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"Justice is the constant and perpetual wish to render to every one his due."
~ Emperor Justinian
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June Board Meeting
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Justinian Society Event Photos

To see all of the photos from our most recent events, see our Flickr account.

To see photos from the 2022 Justinian Christmas Party click here.

To see photos from the Beccaria Award held on December 13, 2022 given to Nathan J. Andrisani, Esq. for 2022 and Professor Louis M. Natali, Jr. for 2021 click here.

To see photos from the "In Person" Luncheon honoring Philadelphia Bar Chancellor Wesley R. Payne IV, Esq. held on February 17, 2022 click here.

To see photos from the 2021 "In Person" Luncheon honoring Phila Bar Assoc. Chancellor Lauren McKenna, Esquire and their immediate Past Chancellor Hon. A. Michael Snyder (Ret.) click here.

To see photos from the 2020 Beccaria Award held November 17, 2022 given to George Bochetto, Esq. click here.

2021 First "In Person" Annual Meeting/Election Announcement
Virtual Annual Meeting, Election & Scholarship Announcement
News from The Justinian Foundation – 2020 Scholarship Recipient
Members of the Month
June 2022 Justinian Member of the Month
This month, the Justinian Society proudly spotlights the accomplishments of The Honorable Daniel R. Sulman is a judge in the Family Division of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, where he served from July of 2016 to January of 2018 and from December of 2019 through the present, following appointments to the bench by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and election in 2021. The Judge is a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, a graduate of Philadelphia public schools and magna cum laude graduate of Temple University. He earned his law degree at Temple University Beasley School of Law. More...
May 2022 Justinian Member of the Month
This month, the Justinian Society proudly spotlights the accomplishments of The Honorable Craig Levin who is a judge of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania. He assumed office on January 3, 2022. His current term ends January 5, 2032. Judge Levin was born and raised in Philadelphia. His life has been shaped by the communities where he grew up: First in West Oak Lane, then moving as a teenager to the Northeast. He attended Philadelphia Public Schools, graduating from Temple University with a B.S. in Finance and earned his Juris Doctorate from the Delaware School of Law at Widener University. He is a proud 'Philly guy' and loves all things 'Philly'. More...
March 2022 Justinian Member of the Month
This month, the Justinian Society proudly spotlights the accomplishments of The Honorable Ann M. Butchart who was elected to a ten-year term as a Trial Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia in 2005 and was retained for a second term in 2015. She has presided in Family Court, Criminal Court and Civil Court. More...
February 2022 Justinian Member of the Month
This month, the Justinian Society proudly spotlights the accomplishments of The Honorable Rosemarie Defino-Nastasi who presides in the Court of Common Pleas Criminal Trial Division in Philadelphia. She began her legal career working as an Assistant Defender for The Defender’s Association of Philadelphia. She then joined her family’s law firm in South Philadelphia working alongside her brothers, Michael and Vincent Defino. Judge Defino-Nastasi has presided in the Criminal Trial Division for over twenty years. More...
January 2022 Justinian Member of the Month
This month, the Justinian Society proudly spotlights the accomplishments of President Judge Jack Anthony Panella of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. He was elected to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in November 2003 and sworn into office as an appellate judge on January 9, 2004 and retained in 2013. On January 7, 2019, he was elected President Judge. His true devotion and commitment is to assure that the Superior Court does it best to serve the people and the members of the Bar in ways that are efficient and productive, and balances judicial independence with accountability. More...
  February 2021 Justinian Member of the Month

The Honorable Annette M. Rizzo (Ret.)
February 2021 Justinian Member of the Month

Hon. Annette M. Rizzo (Ret.) has been part of the JAMS Internation team for over six years serving as a neutral in mediations and arbitrations in a variety of complex civil matters, including, but not limited to, mass tort, personal injury, products liability, civil rights, employment.

Judge Rizzo served for 16 years in the First Judicial District, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She most recently served in the Trial Division, Civil Program for 11 years assigned to Motions Court rotation and the Complex Litigation Program with the majority of her time spent in the Civil Major Jury Trial Program where she oversaw a vast array of complex civil disputes. Prior to her tenure on the bench, Judge Rizzo acquired a wide range of experience tied to the corporate, public, and private sectors including her work as litigator for a prominent Mid-Atlantic firm that is the oldest continuous law firm in the United States, as Senior Counsel at one of the largest global providers of insurance, and serving as an Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia.

