Jamaican-American heads Metropolitan Black Bar Association

Carl Forbes, Jr. MBBA.
Carl Forbes, Jr. MBBA.
Jay McClinton

The Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) has announced the commencement of the term of its Jamaican-American President Carl Forbes, Jr. and its 2022-2023 officers and directors.

Officers: President – Carl Forbes Jr., Esq.; President-Elect – Nicole Lester Arrindell, Esq.; Vice President, Finance – Eric A. Love, Esq.; Vice President, Membership – Lauren Brown, Esq.; Vice President, Programs – Evette C. Ennis, Esq.; Treasurer – Anta Cissé-Green, Esq.; and General Counsel – Jennifer V. Abelaj, Esq.

Directors: Hon. Inga O’Neale (Class of 2023); Mirlande Telfort, Esq. (Class of 2023); Camille Joseph Varlack, Esq. (Class of 2024); Monsurat M. Adebanjo, Esq. (Class of 2025); Tanya N. Blocker, Esq. (Class of 2025);Esther B. Cajuste, Esq. (Class of 2025); Jomaire Crawford, Esq. (Class of 2025); Luwick Francois, Esq. (Class of 2025); Phillip C. Hamilton, Esq. (Class of 2025); and Jennifer L. Taiwo, Esq. (Class of 2025).

Forbes, a Brooklyn resident, has been a member of MBBA since 2011 and has served on the MBBA’s Board for the past five years.

Most recently, Forbes held the position of president-elect under the tenure of the Immediate Past President Anta Cissé-Green, in addition to serving as co-chair of the Solo and Small Firm Division, from July 2020 to June 2022.

Previously, Forbes served as a director from July 2017 to June 2020 under the tenures of past Presidents Paula T. Edgar and Jason M. Clark.

Forbes is the founder and principal attorney of Carl Forbes Jr. Law Firm PLLC, a boutique New York City firm focused on real estate, estate planning, probate and estate administration, and estate litigation. He is also an experienced real estate investor and licensed real estate broker.

Forbes also serves Of Counsel to Hamilton Clarke, LLP, a boutique litigation firm in New York City.

He previously worked as an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School, where he co-taught Pretrial Advocacy and Negotiating, Counseling & Interviewing, as a senior associate in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department at international law firm Proskauer Rose LLP, and as a special assistant corporation counsel in the Office of Corporation Counsel, New York City Law Department, Brooklyn Tort and Manhattan Family Court divisions.

“It is a tremendous honor and privilege to serve as President of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, New York State’s largest predominantly-Black bar association,” Forbes said. “I welcome and congratulate our newly elected officers and directors, whom i and the returning directors look forward to working closely with to serve our members and the community.

“My administration looks forward to continuing the MBBA’s mission of advancing equality and excellence in the pursuit of justice,” he added. “From Buffalo to Uvalde, and far too many places in between, hate has been allowed to fester and cause horrific tragedies. It is time that changes.

“While the federal government has been slow to act, we cannot be disheartened and must continue to push for change,” Forbes continued. “Our roles as attorneys and leaders require that we advocate for social justice and the end of mass gun violence.

“We must continue the fight for the rule of law and the search for justice,” he said. “Our fight is fueled by the hope we are given each day when a monumental feat is accomplished: the historic confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court; the long-overdue passage of the Emmett Till Antilynching Act; the recognition of Juneteenth as a federal holiday; the convictions of the three men who committed a racially motivated hate crime when they murdered Ahmaud Arbery; the conviction of the police officer who murdered George Floyd; and the appearance of three Black women justices,  Associate Justice Wavny Toussaint, Associate Justice Chereé Antoinette Buggs, and Presiding Justice Michelle Weston, on a bench hearing cases together in the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Term, Second Judicial Department.”

Even so, Forbes said Black Americans face “a cruel reality rooted in systemic oppression: we remain the target of unjust policing and incarceration, are subject to racial health disparities, and have yet to realize the economic equity promised by the American Dream.”

He said his theme for this Bar Year is “Expanding our REACH,” which, he said, “we will achieve by enhancing the resources and education we provide to our members, broadening our legislative and public policy advocacy, deepening our service to the community, and protecting our mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health.

“These goals can only be accomplished through the collective support of our members and partners because many hands make light work,” Forbes said. “If you are not already a member, I encourage you to become one today.”

The MBBA, a unified citywide association of Black and other minority lawyers, is New York State’s largest predominantly Black bar association whose purpose is to advance equality and excellence in the pursuit of justice, aid the progress of Blacks and other people of color in the profession, address legal issues affecting the citywide community, and to foster the study of law by encouraging the personal and professional development of young lawyers and law students.

For more information, including details about how to join the MBBA or renew membership, visit its website at: https://www.mbbanyc.org.

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