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Run for Civil Court bench - Former mouthpiece for Clarence Norman announces bid

The Brooklyn Paper
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A Brooklyn Heights attorney who for a brief time represented former Assemblymember Clarence Norman in his troubles with the Kings County District Attorney’s office announced his intention to run for Civil Court last week – although he was vague on which of the three potentially open seats he was hoping to grab.

Roger Adler, 62, the former President of the Brooklyn Bar Association and the past Chair of the State Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, said he believes he could be the kind of judge that “litigants, jurors and lawyers would be pleased to work with and appear before.”

“Being a judge is about finding consensus and crafting solutions,” he explained.

After being admitted to the bar in 1971, Adler was Deputy Chief of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Appeal’s Bureau as a young lawyer and has been in private practice since 1975.

His cases in private practice have been a mix of criminal defense and civil trials in state and federal courts and appellate work at every level of the state and federal judiciary.

Adler has also held a number of public positions including Counsel to the State Senate Codes Committee; a three-time Special District Attorney at the request of both former District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman and current District Attorney Charles Hynes; and Special Counsel to the Justices of the Appellate Division, Second Department.

“I’ve argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and Appellate Courts throughout the country. I’ve represented individuals in trouble with the law, families looking to help their children fight drug addiction and served as a prosecutor in the 1970’s,” he continued. “Ensuring that our neighbors are represented by superb lawyers has been my life’s work.”

As President of the Brooklyn Bar Association, Roger initiated the depoliticized joint screening of judicial candidates along with the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

He also successfully advocated for legislation strengthening penalties for drunk driving and other vehicular crimes as immediate past-Chair of the State Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section.

Adler has also had his share of high profile clients including Norman, who he handled “a number of successful pre-trial motions.”

Norman was convicted “while being represented by other counsel,” he said.

With the Democratic primary looming, Adler said that he hasn’t chosen which civil court seat he has his eye on.

There are currently three Civil Court seats up for grabs this year, although one of them is considered to be an “open seat.”

He has reportedly given his own campaign $100,000 to start and expects his election team – which includes Lisa Hernandez-Gioia, the wife of Queens City Councilmember Eric Gioia, as fundraising chair – to raise another $150,000 as the primary approaches.

Roger Adler was born and raised in Flatbush, Brooklyn. His father, Willy Adler, owned a bar and grill on Nevins Street, opposite the old Fox Theatre.

“My father and his brother fled Germany right after Kristallna­cht,” Adler said. “He came here with nothing, fought for our country in World War II and later settled down to raise a family and run a business. He’s a great guy and is looking forward to coming up from South Carolina, where he now lives, to campaign for me.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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