Queens D.A. welcomes new recruits to ranks

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Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced the appointment of 18 new assistant district attorneys who are recent graduates from 10 Northeastern law schools, last week.

The 2001 class was sworn in to their posts as the newest members of the Queens District Attorney’s Office Aug. 22. It was the second group of lawyers hired by the Queens DA’s office this year. Twelve assistant district attorneys joined the staff at the end of March.

“These young men and women were hired after a highly selective recruitment process that I established soon after I became the district attorney,” Brown said in a release. “They are bright young professionals from some of the nation’s finest law schools who have elected to enter public service.”

Brown said he was proud of the new class and he expected them to serve Queens County with distinction.

Members of the group will start their prosecutorial careers with an intensive training course, which will be led by ADA Steven Schwartz, director of trial advocacy and ADA Beverly Kalman, deputy director of trial advocacy, which will be under the supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney Gray Fidel.

According to the DA’s office, each new ADA was selected after completing a tough screening process that included an on-campus interview, a panel interview with two assistant district attorneys and a final interview.

Betsy Herzog, a spokeswoman for the Queens DA, said over the next few weeks the new hires will attend lectures, courtroom cases and mock hearings to improve their legal knowledge and trial advocacy skills.

In addition to the classroom, the new assistants will receive practical skills and hands-on experience participating in simulations at the New York Police Department’s Tactics House, going out on police rides, using firearms at the department’s firing range and visiting some of the city’s correctional institutions.

At the start of their tenure the new ADAs will be assigned to the Intake, Criminal Court and Family Court bureaus, then will move on to work in the Appeals, Grand Jury and Homicide Investigations Bureaus. After about two years the group will start an intensive trial training program before being assigned to the Supreme Court Trial Bureau.

“I live in Queens now and I thought it was the best way to stay in touch with and help the community,” said Michael Whitney, one of the new hires, graduated from St. John’s Law School and was originally from Closter, N.J. “It is a fantastic job where I can help the community and strive for justice.”

He said he is looking forward to learning criminal law practices from the district attorney’s staff and striving to be the “best public servant possible”.

The 18 new hires are: Whitney, St. John’s; Julie Trivedi, New York Law School; Pamela Papish, Columbia; Jerny Lettieri, Fordham; Nathalie Leb, New York Law School; Jennifer Larkin, New York Law School; Rebecca Kramer, Pace; Fasial Khan, Brooklyn; Mia Angelique Hall, Syracuse; Stephen Geller, Brooklyn; Tanya Foster, St. John’s; Tara Coughlin, St. John’s; Paul Cardon, Hofstra; William Branigan, Fordham; Sylvia Bishai, CUNY Queens; Salvador Arcadipane, Rutgers; Maria Aquino, St. John’s; and Ishak Davidakyuz, George Washington.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

Posted 7:23 pm, October 10, 2011
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