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Parete, Andolina in Law Day spotlight

Buffalo Police Officers Patricia A. Parete and Carl E. Andolina will be honored for their heroism during Monday's annual Law Day luncheon.

The legal group will cite the wounded officers for their "brave and selfless actions in the face of extreme personal danger," said Stephen R. Lamantia, president of the Bar Association of Erie County.

Parete and Andolina were shot by a teenage suspect Dec. 5 at West Chippewa Street and Whitney Place.

Parete still faces months of rehabilitation in a New Jersey facility, where she is undergoing therapy.

Andolina will accept the award for both at the bar group's luncheon at noon in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.

The keynote speaker will be Bernard A. Tolbert, Buffalo-born vice president and security chief of the National Basketball Association, a trustee of the Statler Foundation and former head of the FBI's Buffalo office.

The bar association will present its Liberty Bell Award to Mayor Byron W. Brown's Anti-Flipping Task Force in recognition of its contributions to combating the problem of fraudulent quick resale of properties in the city.

The Justice Award will be presented to the City of Buffalo Youth Court, overseen by Judge Thomas P. Franczyk, for its work in improving the justice system by allowing first-time juveniles between the ages 12 and 18 to be spared a criminal conviction through a process of being judged by peers. Franczyk will accept the award.

Janet Curry, a judicial assistant in the Western District of federal court, will be awarded the Special Service Award, given each year to a nonlawyer who has provided outstanding service to the legal community.

WIVB-TV senior correspondent Rich Newberg will be receive the Media Award in recognition of his achievement in helping strengthen the legal system through his reporting, Lamantia said.

The members of the Clarence High School team will be honored for winning this year's Mock Trial Tournament. Elementary and high school student winners in the bar association's annual poster contest will also receive awards.

The 120-year-old bar group, one of the state's most active, sponsors the annual Law Day luncheon as part of its effort to advance the administration of justice and promote public understanding of the legal system, association spokeswoman Susan L. Kohlbacher said.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com.

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