Justice Eng and Seymour James highlight Eagle’s Queens DA forum

By David Brand

Retired Justice Randall Eng and former Legal Aid Society Attorney-In-Charge Seymour James will highlight a panel of legal experts at an upcoming Queens district attorney candidates forum hosted by the Queens Daily Eagle and the NAACP.

The forum will take place at St. John’s University’ Little Theater on Thursday, June 13 at 6 p.m. All seven Democratic candidates for Queens DA have been invited to the event, including Tiffany Cabán, Melinda Katz, Rory Lancman, Gregory Lasak, Betty Lugo, Mina Malik and Jose Nieves.

“Building an engaged and informed citizenry is an important lesson taught here at St. John’s University and we are proud to join forces with the NAACP to host this important public event,” said Brian Browne, executive director of university relations and assistant vice president government relations at St. John’s.

The candidate forum will be live streamed on Queens Public Access Television (QPTV) in coordination with the Eagle.

“As the first competitive election for the office of Queens County District Attorney in three decades there will be much to discuss at this important candidate forum,” said Ken Cohen, Metropolitan Council regional director and president of the NAACP Northeast Queens Branch.

Eng is the former Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department until his retirement last year. He became the first Asian American to serve as Presiding Justice in New York State's history.

Eng was honored with the Charles W. Froessel Award at the Queens County Bar Association’s 142nd Annual Dinner and Installation of Officers and Managers earlier this year. He is now of counsel to Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. and serves as referee, receiver and arbitrator within the firm’s Alternative Dispute Resolution practice.

James has worked at the firm Barkett Epstein since last year.

He graduated from Boston University School of Law and began working as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn in the 1970s.

He was named attorney-in-charge of criminal defense in 2005 and attorney-in-chief in 2014. He received the Lifetime Achievement award from the NYS Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers this year and from the New York Law Journal in 2016.