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"Justice is the constant and perpetual wish to render to every one his due."
~ Emperor Justinian
Upcoming Events
September 2021 - August 2022
Membership Application and Membership Renewal
(To be rescheduled)The Justinian Society & Phila Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section presents at Philadelphia City Hall their "In-Person" Annual Beccaria Award 2020 to George Bochetto, Esquire
(CANCELLED)September Virtual Board Meeting
October Virtual Board Meeting
November Virtual Board Meeting
December Virtual Board Meeting
August 2021 Justinian Member of the Month
This month, the Justinian Society proudly spotlights the accomplishments Joseph P. Stampone. He is the founder and managing shareholder of Stampone O'Brien Dilsheimer Law since 1984. His practice has focused on a variety of civil litigation and transactional matters, primarily complex personal injury matters, including motor vehicle accidents, product liability, construction accidents, and medical malpractice. Among his numerous passions for legal, civic and family activities, his law firm's recent project is a commissioned Mural entitled "Lady Justice" to be painted on the west wall of our office building located at 500 Cottman Avenue, Cheltenham, PA. The firm has always stood up in earnest advocating for the rights of the little guy, the powerless, and the underprivileged. A rendering of the Mural is included for your viewing. More...
July 2021 Justinian Member of the Month
This month, the Justinian Society proudly spotlights the accomplishments of Judge William J. Manfredi (Ret.) as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas from 1983 until his retirement in 2014. The Judge spent 10 years on the criminal side of the Court, as Major and Homicide Trial judge, calendar (assignment) judge for both the Major Trial and Homicide Programs, and as Supervising Judge for Philadelphia County Investigating Grand Jury. He is well-known as an accomplished mediator and has been involved in the non-trial resolutions of numerous Mass Tort and other complex major litigation. More...
June 2021 Justinian Member of the Month
This month, the Justinian Society proudly spotlights the accomplishments of Barbara A. Capozzi. She was the first woman Chancellor of the Justinian Society after completing terms in all Board Offices and has continued to serve as President of the Justinian Scholarship Foundation since its inception in 1994. During her 30 year career, she has become an authority on the South Philadelphia, Southwest and Center City housing markets. As a highly successful business owner, Barbara has thrived even in challenging economic times. As a Civic Leader, she is highly invested in the neighborhoods in which she works by building strong coalitions to fight for civic and business interests. More...
May 2021 Justinian Member of the Month
This month, the Justinian Society proudly spotlights the accomplishments of Alexander B. Giacobetti. He is celebrating his 50th year out of Villanova Law School. Among other accomplishments, he still serves as a Judge Pro Tem and Arbitrator in both C.P. and Federal Court and enjoys serving at Villanova, as a Moot Court Judge and Judge in their Client Counseling Competition. We also celebrate Alex’s contribution to the Justinian Society legacy by serving as Justinian Chancellor from 2000 to 2002 and in 2018 taking charge of the Justinian Annual Election process.His prize passion is the American British Reliability Run, a two-day charity car drive to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children. The initial goal was for $50,000 and by end of the final tally $66,950 was raised for Shriners. More...
April 2021 Justinian Member of the Month
This month, the Justinian Society proudly spotlights the accomplishments of Judge Louis J. Presenza (Ret.), President Judge Emeritus, Philadelphia Municipal Court. Following his commitment to the greater good of all communities, he was a member of the Pennsylvania Statewide Adult Drug Court Advisory Committee, the Pennsylvania Statewide Mental Health Initiatives Task Force, the City of Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission and the Mayor's Task Force on Homeless Services. He also served as a faculty member for the National Drug Court Institute and is past Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP). He was a founding member of the Pennsylvania Association of Drug Court Professionals and served consecutive two-year terms as its inaugural President. More...
March 2021 Justinian Member of the Month
This month, the Justinian Society proudly spotlights the accomplishments of Judge Matthew D. Carrafiello during his career as Judge, Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District, Orphans' Court, Administrative Judge, Orphans' Court Division, Member, Administrative Governing Board, First Judicial District of PA, Undersheriff, City of Philadelphia, Merit Selection Appointee; Administrator of Office, Adjudicator of Legal Decisions/Determinations; Chief Sworn Officer and his Trial Practice. He is most revered for his fondest activity which is mentoring students. During his early years to-date, he created and also actively participated in the Young Lawyers and Mentoring Committees activities of The Justinain Society and the Court. More...
February 2021 Justinian Member of the Month
This month the Justinian Society of Philadelphia proudly spotlights The Honorable Annette M. Rizzo (Ret.) who in these extraordinary times, has been called upon by City officials to assist in the development of an Eviction Prevention Diversion Program, modeled after the Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program. It was launched last summer to address the overwhelming adverse impact COVID has had on vulnerable housing for citizens in Philadelphia. With a team from the City, Housing Counselors, members of the Public Interest Law sector and Landlord bar, and Good Shepherd Meditation it has been in operation offering relief citywide. More...
Justinian Society News
2021 First "In Person" Annual Meeting/Election Announcement
Justinian Society Event Photos

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

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 2019 Justinian Christmas Party, click here.

To see photos from the 2019 Beccaria Award, click here.

To see photos from the Luncheon Honoring PA Superior Court President Judge Jack Panella, click here.

