ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

March 11, 1999

1999.03.11: National Lawyers Guild March 26, 1999 Dinner Tickets

Filed under: ALAA History — nyclaw01 @ 12:00 am


To: ALAA Executive Committee

Fr: ALAA Bargaining Committee (George Albro, Tom Bomba, Peter Blum,

Phyllis Cherebin,  Laura Cohen, Gail Geltman, Alan Gordon, Charlotte

Hitchcock, Carol Hochberg, Adriene Holder, Natasha James, Michael

0Letwin, Adam Mehrfar, Azalia Torres, Robert Zuss)

Re: National Lawyers Guild March 26, 1999 Dinner Tickets

Da: March 11, 1999


There are just two weeks left until the National Lawyers Guild/New York City Chapter dinner honoring ALAA.

We believe that there are several important reasons to do our utmost to boost our turnout.

First, the dinner is a unique opportunity to hear reflections on ALAA’s legacy by such participants as the Hon. David Dinkins, ALAA founder Gerald Lefcourt, and numerous union alumni.

A strong presence will also project strength amidst contract negotiations and the ongoing fight to fully restore Legal Aid funding; it serves further to repudiate the angry refusal of several former LAS staff members to attend–apparently out of hostility to ALAA.

Finally, the cocktails, dinner and subsequent dance party will be fun–really!

We therefore ask each of you to do two things:

(1) Join the 30 Legal Aid staff members who have already bought a dinner ticket; and

(2) Follow the example of Brooklyn CDD delegate Roy Wasserman, who has organized a table for members of his complex (see letter below).

Thanks for your effort–see you on the 26th!

Wasserman Memo

What is the interest among us to put together a cluster 5 table for the dinner?

For the first (and only) time we are being recognized and honored for the work that we do.

The union of staff attorneys is 30 years old this year.  The longevity of the organization, and more importantly the contributions we have made to social justice, indigent rights and legal precedents that have affected the real lives of people all over the state and city are achievements about which we all deserve to feel enormous pride.

The NLG is an organization of lawyers who share our commitment to social justice.  We will be joining a list of past honorees that includes Prof.

Arthur Kinoy, Bill Kunstler and the Attica plaintiffs.

One of the keynote speakers at the dinner is Gerald Lefcourt, outgoing president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and founding president of our union.  For those who do not know of him, he is a highly

regarded, nationally recognized defense attorney and an excellent speaker.   

OK.  I know what you are thinking:  $60 is just too damn much money.

My thinking exactly, at first.  The more I started thinking about the idea that we were being honored for the only time in history, I started to re-think my feelings about the money.

Plus, when I considered a full-course meal with wine, great company and the economic contribution it makes to an important organization of like-minded attorneys it is not such a bad idea.  (Dinner and a Broadway show will cost you more.)

If in a different life we all worked together for a newspaper or a small social justice non-profit org. that was being similarly honored for the first time wouldn’t we all feel pride and want to attend this special event?  Should we have any less interest because we are defense attorneys at Legal Aid?

I am proud to be associated with all of you and I am proud of the work that I do.  Let’s express it together at a nice dinner that pays us back with good- feeling and honors.

‘Cause damn it, we deserve it!

Email me or stop by to tell me of your interest.

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