Lh Charney by EchoMovement


									         alumni update

                                                                                         York University School of Professional Studies and Contin-

                          Apprentice C0-Star George Ross ’53                             uing Education in the Real Estate Division, where he teaches
                                                                                         a course in negotiation.
                          Visits BLS for Dean’s Roundtable
                                                                                           At the luncheon, Ross shared his thoughts on how to
                          For decades, George Ross has been known in legal and real      become a successful and effective lawyer and negotiator.
                          estate circles as an accomplished and exacting lawyer and      Consider “no task too small,” he advised, and “don’t look
                          negotiator. Last year, he added the distinction of nation-     down on anyone —you never know.” He emphasized the
                          ally known television personality to his distinguished         importance of studying your adversary. Finally, he said
                          resume when he starred on the hit show “The Appren-            that the measure of a successful negotiation is the extent
                          tice.” In the reality series, Ross plays (much as he does in   to which both parties walk away from the table satisfied
                          real life) Donald Trump’s right-hand-man as Trump passes       with the outcome.
                          judgment on aspiring young executives vying for a place
                                                                                         Other Roundtable Participants this year:
                          in the Trump organization.
                             At a Dean’s Roundtable Lunch last March, Ross (Class of     Francis J. Aquila ’83
                          1953) returned to his alma mater to share his wisdom with      Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell
                          current BLS students of a lifetime’s experience.
                                                                                         Jodi L. Avergun ’87
                             Ross began working for The Trump Organization in 1996.
                                                                                         Chief, Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section,
                          In his current position as Executive Vice-President and
                                                                                         Criminal Division,
                          Senior Counsel, he serves as business and legal advisor to
                                                                                         United States Department of Justice
                          CEO Donald J. Trump and is responsible for development of
                          foreign investments and supervision of leasing and opera-      Leon H. Charney ’64
                          tions of properties at 40 Wall Street and Trump Tower.         Owner, L.H. Charney Associates Inc.
                             Before joining the Trump Organization, Ross was a           Television producer and moderator,
                          senior partner at Dreyer and Traub, and served as general      “Leon Charney Report”
                          counsel, consultant and negotiator for renowned private
                          real estate investors. He was also a co-founder of a
                          successful communications company that owned and               Courthouse Named After
                          operated several radio stations, and he was a co-founder of    James Lopez Watson ’51
                          Avonite, Inc., a leader in the solid surface industry. He is
                          currently an Adjunct Professor and guest lecturer at New       In November, the United States Court of International
                                                                                         Trade in Manhattan was renamed the “James L. Watson
                                                                                         United States Court of International Trade Building” in
                                                                                         honor of the late Judge James Lopez Watson, Brooklyn Law
                                                                                         School Class of 1951.
                                                                                            Watson was among a highly distinguished group of African-
                                                                                         American and Hispanic-American graduates from BLS in the
                                                                                         1950s whose careers in New York politics paved the way
                                                                                         for the generations of minorities that followed. These
                                                                                         included: David Dinkins, Class of 1956, former Mayor of
                                                                                         New York City; Percy Sutton, Class of 1950, who served as
                                                                                         Manhattan Borough President from 1966-1977; and
                                                                                         Herman Badillo, Class of 1954, who served as a U.S.
                                                                                         Congressman, Bronx Borough President, and Chairman of
                                                                                         the Board of the City University of New York.
         George Ross shares his experience with students.

50   |   LAWNOTES F A L L 2 0 0 4
                                                                       Europe. He was severely wounded in combat and was
                                                                       awarded the Purple Heart and the Battle Star, among
                                                                       other decorations. After a year’s hospitalization, he
                                                                       resumed his studies and graduated from New York
                                                                       University and Brooklyn Law School, which he attended
                                                                       on the G.I. Bill.
                                                                          Watson was elected to the New York State Senate in
                                                                       1954, where he served for nine years before winning elec-
                                                                       tion to the New York Civil Court. In 1966, he was appointed
                                                                       to the United States Court of International Trade by Presi-
James Lopez Watson ’51                                                 dent Lyndon B. Johnson and served on the Court until his
                                                                       death in 2001. At that time, he was the country’s most
  Watson was a lifelong resident of Harlem where he                    senior African-American jurist.
was born in 1922. During World War II he served in the                    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Percy Sutton and Dean
storied 92nd “Buffalo Soldier” Division, the first segre-              Joan G. Wexler were among the speakers who paid tribute
gated unit of African-American soldiers to arrive in                   to Judge Watson’s life and groundbreaking career.           I


Alumni Gather at State Bar Luncheon
On January 30, 2004, the Law School hosted a luncheon for
alumni at the Princeton Club, in connection with the New
York State Bar Association’s annual meeting. Dean Joan G.
Wexler spoke to the group about the continued progress of
the Law School, and in particular the impressive credentials
of the 2003 entering class. She also proudly showed the group
a slide show of the new residence hall construction.