In 2008, Judge Rizzo developed the Court’s Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program. The Program, which continues today, is a pioneering achievement of ADR as it brings together, in conference, homeowners, lenders, attorneys, and housing counselors in an effort to keep city residents in their homes. The court-annexed mediation program has been a model for similar programs in Pennsylvania and in other jurisdictions in states such as NJ, NY, KY, IL, MD, and DE.

Judge Rizzo has testified about the Program before TARP, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the U.S. House of Representatives. She was a panelist at a White House conference invited by the United States Department of Justice and the U.S. Vice President Biden’s Middle Class Task Force. Judge Rizzo continues to speak nationally about the program at trainings for the judiciary, government agencies, mortgage finance companies, public interest entities, lender servicers, and in academia. These diverse organizations include the Federal Reserve, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the National Low Income Housing Coalition, NeighborWorks America, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and many others. Internationally, Judge Rizzo participated in a European Union Conference and CLE program in Italy regarding the merits of Alternative Dispute Resolution, the Foreclosure Diversion Program, and international mediation systems.

Just prior to taking the bench, Judge Rizzo worked for seven years as Senior Counsel at CIGNA Companies where she oversaw coverage litigation involving mass tort, environmental, and long-term exposure claims. She coordinated litigation management of underlying mass tort cases and oversaw multiple initiatives in the Government Affairs Division. Prior to her tenure at CIGNA Companies, Judge Rizzo served with the Philadelphia Office of the City Solicitor and then in the Litigation Department of the law firm of Rawle & Henderson, where she gained experience in litigation in matters involving general casualty, toxic tort, defamation, product liability, medical malpractice, correctional health care, and civil rights.

Judge Rizzo currently serves as an Adjunct Professor for the Temple University School of Law State Court Clinical Program, which she developed in 2007.

Una Piccola Conversazione

1. How long have you been a member of the Justinian Society?

I have been a member of the Society since 1980 while a student at Temple Law School- WoW!

2. Why did you join the Justinian Society, and what do you hope to gain from membership?

Beyond the general interest in the mission of the Society, it was a way to connect with students, practitioners, and members of the bench over the years for mentoring opportunities, social events; to be part of a community that celebrated Italian heritage! A true family in the law!

3. What do you love or enjoy most about your job?

My current position at JAMS permits me to work on complex and challenging matters with counsel across the nation, and even the world- but I most enjoy my ongoing work in mediation and arbitration with so many members of our local bar, including Justinian members. My commitment to ADR grew out of my work with the Mortgage Diversion Program. I witness its benefit to bring confidential resolution to parties every day.

4. How would you define success?

Success is so personal, but, for me, it is the intersection of finding out where you want to put your energies, time, and "sweat equity", whether personal or professional, and then seeing an endeavor through to create some positive impact. "Did I leave something better than I found it

5. Who or what inspires you?

I love seeing the back story of so many people throughout history and reading their journey of self-discovery and achievement- my formal study of immigration in college, particularly in our Italian and Italian -American circle inspires me, but I have to look no further than in my own family to be inspired by my ancestors' journey to this country.

6. If you could choose anyone in history as a mentor, who would you choose and why?

I have always been inspired by Franklin Delano Roosevelt- for his boldness to deal with unrelenting challenges over his presidential tenure for all Americans in the moment and how he directed the course of history with his courage in decision-making.

7. Name one valuable lesson you’ve learned in your life and that you would advise other members to follow?

Many valuable lessons come to mind, but one I live by is that "It is okay to look over your shoulder, just don't stare!"

8. What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?

Being a formal "Disco Queen" I love planning dance parties!" (Hope we can get back to them soon!)

9. What’s the last book you read?

I am an avid reader of biographies - just finished one on Dr. Benjamin Rush- a true insight into colonial Philadelphia- love all history about Italy and Philadelphia!

10. What’s your favorite thing about Philadelphia, i.e., sports team, restaurant, museum, history, music etc.?

Being a true "Philly girl" I love exploring quirky areas of the City, and rare historic haunts- But who doesn't love all Philly teams?!!!

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