For those of you in attendance last night at The Strong, you know what I am talkin’ about. It was the “world” premiere of the short film, Dedicated to Justice: Hon. Michael Telesca, and there was not an open seat in the house.
Attendees arrived early, as the energy in the lobby grew in anticipation of the start of the film. But the energy went to a whole new level upon the arrival of the man of the hour, Judge Michael Telesca. Our efforts to seat our guests, shifted to the arrival of the Judge. He was his usual, charming and loving self, as he humbly greeted family, friends, colleagues and numerous fans.
I have had the privilege of getting to know Judge Telesca over the years as a result of the creation of the Telesca Center for Justice. Early on, Justin Vigdor, Partnership for Equal Justice Campaign Chair, and I would call on the Judge every few months to keep him apprised of efforts to co-locate the civil legal service partners under the same roof.
I loved these visits to the Judge’s chamber, where I would sit with these two giants of the profession, and witness their story-telling of the profession in the “old days”. These were priceless moments to witness these two old friends share mutual stories of admiration about each other. These visits, allowed me the ability to form my own relationship with Judge Telesca, and the ability to call him and visit on my own a few occasions as well.
When we finally put the Judge’s name in lights on the front of his building, he was in attendance at this very special event. It was an emotional evening for the Judge as he spoke of his immigrant parents that came to America from Italy, and how proud his father would be to see his name on this building and the work that took place inside the building.
The idea of the film was a collective brainstorm of Judge Jonathan Feldman and MCBA President Steve Modica. Together they began the conversation about the possibility of a film with Judge Telesca. The story shared last night was that when the Judge finally, and reluctantly, agreed to meet the young filmmaker, Matthew Spaull, he said, “OK, you can have 15 minutes.” And the rest is now history. This film was made more special as a result of the relationship formed between Judge Telesca and the young filmmaker, Matt.
What struck me was the scenes at the Judge’s desk. I have sat in that same chair across from his desk, and listened to Judge Telesca and his stories and philosophies. Matt captured these moments, and I felt as though I was again in the chair across from the desk.
Do not worry if you were unable to attend last night. You will have another opportunity on Friday, May 8th, when we will view the film in the Rubin Center for Education at 12:15 pm., please contact Liz Novak for more information. This is a complimentary viewing, feel free to bring your lunch. We will provide the beverages. If the room fills up, I am committed to scheduling another viewing. I want everyone to see the film, and to hear the powerful messages shared in the film. Very powerful!
In fact, if you would like, we are taking orders for copies of the film. You can purchase your own copy for duplication cost of $6, which includes tax and shipping. Please click here for the order form.
I wish to thank this very special man, Judge Michael Telesca, for sharing his life, his wisdom, his courage, his humor and heart, with all of us. I wish to thank Judge Feldman, Steve Modica, Joan Countryman, and Matt Spaull, for bringing it all to life in this powerful film that will forever preserve the legacy of this great man.
Oh, what a night…
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