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Hodgson Russ and Kevin Kearney Honored by Legal Services Corporation for Pro Bono Work

Press Release
October 6, 2014

National Organization to Present Both Awards October 6 in Albany

Washington DC-based Legal Services Corporation will honor Hodgson Russ and Kevin Kearney, a partner at the firm, for outstanding commitment to providing pro bono legal services in New York State. The presentation will be made at a reception on October 6 at the New York State Bar Association offices in Albany.

The firm and Kevin were nominated by Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS) in part for longstanding dedication to assisting NLS’s clients, including low-income and disabled people, on a pro bono basis. In particular, NLS cited Kevin’s support of the organization’s Statewide Assistive Technology Advocacy Project, which helps disabled people obtain devices such as wheelchairs, lifts, and speech aids that allow them to remain independent. Many Hodgson Russ lawyers have successfully represented seriously disabled clients, including children, in obtaining these devices.

Kevin also serves as board president of the Bar Association of Erie County’s Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP), which delivers pro bono legal services with the assistance of volunteer lawyers. In the past, he received the VLP Litigation Attorney Award and the New York State Bar Association’s President’s Pro Bono Service Attorney Award.

A number of Hodgson Russ lawyers serve on the boards of legal service providers in Western New York. The firm’s pro bono efforts are coordinated by Joshua Feinstein and include the following:

The Pro Se Assistance Program in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. This year, more than ten attorneys from the firm, including senior litigators, have volunteered for this program, which provides legal assistance to financially eligible pro se litigants.

Erie County Housing Court’s Attorney-of-the-Day Program. For many years, Hodgson Russ has provided volunteer attorneys for this program, which assists tenants facing immediate eviction in resolving disputes with their landlords.

Healthy Homes Initiative. Hodgson Russ, VLP, and other groups spearhead in this program, which assists tenants seeking to alleviate unsafe living conditions. For example, Hodgson Russ recently compelled a landlord to make emergency utility repairs that allowed a disabled tenant to remain in her long-time residence.

Hodgson Russ attorneys provide pro bono assistance in many other ways, including handling prisoner rights cases in federal court, appellate matters, immigration matters, and Medicaid durable medical equipment appeals as well as fighting foreclosures and establishing nonprofit organizations.

Legal Services Corporation is an independent nonprofit corporation that promotes equal access to justice and provides grants for high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. It is the largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans in the nation.