Contact: Brandon Vogel
Media Writer, Department of Media Services & Public Affairs

January 14, 2008


ALBANY--The New York State Bar Association is seeking nominations for the Angelo T. Cometa Award, which recognizes extraordinary efforts in assisting the public through a lawyer referral service.

The award is sponsored by the State Bar's Committee on Lawyer Referral Service.  The award recognizes individuals or groups in New York State demonstrating an extraordinary commitment toward advancing the goals of the Lawyer Referral and Information Service. The Lawyer Referral and Information Service assists members of the public in obtaining information about the availability of legal services and other agencies, increasing access to attorneys, and/or providing legal services to clients. Ideally, nominees can fulfill the award criteria by demonstrating outstanding and long term service to LRIS. The winner does not have to be an attorney or a group within the State Bar Association.

"This year's recipient will represent Angelo Cometa's dedication to make legal representation more accessible to those in need," said Committee Chair David J. Pajak of Corfu (Pajak Personal InjurySM).  "We are pleased to honor those committed to helping the public."

Nominations should include a narrative of no more than 500 words describing the individual or group's efforts in advancing the goals of LRIS. Supporting materials, such as letters of reference and articles, may be submitted. The nomination form is available on the Association's Web site at

The deadline for nominations has been extended to February 8, 2008. The award will be presented on April 4, 2008 at the House of Delegates dinner in Albany.

One of the Association's most celebrated members, Angelo T. Cometa chaired the Committee on Lawyer Referral Service during the LRIS' first year in 1981. As Committee Chair, Cometa was instrumental in establishing the LRIS and increasing public access to attorneys. He was a partner in Phillips, Nizer, Benjamin, Krim & Ballon and has held many leadership positions with the State Bar, including President in 1990. He was the recipient of the first 2007 Angelo T. Cometa Award.

The LRIS is a public service of the State Bar. Its goals include administering a coordinated lawyer referral and information system throughout New York and to provide the public with information about community and legal services such as local bar referral services, legal aid societies, legal service programs and public interest law organizations.