                                                                       Todd M. Riegler ’01 and Kathleen M. Johnson ’01 chat with
                                                                       Dean Joan G. Wexler.

                                                                       Dean Wexler with Himan Brown ’31                   l to r: Conrad Johns ’75 and Robert Lewis ’50

                    Michael Gunzburg ’87 (standing), Peter Mollo ’88
                    and Hon. Carol MacKenzie ’88
         alumni update

                                                                                       she became Special Counsel to the Chief Administrative

                      Frederick Cohen ’67 and Ann T. Pfau ’84                          Judge of the New York State Courts, where she served as
                                                                                       chief legal advisor, counselor and principal executive to the
                      Honored at Alumni Luncheon
                                                                                       Chief Administrative Judge. She also played a key role in the
                      On December 7, nearly 200 graduates gathered at the              oversight and implementation of the court system’s crim-
                      Waldorf-Astoria in New York City to reconnect and pay            inal justice and family justice programs.
                      tribute to two distinguished BLS alumni: Frederick Cohen           In 1998, Pfau was appointed Deputy Chief Adminis-
                      ’67 and the Hon. Ann T. Pfau ’84.                                trator for Management Support, where she oversaw
                        Frederick Cohen is one of New York’s most highly               day-to-day management and administration of the court
                      regarded construction lawyers. He is the co-founder of Ross &    system. That same year she was appointed to the New
                      Cohen, llp, a boutique firm specializing in construction and     York City Criminal Court. She was designated an Acting
                      real estate transactions and litigation. The firm’s clients      Supreme Court Justice in 2001. The following year, she
                      include major owner-developers, non-profit organizations,        became the Administrative Judge of the Supreme Court,
                      general contractors, subcontractors, surety companies, and       Second Judicial District, and maintained a dual role as
                      architects. It is also rich in BLS alumni: seven of the firm’s   Deputy Chief Administrative Judge. At that time, Chief
                      eighteen lawyers are graduates of the Law School.
                        Cohen, who is a member of the BLS Board of Trustees, has
                      been a steadfast supporter of his alma mater. He represented
                      the Law School in the negotiation of contracts related to the
                      construction of the 1994 addition to the main building, and
                      serves as the construction attorney on the residence hall
                      now under construction. He has been a generous contrib-
                      utor to the School’s capital campaigns, is a charter member
                      of the 1901 Society, and a classroom has been named in
                      honor of his commitment to the Law School.
                        Outside of his practice, Cohen is an active participant in
                      a number of professional activities. He is a member of the
                      executive committee of the Committee of Construction             BLS Alumni Association President Susan Karten, Dean Joan G. Wexler,
                      and Surety Law of the New York State Bar Association, and        Judge Ann Pfau, and Frederick Cohen, Esq.
                      a member of the American Bar Association’s Public
                      Contract Law Section and its Construction Industry Panel         Judge Judith Kaye commended Pfau’s “superb manage-
                      of Arbitrators. He also serves on the Real Estate Committee      ment skills, boundless energy, and great strength of
                      of the UJA-Federation of New York.                               character.” She helped to restore public confidence in the
                        Cohen lives in New York City with his wife, Jan, who,          judiciary in the Brooklyn courts, and has been widely cred-
                      after 25 years as a professional in the private sector, is now   ited with introducing important system reforms, including
                      a middle school math teacher in the New York City public         a major restructuring of the trial calendar to reduce the
                      school system.                                                   number of trial-ready cases called each day and a new
                        Judge Ann T. Pfau is the First Deputy Chief Adminis-           system for assigning judges to cases.
                      trative Judge, the second highest administrative position          Pfau received her B.A. from Wells College and a Master’s
                      in the New York State court system. She took on this new         degree in special education from Columbia University. At
                      role in January 2004, the latest in a series of key posts        Brooklyn Law School, she served as a member of the editorial
                      she has held in her distinguished career in the Unified          staff of the Brooklyn Law Review.
                      Court System.                                                      This year’s luncheon will be held on December 5, 2004
                        After graduating from Law School, Pfau joined the Office       at the Waldorf-Astoria.
                      of Court Administration’s Counsel’s Office, where she
                      provided legal counsel to court administrators and negoti-
                      ated contracts on behalf of the court system. In 1990, she was
                      promoted to the post of Executive Assistant to the Deputy
                      Chief Administrator for Management Support, and in 1996

52   |   LAWNOTES F A L L 2 0 0 4
Alumni Spotlight: Leon Charney ’64
Creativity and a Sense of Adventure Shape a Remarkable Life

