Pro Bono Partnership Honors 2003 Volunteers Of The Year

Saturday, May 1, 2004 - 01:00

The Pro Bono Partnership has named Anahaita Kotval of RBS Greenwich Capital Markets in Greenwich, CT, Susan Corcoran of Jackson Lewis LLP in White Plains, NY and David Fritz of Sony Electronics, Inc. in Woodcliff Lake, NJ as 2003 Volunteers of the Year. The law firm Robinson & Cole LLP of Stamford, CT and the legal department of Johnson & Johnson of New Brunswick, NJ have also been recognized for their pro bono contributions.

The recipients were honored for their outstanding commitment to providing free legal assistance to community-based nonprofit organizations in Westchester County, New York, Fairfield County, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

The Partnership, with offices in White Plains, NY and Newark, NJ, was founded in 1997 to provide free legal assistance to nonprofits whose programs benefit low-income communities or serve the public interest.

Ms. Kotval is managing director and associate general counsel at RBS Greenwich Capital Markets, where she is responsible for litigation and regulatory inquiries. Since 1999, she has provided assistance on corporate, contract and employment issues for nonprofits working predominately in the areas of affordable housing and domestic violence. According to Richard Hobish, The Partnership's executive director, "Anahaita's work for our nonprofit clients has been instrumental in helping them operate more efficiently. She is the ideal Pro Bono Partnership volunteer, and we're extremely grateful for her contributions."

Ms. Corcoran, partner at the White Plains office of Jackson Lewis LLP, specializes in working with organizations of all sizes by providing them with training, counseling and preventive workplace law advice. She is also an experienced employment litigator. Since 1997, Ms. Corcoran has provided employment-related services to several of the Partnership's clients, most serving the needs of children. She also serves as a resource to the Partnership's legal staff on a broad range of employment-related issues. Says Maurice Segall, the Partnership's Deputy Director for New York and Connecticut: "Susan is terrific. We wish we had several more volunteers just like her."

Mr. Fritz, vice president and group counsel at Sony Electronics Inc., provides real estate legal services to organizations working with issues such as domestic violence and child abuse, in keeping with Sony Electronics' commitment to charitable causes and community efforts. According to Kristine Hazzard, president of the Center for Women and Families, "David's advice was invaluable and a source of great comfort to me. If we had to pay for the services he provided, we would not be able to offer the same level of service to the women and families that so desperately need us."

In the past year, 19 attorneys from Johnson & Johnson have volunteered to assist 35 nonprofit organizations on matters ranging from employment, to intellectual property, to real estate, to incorporation. "Johnson & Johnson's legal department is serving as a wonderful role model for other corporations in New Jersey and around the country that are thinking of creating pro bono programs," according to Jennifer Hauge, the Partnership's deputy director overseeing the New Jersey program.

Attorneys from Robinson & Cole offices in Stamford, Greenwich, New York and Hartford have provided hundreds of hours of legal help to organizations on tax, real estate and employment matters, among others. Most of the firm's 215 lawyers regularly volunteer their time, according to Pamela Elkow, Chair of the firm's Pro Bono Committee. "We strongly support the giving back of our talents to the communities where we work."

To learn more about the Pro Bono Partnership, call the White Plains office at (914) 328-0674 or (203) 357-1111, or the New Jersey office at (973) 273-0600, or visit the website at