NEW YORK – Attorney-at-law Michael J. Hartofilis is the only Greek-American appointed judge to the New York City Civil Court by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
On February 8, following the public hearing, Hartofilis was sworn with his wife, Maria Barous-Hartofilis, their children, Yiannis and Calliope, sisters Irene Poulimas and Kalliope Karageorgis, as well as his in-laws Evangelos and Kalliope Barous, in attendance.
The swearing-in took place immediately after the public hearing held at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, with eight new judges, namely: Lisa J. Friederwitzer and Lynn M. Leopold for the Family Court, and Michael Hartofilis, Marisol Martinez Alonso, Edwin I. Novillo, Jonathan H. Shim, Ann D. Thompson, Jeffrey M. Zimmerman for the Civil Court, New York.
Video by TNH/Costas Bej
Mr. Hartofilis and the seven new judges, following the swearing in, went to the City Hall for the signing of the New York Registry of Judges and the other proceedings.
From February 8 until March 2, they will attend a training program and on March 5 they will wear the robe and officially take up their duties in one of the five Civic Courts of the City of New York.
Maria Barous-Hartofilis, spoke with The National Herald, and pointed out that the ceremony was extremely emotional for her husband as well as for her and their children.
At the same time, she noted that the recent induction of John Katsanos and Michael Hartofilis is also a very good for the Hellenic Lawyers Association because it will inspire new talented lawyers to seek election at all levels of US justice.
Hartofilis kept his own Michael Hartofilis Law Offices at 31-17 Ditmars Blvd in Astoria until yesterday.
Hartofilis has roots in Nisyros and his wife, Maria, from Andros. They are both lawyers and have been presidents of the Hellenic Lawyers Association. Today Michael leads the advisory committee, while Maria is the co-chairman of the governing board of this historical club.
The chairman of the New York-based Hellenic Lawyers Association Peter Metis, told TNH, that he welcomes Hartofilis’ appointment as a judge and noted that it is a great honor for him and for the Hellenic Lawyers Association itself.
Evangelos and Kalliope Barous during an interview with TNH pointed out that it is a special honor for their family, as well as for the Greeks of Nisyros and Andros, and of New York.
“Kalliope and I have invested so much, as so many expatriates have, in the education of our children and we are delighted and proud of their achievements. Ceremonies such as today are very moving for us and our children,” Mr. Barous said.
Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, Chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary, spoke to TNH about the process, and pointed out that the committee had posted the public hearing on new judges online and that citizens were entitled until 10 AM on February 7 to send their petitions.