Staten Island Legal Services will host a luncheon on April 19 to honor former Court of Appeals Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick and to raise funds for the group’s Hurricane Sandy legal support efforts. Former Governor Mario Cuomo will present Ciparick with Staten Island Legal Services’ first annual Vito J. Titone Award for Legal Excellence, named for the Court of Appeals judge who died in 2005. Ciparick, who retired on Dec. 31 after 35 years on the bench, more than 18 on the Court of Appeals, is now of counsel to Greenberg Traurig.

Staten Island Legal Services has helped more than 400 people since the Oct. 29 storm and has 200 open cases, most involving FEMA and insurance issues. "When the storm hit, we were already taxed to capacity and suddenly we were tackling an area we had no experience in," said Nancy Goldhill, the group’s director. "It’s been extremely difficult." The group has raised funds to hire three additional attorneys to form a disaster recovery unit, which now has a full caseload. Sandy-related legal issues could take several years to resolve, said Goldhill, who added that the group is seeking additional funds to increase storm-related resources and maintain services in foreclosure prevention, family law, immigration and financial counseling.

The April 19 event will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 South Ave. To RSVP or buy tickets, contact Clara Saviñon at 718-233-6494 or csavinon@silsnyc.org.