Daniel Antonelli recognized for pro bono work during the pandemic
During the spring and summer of 2020, while New York City was still recovering from the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, lawyers in Brooklyn tried to figure out how they could help the situation.
One of the ways that was developed at the time was a pro bono program for families who had lost loved ones due to COVID, by which the lawyers could administer the families’ estates if those loved ones had died without a will and had less than $50,000.
Many bar associations in New York City pitched in, and Daniel Antonelli led the way at the Brooklyn Bar Association. Antonelli is chair of the Trusts & Estates section at the BBA and helped to organize efforts.
“I’m very proud and honored to present the Frieda S. Nisnewitz Award to Daniel Antonelli for his pro bono service,” Richard Klass said during the BBA’s annual awards ceremony on Sept. 14. “He is a very busy and dedicated person to the Brooklyn Bar. Daniel has received this award in recognition of his work on a pro bono project where pro bono services were provided to families of individuals who died of COVID-19 related causes.”
Attorneys who took part in the program were paired up with families whose loved ones died with estates worth less than $50,000 and no will. While it certainly could not make up for their loss, at least the legal end of things would go more smoothly for those people paired with attorneys like Antonelli.
While not part of the award recognition, Antonelli helped to use his section at the BBA to assist other lawyers during the pandemic. In the days when the courts were closed and there were no in-person appearances at all but lots of questions, Antonelli used his section, along with the Surrogate’s Court Committee, to host regular meetings.
These meetings came at a time when bar associations, including the Brooklyn Bar Association, had mostly closed down. But these at-least-monthly meetings gave BBA members a chance to ask questions. . Antonelli and his co-chairs made a point of inviting the judges themselves to the meetings to give them a better understanding of the challenges facing the attorneys, and to address questions directly, when feasible.
Antonelli, a graduate of California Western School of Law, is a partner at Antonelli & Antonelli, which focuses primarily on probate and estate litigation such as will contests, fiduciary misconduct and contested accountancy.
He has served as a BBA board member since 2015 and is expected to become president of the association in four years.
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