal detectors. The day culminated

in a presentation by the

Westchester County Department

of Public Safety where the students

were able to observe and

ask questions about the Emergency

Service Unit (“ESU”) vehicle

and Bomb Truck.

Before they left, each school

was presented with a Law Day

2018 Proclamation with the Seal

of the Court. Students were also

treated to a pizza lunch and received

goody bags full of information

including bookmarks,

pens and other items related to

the legal system. ◗

Gina Bucciero is a J.D. Candidate,

2019 attending Cardozo Law School

and is currently a legal intern at

Scalise & Hamilton, LLP. She is an

Associate Editor for the Cardozo Arts

and Entertainment Law Journal, Vol.

37, and a Staff Editor on the Cardozo

Arts and Entertainment Law Journal,

Vol. 36.

President’s Message

from page 3

riences more positive and motivating.

In turn, I try to pay it forward by expressing my appreciation

to others – even to the complete stranger who holds the elevator

door for me or the cashier at the grocery store. However, this

most simple acknowledgement, just saying the two words “Thank

You,” is just the beginning of having an “attitude of gratitude.”

Not only in the month of Thanksgiving, but each and every day,

we should not only take time to express thanks to others in our

lives but also to take time to reflect on the things that make us

thankful for the blessings we each have in our lives, whether that

be our ability to work in a field that constantly helps others, our

health, our families, our life experiences, our education, and yes

even the people in our professional and personal lives for whom

we are thankful.

Knowing the WWBA, I know I am not alone when I say that

I have always been grateful for the positive impact that the WWBA

has played in my life and in my career. Being involved in this

amazing organization has certainly opened doors to important,

influential, positive relationships and opportunities. I am particularly

appreciative of my mentors, all of whom are WWBA members,

including my law partner Jane Bilus Gould and Marianne

Sussman and Kenneth Gould. I am thankful that they showed

me the inherent value in joining and becoming active in the

WWBA. I am equally thankful for their guidance, support and

mentorship over the span of my career.

As President, I am especially thankful to the entire WWBA

membership for allowing me to serve as President. You may

recall at the annual dinner I spoke of the rewards that I have

reaped by simply being a part of this wonderful group. This year

has been extremely rewarding in that I have met and personally

observed how the WWBA positively impacts so many people.

Forging connections, seeing your efforts come together in the

diverse programming we have, watching our new members take

an active role in our chapter and at the state level, and hearing

your stories of how the WWBA impacts you has been incredibly

fulfilling for me. It is not only just our members who I refer to but

also to those organizations that we cooperatively work with to

provide much needed services to those in our community. For

this experience and opportunity, I am very grateful and I thank

each of you because I know that these memories of my Presidency

will cause me in the future to reflect back in sincere appreciation

for this time in my life.

Of course, the WWBA does not operate by its President alone.

I am deeply indebted, to my executive board for their support,

wisdom, guidance, and all of the efforts they put into making this

organization run smoothly: Angela Giannini, Honorable Lisa M.

Smith, Amanda Fried, Kristen Motel, Natanya Briendel, Sherry

Bishko and Elizabeth Marcus. I am sure many of you are unaware

of the continual communication between myself and the

executive board, the roles that they each serve on various committees,

their time commitment to attending both regular board

meetings and executive board meetings, and the wealth of knowledge

and creativity that we as a collective group contribute to the

WWBA on a daily basis.

continued on page 10 ➥

Page 4

Westchester Women’s Bar Association News


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SIGHTS AND SCENES FROM THE WWBA

Elizabeth Z. Marcus

A Lively Evening of

Networking

Wine Tasting with

Members of the WWBA

On September 27, 2018, the New Lawyers, Networking, and

Membership Committees hosted, “Meet the Officers of the WWBA:

A Night of Networking.” The annual event, held this year at The

Brazen Fox in White Plains, brought law students, lawyers, and

WWBA Board members together for a fun and informative night of

networking.

A very big thank you to Professional Liability Consulting Services,

Inc. (PLCSI), and in particular President & CEO Dennis M.

Supraner, who in participation with the WWBA, helped present the

event. Founded in 1994, PLCSI is one of the tri-state’s largest

independent brokers of professional liability and speciality lines

insurance and is recognized as an industry leader and expert by

many insurance carriers, associations, and affinity groups. The

WWBA was thrilled to partner with PLCSI to present this event. ◗

Making Strides Against

Breast Cancer

On October 11, 2018, the WWBA Networking Committee

presented “One Hope Wine Tasting Event: A Night of Networking.”

