January 21, 2020: Judge Michael M. Mohun to Receive Vincent E. Doyle Award at State Bar Annual Meeting

The Criminal Justice Section of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) will recognize the Honorable Michael M. Mohun (Bennington, NY), Wyoming County Court Judge, with the Vincent E. Doyle Jr. Award for Outstanding Judicial Contribution in the Criminal Justice System on Wednesday, January 29 at the NYSBA Annual Meeting. 

The Doyle Award recognizes judicial efforts to improve the administration of the criminal justice system.

Mohun has been presiding over the Wyoming County Treatment Court since 2014. He has had a substantial impact on assuring that defendants receive the treatment they need but also on aiding them to find appropriate housing and employment. Under his leadership the court has taken steps to address issues faced by county jail inmates including improved and expanded educational opportunities, medication-assisted therapy programs, and a re-entry initiative that has led many to make successful returns to the community. 

The Criminal Justice Section will also be honoring the following individuals with awards at the NYSBA Annual Meeting:

Bruce A. Barket, of Manhasset, NY will receive the Charles F. Crimi Memorial Award. The award recognizes the professional career of a defense attorney in private practice who embodies the highest ideas of the Criminal Justice Section. Barket, founding partner at Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, LLP, has been a defense lawyer since for nearly 30 years specializing in representing among others, individuals that have been wrongfully arrested or convicted, as well as those that have suffered injuries as a result of excessive force or police misconduct.

Bridget G. Brennan, Esq., of New York, will receive the Outstanding Prosecutor Award. Brennan has been New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor since 1998 and is the first woman to head the agency, which formed in 1971. During her 21 years leading the office, Brennan was a pioneer in offering treatment to qualified addicted defendants as an alternative to incarceration. She has also reshaped strategies to effectively respond to changes in substances being trafficked and the criminal organizations supplying them. Under her watch, the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor has been widely recognized for its legal and technological expertise and prosecution of national and international drug trafficking and money laundering operations. She has also established several specialized units concentrating on digital forensics, narcotics gangs, money laundering and related financial crimes. 

Ronald F. Kennedy, Esq., of Albany will receive the Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Criminal Justice Legislation award. Kennedy is the Director of Governmental Relations for NYSBA, where he is responsible for assisting the NYSBA’s leadership in developing and promoting its legislative program. Prior to joining the staff at NYSBA 24 years ago, he served as an Assistant Attorney General in the New York State Department of Law, where he represented state agencies in the prosecution of civil claims for money damages. 

Justine Olderman, Esq., of Brooklyn will receive the Michele S. Maxian Award for Outstanding Public Defense Practitioner. Olderman is the Executive Director of The Bronx Defenders (BxD), a public defender nonprofit that represents low-income people in the Bronx. With over 19 years of experience representing clients in complex criminal matters, she is a sought-after lecturer and trainer on trial skills, bail advocacy, legal writing and attorney-client relationship. She joined BxD in 2000 as a staff attorney and soon after she was named managing attorney of the criminal defense practice, where she oversaw the expansion of that program from over 12,000 cases per year to over 30,000 cases. 

Lieutenant Alaric Piette, United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corp (JAGC), will receive the David S. Michaels Memorial Award, which recognizes courageous efforts in promoting integrity, justice, and fairness in the criminal justice system. Piette is a lawyer in the JAGC where he currently represents Abdul Rahim Al-Nashri who is charged with dozens of war crimes, ranging from terrorism to murder, stemming from the 1998 attack on the Navy destroyer USS Cole. Piette has represented dozens of sailors, marines, and coast guardsmen in the military criminal system having negotiated numerous favorable plea agreements for his clients. 

Jonathan E. Gradess, Esq., (In Memoriam), will be honored by his former colleagues at the New York State Defenders Association (NYSDA) with the Outstanding Contribution to the Bar and the Community. Gradess served as executive director of NYSDA from 1973 to 2017, before retiring and untimely passing away in October of 2019. During his 39 years at NYSDA, he fought for improvements in the representation of public defense clients and built NYSDA into a well-recognized source of assistance to public defense providers. Gradess was instrumental in creating and maintaining NYSDA’s Basic Trial Skills Program, which has shown lawyers the effects of poverty and racism on clients’ lives and cases for over 30 years. 

Honoring attorneys who render extraordinary service to the public and the profession is part of NYSBA’s Annual Meeting, which each January attracts thousands of lawyers from around the state, the nation and the world. They come to meet and connect with colleagues and to learn from experts in many areas of law.

A wide range of programs at NYSBA’s 143rd Annual Meeting January 27-31 explores current issues for lawyers and legal practice. 

The Presidential Summit on Wednesday, January 29, will look at White Nationalism and Domestic Terrorism in America.  At Thursday evening’s sold-out Gala Dinner, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan will receive the Gold Medal, NYSBA’s highest honor, and participate in a fireside-style chat with Prof. John Barrett of St. John’s University School of Law. 

Other featured speakers at the Annual Meeting include New York State Attorney General Letitia James, the first African American and the first woman elected to that office; Janet DiFiore, chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals; and Craig Boise, dean of Syracuse University College of Law.

For more information on NYSBA’s Annual Meeting, click here. 

About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.

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Contact: Brendan Kennedy
[email protected]
518-487-5541