For Third Consecutive Year, Every Lawyer Joins the Effort
New York – February 9, 2007 – LAWFUEL – Law Firm News, Law Jobs – Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP is pleased to announce that 100% of the firm’s attorneys participated in its pro bono program in 2006. This is the third consecutive year that the firm, ranked among The American Lawyer’s top 10 in the nation for pro bono service since 1999, has achieved this milestone.
According to firm partner Lisa Cleary, chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, “Our work last year demonstrates our continuing commitment to disenfranchised New Yorkers, whether they are low-income New Yorkers, immigrants, persons with disabilities, or children with life-threatening illness.”
“For example, continuing our more than decade-long commitment to the protection of the rights of adult home residents, the firm, together with attorneys from MFY Legal Services, initiated a lawsuit against operators of an adult home in Queens. Working to effectuate systemic change in discharge policies from psychiatric facilities, and how mentally disabled people are treated by adult homes, we brought a litigation against the home and its owners/operators, as well as a headhunter and related parties, alleging federal, state and common law claims for, among other things, fraud and violations of RICO and the Fair Housing Act.
“In addition, our unique partnership with Metropolitan Hospital’s Pediatrics Department (through Volunteers of Legal Service, Inc.’s Children’s Project), continued in 2006. This year, in a memorable case involving a family with two children suffering from life-threatening asthma, our attorneys and legal assistants provided invaluable assistance, helping to move the family from an untenable housing situation in the South Bronx to Florida, as recommended by the family’s physician. Not only did the firm help the family secure charitable funds to make this much-needed move, but we also assisted in obtaining housing, free moving costs, transportation and new furniture for the family, and arranged for the children to start school in Florida.
“In 2005, MFY Legal Services established a fellowship in honor of the firm’s pro bono contributions to New York City, and in 2006, the fellow, Karuna Patel, completed her first year. In her year-end report of the inaugural Consumer Rights Project, Karuna describes the steps taken to protect low- and fixed-income individuals through, among other things, exposing the unfair practices of debt collection agencies.
“We also represented several immigrant laborers in a lawsuit against two C-Town Supermarkets in the Bronx. We alleged that the stores’ owners and operators violated workplace safety laws when they locked or barred exit doors and denied access to telephones. The claims included false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. An amicable settlement was reached at the end of 2006.”
“As in the past, we focused our pro bono efforts on groups and individuals most likely to have the greatest difficulty securing legal representation and equal access to justice,” said Ms. Cleary.
Managing Partner Rochelle Korman says, “What has pleased us most is that our lawyers have transformed the lives of countless individuals during the course of the firm’s legal representation. It has been so gratifying to learn about the positive outcomes in so many of our matters; the depth and breadth of our pro bono program is enormous. Our advocacy efforts, including the impact litigations that we lead, help to vindicate the rights of thousands of New Yorkers each year.”
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP is a full-service law firm with a national and international client base. The firm is currently ranked #2 on The American Lawyer’s “A-List” of the nation’s top law firms. For more information, visit www.pbwt.com