Held at the 445 Café in White Plains, proceeds from the

event went to the WWBA Foundation and to charities including

Help Fight Against Breast Cancer, End Childhood Hunger, Help

Children with Autism, and Help Fund Pet Adoptions. Additionally,

items were collected to help support the organization, “Free the

Girls,” which works to rescue women from human trafficking. ◗

Mentoring Pace

Law Students

We are so proud of Team Orbach and the WWBA for raising

over $20,000 for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

held on October 21, 2018 at Manhattanville College. Thank you

to everyone who participated in this annual WWBA event and to

WWBA member Adrienne Orbach for organizing year after year. ◗

As part of the WWBA’s new Mentorship Program, the WWBA

and Pace Law School Women’s Association of Law Students cohosted

a Networking Happy Hour at Lilly’s in White Plains on

October 18, 2018. WWBA mentors and members networked

with Pace Law students and introduced them to the benefits of

joining the WWBA and maintaining membership after graduation.

For more information about the Mentorship Program please

contact www.wwbany.org. ◗

Westchester Women’s Bar Association News

Page 5


WESTCHESTER WOMEN’S BAR ASSOCIATION

cordially invites its

Membership and Guests

to our

HOLIDAY PARTY

THE WOMAN’S CLUB OF WHITE PLAINS

GRAND BALLROOM

305 Ridgeway

White Plains, New York

December 1, 201

5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

$20 per person* (payable at the door)

*no charge for sitting Judges

Please consider making a tax deductible donation to the

Westchester Women’s Bar Association Foundation, Inc.

(Weather cancellation information will be announced by 4:00 PM on the day

of the event, via recorded message on WWBA phone line at 914-505-6045)

VISIT OUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING BOUTIQUE

TO BE HELD DURING THE PARTY!

GIVING BACK:

Please bring a new, inexpensive and unwrapped gift

to be donated to an underserved teenager, and/or

non-perishable boxed and canned foods to feed the hungry.

Thank you!

Gift boxes will be located near the sign-in table to

collect your contributions.

Page 6

Westchester Women’s Bar Association News


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An Interview with Hon. Mary H. Smith

Susan L. Pollet

Chair of the Archive and

Historian Committee

Q: When did you become a

member of the WWBA and

why?

A: I started going to meetings

in 1985 and membership followed.

Joining the WWBA,

for me, was (and still is) a must

for women attorneys. It provided

information, support,

and important networking contacts.

Through the WWBA I met

lifelong friends and colleagues.

Valued colleagues

today are Judges Joan

Lefkowitz (JSC), Linda S.

Jamieson (JSC), and Terry Jane

Ruderman (JSC and former

President of the White Plains

Bar Association) who were

early members. Without the

benefit of WWBA meetings, I

would never have met some

of my closest friends, Sandra

Forster (Ret. Greenburgh Town

Court Justice and former President

of the White Plains Bar

Association), Judge Ingrid

Braslow (Ret. Family Court

Judge and former President of

the White Plains Bar Association),

and Melinda Bass

(WWBA delegate, strong advocate,

defender of women

attorneys and lifelong feminist,

now deceased). Every single

one of us owes a great debt to

Hon. Sondra M. Miller (Ret.

JSC, Appellate Division, Second

Department and former

President of the WWBA) who

was always there to give advice

and encouragement.

Q: Please tell us about your

career and why you decided

to be a judge?

A: My earlier career path as a

reporter and editor led directly

to my interest in the law. After

college, I worked as a writer

and reporter for a number of

“When I first started as a judge . . .

many of the male trial attorneys had

never appeared before a woman judge

and many of them challenged me in a

way that I felt they would have never

tried with a male judge.”

nationally known magazines. I

traveled throughout the country.

During the 80’s I wrote articles

about women’s struggles,

about the plight of the poor, and

the issues facing the African-

American community. My interest

in social injustice for women

and in civil rights eventually led

me to become a judge.

