IT and US: Welcome to the new President and board of the National Italian American Bar Association
- WTI Magazine #116 Jun 15, 2019
On June 7, 2019, Honorable Lubbie Harper, Jr., (Ret.), Associate Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court conducted a ceremony in which the contributions to the law of the National Italian American Bar Association were recognized and in which the officers and directors selected for service in 2019-2021 were inducted.
Justice Harper conducted a ceremony at his specific direction and design. It was extraordinary that Justice Harper had placed within the Connecticut Court room a flag of the Republic of Italy. In addition, prior to proceeding, the National Anthems of the United States of American and the Republic of Italy were each played. Justice Harper was adorned with a medallion reflective of the Republic of Italy.
Justice Harper opened the ceremony with a welcome spoken by him in the Italian language. He proceeded, then, in English to address the assembled. He the National Italian American Bar Association with its achievements since 1983 when it was formed in Greenwich Village, New York.
Upon conclusion of the extraordinary ceremony, Justice Harper joined the inductees in photographs and met and spoke with, at length the directors and officers. Further, Justice Harper surprised those in attendance with a kind and generous offering of coffee and Italian dolci in a meeting room in the Court House in New Haven, Connecticut.
The NIABA Board of Director’s meeting and annual meeting took place in New Haven, Connecticut as a prerogative of incoming President, Francis M. Donnarumma. He is a resident of the State of Connecticut and he chose New Haven a City with rich and deep Italian roots and ties.
Those in attendance at the three day long conference dined at L’Orcio, a chef owned restaurant featuring Francesco D’Amuri. Chef D’Amuri was born in Francavilla Fontana, Brindisi, in Italy. Attending the dinner at L’Orcio was Deputy Chief Court Administrator, Elizabeth Buzzuto, a Judge of the Connecticut Superior Court. Judge Buzzuto was delighted to meet officers and directors from near and far and expressed amazement upon the friendly, inviting, and convivial spirit of the attorneys who comprise NIABA.
The Friday evening dinner was held at Tre Scalini, a New Haven culinary institution. Longtime owner, Joseph Maiorano, warmly greeted each guest and the evening was highlighted by a spontaneous performance by opera singer Carlos DeAntonis. His performance was riveting. He is a dear friend of past President, Paul Finizio of Florida.
During the conference, attendees and their spouses and partners enjoyed two tours of New Haven, Connecticut, one featuring the Italian connections with Yale University. The second tour highlighted the life and progression of the earliest Italian immigrants to New Haven. Anthony Riccio has chronicled the history of Italians in the United States through photographs and through oral history. He has, previously, in 2014, been featured in We The Italians. His work is found at www.anthonyriccio.com.
The Gala Induction Dinner on June 8, 2019 was attended by 250 people and featured a re-enactment of the swearing in ceremony. The band, Enterprise, featuring Raeleen D’Agostino Moutner, Ph.D., provided enthusiastic Italian music, leading to traditional Italian dancing and passion among the attendees. Carlos DeAntonis, at the invitation of Dr. Moutner, joined the band for some rousing surprise numbers.
The Saturday evening dinner was hosted by the Connecticut Italian American Bar Association. The President of that association, Cristina Salamone, is a New Haven based attorney with strong heritage and ties to Salerno, Italy. NIABA will meet next in Rome, Italy on September 23 – 25 for its bi-annual conference and seminar featuring attorneys from Italy instructing the attendees upon relevant subjects for attorneys in the United States and in Italy. That will be followed by a Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C. on October 31 – November 3, 2019. On February 6 - 9, 2020, the board will assemble, anew, in Tampa, Florida. The meetings, there, will be hosted by Attorney Vincent Marchetti of the Florida law firm Stearns, Weaver, Miller.
At the meetings in New Haven, Attorney Donnarumma introduced an ambitious program to coordinate and join the body of national affinity bar associations which have emerged in the United States as a popular and active alternative to traditional bar association models. Further, Attorney Donnarumma will focus upon strengthening and enlarging relationships among the variety of State and Local Italian American Bar Associations which exist across the United States. The reach of NIABA will extend and include thousands of lawyers who will benefit from the network and referral opportunities and legal content sharing which NIABA presents. Updates upon all things NIABA can be found at NIABA.org. The NIABA newsletter is a regular communication tool disseminated among those reached, today by NIABA, and those who will soon be included.