SIDEBAR Summer 2021 - 28

MONTGOMERY B AR .O R G
Law Day &
Naturalization Ceremony
I
By Jack Costello
n 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day as a day of national
dedication to the principles of government under law. Since then, Law Day has
been celebrated on or around May 1st by bar associations and members of the legal
community in a variety of ways. Here in Montgomery County, Law Day is celebrated
with a grand ceremony in Courtroom A of the Montgomery County Courthouse,
followed by a barbeque luncheon here at the MBA Building. Unfortunately, the
COVID-19 pandemic forced us to cancel the event in 2020, but we were determined
not to let another year go by without celebrating this important day.
Since in-person gatherings were still difficult, we decided to make Law Day a virtual
celebration in 2021. The virtual platform actually allowed us to add an important
component to this year's Law Day celebration: a Naturalization Ceremony.
The MBA's American Citizenship & the Law Committee worked diligently
with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in planning a safe and
efficient ceremony in the midst of the pandemic. The ceremony was held in-person
in Courtroom A of the Montgomery County Courthouse, with limited participants
and attendees. Masks were required and participants were spaced 6 feet apart, in
accordance with CDC guidelines. Nevertheless, we welcomed 15 new United
States citizens during an uplifting and intimate ceremony, presided over by The
Honorable President Judge Thomas M. Del Ricci. The Honorable Melissa S. Sterling,
Prothonotary Noah Marlier, Esq., and MBA President Jacqueline M. Reynolds spoke
at the ceremony, delivering inspirational remarks about the importance of becoming
an American citizen. The Naturalization Ceremony was recorded, edited, and shown
during the Law Day ceremony.
In addition to the Naturalization Ceremony, our Law Day festivities also included
the admission of new members and the presentation of a number of community
service awards. The Henry Stuckert Miller Community Service Award was given to
Michelle Dempsky, Esq., for her work with Legal Aid of Southeastern PA (LASP) and
the Eviction Prevention and Intervention Coalition (EPIC). The MBA Public Service
Award is given to a public employee (who is not necessarily a court employee) who has
provided outstanding service to Montgomery County citizens on a daily basis. Barbara
O'Malley, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of Montgomery County, received the 2021
award. Finally, The Courthouse Employee of the Year Award was presented to Sean
Doreen Smith for her tireless work with Custodial/Public Property in keeping the
Courthouse clean, sanitized, and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Young
Lawyers Section also presented their Mock Trial Award to Lower Merion High School
- Team 1, this year's regional champs for Montgomery County.
A special thank you to the following individuals who were instrumental in planning
and executing this year's Law Day ceremony: The Honorable President Judge Thomas
M. Del Ricci; MBA President Jacqueline M. Reynolds, Esq.; The Honorable Melissa
S. Sterling & Michael E. Furey, Esq., Co-Chairs of the MBA American Citizenship &
The Law Committee; John E. Savoth, Chair of the MBA Awards Committee; Melissa
M. Boyd, Esq. & Steven C. Tolliver, Jr., Esq., Co-Chairs of the MBA Membership/
Development Committee; Andrew M. Lamberton, Esq., Vice-Chair of the MBA
Membership/Development Committee; and Andrew J. Levin, Esq., Chair of the MBA
Young Lawyers Section.
28 SIDEBAR
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