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32 Nassau Law. 1 (1984-1985)

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TermBE 19
Ostrow discusses new goals for Bar Association

Judge Arthur Spatt
guest of honor at
18th Judiciary Night
The guest of honor at the Bar Associa-
tion's eighteenth Jtdiclary Night held on
September 20, 1984 was Honorable Arthur
D. Spat, Administrative Judge of Nassau
County and a member of the Association
for nlietei years, A gala cocktail party
from 5 to 8 pin at Domu. enabled members
of the Association to meet and honor the
judges of Nassau County in a relaxed at.
mosphere - all expertly organized under the
direction of President-Elect Peter T.
Affatato, the chairman of Judiciary Night.
Judge Spatt, a graduate of Ohio State
University and Brooklyn Law School, is a
member of numerous bar and judicial
associations. Before assuming the bench,
he was retained In diverse private practice
litigation of every nature, including tort,
criminal, contract, corporate and other
matters In state and federal courts.
In November, 1978, Judge Spatt was
elected a justice of tire Supreme Court of
the State or New York, Tenth Judicial
District. lie served In tiat capacity In
Nassau County (Mineola), Suffolk County
(Rlverhead and Hauppauge) and Queens
Conty (Kew Gardens) In trial and special
terrm capacities. In December, 1982, Judge
Spatt was appointed Administrative Judge
of all tile courts in Nassau County and Is
still acting In that capacity.

The incoming president of the Nassan
County Bar Association, Michael J.
Ostrow, Immediately strikes one as being
low-key, but that does not diminish his am.
bitions for the Bar Association and Iris
dedication to its endeavors,
Now that the Bar Association Is no longer
raced with the economic problems which
have required the attention of the last fes
presidents, Ostrow believes that We nov
ave to dedicate ourselves to those thing
for which the Bar Association was intend-
ed.  Meeting the needs of the ever.
Increasing number of young lawyers is Iigh
on the president's list of priorities. One of
my objeetlves is to make the Young
Lawyers Section a msoving force witin Iic
Association. It sitould be the largest alid
most active section in the Bar Association
and each year should undertake at least one
major project in which Its members become
Ostrow recognizes the Importance of con.
tinuing the Academy of Lass's programs.
as well as all of the Bar Association's ac
tivities which are proving to be successful,
He stated that under Judge Joseph Uold
stein and the other officers oftlbeAdesn%,
it Is In unbelievably able hands.
The Image of the lawyer Is regarded by the
new president as one or our pIiiainy
responsibilities as a bar association, outl
he is personally committed to a public Icn
tlions program. Remember hati e are lile
largest local bar association in the couItry.
Michael J. Ostrow                                        Continued an page5

What members think Personal injury threshold issue
about NCBA activities requires very careful consideration

tlow can our Bar Association better serve its own
members, ile legal profession and the community In
general? was the question which was recently put to a
cross-seetlon  of  Nassau  County   Bar Association
members. Here are the answers we received.
Robert Corcoran, past president of tire Association, is
very pleased with the operation of the Nassau County Bar
Association. As a past president, he particularly ap-
preciates the harmonious functioning and the very pro-
gressive and sensitive attitude of the Board of Directors
toward tire profession and Its problems.
Mr. Corcoran stated that if he were to make any observa-
tion of art area needing improvement, it would be the
weskiress of all bar associations In the area of public
relations. We need to utilize public relations In develop-
Ing tire ability to respond effectively to unfair criticism of
the profession by the media and the public.
Cheryl Kreger Is tire new chairperson of the Young
l.awyers Section and has been practicing for four years.
Wlle ptaising tire existing nots anti bolts programs
sponrored by the Academy of Law, sie stressed the need
for basic progrntms deatlitg with the rechnical and pro-
cedurtal aspects of tie law to bridge the gap between law
school and tire practice of law. Knowing tie law in a par-
ticullar field Is important hut of little practical significance
if one does tot know tire seclflc rules and procedures
which most he followed in order to put the substantive
knowledge to use.
Ns. Kreger suggested two other Improvertents: a loentor
prograt and ass expansion of the Association's speaker
prnlgrnrs. A loentor program, whics is now in tire plan-
ninrg stage for tire Young Lawyers Section, would enable
young lawyers or Association members with little en
perlence in n specific area of tire law to call upon more
experienced  Association  members who      would   he
Continurd an pare 7

Your negligently injured
automobile accident victim
has been paid the applicable
first-party benefits.  lie
now wants to bring an ac-
tion against the offending
party, Flow Important is an
early assessment of the
injuries on   which   the
claim Is based? Veryl
Insurance Law §673(t)
states that tihere shall be no
recovery for personal in-
juries except in tile case of
a serious Injury or for basic
economic toss.
Serious Injury is now
defined in Insurance Law
'Serious Injury' means a
personal injury    which
results In death; dismember-
lett; significant dis-
figurement; a fracture; per-
manent loss of use of a
body organ, member, func-
tion or system; permanent
consequential limitation, of
use of a body, organ or
member; significant lirdiita-
lion of use of a body func-
tion  or system; or     a
medically determined Injury
or Irrpalrnrent of a non-
permanent nature which

prevents the Injured person
from performing substan-
tially all of the material acts
which constitute such per-
son's usual and custrmary
daily activities for not less
than ninety days drring the
one hundred eighty days
Immediately following the
occurrence of the injury or
Initially, in order to avoid
dismissal pursuant to CPLR
3211(a) (7), the serious In-
jury which forms tire basis
of the suit must be pleaded.
(Shnont' v. Streeben, 56
A.D,2d 237; Agnrosfakios v.
Laureano, 85 Misc.2d 203;
CPLR 30161gl).
Following joinder of
issue, tire question  of
whether there Is serious in.
jury within the meaning or
the statute is subject to ex-
amination on a motion for
summary judgment psr-
suani to CPLR 3212.
Motions for jrdgment on
this question have become
more frequent since the
Court of Appeals decision
in Licari v. Elliott (57
N.Y.2d 230) which held
that tie Court could, In the
first Instance, decide as a

matter of law, whctler tile
serious injury threshold had
been met.
Prior Io Licari, the coait,
had been loathe to rcim
the question or serious ir
jitry from  jrry contsluler
tion. Once Licarl establish
ed tiat the serious injiu
could be determined ins ;
matter of law rouovirg rtit
close or plaintiff's case, ii
was i short step to the conr
cluoisn that Irere coul I',t
pre-trial resolution of Ih,
question of whether plain
tiff has not sustnied     -,
serious injury.
On a motion for jid'
ment, the affidavit of a pal
ty with knowledge of Ill
facts is usually   suficirl,
(assumlng     it  contir
evidertlary facts) ItI detcol
the motion. Itowever, on ,
motion to dismiss for la;10
of serious injury, a plsr
clan's affidavit siIl b,
necessary  In  most    cae
To this end, it Is recon
mended that, wive     srliou
Injury is apparent, III
court atlize Licari tI lru'
as a marler of law 1Int II,
Irreshold Ias been Stil tir
Continued orr lvien 1,

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