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Former securities litigator honored for pro bono work in Brooklyn

May 6, 2019 Rob Abruzzese
Jonathan Plasse (center), a retired senior partner at Labaton Sucharow, was honored by the New York State Bar Association with an award for his pro bono services helping families facing foreclosure. Here he is seen with NYSBA President Michael Miller and President-Elect Henry Greenberg. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Plasse

An attorney doing pro bono work helping families in foreclosure out of the Brooklyn Supreme Court was recognized last week by the New York State Bar Association as part of its annual Law Day tradition to spotlight attorneys helping their communities.

Jonathan Plasse, who was a senior partner at Labaton Sucharow LLP before he retired in 2015, said that he has always been proud of his work, but that helping Brooklyn families in distress was especially rewarding.

“In my practice, I used to prosecute securities class action suits for financial fraud, and it always felt good to hold people accountable that way,” Plasse said. “But these are people who really need help, they’re often at their wit’s end being sued in foreclosure, and the result of helping them has been emotionally rewarding in a way that prosecuting securities never was.”

At a ceremony on Wednesday, May 1 at the Bar Center in Albany, Plasse was one of 18 people and law firms honored by the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Attorney Professionalism and its president Michael Miller.

Plasse was honored for his volunteer work at Mobilization for Justice, as he assists in managing a foreclosure clinic at the Brooklyn Supreme Court.

“Each year on Law Day, we honor those whose pro bono work has helped hundreds of people in meaningful, sometimes life-altering ways,” said Miller. “It is fitting because, at its heart, Law Day is about the public good and public service. This is the oath we took when we became lawyers; it is our sacred trust.”

Plasse, who grew up in Great Neck, Long Island, and graduated from Brooklyn Law School, works two days a week out of the courthouse. He said he didn’t expect to remain active like this after he retired but said that once he got the opportunity it was too rewarding to pass up.

“It’s a great feeling helping people who need the help,” Plasse said. “It is particularly gratifying that Mobilization for Justice nominated me for the award. It’s a group of dedicated workers who do a great job in foreclosure and other areas to help people in need. I appreciate the award and it means a lot that they sponsored me for it.”

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