VOLS Board member Cyrus Mehta, founder of Cyrus D. Mehta & Partners PLLC, spoke eloquently against discriminating against all immigrants because some small number commit crimes on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight. Mr. Mehta maintained his reasonable position and his poise despite questioning from Mr. Carlson that became rude and hostile.
Liz Markuci, VOLS Immigration Project Director, was featured in an interview with Pro Bono Institute for their weekly Pro Bono Happy Hour Podcasts. Liz discussed the pro bono initiatives to support immigrants in the context of her own family’s experience, her pro bono role models, her work at VOLS, and much more.
You can access the full interview here:
VOLS’ Microenterprise Project client Mera McGrew’s company Soapply was recently featured in the New York Times’ Front Burner column. Soapply makes pure, organic liquid soap, and donates up to $10 of the $25 price to support water, sanitation, and hygiene improvements in developing countries.
Through VOLS’ Microenterprise Project, Soapply received pro bono legal assistance from the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Orrick partners Stephen Ashley and Diana Rutowski, Impact Finance Fellow Perry Teicher, Managing Associate Eileen Aghnami, summer associate Maria Stracqualursi, paralegals Karl Hamel and Linda Partmann, and former associates Eliza Golden and Timothy Green, have helped Ms. McGrew and Soapply with corporate, intellectual property, and tax matters.
Ms. McGrew said:
“Orrick is such a huge part of the Soapply story. Orrick has played an invaluable role in helping take Soapply from a concept to what it is today. Diana, Stephen, Perry and the entire Orrick team have not only helped me tackle immediate structure, trademark, and policy needs, but they have helped ensure that Soapply is set up for success both now and in 5, 10, and even 20 years.”
VOLS is proud to have played a role in the success of this environmentally and socially responsible company.
"Living in a Sanctuary City means living in an environment where you feel safe and you can trust the authorities to respect your legal rights."
- Liz Markuci, VOLS' Immigration Project Director
Gothamist, an online publication, featured Liz Markuci, VOLS' Immigration Project Director, in an article examining the responsibilities of New York City as a sanctuary city. Part of that dialogue, as explored in the piece, is "scal[ing] back broken windows policing—which disproportionately targets low income New Yorkers of color for minor offenses like turnstile jumping—in the wake of Trump's executive orders."
As Ms. Markuci explains to her clients at VOLS' Know-Your-Rights Trainings, living in a sanctuary city means living in an environment where you feel safe and you can trust the authorities to respect your legal rights. Ms. Markuci hopes that the de Blasio administration will work with community organizations to fulfill the pledge of keeping New York a sanctuary city for all New Yorkers.
Shruti Chopra is an attorney licensed to practice in New York and India who focuses on intellectual property, technology and mergers and acquisitions transactions. She is currently volunteering in VOLS’ Microenterprise Project. Recently, Shruti published an article in the State Bar News on the experience of providing pro bono legal assistance.
CNN.com featured Elizabeta Markuci, VOLS' Immigration Project Director, in an online article titled "Immigration Attorneys' Fears Grow Over Uncertain DACA Future."
Bill Lienhard, VOLS' Executive Director, was featured in a full-length interview in the Fall 2016 edition of Kattwalk, a publication of Katten Muchen & Rosenman LLP. In the interview, Lienhard discusses some recent activities at VOLS, including a collaboration between VOLS' Immigration Project and the photographer Hugo Arturi, and also talks about why he became a public interest lawyer and what inspires him to do this work.
Last week, the New York Law Journal recognized Bob Sheehan, a VOLS board member since 2008, of counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, with the “Lawyers Who Lead By Example Lifetime Achievement Award.”
It is truly an honor to work with Bob. His lifelong dedication to closing the justice gap is an inspiration to us all. He is incredibly generous with his time, energy, and wisdom, and never hesitates to do what he can for VOLS. Whether he is leading a VOLS board committee or helping a summer associate win an unemployment benefits hearing, he always shows the same selfless dedication.
Congratulations, Bob, and thank you for all you do for VOLS and for the entire legal community.
Working with a team of lawyers from Kramer Levin and Lambda Legal, VOLS Board member Jeffrey S. Trachtman helped win a landmark ruling from the Court of Appeals in Matter of Brooke S.B. v. Elizabeth C.C. and the companion case Estrellita A. overturning Alison D., a 25 year-old decision that had denied non-biological, non-adoptive parents standing in custody cases.
The court held that, "the definition of 'parent' . . . in Alison D. has become unworkable when applied to increasingly varied family relationships. . . [W]here a partner shows by clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive a child and to raise the child toghether, the nonbiological, nonadoptive partner has standing to seek visitation and custody."
Kramer Levin Litigation Associate Andrew J. Estes served as lead appellate counsel, assisted by Mr. Trachtman and associates Jason Moff and Catherine Hoge.
VOLS congratulates the team at Kramer Levin and Lambda Legal for this tremendous victory.