I enjoyed several exciting

years in journalism, but came

to the point that I felt I needed a

change. I wanted to meet my

own challenges and not just

write about the feats and

struggles of others. I needed to

move forward and law school

beckoned. Despite my friends’

dire warnings, “We have too

many lawyers already,” I entered

Hofstra Law School at 31years

old. I graduated three years later

with high honors and a plan to

specialize in criminal trial work.

An appointment as an Assistant

District Attorney (ADA) to

the Westchester County District

Attorney’s Office was my first

step as a lawyer. I remained an

ADA for 10 years and tried many

cases; I loved it. Since I was one

of the few women trial lawyers

there, many of those cases centered

on sex crimes.

I lived in Yonkers and then

learned there was an open elective

position of Yonkers City

Court Judge. I knew nothing

about local politics, but I

learned. I won the nomination

for Yonkers City Court Judge and

I won the race. My races for

Westchester Women’s Bar Association News

County Court Judge and Supreme

Court Judge were natural

progressions. Each time I

faced the challenge of obtaining

political nomination and of

winning. And each time, I loved

the challenge. I am so grateful

to have attained the position of

Supreme Court Judge, which to

me is the highest honor and

most rewarding position I’ve ever

had. And I credit the WWBA

for helping to pave the way to

these achievements.

Q. What are the most significant

decisions, which you have

rendered as a judge?

A: I will mention a few:

❑ San Marco v Village/Town of

Mount Kisco (16 N.Y.3d 111

[2010]) & Groninger v Village

of Mamaroneck (17 N.Y.3d 125

([2011]): determined motions for

summary judgment regarding

defendant municipalities defenses

of no prior notice defense

❑ Porcari v Gannett (50 A.D.3d

993 [2d Dept 2008]): found that

an Assistant

Corporation Counsel in Yonkers

was not a public figure when he

sued for defamation

❑ Skywest Inc. v Ground Handling

Inc. (150 A.D.3d 922 [2d

Dept 2017]): found that the Airport

Terminal Agreement entered

into between plaintiff and defendant

relieved the defendant

County and its agents of liability

from their own negligence in

“unequivocal terms” and was

enforceable

Hon. Mary H. Smith

❑ Damon v Fortis Benefits Ins.

Co. (2005 WL 3070871): supported

military mechanic in

Iraq to obtain insurance benefits

denied by insurance company

under “act of war” exclusion

Q: What challenges did you

face, if any as a woman lawyer

and judge? Have the

challenges changed over

time?

A: When I first started as a

judge in the early 90’s in Yonkers

City Court, I faced challenges

each day as a result of

the longtime male-oriented

culture of Yonkers lawyers. In

these early days, many of the

male trial attorneys had never

appeared before a woman

judge and many of them challenged

me in a way that I felt

they would have never tried

with a male judge. After I became

a Justice of the Supreme

Court, I noticed that these

moments were more infrequent,

but even now there are

attorneys who will act in a

manner (whether by interrupting,

ignoring, or disobeying

direction) that I suspect is reserved

for the women judges.

Recently, I have noticed a

continued on page 8 ➥

Page 7


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Westchester Women’s Bar Association and JALBCA

Hon. Sandra A. Forster

WWBA and JALBCA

(Judges and Lawyers Breast

Cancer Alert) held a joint program

on October 18, 2018 at

the Westchester County Courthouse

in White Plains. The

speakers provided new and interesting

information about

breast cancer.

Judge Sondra Miller, who in

1992 co-founded JALBCA, introduced

the program. She told

us that Judge Judith Kaye and

she decided that something had

to be done to provide women

with information about breast

cancer and to enable them to

make decisions about detection

and treatment of the disease.

JALBCA raised $60,000 last year.

Judge Miller has been an advocate

for enabling women to have

access to knowledge and to early

detection, which is the key to

good health.

JALBCA provides screening

for mammographies and for

clinical breast exams for women

regardless of their insurance. In

addition, it provides navigation

for patients who have abnormal

mammographies and clinical

exams that indicate there is a

possible issue with breast cancer.

It directs women to diagnostic

centers throughout New

York City at no charge, whether

An Interview with Hon. Mary H. Smith

from previous page

surge in pro se litigants, intent

on taking their own cases to

trial. In addition to their inexperience,

they frequently seem

to have trouble respecting a female

authority figure. Although

much has changed for the better

over the years, I sincerely

believe that we need still more

women attorneys trying cases

before juries.

