Join us as we celebrate the newest members of the Bar on Friday, Dec. 4 at 1:15 p.m. during the annual Ceremonial Admission to the Bar. After last year’s class of five, more new members will be inducted this year at the ceremony, presided over by Judge Anthony S. Beltrami.
Hosted in Courtroom 1 at the Northampton County Courthouse, the admittees will take the Oath of Attorney to be welcomed to the Bar, and it will be followed by a reception in the Jury Lounge.
A naturalization class of 30 hailing from 21 different countries was on hand on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 9 for the Naturalization Court held at the Northampton County Courthouse. The newly-naturalized citizens came from all over the world, from Peru to the Czech Republic to Sri Lanka.
Judge Michael J. Koury, Jr. presided over the ceremony, which began with “The Star-Spangled Banner” performed by Brielle Rivera, a sophomore at Liberty High School. She recently starred in the school’s musical production of “Aida” and later at the ceremony performed Irving Berlin’s “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor.”
The courtroom was accented by drawings from local elementary school students Ava Noel, Benjamin Bush, Sarah Andreano, Angela Salamone, Stephen Klimek, and Antonia Bates – winners of the recent “My Favorite Place in America” art contest.
After opening remarks by Judge Koury, the official naturalization began with the administration of the Oath of Allegiance, followed by the presentation of the class’ respective certificates. Abraham Kassis, Esq., the president of the Northampton County Bar Association, spoke about his path to naturalization and quoted a speech President Woodrow Wilson gave to a naturalization class of 4,000 almost 100 years ago to the day.
“You have just taken an oath of allegiance to the United States,” he said. “Of allegiance to whom? Of allegiance to no one, unless it be God—certainly not of allegiance to those who temporarily represent this great Government. You have taken an oath of allegiance to a great ideal, to a great body of principles, to a great hope of the human race.”
And as the court adjourned after the hour-long ceremony, the Easton area had gained 30 new, brave American citizens.
Joseph F. Leeson, Jr. of Bethlehem was officially sworn in as a federal judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in late May after having his nomination confirmed last December.
After receiving his degrees from Desales and Catholic University, he was a founding member at the Leeson, Leeson, and Leeson law firm and remained there until his appointment. Leeson served as Bethlehem’s city solicitor from 1998 to 2004, then was a member of the city council from 2004 to 2010.
“Jay Leeson is an outstanding lawyer with extensive experience and an excellent record,” Senator Casey said. “In addition to having a highly respected career in the practice of law, he has also demonstrated an abiding commitment to public service. I’m confident he will serve the Eastern District of Pennsylvania with distinction.”
“I am happy that President Obama has nominated Jay Leeson to join Judge James Knoll Gardner in Allentown as a district court judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,” Senator Toomey said. “For the first time, the Allentown courthouse will have two sitting federal district court judges. This is a great day for the city, and I am confident that Mr. Leeson will excel on the federal bench. I will continue working with Senator Casey to get this nominee confirmed by the Senate as soon as possible.”
Leeson joins federal judges James Knoll Gardner and Edward G. Smith of Easton to mark the first time ever that the Lehigh Valley has had three concurrent federal judges.