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President's Message

June 2023

It is with deep honor and humility that I am becoming the 127th president of the Queens County Bar Association (QCBA). I wish to thank Adam Orlow, the current president for working through the challenges of the past year. I also thank my other predecessors as well for the strong foundations they have left behind.

The QCBA shall soon be at a new address at 88-14 Sutphin Blvd., as will QVLP (3rd and 4th floor). Please stop by to take a look at our and your new QCBA headquarters (watch your mailboxes for details on our impending move!). We will be facing new challenges and opportunities as we enter the new, but smaller space. However, entering a new office will provide us with new opportunities. The old QCBA building, which for almost 63 years has served as our “home” (since June 1, 1960), had space to hold our events, large and small. We all will fondly remember the events we attended there through the years. We will now use off site facilities like we did recently for our Judiciary Night, held at St. John’s University School of Law, as well as other locations.

In 2020, 2021 and a portion of 2022 there was turmoil in the legal community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The QCBA was not immune. We faced these challenges head on, and met them, mostly with positive results and sometimes with innovation, such that prior to the pandemic these the solutions would not have been considered or even implemented. Zoom CLE’s and remote committee meetings are now the norm with better attendance, more member involvement, and free to exceptionally low cost CLEs for our members.

The QCBA, thanks to our sponsorship programs, is now on a better financial foundation than it was before the pandemic. We will continue to build upon these efforts to ensure that we thrive, continue providing services for our members, and the legal community and citizens of Queens County. I thank our sponsors for their continuing support.

As we continue to emerge from the pandemic (this seems to be a process), lawyers practicing in Queens County, and elsewhere, still face the challenges caused by it. Cases are moving through the court system much slower than before the pandemic. Some law firms are still facing financial challenges because of it. Our clients/litigants are facing challenges from delays as well. There is not going to be any easy or simple answer to fix this. Nevertheless, we at the QCBA continue to advocate for our attorneys, working and communicating with the various administrative judges and supervising judges in the Queens County courts in order to attempt to get things to return to some level of “pre-pandemic normalcy”. We understand that virtual appearances that the courts have instituted have changed things. Working to improve this will be a priority this year as well.

I also want to thank our committee chairs and co-chairs for the extraordinary work they have done over the years, and especially since the pandemic, to advocate on behalf of our members for their various member constituencies. I also thank them for their tireless work in organizing and presenting CLE programs. The Committee Chairs are the backbone of the QCBA.

As president in the upcoming year, I want to encourage attorneys to become more involved in the QCBA by joining a committee, applying for committee leadership, or participating and/or organizing a CLE program. Over the last 10 years that I have been involved in bar leadership, I have met excellent lawyers and judges in different practice areas than mine, a lot of whom I never would have met in my day-to-day law practice in court and trying cases. Some of them have become good friends. I have also learned by exchanging ideas with them and listening to the challenges they face in their particular practice areas. I suspect if you become more involved in QCBA you will have the same experience. Additionally, if you become involved more in QCBA, you may have the opportunity, like I have had, to influence your area of law practice. Being involved in QCBA leadership has also led to having meaningful conversations with members of the judiciary, outside of the trials I may have done in front of various judges.

I cannot thank our judiciary enough in Civil and Criminal Courts, Family Court, Housing Court, and the Criminal Supreme and Civil Supreme Courts for all of their assistance before, during, and after the pandemic. Their cooperation with QCBA, our attorneys and litigants has allowed us to continue to provide the necessary legal services to the residents of Queens County to the best of everyone’s ability.

Finally, try to mentor a young or less experienced lawyer if they seek advice. Providing them with the wisdom of your experience is something they will benefit from where they could not learn it in law school. Each generation of lawyers must pass down their experience to the next generation so our profession continues to thrive and maintain the experience, especially in trial practice where it is much harder for younger lawyers to get experience. I was the beneficiary of such training and mentoring by an experienced trial attorney when I was a young lawyer, and I hope others can get this benefit from mentoring as well.

Thank you, and please feel free to reach out to contact me with ideas, issues and suggestions that you may have.

Best wishes,
Michael D. Abneri

Queens County Bar Association

P. (718) 291-4500

F: (718) 657-1789

Email : click HERE to email

88-14 Sutphin Blvd, 3rd Floor

Jamaica, NY  11435

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