Leon Charney’s most vivid memories of Brooklyn Law              Charney’s work on the
School take him back to Dean Jerome Prince’s Evidence         Hill eventually led him to
Class. “Law is an art—be creative!” the professor would       a meeting with Israeli
continually exhort his students. “Anyone who had Prince       Prime Minister Golda
heard the same words,” says Charney.                          Meir. Meir convinced him
  Many BLS alumni have been influenced by the                 to travel to the Soviet
legendary Dean Prince, but few have taken those partic-       Union to help secure the
ular words so passionately to heart as has Charney. In the    release of Jewish dissi-
40 years since he graduated, he has used imaginative and      dents and other Jews who
risk-taking strategies to achieve success in a remarkable     had been prevented from
array of careers. He has been an entertainment lawyer, an     emigrating. Charney made several trips during the 1970’s
international negotiator, a real-estate mogul, an author,     to the Soviet Union, and through his efforts and those of
and the producer and star of his eponymous television         others, thousands of Jews were able to leave the country.
interview show, to list only some of his accomplishments.       This marked the beginning of a new career for Charney
  From a young age, Charney’s creative abilities were         — a negotiator who used “back door channels” to effect
matched by his tenacity and capacity for hard work. The       political change. He put this unique skill to use when he
son of Lithuanian immigrants, Charney was a traveling         developed a relationship with the Israeli defense minister
salesman selling fabrics to help support his family after     Ezer Weizman and President Jimmy Carter’s counsel,
his father died. After graduating from Yeshiva University,    Robert Lipshutz. Having gained their trust and respect,      I

he took a job teaching Hebrew School to raise tuition to      Charney acted as an intermediary and negotiator in what      53
attend law school. The next year, Charney enrolled in the     would eventually become the Camp David Agreement
“morning program” of Brooklyn Law School while contin-        between Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. Presi-
uing to work in the garment trade in the afternoons.          dent Carter has referred to Charney as “one of the unsung
  His ability to juggle disparate jobs simultaneously         heroes of the Camp David Accords.”
began during his law school days. In addition to being a        By the early 1980s, Charney embarked on yet another
salesman, he was a cantor on the Jewish High Holy Days,       career when he purchased several buildings in the Times
and, during his last year in law school, worked as a          Square area. His successful company, L.H. Charney Associ-
reporter for a New York radio station where he covered        ates, Inc., now owns and manages seven buildings in New
the Democratic 1964 presidential convention.                  York City. The 1980s marked another significant turning
  Charney’s first job out of law school was with a litiga-    point for Charney when he created “The Leon Charney
tion firm. Then he started a practice in lower Manhattan      Report,” a public affairs television program for which he
with contacts he had developed as a salesman. His canto-      serves as producer and host. Charney values the opportu-
rial background opened the door to entertainers and he        nity to talk to newsmakers at length, and to have “an
founded a larger practice, Charney & White. There, he         extremely intelligent conversation with great personali-
handled high-profile cases dealing with proprietary rights    ties.” The show reaches a million people every week.
of comedians’ material and censorship issues against            Charney has written two memoirs, Special Counsel
powerful entertainment corporations.                          (1984) and Spy for Peace (1993), as well as Leon Charney
  His representation of Jackie Mason, who sued CBS for        Presents (1994) and The Charney Report: Confronting the
censoring his anti-war material during the Vietnam era in     Israeli-Arab Conflict (2001). He is also the recipient of
the early 1970s, attracted the attention of Indiana Senator   numerous awards and honors.
Vance Hartke, who opposed the war. The senator hired            Charney, who lives in New York and Florida with his
Charney to be outside counsel for the Congressional           wife and two sons, is proud of his accomplishments and
Communications Subcommittee and also to act as a              service. Jerome Prince would surely be proud of his
consultant on the Veteran Affairs Committee, which            protégé as well. “Create, create!” says Charney. “That has
Hartke chaired.                                               been my modus operandi as a lawyer.”       I
Large and Joyous Gatherings at

                                    Class Reunions
                                    On May 18, alumni filled Tavern on the Green in Central Park to
                                    reminisce over cocktails and a buffet dinner. Nearly 300
                                    graduates from class years ending in four and nine accompanied
                                    by family and friends took part in the festive party.

