Why Should you consider joining NIABA(National Italian American Bas Association)

Oct 29, 2019 271

BY: Antonietta Brancaccio-Balzano, Esq

Whether you are Italian, you like Italy, or simply feel a connection with Italy you should join NIABA a for several numbers of reasons. Through Niaba I was able to make the most valuable connections, I was able to grow as a person and lawyer, and I was able to meet influential exponents of the professional society like Justice Alito.

NIABA was formed as National Justinian Society of Italian American Lawyers on April 20, 1983 in the State of California. What became evident at the inaugural meeting held in New York was the instant camaraderie shared by all in attendance, the pride in heritage, and the need to discuss, debate, and to enjoy good food and wine together before coming to the ultimate resolution of the foundation of the National Italian American Bar Association.

As of today, Niaba counts almost 500 active attorneys from all over the US-Canada and Italy; I joined Niaba in 2015 under the advice of my estimated colleague Paul Finizio who currently serves as Chairman of the Board. Later on, I was selected to be a board member with the responsibility of leading the section of attorneys in Naples-Italy. Niaba holds 4 annual meetings in different states of US and every 2 years the meeting is held in Italy. This year, the 2019 Fall meeting was held in Rome-Naples- and Sorrento under the  extraordinary supervision of President Fran Donnarumma. Needless to say that we all had the greatest time and had the best food.

The meeting started in Rome on September 22th with a welcome Aperitivo and dinner with special entertainment by International Opera singer Carlo De Antonis. We had the opportunity to attend CLE`s classes on the most diverse national and international matters.  I was given the privilege to be guest speaker and I made a presentation on US immigration Law.

We visited the Roman Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione) where the President of the local Bar Antonino Galletti escorted us for a special tour that included an expo of law volumes of the 15th and 16th century. We visited the Institute of the American Studies in the impressive Renaissance Palace in the heart of Rome.  The night events were held at the typical Roman top roof hotels where the ancient city was the background to our dinners. The trip continued in Naples where I was the liaison.

We visited one of the oldest Law libraries in Europe: Libreria De Marsico. The President of the Library Roberto Fiore gave us the warmest welcome and donated a unique paper holder to NIABA as a sign of friendship.  We had the opportunity to see one of the copies of the US Constitution(donated by the US government) and held a discussion on how Italian jurists influenced the drafting of the Constitution. Followed a visit to the local court where the President of the Bar Antonio Tafuri, the Vice President Gabriele Esposito, and board members escorted us to observe ongoing hearings. We later had a brief meeting to explore the ways to collaborate and create strong relationships among the bar associations.

The meeting ended with a typical Italian Aperitivo and exchange of gifts. Dinner was held at one of the most famous venues in Naples: Circolo Canottieri, where the beautiful background of the Mediterranean Sea was the protagonist of the night. Last two days was spent in the breathtaking Sorrento, where we met local bar officials, including President Luisa Liguoro and attended the “Make a Wish” event at the iconic Hotel Excelsior Vittoria. As you can imagine, we all came back to US with extra weight but it was not from gained pounds but from gained wisdom, culture, and knowledge. 

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