To see photos from the 2019 Annual Meeting, Election & Scholarship Reception and Luncheon, click here.

To see photos from the Luncheon Honoring The Honorable Idee Fox, click here.

To see photos from the Luncheon Honoring 2019 Phila Bar Chancellor Shelli M. Fedullo, click here.

To see photos from the 2018 Justinian Christmas Party, click here.

To see photos from the 2018 Beccaria Award Ceremony, click here.

To see photos from the 2018 Annual Meeting, Election & Scholarship Reception, click here.

To see photos from the Justinian Luncheon Honoring Carl A. Solano, click here.

Virtual Annual Meeting, Election & Scholarship Announcement
News from The Justinian Foundation – 2020 Scholarship Recipient
Annual Meeting, Election & Scholarship Reception
Annual Meeting, Election & Scholarship Reception
Annual Meeting, Election & Scholarship Reception
The Justinian Society and Foundation Host 80th Anniversary, Honor the Chairman of Philadelphia Energy Solutions and Present Law School Scholarships
The Justinian Society and Foundation hosted their 80th Anniversary on June 6, 2016, honoring Philip Rinaldi, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board, Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC. The Foundation also presented three scholarships to outstanding law student. More...
The Justinian Society Elects Officers at Annual Meeting
The Justinian Society Annual Meeting and Election was held on June 6, 2016 at Top of the Tower in Philadelphia. More...
The Justinian Foundation Awards Three Scholarships to Law Students
The Justinian Foundation, which provides scholarships to Italian-American students enrolled in Philadelphia-area law schools, recently presented scholarships totaling $4,500 to three area students. More...
The Justinian Society and Foundation Announce the Richard F. Furia, Esquire Scholarship Open to Second Year Law School Students
  Chancellor Alfano Honored as Distinguished Naturalization Ceremony Guest

Gaetan J. Alfano, Chancellor of the Justinian Society, served as the Distinguished Guest at the November 17, 2005 Naturalization Ceremonies facilitated by United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania's Judge Cynthia M. Rufe.

More than 100 people from 34 countries were granted citizenship.

Chancellor Alfano's Remarks were as follows:

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  My name is Gaetan Alfano.  I am an attorney here in Philadelphia.  I also am the Chancellor or head of the Justinian Society of Philadelphia.  This Society, which is named after the Roman Emperor Justinian, was founded over 70  years ago by 15 attorneys of Italian descent.  When it was founded, the Justinian Society served many purposes.  One purpose was to encourage Italian Americans, many of whom were new citizens, to become attorneys.  Another purpose was to help these attorneys to find work in Philadelphia law firms. 

In Philadelphia, seventy years ago, the practice of law was dominated by large, well established firms with very American sounding names like Price, Drinker or Harrison.  Many of the attorneys in these large Philadelphia firms could easily trace their families back to England.  At that time, there were no Italian American attorneys in these law firms.
That was seventy years ago.  Today, the Justinian Society has grown from 15 members to over 800 members.  Through a charitable foundation, the Justinians have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide scholarships to help law students.  Many Justinians now are attorneys in Philadelphia's largest, most prestigious law firms.  Others, like me, have started their own law firms.

As you can see, the Law is one area in which Italian Americans have made tremendous progress.  Many of the judges in the district court, the judges who decide cases in this courthouse, including Judge Rufe, are Italian Americans.  The next highest court is the Court of Appeals.  In this region or circuit, the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, Judge Scirica, is Italian American.  In the highest court in America, the United States Supreme Court, one Justice - Justice Scalia - is Italian American while the President has nominated another Italian American - Judge Alito - for an opening on that Court.  The progress that Italian Americans have made in the Law has been matched in other areas, including the Arts, Entertainment, Medicine, Business, and Government.

I hope that each of you, as new citizens, will enjoy the same success that we have enjoyed.  Another fundamental goal of the Justinian Society is to encourage our members, despite our progress, to remain rooted in our common Italian heritage.  To put it another way, we should never forget where we came from. 

So, if I can leave you today with one thought, it is this: please remember and cherish your own heritage.  There is always pressure on a new person in any group to want to fit in, to look like, to sound like, to dress like those who already are here, basically, to conform.  It has happened in my own family.  For example, my last name is ALFANO.  I had relatives who changed their names to ALFORD because they thought it sounded more American.  In America, my grandfather's name was John.  There was only one problem - that wasn't his real name.  He actually had a very common Italian name that was difficult for people in America to pronounce.  But, because he owned a grocery store where he dealt with many people from different backgrounds, he thought that it was easier for his customers just to call him John.  So, for fifty years, he was known as John.

My own first name is Gaetan.  It is spelled GAETAN.  Although I'm very proud of it, my name really isn't a name at all.  In Italian, it is Gaetano, spelled GAETANO but my parents thought that it might make me look and sound more American if they dropped the O at the end of my first name.  Well, if you look at my face and hear me speak, I don't think that it worked too well. 
America prides itself on freedom and diversity.  I would encourage you, as American citizens, to exercise your freedom by retaining your ethnic heritage and by weaving your diversity into the fabric of American society.  Your holidays, customs and traditions will become part of the broader culture of the United States.  And, when you leave here today, your name, whether it is Ashok, or Sergei, Mohammed, or Maya, Maria or Han, now is an American name. 


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