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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
  Sayde Ladov’s Letter to The Justinian Society

Thank you, Gina, for your lovely introduction. Let me also thank each and every one of you in the audience for being here today.

I am so proud to be a member of The Justinian Society … and I am also extremely proud to be honored by the Justinian Society.  

Why am I here today?  That question was answered by Henry unardi – friend and colleague of 25 years. 

Hank reminds us that back in the early 70’s when he was a fledgling member of the Justinian Society Board and the Board would meet monthly in one of the rooms just off  the Crystal Tea Room in Wanamakers, it was to do the Society’s business – and in his words  “it was a memorable exercise in participatory democracy, complete with all of the sturm und drang, the tsouris, the agita one might expect from a group of 30 - 40 Italian-American egos, er, lawyers.”

Hank goes on to say that;  Somewhere in there (and he invites correction from Don Marino or Al DiBona), the late and legendary Larry Richette had the idea to invite the new Bar Chancellor to the Justinians' first luncheon of each calendar year. Thus the famous remark one cold January day by then Bar Chancellor Carpy Dewey that (and he quotes now verbatim) "... some of my best friends are EYEtalians".

The tradition which was then born has been in Hank’s  opinion one of the very best of Bar traditions, and for many reasons, both obvious and subtle.

That said, when I sat down to write this speech, I thought about all the people at the Justinian Society that I have come to know and admire so much …

From Vito Canuso, whose wonderful wife, Sara provided David and me with a St. Joseph’s statue that allowed us to sell our suburban home of 20 years and move to Philadelphia, to a new home in Northern Liberties;

To past chancellors of the Justinians and the Bar Association, Don Marino and Gabe Bevilacqua, who have always been  mentors and  resources, and who have always been there for me;

To my amazingly talented colleague Gaetan Alfano, who is serving at my right side as chair of the Board of Governors of the Bar Association;

To Ed DiDonato, a friend and neighbor from Blue Bell, with whom I share the experience of children who have been pals since high school;

To Bill Fedullo, Chair of the Judicial Commission, without whose support and counsel, I don’t know if I would be Chancellor;

And, of course, to my vice Chancellor, Rudi Garcia – my steady rock and counsel;

To your chancellor and my friend Gina Rubel, who invited me here today and who continues to bring her amazing public relations talents to the entire Bar by chairing the Bar-News Media Committee;

To all of my friends and colleagues, who are far too many to name here right now…

Please know that I consider you my extended family.

My speech today is not about my agenda as chancellor.  You have heard it six ways from Sunday – leadership development, building a new family court, help desks at family and municipal court, military affairs and civil Gideon. 

Rather, my remarks today are a labor of love,  for today I am home with my extended family.

Today I want to talk from the heart. Today I want to give you, my friends, my colleagues, a love letter.

Please consider this speech, five days after Valentine’s day, my belated love letter to you, the Justinian Society.

I ask you … Why, in this supposedly post-racial era, when America is celebrating its first president of color, at a time when lines are supposedly blurring ... why do we bother to identify as a particular racial or ethnic minority?

What is the value of membership in our ethnic or affinity bars like the Justinian Society?

What are we holding on to? What purpose do we serve?
And why, as a Jewish woman, do I feel so powerfully connected to this organization?

Well, for me, there are easy answers to all those questions.
At the end of the day, you and I, share basic values.

We share the value of loyalty, and of speaking the plain truth -- even if it is to our own detriment. Throughout the years, you and I have stood together and articulated truths that may have been painful, but we spoke these words, because they were truths, nonetheless.

I believe that this is a quality that we have always admired between us.

Together, we have always chosen to tell the truth because it’s the right thing to do.

It’s what was demanded of us. It’s a reflection on how we were raised.

It is not only about our cultures. It is because we all put great emphasis on truth and ethics and righteousness.

The Talmudic scholars tell us:“Justice, Justice shall ye pursue.” These are your values and mine.

And in order to do justice, you must tell the truth.

Several years ago, when Gabe Bevilacqua, was chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, he called me one day to ask for my opinion. He was interested in inviting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to speak before the membership of the Philadelphia Bar Association, and he wanted to know what I thought.

