Italian American Lawyers Association Italian American
Lawyers Association

Letters from Our President

  • Letter from Our President, June 1, 2020

As President of the Italian American Lawyers Association (IALA), I would be remiss if I sat silent in light of recent events. IALA joins the country in mourning the tragic death of George Floyd and stands in solidarity with our friends at the John M. Langston Bar Association, who issued a powerful statement related to Mr. Floyd's death and the need for action. To paraphrase Edmond Burke, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for enough good people to do nothing.

Here is a link to the video taken by a 17 year old woman at the scene. It shows a Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee against the neck of a handcuffed man on the ground for nearly 6 minutes while the man pleaded, "please, I can't breathe." It shows the officer continuing to press his knee on the man's neck for close to 3 more minutes as helpless onlookers shouted that the man was not moving, begging the officer to stop. Warning, it is quite disturbing:

Theresa J. Macellaro, Esq.

President, Italian American Lawyers Association 

 - Post-Script (in response to emailed comments)

Q: Why speak out when it was not an Italian American who was killed?

A: IALA is a minority bar association whose mission includes participating in civic and community affairs so as to ensure the proper administration of justice. In Martin Niemoller's post-war words, displayed in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: "First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out -- because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out -- because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -- because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me." 

  • Letter from Our President, April 13, 2020

Ciao, cara famiglia:

These are challenging times for everyone.  We consider you our family and want you to know that we are here for you.  If you need help, let us know. We can deliver food and essential supplies to you if you are ill or vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus. Please send a confidential email letting us know how we can help to

For those who reached out and asked how they can help, besides delivering food to our most vulnerable, we are going to send some money to Luis (the headwaiter) and the wait staff at Casa Italiana to help them out while the Casa is closed.  Anyone who wants to contribute can donate any amount through our website via this link. Please indicate that your donation is for the Casa waitstaff, and feel free to include an encouraging message. 

We will get past these difficult times.  Please stay in and stay safe.   

Theresa J. Macellaro, Esq.

President, Italian American Lawyers Association 

  • Letter from the National Italian American Bar Association, April 9, 2020

It is with deep regret that I announce the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Attorney Joseph Sena, Jr. of White Plains, New York, due to complications arising from the virus.

Joe was the sixteenth (16) President of the National Italian American Bar Association, serving 2015-2017. He was a great orator for NIABA and spoke generously at various meetings of local Italian American, Justinian, and Columbian bar associations throughout the United States. He approved the first NIABA CLE program in Rome, Italy held in September 2015.

Each meeting of the NIABA board of directors began with circulation of a list of books and readings recommended by Joe. The board was enriched by the depth of his knowledge of all things Italian. He shared generously his joy and enthusiasm for our heritage in law, philosophy, culture and science.

Details will follow regarding the history of President Joseph Sena, Jr. We extend our deep appreciation for the contributions of beauty, respect and joy which he brought to the law and all that he did.

Blessings to his family and to his dear companion, Ya Pie, MD, a beloved friend of NIABA.

May our brother, Joe Sena, rest in the peace and joy of eternal life.

Francis Donnarumma

President, National Italian American Bar Association

- Note From the Italian American Lawyers Association 

Joseph Sena, Jr. was a close friend of the Italian American Lawyers Association. Over the years we were blessed to enjoy his legal seminars and get to know his wonderful sense of humor. We were in discussions regarding having him come to Los Angeles to present to us another legal program before his untimely passing. Rest in peace, Joe. The Italian American community misses you greatly. 

Theresa J. Macellaro, Esq.

President, Italian American Lawyers Association

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