Hurricane Sandy Legal Relief Efforts from

Thanks to Yomi Ajaiyeoba, President of the Nigerian Lawyers Association, for passing this along:

As the process of recovery begins in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, at Pro Bono Net we express our deepest sympathy for those affected by this devastating natural disaster in New York, and beyond. Pro Bono Net stands ready to support the legal relief efforts that will come together over the next several weeks, and will keep you apprised of the latest developments. Several initiatives are already underway, including:

  • For Long Island-based lawyers: The Touro Law School in Central Islip is opening a Storm Help Center to provide referrals, assistance and legal advice for local residents and small businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Thomas Maligno, Executive Director, Touro Law School Public Interest Center at [email protected].
  • The New York State Bar Association is recruiting volunteer attorneys to provide free telephone consultations to individuals affected by Sandy. If you are able to help, please visit and complete a volunteer form.
  • In New York City, New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) has mobilized a legal aid disaster relief program to help victims of the storm deal with a range of legal issues. To volunteer to provide pro bono legal assistance, please email [email protected].
  • LawHelp/NY is compiling a current list of disaster relief resources and information for New Yorkers at
  • Pro Bono Net is collaborating with the American Bar Association, Legal Services Corporation, and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association on the National Disaster Legal Aid website (, where Hurricane Sandy resources and information are being posted regularly.
  • Pro Bono Net is participating in a gathering at the City Bar of New York City legal services and pro bono leaders this coming Monday, November 5, 2012, to discuss coordination of relief efforts. Please join the NYC Pro Bono Center ( to keep apprised of pro bono efforts as we move forward.

We would like to hear from you about other ways that we can serve the pro bono community and strengthen your efforts in this time of recovery – please contact me with your news and ideas at [email protected].

We look forward to your participation in this dynamic recovery process, and thank you for your commitment to helping the individuals, families, and institutions shaken by Hurricane Sandy.


Adam Friedl
Pro Bono Coordinator | Pro Bono Net
212.760.2554 x 490 | [email protected] |
lawyers serving the public good

Voters in affected counties can vote affidavit in any county / polling place

Thanks to James Hong at MinKwon for forwarding this timely update.

Governor Cuomo is signing an Executive Order which provides for a voter who is a resident in the federally-declared disaster counties of Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, Westchester and of New York City (which includes Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and Richmond) who have been displaced by Hurricane Sandy:

1.   To vote an affidavit ballot at any poll site in New York State, other than their regular poll site;

2.   Every Board of Elections in the State shall transmit the completed affidavit ballot of any voter who resides in one of the above counties to the Board of Elections where such voter is registered to vote to be canvassed;

3.   The affidavit ballot can only be canvassed for such contests for which the person was entitled to vote at such election.

 County Boards of Elections are directed to use all available means to:

  1. Provide notice to election inspectors and post the provisions of  the Executive Order conspicuously at poll sites in New York State giving  instruction on how to implement such Order;
  2. Instruct poll workers to provide affidavit ballots and guidance to voters; and 
  3. Provide notice and guidance to voters in accordance with this Executive Order that indicates that voters who reside in the counties of Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, or Westchester, or in New York City may receive and complete an affidavit ballot at any polling place in New York State, and that the board of elections of the voter’s residence will count such voter’s vote for any office on such affidavit ballot for which the voter is entitled to vote. 

 The following information may help you implement the Governor’s Executive Order:

  • The ballot will be sorted out when suitcases are returned to boards after the close of polls, and those belonging in any of the declared disaster counties shall be transmit to those county boards.  It may be helpful to photocopy/scan for the board’s election files, the affidavit envelopes of voters casting ballots pursuant to this executive order prior to sending the ballots themselves on to the voter’s home county board.
  • Before counting such ballots, the county receiving same shall check to ensure the voter did not vote in person or via absentee ballot.  The county board shall then cast such ballot with other affidavit and emergency ballots, counting only those votes for contests and questions  for which the voter was eligible to vote in their own county

For example, a voter staying with family in Orange County who was displaced from Westchester, would be entitled to vote for statewide contests and Supreme Court (because those 2 counties share a judicial district) and possibly a congressional or state senate contest.  A voter who sought refuge further upstate might only be eligible to vote in the statewide contests, as they would share no other offices/contests.

