Native Ridgeite inducted as 100th president of the Brooklyn Bar

Lawyers, judges and some TV celebs turned out for a night of celebration at the New York Marriot at the Brooklyn Bridge Hotel on Wednesday, June 17 as one of Ridge’s own celebrated his new post as  the 100th president of the Brooklyn Bar Association.

Arthur Aidala, son of Mary Ann and Louis Aidala, himself an attorney and former captain at the Fort Hamilton Army Base, is a Bay Ridge native and believer in all things community.

“I was always involved in my local community,” said Aidala who attended P.S. 185 and Poly Prep. “I decided to follow in my father’s footsteps and study law. When I graduated law school, to keep the public aspect going, I continued in public service by securing a job as an assistant district attorney in Kings County. District Attorney Charles Hynes, after a short period of time, actually honored my request to be transferred to the borough that represented the 68th Precinct so that I could be a real local prosecutor.”

After Aidala left the D.A.’s office in 1997 to run for City Council in his home neighborhood, he said he learned about all of the “nooks and crannies of Bay Ridge,” going door to door.

“I lost [the primary] by 108 votes,” Aidala said about the election, “and instead of going to a big law firm and going to Manhattan, I went to one of the political leaders of the neighborhood, Frank J. Santo, and asked if he could find a spot for me in his office.”

Eighteen years later, Aidala still found himself in that very same office, calling it “life-altering.”

“Moving into that office and staying in the neighborhood I grew up in, I really feel that I have served the neighborhood as a local lawyer,” he added.

In the past, Aidala has also been president of the Columbian Lawyers Association and vice president of the Kings County Criminal Bar Association.

“Bar associations help lawyers and help judges,” said Aidala. “They keep us all in a room together and keep the conversation going to make the legal community in Brooklyn as effective as possible.”

Also a legal analyst for Fox News, Aidala was delighted to share the spotlight with some high-profile friends at his induction party.

“Geraldo Rivera was there and Alan Dershowitz—one of the best and brightest lawyers of all time—said if Wikipedia needed a photograph of what an outstanding attorney should look like, they should use my picture,” recalled Aidala. “It was beyond flattering and tremendously gratifying.”

In terms of things that Aidala is looking to accomplish as president, he said renovations for the bar association’s offices at 123 Remsen Street are in order as well as creating a new website/social media platform, having Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito teach a continuing legal education program, and arranging a group Bar Association trip to Cuba.

Aidala’s big accomplishment of the night, aside from celebrating his new position, came as an unexpected surprise to the party’s 400 guests.

“I announced that the night before, I had asked my law partner of many years to be my wife,” Aidala said about his now fiancée, Marianne Bertuna. “It went from being a Bar party to being an engagement party. She started as an intern with me in 1999, became a lawyer in 2003, became my partner in 2008 and she will become my wife in 2016.”

Photos by Patrick McMullan
Photos by Patrick McMullan

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