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In Memorium: Judge Abdus-Salaam

The Honorable Sheila Abdus-Salaam's Joint Bar Memorial Service:

DATE: Monday, May 1, 2017

TIME: 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

LOCATION: NYC Bar Association; 42 West 44th Street; New York, NY 10036

To learn more click here.

For those who are unable to attend, we encourage you to submit condolences and reflections that will be circulated to the family in a memorial tribute book by clicking here. Simply fill out the form and click "submit".

A public memorial service for Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam will be held on Friday, May 26 at  noon at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York City.

For more information on the Public Memorial Service, visit: or contact Rebecca Wilson at

Statements from Judge Abdu-Salaams family:

The Rev. Canon Gregory A. Jacobs Statement

Turner Family Statement


MBBA's Statement on the Passing of the Honorable Sheila Abdus-Salaam

To all of our Members and Supporters:

Our MBBA member the Honorable Sheila Abdus-Salaam was a trailblazer in the legal community. She was the first African American woman on the New York State Court of Appeals taking the bench in 2013. Gov. Andrew Cuomo described her as “a pioneer” who “through her writings, her wisdom and her unshakeable moral compass, she was a force for good whose legacy will be felt for years to come.” The MBBA knew Judge Abdus-Salaam not only as a jurist but also as a stellar public interest lawyer committed to achieving justice through her work with East Brooklyn Legal Services Corp., the City Law Department and the NYC Office of Labor Services. As a member, she was a strong advocate and supporter of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association and role model to all who knew her. We were privileged to honor her as our Jurist of the Year in 2014. She will be fondly remembered and deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Judge Abdus-Salaam’s family and as soon as it is available, we will forward information on funeral and memorial arrangements as well as any preferred charity designated for donations in her memory.

In Service,
President Paula T. Edgar and the Board and Officers of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association

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Queens I Am A Solution

On Saturday, January 21, MBBA hosted our third “I am A Solution” Town Hall Meeting & Legal Solutions Roundtable: Queens Edition.  During this program, we discussed legal and legislative reforms to reduce the number of unarmed civilian deaths caused by law enforcement officers.  As we enter 2017, many are concerned that the civil rights we have worked so hard to achieve will be rolled back – especially as they relate to the criminal justice system.  At our “I am A Solution” program, we reached out to members of the Queens community and heard their stories, before pivoting to a reform-oriented discussion aimed at reducing the violence



Councilman Rory Lancman


Congressman Gregory Meeks


Community Activism Panel

Damien Atkins

Corporate Counsel of the Year
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary,  Panasonic Corporation of North America

Damien Atkins serves as General Counsel and secretary of Panasonic Corporation of America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. He is the company’s chief legal advisor and is responsible for providing Panasonic North America and its affiliate with legal, compliance and public affairs services.

Before joining Panasonic, Mr. Atkins was Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of AOL Inc. Mr. Atkins joined AOL from Chadbourne & Parke LLP, where his practice focused on a wide variety of mergers & acquisitions, capital markets and securities law matters.

Mr. Atkins has been recognized for his extensive experience in managing in-house legal teams in securities regulation, mergers & acquisitions, corporate governance, employment, employee benefits, executive compensation, facilities and global compliance.

In 2016, Mr. Atkins was seleced as the General Counsel of the Year by New Jersey Business Journal and a Diverse Attorney of the Year by the New Jersey Law Journal. Mr. Atkins is a member of the Rutgers University Center for Corporate Law and Governance advisory board. He was also included on Savoy Magazine’s “Most Influential Black Lawyers 2015 List”. In 2013, he was selected as the Corporate Governance Professional of the Year in 2012.

Mr. Atkins graduated from New York University School of Law and holds a bachelor's degree in History from Stanford University.

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Joseph M. Drayton

Private Practitioner of the Year
Partner, Cooley LLP

Joseph Drayton's practice background includes a broad range of intellectual property and complex commercial matters. He is experienced in patent litigation, trademark and copyright usage, trade dress, design patents and false advertising.

Joe also counsels clients in all aspects of intellectual property acquisition, transfer, protection and enforcement. He has represented leading companies in the media, telecommunications, banking, private equity, pharmaceutical, electronics and retail industries. He practices before both state and federal courts, as well as the International Trade Commission. He has been a lead member of numerous patent trial teams, including four over the past few years. He has handled temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, all facets of motion practice and complex discovery.

Joe has been recognized as one of the top patent attorneys in the US. Recently, he was named to the IAM Patent1000 list, a recognition that honors the top patent practitioners in the world. In 2015, he was named one of the "most influential black lawyers" by Savoy Magazine. He has also been recognized by the New York City Bar Association with the 2014 Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award. In 2010, he was named among the National Bar Association's "Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40."

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Areal Allen-Stewart

areal-allen-stewartAreal Allen-Stewart is the Vice President of Global Credit Cards at Citibank. In her current role, she advises on global legal and regulatory requirements and develops programming and policy for her regional partners. In addition to her service on the MBBA Board, Areal remains active in the community. She is the Chair of co-sponsored events of The Association for Black Women Attorneys, a member of the Junior League of Brooklyn, a member of the Diversity Pipeline Initiatives Committee at the New York City Bar, and she sits on the Board of Directors for New York Law School’s Alumni Association. Additionally, Areal is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Areal is a 2014 graduate of New York Law School. Prior to law school, she attended the University of Connecticut, where she received degrees in Economics, African American Studies, and Business. In her spare time, Areal enjoys reading, exercising, and the arts.

Alison L. Moore

alison-mooreAlison L. Moore is a Managing Director and Associate General Counsel at J.P. Morgan. As a senior legal advisor in J.P. Morgan’s Corporate and Investment Bank, Alison advises on legal and commercial matters in the Investor Services division, focusing on custody and collateral management products and services provided to registered investment funds, broker-dealers and alternative asset managers. In addition to her responsibilities as a trusted business partner, Alison is responsible for the management and development of a team of seasoned attorneys.

Prior to joining the Legal Department at J.P. Morgan, Alison was a transactional attorney in private practice at several large law firms in New York City, beginning her legal career at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Alison is active in the community. In addition to her mentoring activities, she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Adams Street Foundation (the non-profit arm of the Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice High School in Brooklyn, NY) and serves on the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of New York City.

Among other recognitions, Alison was named to Lawyers of Color’s Second Annual Hot List (2014) and honored as one of The Network Journal’s 25 Influential Black Women in Business (2015).

Alison received her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Harvard University and her law degree from Columbia Law School.

Calvin Wingfield

wingfieldcCalvin Wingfield is a partner in Goodwin Procter LLP’s Litigation Department and a member of its Patent Litigation Practice. Mr. Wingfield has experience in a broad range of intellectual property matters, including patent and trademark litigation, patent enforcement, and intellectual property counseling. He received a J.D. from Emory University School of Law and a B.S. from Morehouse College.