Q: How did you balance work

Kim Berg, Hon. Sondra Miller, Dr. Randy E. Stevens, Hon. Sandra

Forster, and Dr. Alisan B. Goldfarb

or not the women have insurance.

JALBCA provides generous

funding for early testing for

women and stresses that there

is no financial excuse to avoid

screening.

Dr. Alisan B. Goldfarb, a

breast surgeon, spoke about the

risks of having cancer. She discussed

the factors that place you

at risk. She listed the environment,

medicines that you are

taking, smoking, certain foods

and lack of exercise. She pointed

to an ideal body weight that we

should try to reach, by cardio

exercise, namely 2 ½ hours per

week, at 20 minute blocks, working

with weights for muscle development,

strengthening quads

and glutes and holding ourselves

erect and not slumping like an

old person.

Dr. Goldfarb stated that we

life and family over the years?

A: For most of my career I was

a single mother raising two children

alone, from their infancy

to their college years. Of course

I had to hire child care help,

but even then I often felt guilty

because I was always running

from one responsibility to the

next. Looking back on it, being

a single mother, being a Judge

and having to run political campaigns

from time to time, I don’t

know how I did it. And yet, it

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was the happiest time of my life.

I decided to spend all the time I

could at home with the children.

And I don’t regret it.

Q: When not on the bench,

what other activities are you

engaged in as hobbies and in

the community?

A: I perform volunteer work for

certain church activities and

work with local arts groups, such

as the Untermeyer Performing

Arts Council in Yonkers. I also

go to the gym (not enough),

should strive for an anti-cancer

diet which includes green leafy

vegetables, such as kale, vegetables

such as broccoli and

Brussels sprouts and fruits that

include berries. She emphasized

that sugars are poison,

especially refined sugars, and

that everyone should decrease

the intake of animal protein, including

dairy products. She also

indicated that alcohol consumption

should be limited to

four drinks per week. Her emphasis

is on keeping healthy by

focusing on these guidelines.

Dr. Randy E. Stevens, Director

of Radiation Oncology at

White Plains Hospital Center for

Cancer Care, spoke next. She

told us that the center focuses

on personalized medicine, targeting

treatment to each patient.

The goal is to de-escalate treatment

to be most effective and to

spare the patient harmful side

effects. The center is using clinical

trials to develop benefits to

all patients. The goal is, if indicated,

to eliminate the need for

chemotherapy, to keep the radiation

at a low dosage and to

localize the radiation to the area

of the tumor. Sometimes when

the cancer is at zero stage it can

be considered pre-cancer and

after a biopsy, there may be no

need to remove the tumor.

Dr. Stevens discussed genomic

revelations where genetic

testing of the tumor may identify

the gene and enable them to

match the treatment to the genetic

finding. She also discussed

the various screening techniques,

such as mammographies,

ultra sound and MRI and

the application of each method.

She stated that 3D mammographies

reveal multiple angles of

the breast and are incredibly

revealing. She said that digital

mammographies would eventually

be phased out. Most importantly,

she emphasized selfexam

and said that self-awareness

is the key to early detection

of cancer.

The audience appreciated

the opportunity to ask questions

of the two very knowledgeable

and experienced doctors. ◗

swim regularly, and am a film

buff. I have traveled widely.

Q: What would you most like

to achieve professionally and

personally going forward?

A: As of now, my goal is to

provide a very fair and informed

forum to litigants on a

day-to-day basis. In the future

I am very interested in pursuing

writing as a second career,

since I feel I have many

stories to tell after a long career

on the bench. ◗

Page 8

Westchester Women’s Bar Association News


November Litigation Tip

✦ TOPIC: AUTHENTICATION OF DOCUMENTS AND OTHER ITEMS –

NEW CPLR 4540-A

The process of authentication of evidence at trial is necessary but often can take precious trial

time and involve testimony of witnesses, unnecessarily. Now, Rule 4540-a which will become

effective January 1, 2019, will address the authentication burden and in many cases, avoid the

need to call unnecessary witnesses. This new rule allows for a presumption of authenticity

when an opposing party introduces into evidence documents and other items produced during

discovery by an adversary in response to Article 31 disclosure. The rationale for this new rule is

based upon the fact that if a party has responded to discovery in pretrial litigation by producing

documents or other items that party has implicitly acknowledged the authenticity of that item.