Maurice Mitchell 
New York Civic Engagement Table, Coordinator
40 Worth St.
Suite 802
Manhattan, NY 10013
Office: 212-523-0180 ext. 28
Mobile: 516-425-1272
[email protected]

AAFE Emergency Loan Programs

In response to Hurricane Sandy, AAFE has initiated two emergency loan programs to help homeowners and small businesses throughout the five boroughs :

1) The Renaissance Economic Development Corporation will be offering an emergency loan fund up to $30,000 with 4% interest rate loans to affected small businesses in all 5 boroughs of NYC and special relief at 3% interest rate to businesses located south of 40th Street. Renaissance will provide expedited processing to ensure timely impact relief.  Download more information here.

2) AAFE Community Development Fund will be offering Emergency Repair Loan for Homeowners up to $20,000 with 4% interest rate; 3% interest rate for Seniors and Disabled or repairs conducted by certified green specialist.  Download more information here.

Please feel free to distribute and forward these programs information to your clients and constituents.

Christopher Kui, Executive Director
Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE)
108 Norfolk Street
New York, NY 10002
[email protected]
Tel. (212) 979-8381 ext. 107
Fax (212) 979-8386

888-API-VOTE Hotline

APIAVoteheader   November 5, 2012  

888-API-VOTE Hotline
Phone lines are open now
While enthusiasm for voting is high, voting can be a complicated process, even more so if your first language is not English.  So, it is important for Asian Americans to learn about voting – what type of ID is accepted at the polls, what rights you have when voting – especially the right to language assistance, and what to do if you encounter any problems at the polls.
To help Asian Americans vote, AAJC and APIAVote will be running an Asian-language Election Protection hotline, 1-888-API-VOTE (274-8683). on Election Day and the day before Election Day. The hotline will be live from 7:00am -7:00pm on Monday, November 5, and from 5:30am – 7:30pm on Tuesday, November 6.  We will provide assistance in Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Thai, and Vietnamese.
Voters can call in with any questions they have about voting, or to report any problems at the polls.  Questions such as, “where is my polling place?” and “what type of ID should I bring?” can be easily answered by our staff.  Trained staff is also on hand to address any problems that may arise.  For example, if you have difficulty with English, you have the right to bring a friend or family member into the voting booth to help you vote, but not all poll workers may know about this right (as provided by Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act) and may wrongly turn people away.  

If a poll worker wrongly turns you away from the polls because of this or refuses to allow you to vote with the assistance of your choice, call 1-888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) and we can help you address the issue so that you can vote.  In fact, if anyone calls your eligibility to vote into question or tries to hinder your ability to vote for any reason, call 1-888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) and someone will be able to assist you. 


Remember to Vote Tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 is Election Day.  Please remember to Vote!

New Yorkers seeking information about where to vote on Election Day will be able to locate their poll site by visiting this website or via text message. While Hurricane Sandy has forced last-minute changes to many planned poll sites in Tuesday’s election, up-to-date information on voting locations is now only a text message away.  Text “NYCVOTES” to 877-877Message and data rates may still apply. Customers can text ‘STOP’ to opt out of further messages.  (This information is from the NYC Campaign Finance Board.)

KALCA Fall Happy Hour Fundraiser

Thursday, November 8, 2012

On Thursday, November 8th from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm, the KALCA Steering Committee will be hosting our Fall Happy Hour Fundraiser at the Pranna Cellar Bar at 79 Madison Avenue at 28th Street.  This will be the last KALCA happy hour for the 2012 year so I hope you can all come out and join us.
The contribution amount is $10 presale and $20 at the door. 
To purchase your tickets, go to
KALCA will be donating half of the proceeds to the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in NYC.  

Draught Beer— $5
Bottled Beer— $6

Wine— $7
(Selection of Red & White)
Pranna Signature Cocktail — $8
Wok Fired Hanger Steak —$5
Basil Wok Chicken —$5
Wok Fired Tofu —$5

RSVP on facebook
 KALCA Steering Committee
Mike Burkholder, Fundraising/Social Co-Chair
Dan Cho, Vice Chair
KC Choi
Chris Chun
Christine Ghee
Esther Hong
Jeanette Kang
Judy Kim
Mina Kim, Fundraising/Social Co-Chair
Soo Jin Kim, Alumni Programs Co-Chair
Dan Lee
Emily Louie, Chair
Flora Rhim
Jennifer Shin
Rob Tsai
Bonny Tsang, Alumni Programs Co-Chair
Jonny Whang

To learn more about KALCA and our programs, visit

MBBA Election Viewing Party

Please do not forget to RSVP for the Metropolitan Black Bar Association’s 2012 Presidential Election Viewing Party at Katra Lounge. After you vote, please join us for drinks, food and GREAT conversation as we come together to watch the results of this historical Presidential Election! Details set forth below:

Date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Time: 6:00pm to 12:00am
Location: Katra Lounge, 217 Bowery Street, New York, N

*2-4-1drink specials; complimentary appetizers; multiple flat screens Cost: $10.00 in advance and $20.00 at the door Registration link will close on TOMORROW, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2012 AT 3:00pm (EST) We need to provide a final headcount to the event space ASAP.

