Chief Judge holds hearings on civil legal services

October 1, 2013 By Charisma Miller, Esq Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman—along with Presiding Justice Randall Eng, Second Department, Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti and New York State Bar Association President David M. Schraver—conducted a public hearing in the Second Judicial Dept. on Tuesday, the third in a series of hearings being held around the state this year, to evaluate the continuing unmet civil legal services needs of low-income New Yorkers and to assess the level of resources necessary to meet those needs.

NYC Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo, Town of Babylon Supervisor Richard Schaffer and City of Long Beach City Council President Scott Mandel were among those testifying on the critical gap in civil legal services in matters involving life’s essentials.  

The complete witness list included:

CLIMATE CHANGE EXPERT—Klaus H. Jacob, Ph.D. (Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University)

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LOCAL OFFICIALS—Hon. Richard Schaffer (Supervisor, Town of Babylon, Suffolk County) and Hon. Scott J. Mandel (City Council President, City of Long Beach, Nassau County)

CLIENTS—Nicholas Dorman (First Responder and Client of New York Legal Assistance Group, accompanied by Ann Dibble); Cesar and Maria Lopez (Clients of Queens Legal Services, accompanied by Aisha Baruni); Huan Qiang Lin (Client of The Legal Aid Society, Queens Neighborhood Office, accompanied by Tashi T. Lhewa); and Milagros Garcia (Client of The Legal Aid Society of Rockland County, Inc., accompanied by Alexander Bursztein)

COMMUNITY BASED ORGANIZATIONS—Catherine M. Lyle (Foreclosure Counselor, Margert Community Corporation) and Mary Brosnahan (President and Chief Executive Officer, New York City Coalition of the Homeless)

PRO BONO AND CIVIL LEGAL SERVICES—Martha Krisel, esq. (Second Vice President & Access to Justice Chair, Nassau County BarAssociation; Chief Deputy County Attorney for Special Projects, Nassau County); Miriam Buhl, Esq. (Pro Bono Counsel, Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP); and Seymour W. James, Jr., Esq. (Immediate Past President, New York State Bar Association; Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Practice, The Legal Aid Society)

DISASTER RELIEF EXPERTS—Michael M. Weinstein (Chief Program Officer, Robin Hood Foundation) and David H.K. Nguyen, Esq. (Director, Disaster Legal Services Program, Young Lawyers Division, American Bar Association)

The Chief Judge will report to the Legislature on the information obtained at the hearings, making recommendations for funding needed to close the justice gap.

Editor’s note: The article ‘Chief Judge holds hearings on civil legal services,” which appeared October 1, 2013 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, stated that Mary Brosnahan (President and Chief Executive Officer, New York City Coalition of the Homeless)  served as a witness at the stated hearing. Brosnahan did not testify at the hearing. 

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