Deserving attorneys from across the region gathered at the Heritage Club in Bethpage on Sept. 13 to be honored at the Third Annual Herald Top Lawyers Awards Gala.
Honorees were awarded for their achievements within their careers and areas of expertise presented in a number of categories from, bankruptcy, estates and trusts, business and commercial litigation, criminal, cyber security, divorce mediation, elder law, education, emerging companies and venture capital, environmental, franchise law, government relations, taxes, and real estate.
Christine-Marie Lauture, owner and managing attorney of Lauture IP PPLC, was a first-time attendee earning her first Top Lawyer award.
"It's nice to be recognized on Long Island,” Lauture said. “When people think of New York, they always think of Manhattan, So, it's good to have a wide variety of practice areas of amazing attorneys out here on Long Island.”
The event was spearheaded by RichnerLive, the events division of Richner Communications and Herald Community Newspapers. Amy Amato, executive director of corporate relations and events for Richner, expressed gratitude to the nearly 300 attendees.
A portion of the ticket proceeds were directed toward two charities. The first being the Nassau County Bar Association's ‘We Care Fund’. The association was founded in 1899 and is a professional membership organization for attorneys.
It is a major source of legal information and services for the legal profession and the local community on Long Island in Nassau County. Members of the NCBA include public and private sector attorneys, judges, legal educators, and law students.
The second charity, FealGood Association (FGA), founded by 9/11 responder and activist John Feal, offers financial assistance for health-related requirements such as medicine or prescriptions, nourishment, transportation to chemotherapy or other medical appointments, and basic home utilities.
They connect people with medical and/or legal professionals and advocate on their behalf to authorities. Their influence grows even further by bringing to light and educating people who can make a difference about the various issues that First Responders encounter, as well as advocating for their rights.
“This is such a fantastic night, we are so grateful!” Sara Director, partner at Barasch & McGarry, said. "It is an honor to be a part of the award ceremony. The Herald did a great job highlighting my firm and the FealGood Foundation.”
"It’s a wonderful event and I’m honored to be recognized and supported for the work I do," said Donna-Marie Korth, Partner at Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman, LLP.
The event itself was led by lifestyle television personality Judy Goss, who was joined on stage by retired Herald publisher Cliff Richner.
"On behalf of my brother and myself, I want to thank you all for being part of this special evening where we celebrate the achievements of the Long Island law community,” Cliff Richner said.
Cliff’s brother, of course, is company chief executive Stuart Richner.
“This evening is a real celebration where we recognize many of Long Island’s best and brightest legal professionals who have excelled in their areas of practice,” Stuart Richner said, after the event. “But to them, it’s not just practicing their craft, it’s giving back to their communities every way they know how. And that’s what this night is all about.”
Jared Behr, an associate at Salenger Sack Kimmel & Bavaro LLP and Top Lawyer Rising Star Award recipient, was awarded a rising star in the legal community.
"What exemplifies a lawyer who wins an award like this is someone with a bit of altruism,” Behr said. “You need to think that you are working to do good every day and have a lot of dedication to the people you are trying to help.”
Another Top Lawyer award went home with Alyson Bass of Bass & Associates of NY PLLC, for her dedication to meeting the legal needs of the Long Island community she served for more than 16 years.
“I think this is a great networking event to get some recognition for your firm and to just get the word out about what it is I do,” Bass said. “I really do enjoy working with people that may not otherwise have the resources or the knowledge to do what it is that I do.”