A Chapter of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY)
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Member News


2022

On May 5, 2022, Dolores Gebhardt, Esq., a Partner at Goldschmidt & Genovese, LLP, was inducted as President of the Westchester County Bar Association at its 122nd Annual Banquet. Dolores is the first person ever to have served as President of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association, President of the White Plains Bar Association, and now President of the Westchester County Bar Association. Dolores gave a vibrant speech outlining her motivation for the year ahead, centered around a theme of unification among attorneys, who are no doubt “stronger together.” She also took time to recognize her family and three mentors, all of whom were present, and one of whom, our revered WWBA founding member, the Honorable Sondra M. Miller, administered the oath of office. The WWBA extends our heartfelt congratulations to Dolores, as well as our confidence in her leadership, as she takes the helm of the WCBA.

At the same event, the WCBA recognized Mary F. Kelly, Esq., with a certificate for her 50 years in the practice of law. Mary is a former President of both WBASNY and WWBA. She continues to practice matrimonial law and trusts and estates law at her firm of Kelly & Knaplund in White Plains.

Kurzman, Eisenberg, Corbin & Lever LLP is pleased to announce that Robbin E. Sweeney has joined their firm as Senior Attorney in the Real Estate division. Robbin has concentrated on real estate law since the beginning of her career as a real estate agent, then working for Merrill Lynch Mortgage Corporation while attending law school, before transitioning into in private practice. She brings to our firm a distinct style combining her law degree with a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling, creating calm, organized, solution-focused transactions. Her certification as a Professional Coach prepared her to develop and provide engaging and informative trainings, seminars and webinars, for the NYSBA, WBASNY, NYS Office of the Governor, private entities and the public on a variety of topics including Preparing Your Home for Sale, Strategies for Reducing Stress in Your Law Practice, The Importance of Estate Planning, Families in Transition, and Caring for Aging Loved Ones. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association’s Real Estate Committee. Robbin has recently been selected to develop the curriculum for the real estate module of the new Pace University Paralegal Certification Program. Her passion is carrying a message of well-being to family, friends and colleagues and she is a proud and dedicated mother of three successful adults (and 3 grandchildren!).

WWBA Past President Lisa Denig is participating in Hillside Food Outreach’s Dancing With Our Stars fundraiser. This event raises funds for Hillside, a local food pantry that specializes in delivering healthy food to homebound clients. The WWBA has volunteered on several occasions at Hillside’s warehouse, stocking shelves and packing bags. If you would like to support Lisa’s efforts, please visit her fundraising page at Fundraising for Hillside Food Outreach (https://www.classy.org/fundraiser/3678588)

 The Westchester Community Foundation welcomes WWBA member Moira S. Laidlaw, partner at Hollis Laidlaw & Simon, P.C., to the Foundation’s Advisory Board. Ms. Laidlaw’s private practice includes a broad range of trust and estate services. She is experienced in elder law, special needs planning, small business planning, and high net worth estate tax planning.

Lisa M. Denig, Esq., has been appointed as Counsel to New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore. Denig, a past president of the WWBA, was formerly the Special Counsel for ADR Initiatives for the Courts Inside NYC and also served 8 years in the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.

Patricia L. Angley, Esq., Senior Staff Attorney at the Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, was recently appointed as Adjunct Professor for the Equal Justice America Disability Rights Clinic, under the auspices of John Jay Legal Services, Inc., at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University for the spring 2022 semester. Patricia is looking forward to working collaboratively with WWBA membership for the benefit of the law students participating in this clinic.

❑ The law firm of Cuddy & Feder LLP is pleased to announce that WWBA member Kristen M. Motel Esq. – an associate in the firm’s Land Use, Zoning & Development, Energy & Environmental, and Telecommunications and Cannabis Law groups – was honored with the 2021 Millennial & Gen Z Award, presented by Westfair Communications on November 18, 2021. Millennials represent half of the workforce, and it is predicted that by 2025, Gen Z will make up about 27 percent of the workforce in the world. The Millennial & Gen Z Award celebrates this new era in the workforce and recognizes those who are leaving their footprints in the technology and business communities of Westchester and Fairfield counties.

