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"Justice is the constant and perpetual wish to render to every one his due."
~ Emperor Justinian
Upcoming Events
September 2020 - September 2021
Membership Application and Membership Renewal
The Justinian Society and Foundation Statement on Current Events
April Virtual Board Meeting
May Virtual Board Meeting
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...
January 2021 Justinian Member of the Month
This month the Justinian Society of Philadelphia proudly spotlights The Honorable Emil Giordano (Ret.) who has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the Center for Guardianship Certification, which was created to enhance the quality of guardianship services by developing and administering a comprehensive national guardian certification program. More...
December 2020 Justinian Member of the Month
This month, the Justinian Society of Philadelphia proudly recognizes the pro bono efforts of board member, Nate Andrisani, who recently secured the release of his client, Andrew Swainson, who spent more than 30 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. More...

You can read more about Nate’s victory by clicking here.
November 2020 Justinian Co-Members of the Month
This Month, the Justinian Society proudly celebrates and spotlights the accomplishments of two board members, Denise Mandi and Brittany Stepp, for their recent elections to the Board of Governors and YLD Executive Board of the Philadelphia Bar Association, respectively. Please join us in congratulating Denise and Brittany. More...
Justinian Society News
The Justinian Society's tribute in memory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Justinian Society of Philadelphia celebrates the life and mourns the passing of one of our nation's most brilliant and deeply cherished jurists, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. More...
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
Justinian Society Event Photos

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

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.

  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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