This presumption is rebuttable. The producing party is protected because the new rule allows

for a showing by a preponderance of the evidence that said item is a forgery, fraud or has some

other defect in authenticity.

Practitioners should keep in mind that the presumption only applies to authenticity and genuineness.

Parties are still permitted to assert other objections as to relevance, best evidence, etc.

This new section should promote a more efficient use of trial time and in many cases, avoid the

need to call witnesses when an authenticity objection is asserted as to a party’s own document or

other evidence produced during discovery.

Written by Angela Morcone Giannini, Co-Chair, Litigation Committee

Other Co-Chairs: Jacqueline Hattar & Kimberly Sheehan

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Westchester Women’s Bar Association News

Page 9


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Chapter News and Announcements

Announcements & Notes on Members

(L-R): Kristen Motel, Cuddy & Feder LLP; Carla

Glassman, Glassman & Brown, LLP; Susan Brown,

Glassman & Brown, LLP; Tom Gabriel, LSHV’s Chief

Development Officer; Barbara Finkelstein, LSHV’s

CEO; Kim Berg, Gould & Berg, LLP; Linda

Markowitz, Rosenthal & Markowitz, LLP; and Sherry

Bishko, Rosenthal & Markowitz, LLP

❑ Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV), the only provider of comprehensive

civil legal services to those that cannot afford it in the seven counties of the lower and

mid-Hudson Valley, was awarded

a $1,200 grant by the Westchester

Women’s Bar Association Foundation,

Inc. The grant will support

LSHV’s Housing Stability Program

for Families in Westchester.

The need for housing legal

services in Westchester County is

clear. 22% of Westchester’s population

falls below 200% of the federal

poverty guidelines and qualifies

for LSHV’s services. A June

21, 2017 “LoHud” article claimed

that student homelessness has

grown 48% over the past six years

in Westchester. According to the

National Low Income Housing Coalition 2017 Out of Reach Report, Westchester County

was the second most expensive HUD Metro Fair Market Rent Area (HMFA) in the state,

with a housing wage of $32.81/hour needed to afford a 2-bedroom apartment. Only

Nassau-Suffolk HMFA was more expensive, and New York HMFA was third. In 2017,

LSHV attorneys handled 3,227 housing cases for residents of Westchester County, which

impacted almost 7,750 household members.

❑ Congratulations to WWBA member Carol Swidler, , Esq.

who on October 18, 2018, received the Joseph F. Gagliardi

Award for Excellence. The award recognizes outstanding nonjudicial

employees in the Ninth Judicial District for their outstanding

service to the public and dedication to the administration

of justice. Ms. Swidler, who serves as Supervising Court

Attorney-Referee in the Matrimonial Part of the Westchester Supreme

and County Courts, was selected as one of two recipients

for this year’s Award. The Honorable Kathie E. Davidson, Administrative

Judge, Ninth Judicial District presided over the ceremony.

Ms. Swidler was introduced by the Honorable Alan D.

Scheinkman, Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department.


Carol Swidler with

the Hon. Alan D.

Scheinkman

Become a New

Member Today

RENEW YOUR

WWBA MEMBERSHIP TODAY

FOR THE PERIOD

JUNE 1, 2018 TO MAY 31, 2019.

RENEW NOW! DON’T WAIT!

WWBA Membership includes

membership to the Women’s Bar

Association of the State of New York

(WBASNY).

January 31, 2019 is the closing date in

order to count the WWBA members

towards our certification to WBASNY and

assure our number of delegates.

Renewing before this date will allow our

Westchester Chapter (WWBA) to continue

to be a strong presence in our statewide

organization (WBASNY) while you will

enjoy its many benefits, events,

newsletter and CLE programming.

President’s Message

from page 4

In addition, I am very appreciative to all of my committee co-chairs, Local Directors

and State Directors. I know how much time, effort and work goes into planning,

attending and seeing results from the time you put into your various roles. I could not

have asked for more from the WWBA team. I am in awe of the calendar of programs

and CLEs they have put together and the fact that we literally offer something for

everyone, whether it be in the form of networking, wellness events, book club, theatre

trips, seminars, continuing legal education and other programs. When this message

goes to print on or about November 1st, our co-chairs will have put on 20 programs!!!

