On October 26, 2020, the City Bar Justice Center commemorated the tremendous response of ten volunteer attorneys who rose to meet the challenges of 2020, awarding each of them with a 2020 Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award. Our honorees demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting disadvantaged New Yorkers, particularly in times of crisis. Congratulations!

Homeowner Stability Project: Andrew V. Alfano & Melissa S. Pettit, Associates at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

The Homeowner Stability Project (HSP) provides legal assistance to low and moderate-income homeowners threatened with the loss of their home including foreclosure and predatory practices.

Andrew Alfano and Melissa Pettit, Associates of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, provided pro bono legal assistance on an heirs property partition action in Brooklyn. The client they represented was a single, Black mom trying to defend her inheritance and the home she had known for most of her life.

Mr. Alfano and Ms. Pettit opposed summary judgment and cross moved to amend the client’s pro se answer and dismiss the case. The Court agreed with Mr. Alfano and Ms. Pettit on almost every point, giving their client a huge win and significantly increased her bargaining power so that she could preserve her family home and, by extension, her connection to a community she had helped to anchor for decades. Their strategizing, research, and final product were of exceptional quality, and helped level the playing field for their client who wouldn’t have been able to afford legal representation otherwise.

Congratulations! We thank them for their hard work and shining example!