Trial Lawyers Care: The Largest Pro Bono Effort in History

The following is an excerpt from the upcoming story, "The Largest Pro Bono Effort in History: Lawyers show TLC after 9/11," written by Nyssa Gesch, and appearing in the 2011 edition of New York Metro Super Lawyers, which will be available at the end of the month ...

"It was something personal with me because I was across the street," says Stephan H. Peskin of Tolmage, Peskin, Harris, Falick. "I saw the second [plane] hit. I smelled the smells."

"You're reading about it, and you're watching the news, and you feel somewhat helpless," adds Anthony Bisignano of The Bisignano Law Firm. "You'd like to make some type of a contribution."

"[The New York State Trial Lawyers Association] headquarters was, and still is, three blocks from ground zero," says David B. Golomb, of the Law Offices of David B. Golomb. "Our staff, in fact, was literally sheltering people who had come in off the street from the site."

Ten years ago, when planes struck the twin towers, as workers and volunteers made their way to ground zero to aid survivors, the city's lawyers also scrambled to help.

What started there turned into the largest pro bono effort in history ...

Golomb became the point man in New York, where Trial Lawyers Care was headquartered, responsible for securing office space in a Manhattan courthouse. There was also the recruitment of attorneys, which involved sending out emails, mailings and faxes, along with communication throughout online Listservs, and at meetings and conventions. "[The response] was enormous. It was great to watch," says Golomb. "We had hundreds and hundreds of lawyers volunteering."