I said simply, “Gabe, if we don’t invite Justice Scalia to speak because he espouses a different point of view, then we are plainly hypocrites.”

Now please recognize that I did, and continue, to disagree with many of the positions that Justice Scalia espouses. However, as a Philadelphia lawyer, I fervently defend his right to speak. And I’m very proud of Gabe Bevilacqua and the Philadelphia Bar Association, who both share my highest concern for the value of free speech.

Now some of you may remember that when Justice Scalia spoke, there were protests at the Bellevue, complete with media coverage. But we stood up, because we knew we were doing the right thing in allowing Justice Scalia to speak.

One of the reasons that I am so proud that I was invited to be a member of the Justinian Society is that I believe we stand for so many of the same things.

That’s because we come from a similar place and history. As Jews, women and Italians, we were not always welcome in large firms. With no place to go, many of us created our own firms – like Mattioni, Blank Rome, Wolf Block and Fox, Rothschild.

Until recently, we faced similar discrimination in seeking to become judges of the Common Pleas Court and the federal bench.

We have a commonality of experience – both good and bad – that ties us together and makes our bond irrevocable.

So this helps answers the question as to why I feel connected to you. What about the question of relevancy? Why should any of us bother to be part of an affinity bar in an era that is supposedly post-racial?

First, because it feels good. It’s like a family, where you can let your hair down and share in a way that you might not feel comfortable elsewhere.

Second, because it provides a base of support. You can talk to people who have common experiences and background and find an appropriate level of mentoring.

And I believe that organizations like the Justinians, the Barristers, the Hispanic Bar Association, APPABA,  Brandeis, SABA, and Brehons, are still sorely needed.

They serve as a place to help you get started. They help you get on your feet and get ready for the world. And ultimately, they become a place to come home to.

Where else would we get the closeness, the collegiality and the collaboration that comes from these groups?

I believe that our legal community would be a poorer place if we did not have ethnic or affinity bars. In addition to the support it provides for members, organizations like the Justinians provide a cultural richness that offers a learning opportunity for those outside of our communities.

Our organizations also serve as a marker to help provide institutional memory. They help us remember how far we have come, and push us to continue our work even further.
For those who question the need for affinity bars, I say: Don’t forget the struggles of Jewish lawyers who had to deal with appellate arguments or trial schedules on high holy days.

Don’t forget the struggles of Italian lawyers who had to deal with portrayals in the media as less than savory characters.

Don’t forget the struggles of Asian lawyers as they seek to rid the world of stereotypes, right down to a cheese steak stand currently in operation in Philadelphia that is called CHINKS.

It’s wonderful to consider how much our society has grown. It might make you wonder if the role of your organization has changed. But clearly, its importance has not diminished.

Consider the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society. It was one of the prime movers to help get refugees out of Eastern Europe before during and after WWII. Now obviously, that particular focus is no longer necessary. But the organization remains true to its mission: today it is serving individuals from South Asia and Pacific Asian cultures.

The organization serves the same important purpose, but for different reasons.  Reasons change, faces change, but the mission remains the same.

Thus, organizations such as the Justinian Society serve an important if not critical role in preserving heritage and insuring the future.

Three years ago, when Jane Dalton was Chancellor of the Bar Association and I was sitting here in the audience as vice chancellor, I heard Jane throw down the gauntlet to forge a relationship with a sister bar in Italy.

I took up that challenge because I felt it was that important!

Our trip had been planned for March so that we could meet with the Italian National Bar and the Bar of Rome, but unfortunately, the economy has gotten in the way. So the trip to Rome is no longer an option for next month. That said, however, I am optimistic that this trip can take place in the fall or early winter.

As I conclude my remarks, I can’t help but confess that I stand here today full of love, warmth and eternal gratitude.

This organization has stood behind me, next to me and at all times stood tall with me. I truly wonder if I would be addressing you today as Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association  if I had not had your love and support and the boots on the ground of all those who were energized to vote in the Bar election of 2006.

Please know that you will always have my gratitude, admiration and affection.

Thank you, thank you for this wonderful moment. I will treasure it always. May the good Lord bless you and keep you!

I raise my glass to you and wish you a hundred years.

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