                                                                             1       Ruth Roth ’59, Samson Jochnowitz ’59,
                                                                                     Louis Zlotolow ’59
                                                                             2       1959 Classmates: Honorable Gerald
                                                                                     Sheindlin and Richard Krauss
                                                                             3       Dean Joel Gora, Andrea Strong ’94,
                                                                                     Stacey A. Levine ’94, Scott Allen Stern ’94
                                1                                                    and Rachel Schwartz ’94

                                     2                                       4       Honorable Barbara Panepinto ’84,
                                                                                     Linda Alpert ’84, Carol Sernasie ’84,
                                                                                     Arthur Aronson ’84
                                                                             5       Wendy Young ’74, Garry Young ’74 and
                                                                                     Joseph Samet ’74
                                                                             6       Professor Emeritus Joseph Crea ’47 and
                                                                                     Thomas A. DeMaria ’79
                                                                             7       Professor Richard Farrell ’64 (far left,
                                                                                     2nd row) with members of his class




54   |   LAWNOTES F A L L 2 0 0 4
                       9                                         10

         8    Members of the Class of ’54 and guests
         9    Nonna Gushchina ’99, Craig Price ’99,
              Russell Newbold Araya ’99
         10   Mitchell Kaplan ’89, Deborah S. Ball ’89,
              Garret Rubin ’89 and Jill Kaplan
         11   Members of the Class of ’99
         12   Dean Joan Wexler, Gerald Salzman ’69,
              Professor Gerald Shargel ’69, Bernard Kobroff
              ’69, Geraldo Rivera ’69 and Cye E. Ross ’69.
         13   Chaim Steinberger ’94, Rachel Fink ’94,
     8        Doron Wesley ’94, Brian Mittman ’94
         14   Professors Claire Kelly ’93 and
              Joyce Adolfsen ’74, Joanne Blasberg ’79
         15   Sadie Forchelli, Lesley Heller, Donald H. Heller        11
              ’69, Jeffrey D. Forchelli ’64






         alumni update

                      Unique Fellowship Program Repays Debt
                      Now in its ninth year, Brooklyn Law School’s Criminal
                      Justice Post-Graduate Fellowship has again helped reduce
                      the debt of selected BLS graduates who have dedicated
                      their careers to public service. The fellowship program,
                      established by Professor Robert Pitler, was created to
                      enable experienced graduates with substantial educa-
                      tional debt to continue practicing in public sector criminal
                      law. BLS graduates are awarded a loan repayment stipend
                      of $7,500 that is paid directly to the graduates’ lending
                                                                                      Samuel Getz ’97, Professor Ursula Bentele and Judge Charles Solomon
                      institutions to reduce the balance of their loan.               (members of the selection committee), and Stacy Blanshaft ’94
                        Stacey Blanshaft ’94 began her career in public interest
                      law by serving as an intern for the Legal Aid Society during
                                                                                      Defense Division in Manhattan. The following summer,
                      her first summer at BLS. “It afforded me the opportunity to
                                                                                      as a Sparer Fellow, he journeyed to the northwest to join
                      work with attorneys who had a tremendous amount of
                                                                                      the Public Defender’s office in the Puget Sound area,
                      knowledge, a wealth of experience, and were incredibly
                                                                                      where he had the opportunity to take on his own clients
                      committed to making a difference,” she said. Upon gradu-
                                                                                      and try his own cases.
                      ating, Blanshaft joined the King’s County District Attorney’s
                                                                                        He joined the Legal Aid Society following graduation,
                      Office. Over the last ten years she has taken on progres-
                                                                                      and he is currently a senior staff attorney in the Brooklyn
                      sively serious cases, and she now serves as the First Deputy
                                                                                      office. Getz’s caseload has ranged from narcotics posses-
                      Bureau Chief in one of the Office’s trial divisions.
                                                                                      sion to gun possession, to murder and rape cases. Despite
                        “I am proud to work at an office that does not simply
                                                                                      the relatively low financial rewards, Getz takes a great
                      seek to incarcerate the guilty, but instead, where appro-
                                                                                      deal of pride and satisfaction in his work. “Whole families
                      priate, offers alternatives to incarceration and strives to
                                                                                      are devastated when a family member is arrested,” said
                      make the community a better place,” she said. To that end,
                                                                                      Getz. “A person’s liberty is at stake — and I have a respon-
                      she meets regularly with a fifth grade class in a Flatbush
                                                                                      sibility to the family to get the best outcome possible.”
                      elementary school where she speaks to young people
                                                                                        The Fellowship program is funded through the proceeds
                      about crime and the devastation it can cause to the lives
                                                                                      of Professor Pitler’s Annual Criminal Law, Procedure and
                      of individuals and the community. “This is one of the
                                                                                      Evidence CLE Seminar.     I
                      ways I believe we can impact the future,” said Blanshaft.
                        Samuel Getz ’97 also entered BLS with an inclination
                      toward public interest law. He spent his first law school
                      summer as an intern at the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal

                      keep us informed
                      Tell us, and each other, about your latest professional         Email us at communications@brooklaw.edu
                      activities and other important milestones in your               or fax your news to 718-625-5242.
                      lives. We want to know about career promotions,                 Photos are welcome.
                      appointments, new ventures, and educational
                                                                                      Visit the online class notes at:
                      accomplishments, and don’t forget to share your
                      news about births, adoptions, and marriages.

56   |   LAWNOTES F A L L 2 0 0 4

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