Dear MBBA Members and Supporters:

As we continue to deal with the results of Hurricane Sandy, we will continue efforts to gather information and determine ways to best assist our members. We currently note that power/electricity is being restored to many parts of lower Manhattan between today and tomorrow. Until fully restored, please note the following:

State Courts

The City Law Department is asking attorneys to call next week for information about specific depositions at the following numbers: Bronx— (718) 590-3971; Brooklyn —(718) 222-2069; Manhattan – (718) 222-2001; Queens – (718) 206-4703; Staten Island– (718) 447-5985. For general office inquires, call (718) 222-2226.
To determine the latest information concerning the status of New York State Courts and court closings go to: or you can call 1-800-COURTNY(1-800-268-7869).

Federal Courts

E.D.N.Y: Both Brooklyn and Central Islip offices for the U.S. Attorney for Eastern District were re-opened Wednesday, October 31, 2012. Some judges have not been able to get to work so attorneys are advised to call the judge’s chambers before scheduled court appearances. Prisoners are being produced from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, but not from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan. The clerk’s office in both courthouses is accepting the hand delivery of new filings and new cases. The electronic filing system on is up for viewing but not for docketing. Court employees in the Brooklyn courthouse cannot receive e-mails as the courthouse has no Internet connectivity. The Central Islip courthouse currently does have internet access. Please go to for any updates or call the Emergency status line at1-866-752-7362 option 1.

S.D.N.Y. – 500 Pearl St.: The Manhattan courthouse is closed through Friday, November 2; however, the White Plains, Middletown, and Poughkeepsie courthouses are open. Please go to or call (212) 805-0136 for further updates. 233 Broadway: The entire building is offline. Access to the building is prohibited with the exception of authorized personnel.

SDNY has also issued orders extending certain deadlines in criminal cases as a result of Hurricane Sandy (Fed. R. Crim. P. 45) (Fed. R. Crim. P. 32) and has also issued an order extending time for filing in civil cases.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has also issued an executive order suspending speedy trial deadlines and other statutory time restrictions in criminal, family and civil cases.

Touro Law Center will open a center next week to provide referrals, assistance and legal advice for local residents and small businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy. The Touro Law Center – Hurricane Emergency Assistance and Referral Team (TLC-HEART) will be staffed by volunteer lawyers and law students. Beginning on Monday, November 5, residents will be able to call the center at (631) 761-7198 and [email protected] to receive assistance from disaster relief trained students and attorneys who will match resident concerns with referrals to federal, state and local government agencies and private groups offering storm-related assistance. The telephone hotline will be answered live Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and on Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Voicemail messages can be left 24/7.

Other Bar Associations

Brooklyn Bar Association president Domenick Napoletano has encouraged members and non-members to use their facilities at 123 Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights if their own offices are closed. (718) 624-0675.

New York County Lawyers Association, 14 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10007. Telephone: 212-267-6646 and the New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street New York, NY 10036, (212) 382-6600 is also open to the public during the week. Please call to confirm availability of services.

The New York State Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service has created a dedicated number (1-800-699-5636) for people in need of help, and is currently recruiting attorneys to provide free telephone consultations to individuals affected by the storm. There is a particular need for attorneys with insurance, landlord/tenant, co-op and condo, or FEMA appeals experience, as well as those who can handle general practice matters. If you are able to help, please visit and complete a volunteer form.

The NYSBA is also providing a free non-accredited informational video on emergency preparedness strategies for attorneys. The program – Disaster Planning and Emergency Preparedness: Best Practices for Solos – was designed to help attorneys prepare for unforeseen crises that can jeopardize their practices and includes helpful information and steps to take following a disaster. The video will be available, free of charge, through the month of November. You can view it at:

Additional links for storm relief resources:

Disaster Assistance:
LawHelp NY:
FEMA: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)
NYS Department of Financial Services Storm Hotline: 1-800-339-1759
American Red Cross: 1-800-RED-CROSS (733-2767)

Please refer to the NYLJ articles for further details at,

Again, please contact the MBBA regarding your particular needs as we seek to determine ways to best assist our members and the members of the legal community. Those in need and volunteers should contact the MBBA at [email protected] or call(212) 965-1645.

With best regards,


R. Nadine Fontaine


Metropolitan Black Bar Association