Simply amazing and I thank you for all your hard work.

I am eternally grateful to Elisabeth Campos, our amazing Executive Director, without

whom this organization would falter. Elisabeth is organized, efficient, and has

continued on page 11 ➥

Page 10

Hélène Côté, Sherry A. Bishko,

Elisabeth Campos

It is easy to renew by going to the

WWBA Website at www.WWBANY.org.

You can use a credit card or

PayPal to make payment.

Westchester Women’s Bar Association News


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Westchester Women’s Bar Association New Members

The Westchester Women’s Bar Association proudly welcomes our newest members:

TO PROTECT THE PRIVACY OF OUR MEMBERS,

THIS INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS OF THE WWBA ONLY.

President’s Message

from previous page

implemented important protocol and uniformity

since the time she became Executive

Director a little over two years ago.

She interfaces with our members, outside

organizations, sponsors, board and the executive

board. She keeps track of all of

our deadlines, membership numbers, reports

to WBASNY and other bar associations,

sponsors, and our programs to name

a few. She drafts and sends updates,

agenda, emails, and notifications for all

of our events, sets everything up on our

website and publicizes for us on social media,

handles all of our weekly updates and

online calendaring, including registration.

Thank you Elisabeth!

Of course, I am thankful for many

people and things in my life beyond the

Westchester Women’s Bar Association. I

am grateful for having found my martial

arts academy where I not only get the benefits

of daily exercise (mentally and physically)

but also where I met my boyfriend,

made great “like minded” friends, and

get to share something special and unique

with my children who train with me. I am

incredibly thankful for my parents, Scott,

my two amazing children and the neighbors

I call my “family” who are my support,

encouragement, and foundation in

all that I do. I cannot tell you how often I

say the phrase “it takes a village” in the

context of the fact that one parent cannot

be the person who does it all for his or

her child and my “village” keeps me going.

I am grateful for the smiles and

laughter they each bring to my life, for

the support system they provide, and for

the love they give me (which I readily give

back!!).

I hope this message not only inspires

you to utter two simple words, “thank you,”

more regularly but that it further inspires

you to develop a “habit” of being thankful

and having a sincere attitude of gratitude.

I wish all of you your families a

very Happy Thanksgiving! ◗

Westchester Women’s Bar Association News

Page 11


WESTCHESTER WOMEN’S BAR ASSOCIATION

RATINGS OF 2018 JUDICIAL CANDIDATES

The Westchester Women’s Bar Association (“WWBA”), a chapter of the Women’s Bar Association of the

State of New York, has released its ratings of the candidates for the Supreme Court for the Ninth Judicial District,

(which includes the counties of Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Orange and Putnam), and the Westchester

County Court.

The WWBA offers ratings through its Judicial Screening Committee, which conducts interviews of the

candidates. The ratings are based upon the criteria of judicial temperament, knowledge of the law, legal writing

ability, general reputation, character and fitness, and attitudes towards women’s issues. Possible ratings are “Outstanding,”

“Well Qualified,” “Qualified” or “Not Qualified” for the judicial office the candidate seeks.

The report of the WWBA Judicial Screening Committee for 2018 is as follows:

Candidate Rating Candidate Rating

Supreme Court, 9 th J.D.

Supreme Court, 9 th J.D. (Cont’d)

Hon. Kathie E. Davidson Well Qualified Hon. Joan B. Lefkowitz Outstanding

Hon. David F. Everett Well Qualified Hon. James F. Reitz Well Qualified

Robert H. Freehill Well Qualified Hon. Barry E. Warhit Well Qualified

Hon. William J. Giacomo Well Qualified Hon. Thomas B. Zugibe Qualified

Hon. Hal. B. Greenwald

Qualified

Phillip A. Grimaldi, Jr. Qualified Westchester County Court

Hon. Susan Capeci

Outstanding

Ratings are determined after conducting a personal interview of each candidate and considering a written

questionnaire, a resume and other documentation, including written decisions, legal briefs and other relevant

writing samples submitted by the candidates. The Committee also takes into consideration the candidate’s judicial

experience for the position sought and references solicited from lawyers who have either appeared before the

candidate, and/or appeared as opposing counsel or co-counsel with the candidate. If a candidate does not appear

before the Committee, fails to submit written materials, or otherwise fails to cooperate with the Committee, a

rating of “not qualified” is given. All interviews of the candidates and deliberations of the Committee members

remain strictly confidential.

