Brooklyn Boro

Volunteer Lawyers Project wants to help provide Brooklyn homeowners with pro bono attorneys

October 10, 2018 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Pictured from left: Amy Slifka, Ray Kramer, Susan Kassapian, Maria Marchiano, Hon. Fidel Del Valle, Tynia Richard, Michael Burns, Kieran Holohan and Vincent Gentile. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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The Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project sees too many homeowners representing themselves in cases against the Department of Buildings and wants to do something about it.

The VLP and the Brooklyn Law School Public Service Office have formed a partnership with the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) to train lawyers who will serve as pro bono representatives in cases against the DOB.

A training session was held at the Brooklyn Bar Association on Sept. 17 for attorneys by the VLP that included many representatives from OATH, including former City Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who now serves as special counsel to OATH, and a representative from the Department of Buildings.

The three-hour continuing legal education training session was free for attorneys who agreed to take on a case pro bono. There are volunteer opportunities available every Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attorneys are given two additional CLE credit hours for taking on cases as well.

This is part of an effort on behalf of OATH, which serves as the administrative law court for tickets issued by NYC agencies, to be more neutral and less biased. For decades, it was next to impossible to fight tickets from city agencies, but the current commissioner and chief judge of OATH, Hon. Fidel Del Valle, has vowed to change that.


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