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Brooklyn Matrimonial Pro Bono Project hosts luncheon to thank volunteers

April 20, 2016 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Pictured from left: RoseAnn C. Branda, Hon. Nancy Sunshine, Hon. Jeffrey Sunshine, Aimee Richter and Maria Coffinas. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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On Wednesday afternoon, the Brooklyn Matrimonial Pro Bono Project celebrated its first anniversary with a luncheon reception at the Kings County Supreme Court to thank its volunteers and to try to attract some new ones.

The project was initiated roughly a year ago by Hon. Jeffrey Sunshine supervising judge for Matrimonial Matters in Brooklyn and Hon. Nancy T. Sunshine, the county clerk. They partnered with the Brooklyn Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association and the Volunteer Lawyers Project with the help of Co-Chairs Aimee Richter and Maria Coffinas in order to help pro se litigants in contested matrimonial actions.

“We can’t do pro bono work as a county clerk or a sitting judge, but I think it’s important for us to give our own contribution to pro bono, because it really is necessary in today’s society,” Hon. Jeffrey Sunshine said. “So we put this together today to say thank you to all of you who have contributed and to encourage you to get other people to sign up.”

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Judges who attended in support of the project included Hon. Rachel A. Adams, Hon. Carl J. Landicino, Hon. Eric I. Prus, Hon. Delores J. Thomas, Hon. Debra Silber, Hon. Lara J. Genovesi, court attorney referee Diana Szochet and retired Judge Sarah L. Krauss.

The project asked volunteering lawyers to donate at least 25 hours of their time, which equals one case per volunteer. Some volunteers take two cases. Forty cases were appointed within the first year, but organizers say that they could handle even more going forward as they get more experience running the project and attracting new volunteers.

“Together I think we can make this program run like clockwork and it can really be something that helps the people of Kings County,” Richter said.”


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