COVID-19 Recovery Task Force Appointed To Oversee Pro Bono Network

April 21, 2020

The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), in partnership with the state court system, has established a COVID-19 Recovery Task Force to oversee the pro bono network of lawyers who will be assisting New Yorkers suffering from the pandemic.

At Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s urging, the network’s first task is dispatching lawyers to help jobless workers — whose ranks have swelled under the state’s economic slowdown — apply for unemployment benefits. But the network is quickly gearing up to handle a range of other issues, from evictions to domestic violence to job and housing discrimination.

Task force members include:

  • Syracuse University School of Law Dean Craig M. Boise
  • Saralyn Cohen, pro bono counsel at Shearman & Sterling
  • Mylan L. Denerstein, partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
  • Fordham Law School Dean Matthew Diller
  • Vincent E. Doyle, president of Neighborhood Legal Services in Buffalo and past president of NYSBA
  • Cynthia F. Feathers, director of quality enhancement for appellate and post-conviction representation at the New York State Office of Indigent Legal Services
  • Robert J. Giuffra, Jr., a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell
  • Seymour W. James, former attorney-in-chief of the NYC Legal Aid Society, a partner at Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco and past president of NYSBA.
  • Marcia Levy, executive director at Volunteers of Legal Service
  • John Kiernan, a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton and past president of  the New York City Bar Association
  • Alan Levine, partner at Cooley
  • Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives Edwina G. Mendelson
  • John R. Morken, partner and head of the pro bono department at Farrell Fritz
  • Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York Executive Director Lillian M. Moy
  • A. Gail Prudenti, dean of Hofstra Law School and former presiding justice, Appellate Division, Second Department
  • James Sandman, president emeritus of the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C.
  • Kathryn Wheelock, law clerk to Chief Judge DiFiore

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  • Featured Attorneys: John R. Morken
  • Publications: New York State Bar Association