Kristen will be a featured speaker at the upcoming January 27, 2022 CLE program on Cannabis Law. She has previously served as a WWBA Vice President and State Director. Currently she is a member of the Environmental & Land Use and New Lawyers Committees, and she mentors Pace Law School students to positively impact the development of the legal profession. To read more about Kristen’s practice, experience, and deep involvement in leadership initiatives, please refer to: https://www.cuddyfeder.com/newsevent/ kristen-motel-to-receive-westfair-communications-millennial-gen-z-award/.

2021

❑ On October 2, 2021, a small group of WWBA members joined together in White Plains for the Women’s March for Reproductive Rights. The March, which was held in hundreds of cities around the United States, featured speakers from state and local government, Planned Parenthood, and other women’s organizations.

Susan L. Pollet’s second children’s book, entitled “William Wondered Whether Worrying Was Worth It,” was just published in time for holiday shopping and to spread good feelings. The book ponders a list of certain things that William’s family worried about when he was an infant, toddler, and preschooler. The illustrations show each of those worries, with a corresponding solution. After contemplating it all, William decided that some worrying was worth it because it showed how much his family loved him, and he, in turn, learned how to love them from their good example. Susan hopes the book brings joy to all-children and parents alike.

Susan’s other titles, all available on Amazon, include: Not so Surprise Endings; Grey Divorce: From Pain to Peace; Women in Crisis: Stories From The Edge; Through Walter’s Lens; Lessons in Survival: All About Amos (Available on Amazon #WritingCommunity); and Juliette Rose’s Dream of Becoming.

❑ The Cuddy Law Firm is pleased to announce that Alison Morris has been named a Senior Attorney in the Westchester Office, a direct result of Alison’s hard work and dedication to those with special needs. Six years ago, Alison began working for the Cuddy Law Firm. Through the years, Alison has become such a crucial part of our team and the fabric of what our law firm is all about. Alison’s dedication is unmatched and we are proud to call her our own. Alison’s practice includes special education advocacy, assisting families behind the scenes and participating at their children’s individualized education program (IEP) and 504 Plan meetings, and she also assists clients in navigating the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) system, including helping with OPWDD applications and ensuring appropriate services are provided. She also provides trainings, including CLEs, on topics of interest to both professionals and families on special education law, and she Co-Chairs both the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Disability Rights and the Westchester Women’s Bar Association’s Education Committee. Alison is also the very proud and dedicated older sister of an individual with special needs, which is where her passion and dedication to her practice and clients stems from. Alison is also an Adjunct Professor at Pace Law School, teaching a course entitled Law and Education. We congratulate Alison on her accomplishments and wish her nothing but success.

Prolific author Susan L. Pollet, former WWBA President, has published a book of short stories entitled, “Not So Surprise Endings,” which is available on Amazon. This collection explores how, why, and what happens when certain things end: What happens to the pastor who speaks ill of his dead wife? What does paradise turn into when it becomes something else? When do you know certain relationships are over? What does an obsession with youth produce? What does rudeness lead to? What happens when a Queen Bee misuses her power and stings? Can a person obsessed with perfectionism overcome it? Does your dog become a person to you, and how does that play out? Where does being selfish lead to? Who can a spoiled child turn into as an adult? When someone dies, do men and women grieve differently and does that matter in the end? While these questions are not necessarily interrelated, the common bond is that there are often consequences resulting from our behaviors and the actions of others, which can lead to surprising, and not so surprising, endings. Susan’s other titles, all available on Amazon, include: Grey Divorce: From Pain to Peace; Women in Crisis: Stories From The Edge; Through Walter’s Lens; Lessons in Survival: All About Amos (Available on Amazon #WritingCommunity); and Juliette Rose’s Dream of Becoming.

❑ On October 22nd from 9pm – 11pm, 20/20 on ABC is airing a 2-hour documentary on the tragic death of Gail Katz Bierenbaum, the sister of long-time WWBA member Alayne Katz.  The special will include information on the 15-year journey that resulted in the conviction of Gail’s then-husband in 2001 and his 20-year to life sentence.  Please contact Alayne (alayne10533@gmail.com) if you wish to write a letter opposing parole. 

