PRO BONO HONOREES
The City Bar Justice Center salutes the following individuals who were honored at our annual Epstein Awards event in October 2019. The awards ceremony is named for Jeremy G. Epstein (1946-2009), a Shearman & Sterling LLP partner and board member at the City Bar Justice Center, The Legal Aid Society, and the Fund for Modern Courts. Mr. Epstein logged over 5,000 hours of pro bono and public service over 20 years.
Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Project: Gerard Bifulco, Chaffetz Lindsey
In the year-and-a-half that Gerard Bifulco has volunteered with the Justice Center’s Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Project, first with Davis Polk where he was an associate and now with Chaffetz Lindsey, he has logged the most volunteer days of any law firm associate in the Project’s four-year history. The diverse roster of low- to moderate-income pro se litigants with civil cases in federal court who cannot afford counsel whom Gerard has advised includes a learning-disabled janitor terminated due to race discrimination; a Title IX plaintiff kicked out of her degree program in retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment; an individual facing garnishment for student loan debt; a defendant in a computer fraud and contract case; an immigrant small-business owner defending a wage and hour case; a homeless, disabled woman being harassed at her shelter; and a mother trying to enforce an Individualized Education Plan for a son with severe autism. Gerard’s exemplary work includes thoroughly preparing for each client meeting and printing useful models, case law, and resources for pro se litigants who have limited access to research materials. Gerard also has shown each client empathy, professionalism, and patience while providing a concrete roadmap for the next steps in their litigation within each client’s individual abilities.