Sad News: The Passing of Judge Cipriani

We’ve all heard it said that “not all news is good news.” This couldn’t be truer when it comes to the passing of Judge Nicholas Cipriani.

As a third generation Italian-American attorney who was born and raised in South Philadelphia, my life is touched with memories of Judge Cipriani from as far back as I can remember. He was larger than life in so many ways and yet such a gentle, loving and kind man.

Judge Cipriani believed in justice. He believed in family. He believed in honor. He believed in loyalty. He believed in his heritage. He believed in his friends.

In 1996, I served as an Italian-American delegate with Judge Cipriani for the National Conference of the Order Sons of Italy in America. I was a young lawyer about to deliver a speech with two colleagues to hundreds of attendees, including numerous state supreme court justices from across the nation. Judge Cipriani said, “Go and represent your family well. You will do just fine. Remember where you came from.”

When my grandmother, Mollie Furia, died in 2000, Judge Cipriani was there to pay his respects. He recalled memories of my grandfather, U.S. Magistrate Edward W. Furia, with whom Judge Cipriani had worked. They were friends, confidants and colleagues who were both sworn to the bench in or around the same year. That day, Judge Cipriani said, “Never forget where you came from.”

A few months ago, I had a conversation with Judge Cipriani. And when I asked if there was anything we could do for him, he said, “Yes.  Don’t forget me. Call me when you can. Come and visit. But more importantly, represent your family well and never forget where you came from.”

With this, I remember.
Gina F. Rubel

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