In front of a standing-room-only crowd, Lara J. Genovesi was sworn in as the newest justice of the New York State Supreme Court during a ceremony at Borough Hall that was attended by many local politicians, judges and lawyers Thursday night.
“It is my genuine pleasure as administrative judge to welcome, as a colleague, Lara Genovesi as justice of the Supreme Court of the state of New York,” said Hon. Lawrence Knipel, administrative judge for Civil Matters of the 2nd Judicial District. “Lara has already developed a well-deserved reputation in the courthouse and among the bar for both legal acumen and case management.”
Genovesi’s brother, Anthony Genovesi, hosted the event that included many members of the Genovesi family in attendance. During the ceremony, he gifted Genovesi with a gavel that their late father, former Brooklyn Assemblymember Anthony Genovesi, used to keep in his own office.
“Of all the choices that Lara ever made, the best was choosing my mom and my dad as her parents,” Anthony Genovesi said. “No matter the metric, they always were and always will be the standard [by which] me and my siblings measure our lives. When she picked my parents, she got their work ethic, she got their compassion and she got their intelligence.”
Judges Hon. Nancy Sunshine, Jeffrey Sunshine and Knipel sat on the dais with the new judge along with lawyers Joni Yoswein, Frank Carone and Brooklyn Democratic Chair Frank Seddio. Each of them took turns praising Genovesi.
“I just want to thank [Hon.] Richard Montelione because without him we wouldn’t be here today,” Seddio joked, referring to Genovesi’s opponent in her failed attempt to be elected as a civil court judge in 2012.
“Doing the right thing was and is the Genovesi way,” Yoswein said. “You always understood the enormous responsibility that comes with serving your neighbors, your borough, your city and your state. You’ve never
shied away from hard work or the challenges that come with the role of public servant.”
After her speech, Yoswein presented Genovesi with a comically large gavel. “My niece asked me when I’m getting my gavel and I said, ‘Well that’s just ceremonial for TV,’ but you are all proving me wrong,” Genovesi joked.
Finally, Genovesi got up to the podium and thanked everyone who gave a speech, her family and especially her parents and her brother. “There is nothing like the support of your family,” she said.
“When I ended my civil court race I sent out a thank you card with a quote from Lincoln,” Genovesi concluded. “I feel it is only appropriate to quote Lincoln for happy occasions also, so I’m going to close with another quote from him: ‘I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.’ Thank you.”
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