C — November 8 - 21, 2013 — New Jersey — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal


N ew J ersey

Critical pro-bono legal aid provided around the state Volunteer Lawyers for Justice give aid to storm victims


on her application to appeal the decision that she was unsure if she planned to seek new em- ployment. Consequently, she was denied benefits for failure to seek new employment in a timely fashion. This small busi- ness owner was matched with a volunteer attorney through VLJ, who successfully argued that it was unreasonable to expect her to look for a job at that time, and that she had been wrongfully denied unem- ployment benefits. VLJ’s client ultimately received all of the benefits she was owed. “The client expressed to VLJ how grateful she was to have someone represent her, and emphasized how helpful, com- mitted and caring her volunteer was,” said Jessica Limbacher, Esq., staff attorney with VLJ’s DLRP. “She couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.” Free Legal Clinics During the last year, VLJ has hosted free legal clinics inAtlan- tic, Bergen, Hudson,Monmouth and Ocean Counties. In total, VLJ has heldmore than 50 clin- ics and provided legal advice to 275 clinic attendees. Volunteer attorneys are from top law firms and businesses. Those include Drinker Biddle &Reath LLP ; DuaneMorris LLP ; Gibbons P.C .; Gior- dano, Halleran&Ciesla, PC ; Hewlett-PackardCompany ; Jackson Lewis LLP ; Mc- Carter & English LLP ; Pat- ton Boggs LLP ; Riker, Dan- zig, Scherer, Hyland & Per- retti LLP ; and UBSFinancial Services, Inc. VLJ is honoring these “Heroes of Sandy” at its annual Arts & Eats for Justice Gala on December 3. “Our volunteers have pro- vided hundreds of hours of pro bono legal aid to victims through our Disaster Legal Response Program. These ef- forts will continue and expand with the aim of resolving legal matters for those continuing to be affected by the storm,” said Karen Sacks, Esq ., founding executive director of VLJ. All Sandy victims with legal issues inNewJersey stemming from the storm, regardless of their income and assets, are eligible tomeetwitha volunteer attorney at the legal clinics for advice and/or brief service. Clients needing extended rep- resentation are screened for financial eligibility, and VLJ will attempt to locate a vol- unteer attorney for those who qualify. n

EWARK, NJ — Al- though almost a year has passed since Su-

established its Disaster Legal Response Program (DLRP) shortly after the storm hit to provide critical legal assistance to victims. VLJ’sDLRP includes legal aid clinics and extended representation for those who qualify. One suchNewJersey resident is a small business ownerwhose deli was flooded during Sandy, forcing her to close its doors. She applied for federal unemploy- ment benefits, but was denied. After her landlord advised that he was not certain whether the building in which her deli oper- ated could reopen, she indicated

p e r s t o r m Sandy, New Jersey resi- dents are still dealing with its wrath. For many, that in- cludes strug- g l i ng wi t h legal issues

Karen Sacks

directly related to the epic storm including insurance matters, FEMA appeals, and contractor disputes, among others. Vol- unteer Lawyers for Justice

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