The Kings County Criminal Bar Association Has Returned to In-Person events

From left: Hon. Miriam Cyrulnik, KCCBA President Darran Winslow, Hon. Heidi Cesare, and Hon. Dineen Riviezzo.
Eagle photos by Mario Belluomo

After more than two years off due to the COVID pandemic, the Kings County Criminal Bar Association made a triumphant return this month when it held its once-annual dinner at Giando on the Water.

The KCCBA had previously begun testing the waters with smaller in-person continuing legal education events at the Brooklyn Bar Association, and finally felt they were ready for something big.

It’s first official in-person event since the pandemic was last year when the KCCBA hosted two attorneys from the Legal Aid Society, Julie Schaul and Robyn Lear, for a CLE titled, “Speedy Trial and Discovery After COVID.” It was actually a hybrid event with 125 registered people in attendance, approximately 25 in person with nearly 100 people joining the group online.

The KCCBA had attempted a holiday party in December, however, canceled it due to COVID concerns at the time. So, it wouldn’t be until March 10 when the group would try another in-person CLE.

From left: Gary Farrell, Hon. Barry Kamins and Michael Jaccarino.

March’s meeting also had strong attendance of at least 25 people once again in person with more than 125 online this time as Hon. Matthew D’Emic, administrative judge of the Kings County Supreme Court, Criminal Term and Hon. Keisha Espinal, supervising judge of the Kings County Criminal Court, presented “State of the Criminal Courts 2022.”

In April, Judge Barry Kamins, a past president of the KCCBA, and former administrative judge in the Kings County Supreme Court, Criminal Term, gave his once-annual “Search and Seizure Law Update,” and Allison Lewis, from the Legal Aid Society, gave her once-annual “DNA: Overview and Updates” lecture.

The big return came on May 4 when the KCCBA gathered at Giando on the Water. This was the same spot that it has held its last six annual dinners, however, it was just the first one since 2019.

The dinner looked different this year — newly installed President Darran Winslow ran it for the first time – and the crowd was a little smaller than it typically is, but still strong with over 100 people in attendance. There were no honorees as there typically are.

From left: Maria Neri, Michael Farkas and Bill Neri.

The committee that organized the event said that the Association was just looking to get back together and have a sense of normalcy, even if it meant that they put the event together with no honorees. Of course, Winslow said, the group will be looking to honor many members in its community at next year’s dinner that have helped guide the profession throughout COVID.

The KCCBA is just getting started too. Now that it feels like it is past the COVID hump, and members want to return to in-person events again, the KCCBA is planning a CLE at Yankee Stadium sometime in July.

It will host its once-annual Charity Golf Outing on August 11 at the Marine Park Golf Course. If people are interested in golfing with the KCCBA, they should contact Paul Hirsch at [email protected].

There is no date for its next CLE, however, once the group does return for monthly meetings in September it expects to be fully back in person, without a hybrid option, but with dinner and drinks being served as they traditionally have in the past (sushi and soft drinks).

Jay Schwitzman (left) and Andrew Rendeiro.

Celebrate 150 with the BBA

The Brooklyn Bar Association turns 150 years old in June and the association will celebrate with a party at El Caribe in Mill Basin this Thursday, June 2 at 6:30p.m. There are still a few tickets available on while supplies last.

The event will honor long-time Executive Director Avery Eli Okin, who is retiring after 36 years in June, and past President Steven Cohn. It will also recognize all its past presidents who have contributed to its glorious success.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please consider helping to sponsor such a special event while we honor some of the people who have meant the most to this association over the years. Sponsorships are available from $150 to $25,000. Please click here for more details.

Robert Abruzzese is the former Legal Editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and the current Director of Member Services at the Brooklyn Bar Association. Now as a legal columnist for the Eagle, Abruzzese writes about the BBA and the local legal community. For information about joining the Brooklyn Bar Association, you can reach him via email at [email protected].

The Kings County Criminal Bar Association Has Returned to In-Person events