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GRAWA hosts 2012 Judicial Candidates Luncheon

Four Seventh Judicial District Supreme Court candidates are vying for two seats, and all were on hand for the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorney’s Judicial Candidates Lunch on Oct. 18. From left, are East Rochester Town Court Judge Scott Odorisi; Sean Gleason, who serves as judicial counsel to New York Court of Claims Judge Renee Forgensi Minarik; Monroe County Family Court Judge Gail Donofrio; and Monroe County Supreme Court Justice David Barry and GRAWA Judicial Evaluation Committee co-chair Michele Crane explains the program format.

Four Seventh Judicial District Supreme Court candidates are vying for two seats. All four were on hand for the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorney’s Judicial Candidates Lunch on Oct. 18 at the offices of Nixon Peabody. City Court Judge Ellen Yacknin (unopposed) was also on hand in her bid for reelection.

GRAWA Judicial Evaluation Committee co-chairs Michele Crain and Jodie Ryan welcomed guests and explained the agenda, introducing Justice Robert Lunn and Justice Richard Rosenbloom as the moderators for the question and answer portion of the program.

The moderators provided a brief introduction of each candidate, then allowed the candidates a few minutes to address the audience of nearly 100. Meanwhile, the audience jotted down questions for the moderators to ask the candidates during the second part of the program.

Judge David Barry is finishing his first 14-year term on the New York State Supreme Court.  In 1978-1998 he served as the Greece Town Justice, with assignments as acting Gates Town Justice and acting Rochester City Court Judge. The Monroe County Bar Association, GRAWA, and the Rochester Black Bar Association each rated him highly qualified in their review of candidates.

With 14 years of experience on the Monroe County Family Court bench, Judge Gail Donofrio has been an Acting New York State Supreme Court judge for several years. She also serves as supervising judge for the Family Courts of the Seventh Judicial District. All three local bar associations rated her highly qualified.

From left, Cindy Constantino Gleason and her husband, candidate Sean Gleason, stand with Ed Hourihan and Ingrid Palermo, both of Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC.

Since 1997, Judge Scott Odorisi has served as East Rochester Town Court justice. He has also been an acting Rochester City Court judge since 2003. He has experience working for Harris Beach PLLC and Osborn, Reed & Burke LLP, along with many years on his own in The Odorisi Law Firm. The MCBA and RBBA rated him as highly qualified; GRAWA rated him qualified.

Currently serving as judicial counsel to New York Court of Claims Judge Renee Forgensi Minarik, Sean Gleason has 23 years of experience as litigator, beginning his career at Underberg & Kessler LLP. Seeking more courtroom experience, he went to the state Attorney General’s Rochester office, trying hundreds of cases in both federal and state court. In 2000, he was appointed principal law clerk and counsel to Seventh Judicial District Administrative Justice Thomas VanStrydonck. GRAWA and RBBA both found him highly qualified and the MCBA gave him a qualified rating.

— Photos by Nora A. Jones

Denine Carr, Jennifer Meldrum and Katherine Kenney were in the audience.

GRAWA JEC co-chair Jodie Ryan and Assistant District Attorney Julie Hahn.

MCBA President Connie Walker poses with GRAWA President Kimberly Duguay and MCBA Executive Director Mary Loewenguth.

GRAWA members Kathleen Benesh, Jennifer Schwartzott and Aimee LaFever Koch enjoy lunch.

Rochester City Court Judge Ellen Yacknin talks with GRAWA colleague Shaina Kovalsky.

In the audience: Sandra Frankel, Phillipe Alexandre, Judge Karen Morris and Judge Jim Morris.

Monroe Family Court Judge Gail Donofrio pauses for a photo with Linda Kostin, left, and Justice Robert Lunn (right).

Judge Scott Odorisi (standing) greets MCBA staff (seated from left) Dajanee Parrish, Judge Odorisi, Liz Novak and Mary Loewenguth.

GRAWA’s JEC co-chair Michele Crain, right, welcomes New York State Supreme Court Justice David Barry to the Judicial Candidates Luncheon.

GRAWA Program Committee co-chair Meghan Lynch, left, gets assistance from Meghan McGuire in handing out event program books.