This year, the WWBA Judicial Screening Committee is co-chaired by attorneys Loren I. Glassman and Sandra

Forster and Kimberly Sheehan. Other members of the Committee are attorneys Lisa M. Bluestein, Theresa Girolamo,

Steven A. Swidler and Arlene Gold Wexler.

WWBA has more than 500 members all of whom are lawyers or law students who live and/or work in

Westchester County or adjoining counties. Members include judges, attorneys in private practice, in-house

counsel, government attorneys, and attorneys with alternate careers. WWBA is the second largest chapter of the

Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York.

For further information please contact WWBA President, Kim Berg, Esq., at (914) 397-1050. ◗

Page 12

Westchester Women’s Bar Association News


WWBA Schedule of Upcoming Events

COMMITTEE DATE/TIME PLACE TOPIC RSVP (also online at www.wwbany.org)

Women in Professional

Transition Project

Board of Directors and

General Membership

Meeting

Corporate & Commercial

and Environmental & Land

Use Committees

11/2/18

1:00 PM

11/7/18

Board Meeting

5:30-6:00 PM

General

Membership

Meeting

6:00-7:15 PM

Light supper

provided

11/14/18

12:00-12:30 PM

Registration

12:30-2:00 PM

Program

Brown Bag

Lunch

WWBA Book Club 11/14/18

6:00 PM

Real Estate Committee 11/27/18

Registration

12:00-12:30 PM

Program 12:30-

2:30 PM

Lunch provided

Board of Directors Meeting 12/5/18

5:30-7:30 PM

Women in Professional

Transition Project

12/7/18

1:00 PM

445 Café

445 Hamilton Avenue

White Plains, NY

BNY Mellon

701 Westchester Avenue

White Plains, NY

Cuddy & Feder, LLP

445 Hamilton Avenue

14 th Floor

White Plains, NY

Jane Gould’s Home

White Plains, NY

Esposito’s Restaurant

359 Mamaroneck

Avenue

White Plains, NY

BNY Mellon

701 Westchester Avenue

White Plains, NY

445 Café

445 Hamilton Avenue

White Plains, NY

“First Fridays” with the

WWBA’s Women in

Professional Transition

Project

Women and Money:

Are You Preparing for

the Future You Want?

This program will

present practical ways

to think about your

finances to make sure

you are making

informed decisions and

are appropriately

planning for your future

Navigating Strategies

for the Real Estate and

Litigation Client Under

the American with

Disabilities Act and

NYS/ Local Human

Rights Laws

1 CLE Credit in

Professional Practice

and .5 CLE Credit in

Ethics *(pending

approval)

The Sixth Meeting of

the WWBA Book Club

Book: “Before We

Were Yours” by Lisa

Wingate

An Introduction to

Zoning Board Practice

The program will

review basic substantive

and procedural aspects

of practice before a

Zoning Board of

Appeals (“ZBA”) and

will offer practical tips

and advice from

municipal building and

zoning officials and a

design professional

about how to approach

ZBA applications

2 CLE Credits in

Professional Practice*

(pending approval)

“First Fridays” with the

WWBA’s Women in

Professional Transition

Project

No RSVP necessary

For more information go to

www.wwbany.org

Register online at

www.wwbany.org or

via email to

executivedirector@wwbany.org

Please RSVP by November 9, 2018

online at www.wwbany.org or by

check to: WWBA

PO Box 926

Hartsdale, NY 10530

RSVP online at www.wwbany.org

RSVP by November 20, 2018

online at www.wwbany.org

Please contact Noelle Wolfson at

n.wolfson@htwlegal.com or 914-

421-1800 with any questions

For questions or if you are not able

to attend contact:

Kim Berg at

president@wwbany.org

No RSVP necessary

For more information go to

www.wwbany.org

THE WWBA MEMBERSHIP PERIOD FOR

2018-2019 BEGINS ON JUNE 1, 2018.

PLEASE RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP TOD

ODAY AT

Connect

with

Westchester Women’s Bar Association News

WWW.WWBANY

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REMEMBER, YOU CAN FIND THE WBASNY WEB PAGE

AT WWW.WBASNY.ORG.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO RECYCLE

us

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