2003-01-11 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

By Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

By Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey,
Democratic District Leader

A Historic Moment

On January 1, Judge Timothy J. Dufficy began his new career as a Judge of the Civil Court of New York.  Tim Dufficy is uniquely qualified by education, experience and temperament to serve as a judge.

Tim Dufficy's ascent to the bench was a historic moment in the halls of Justice in Queens County.  The honor of judicial service has been part of Tim Dufficy's family tradition.  This began with his great grandfather Judge Dolphin, was continued by his uncle, Judge George Carney who served as Magistrates Judge, a Court of Special Session Judge and as a Justice of the Supreme Court.  The tradition was also continued by his father John Dufficy (deceased) who was an outstanding lawyer and now by his mother who served as a Judge in the Civil and Supreme Court, was a hearing officer in the Criminal Court and is a referee in the Appellate Division, 2nd Department on Disciplinary matters.  Justice Ann Dufficy proudly swore in her son Timothy Dufficy as a judge at a ceremony on December 19, 2002.  It is a very thrilling moment when we witnessed Ann give the oath to Tim.  Everyone at the ceremony was filled with pride when we saw this dynamic duo-Ann and Tim Dufficy now become colleagues as fellow judges in the Courts.  It is most unusual for a mother to have such a distinguished career as a judge and for her to have the opportunity of passing this baton to her son.  Ann Dufficy quoted from Socrates when she gave Tim sage advice: "hear courteously, answer wisely, consider soberly and decide impartially."

Ann Dufficy noted that she was proud of Tim Dufficy because he was a graduate of an accelerated 2-1/2 year program at St. John's Law School.  Tim's capable, poised and talented daughter will now be taking the family tradition one step further as she is admitted for the Spring 2003 accelerated program at St. John's Law School.

Many notable people joined Tim Dufficy at his induction ceremony. Monsignor Martin Geraghty, Pastor of St. Francis de Sales, gave one of two invocations.  Monsignor prayed that God would grant Tim wisdom and knowledge that he may make fine judgments for the people, grant him vision and insight so that he may be able to penetrate to the truth, grant him courage so that he might fight the battles that must be fought, grant him the resilience to work with opposing forces, grant him the patience to wait while the wheels of justice turn sometimes too slowly and bless his family, friends and colleagues.

Justice Martin Ritholtz gave an invocation.  He noted that Tim Dufficys initials TJD stand for Truth, Justice and Divinity which are inspired from the words of the Prophet Zacharia, Chapter 8, Verse 16.  Justice Ritholtz noted that Tim is following in the shoes of many excellent judges who have preceded him in the 5th Municipal District including Judge Herb Posner, Judge Charles Thomas, Judge Martin Schulman and Judge Martin Ritholtz himself.

Congressman Tom Manton, our Queens County Democratic Leader, noted that Tim Dufficy is a man of talent and drive.  Tim attended the same law school as Tom Manton - St. John's University Law School.  Tim had worked for Tom Manton in the private sector.  Tim thanked Tom for allowing him to work in his law firm and to gain legal knowledge in many areas including landlord tenant issues, bankruptcy filings and estate work.  Tom Manton feels that Tim Dufficy will be a real asset to the court.  Tom Manton quoted from Bacon's essays and stated "Judges ought to be more learned than witty and above all things integrity is the most important virtue."

Brooklyn DA Charles Hines noted that Tim exhibited a strong calling to public service.  This was inherited from his mother.  DA Hines said that the people of Queens County did well when they chose Tim.

Seymour James, Head of the Legal Aid Society, noted that we could never find a nicer or more caring person to serve on the bench than Tim Dufficy.

Christopher Ranfroe felt that Tim Dufficy was intelligent, knowledgeable, fair minded and a compassionate professional.  His breath of experience will serve him well.  Ranfroe knows that Dufficy will despense justice to all that appear before him.

Tim Dufficy was joined by his lovely, charasmatic and charming wife Mary, his legal beagle daughter Doreen and his energetic and enthusiastic son Tim.  He also recognized the strong support he received from his father in law Charles Mundt, his mother in law Dorothy Mundt (recently deceased) and their son Charles Mundt.

Frances Abbracciamento, Catherine Hibbits, Kay Kinane, Veronica McCarthy, Sally Gwirtzman, Howard and Helen Gillespie and Jeanne - Beryl Metz and Bert Mertz, Eugene Pasternak and Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey were among the many friends who attended the ceremony.

It is very rewarding to me and my family to have supported Tim Dufficy over the years.  He is articulate, motivated and scholarly.  It is a pleasure to recognize his outstanding achievements.  He has the breadth of view, the precision of knowledge, versatility of skill and firmness of commitment one would expect of a person selected for the honor of being a judge.

A special note of thanks goes to Michael Benn, the President of the James Conway Sullivan Queens St. Patrick's Day Parade and Cultural Committee.  He worked with us to promote the excellent candidacy of Tim Dufficy.  He videotaped the induction of Tim Dufficy for showing on his weekly QPTV series "Eyes of the Irish."

Congratulations to Tim and Mary Dufficy and their family Doreen and Tim; to Ann Dufficy the proud mother/judge; to Charles Mundt and Charles Mundt Jr. the proud in-laws and to all the friends and colleagues.

The Dufficy's held a beautiful dinner reception at Cafe Tempesta for everyone to celebrate the great event of Tim Dufficy becoming a Civil Court Judge.

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