News

Firm Recognized by New York Legal Assistance Group and The Legal Aid Society

October 31, 2013

The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) honored Patterson Belknap at its recent Pro Bono Awards Reception. Commemorating the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, NYLAG recognized Patterson Belknap for its support in the aftermath of the storm. When Sandy struck on October 29, 2012, NYLAG’s downtown headquarters were flooded, displacing hundreds of staff and volunteers. Patterson Belknap provided office space for NYLAG’s Special Education Unit for ten weeks, enabling NYLAG staff to continue serving their clients at a time of unparalleled need.

In addition, fourteen of our attorneys received The Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Publico Award for their outstanding service to The Legal Aid Society and its clients. The Honorable Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the State of New York presented the awards. Our attorneys were recognized for their work in connection with law reform litigation on behalf of children in foster care. The Legal Aid Society and the firm litigated a class action on behalf of children in foster care in New York City, challenging the failure of the Administration for Children’s Services to provide appropriate and less restrictive foster care placements for children ready to be discharged from acute care psychiatric hospitals. The injunctive claims and damages claims were successfully settled and monitoring has been ongoing. Firm attorneys were also recognized for their work as co-counsel with the Society’s LGBT Law and Policy Initiative, the Juvenile Rights Practice Special Litigation and Law Reform Unit, and the Civil Practice Homeless Rights Unit in the investigation and preparation of a class action litigation on behalf of the almost 4,000 runaway and homeless youth in New York City. Although not yet filed, this litigation will continue Legal Aid’s long history of fighting for the right to shelter in New York City as well as bring a voice to one of the City’s most vulnerable populations. Firm attorneys were also recognized for their representation of a client suffering with borderline intelligence, as well as for community development efforts to educate low-income entrepreneurs on relevant legal issues.

The Legal Aid Society also recognized the firm as a whole at the Pro Bono Publico Award ceremony, for its assistance following Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. Those efforts included direct outreach to survivors in affected communities and advocacy for survivors whose insurance claims were denied.