WWBA Member Earns Community Praise – In the July 31, 2021 issue of “The Record Review,” the local paper for Bedford, Pound Ridge, and Lewisboro, the author of Bedford’s Talk of the Town led his column with kudos for Katonah resident, and WWBA member, Rebecka Levitt, along with her son Michael. Rebecka and Michael worked together to plant a small garden between the sidewalk and the road in front of their house. Rebecka got permission from the town to plant the area, which technically is part of the town’s curtilage. The plot attracted birds, bees, and even rabbits, as well as approving words from neighbors. WWBA commends Rebecka and Michael for contributing to the beauty of their community. 

If you haven’t done so already, please visit the WWBA Foundation’s website to learn more about the good work of the Foundation and to make a donation to support our mission! https://www.wwbany.org/Scholarships-and-Grants. Thank you for your consideration!

Prolific author Susan L. Pollet, former WWBA President, has published a work of fiction, available on Amazon, entitled Grey Divorce Support Group: From Pain to Peace. As noted by the editor, “Grey divorce, defined as a divorce for people over fifty years old, is a big issue right now as the rates of it are climbing. In this novel, the author reveals the main issues and causes of grey divorce through the vehicle of a fictional support group.” Best wishes to Susan for connecting with readers with this publication. Other titles available on Amazon by Susan L. Pollet include: Women in Crisis: Stories From The Edge; Through Walter’s Lens; Lessons in Survival: All About

WWBA State Director and Diversity and Inclusion Committee Co-Chair Janeen M. Thomas has recently been added as a Partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP, a national law firm with more than 40 specialties and a multitude of sub-specialties. She is based out of their New York office, where her practice focuses on insurance coverage litigation and miscellaneous professional liability matters. 

Our very own Jennifer Robinson, Corresponding Secretary, delivered Juliet Celine Guzman on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, at 7:31 a.m. Baby Juliet weighed in at 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and is 19.5 inches long. Warm congratulations to Jen, Jason, and the newest WWBA member-in-waiting.

❑ Wendy Marie Weathers, Esq. has recently been added as partner at Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC, a defense firm headquartered in White Plains. Practice areas include real estate, bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant disputes, wills & estates, and civil litigation. The firm represents individuals and businesses in the New York metro area, Long Island, Hudson Valley, and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Wendy brings to the firm more than 20 years of experience representing both institutional lenders and borrowers in all aspects of the mortgage banking industry and residential foreclosures. She also currently serves as the President of the Westchester County Bar Association. WWBA congratulates Wendy on this partnership position and her enthusiastic welcome at Clair Gjertsen & Weathers PLLC, and we wish her well. 

Kathy Marks has become General Counsel to the New York State Department of Health. WWBA congratulates Kathy on this terrific appointment, and we wish her well.

Lisa Margaret Smith was awarded the Woman of the Year honor by the Mite Society of the South Salem Presbyterian Church, which is believed to be the oldest continually operating women’s church society in the United States. The Mite Society was founded as the “Female Charitable Society of South Salem New York” on November 14, 1815. The Society’s name is based on the story of the widow’s mite (Luke 21:1-4), reflecting the fact that its early members set aside pennies from their household allowances to pay their dues. Even now, in 2020, dues are a minimum of one penny per week, and all are invited to be members, regardless of gender.

In anticipation of the holiday season, Susan L. Pollet, former WWBA President, published her first illustrated children’s book, entitled “Juliette Rose’s Dream of Becoming,” which is available on Amazon. The book is for children of all ages and the adults who love them. It provides a wish list of human traits-embodied by famous women in different fields – which make for exemplary human beings. Juliette strives to grow up to have these qualities, but, ultimately, she wants to accept herself as she becomes, with self-love, and love for her family and the world community. The illustrations show each of these women with visual representations of the corresponding traits.



                                                        Member Moves, Awards & Milestones
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