Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
New York�As the final day to file claims with the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund draws near, the organization in charge of pairing victims with pro bono attorneys is scrambling for new volunteers. John Bailey, the executive director of Trial Lawyers Care, said 72 claimants sought volunteer attorneys from his office last month, compared with 55 in October. Seventeen more have come to the group in the first two days of December. As the Dec. 22 deadline looms, the pro bono group, started by the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA), has found that its supply of attorneys has run dangerously low. “We have no idea how many people are going to come in the door the last month,” said Bailey, who has been directing the organization for four months. “It’s becoming a shortage crisis.” About 1,000 trial attorneys from across the country have volunteered to represent victims and their families who are seeking compensation from the federal fund, according to Bailey. Those attorneys have been assigned to more than 1,500 claimants so far, with numerous attorneys taking on more than one case. Just two weeks ago, Bailey said, ATLA rounded up about 60 of its members to volunteer, and Trial Lawyers Care was able to reduce its backlog of claimants to zero. As of last week, though, there were 19 claimants in need of an attorney, 13 of them from the New York area. Bailey said his group especially needed local lawyers, since many victims feel more comfortable having an attorney from the area. Also, he said, many of the late claims are injury rather than death claims, and attorneys from across the country are less inclined to fly to New York for relatively minor injuries. Edward C. Cosgrove, a Buffalo, N.Y., attorney and chairman of the trial lawyers section of the New York State Bar Association, has issued a press release urging bar members to volunteer. “It’s a very urgent situation,” Cosgrove said. He said he had also sent a plea, via e-mail, to about 3,000 members of the New York bar who are trial lawyers. Searching across the city Connie Rubin, an attorney who has worked as a recruiter for Trial Lawyers Care since March, said she has regularly traveled to courts in all parts of New York City except Staten Island to encourage attorneys to take cases. Judges, she said, usually allow her to make a brief speech before a day’s calendar is called. “It’s a harder sell to make now that we have so little time left,” she said. “People are protective of their time and this is a pro bono job.” Kenneth R. Feinberg, who is special master of the fund, has said that victims will be in compliance with the Dec. 22 deadline if they fill out a brief application stating they intend to apply for compensation. “It takes very little time to fill out the primary registration form, but it can take 100 hours to do the case,” Bailey said. Trial Lawyers Care has five staff attorneys, including three who assist volunteer attorneys assigned to handle claims. Attorneys can sign up with the group at its Web site, www.911lawhelp.org.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.