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What's Law Got to Do with It? 9/11 and TLC

Remembering 9/11 and the Victims' Compensation Fund. The trial lawyers' pro-bono efforts made it work.

My office was downtown, two blocks from the towers. We were without electricity for many days, until they set up curb-side generators throughout the "red zone," and ran cables down the sidewalk. We had no land-line phones for weeks and weeks. For months, the air was filled with thick soot, right down to the subways.

A few of us trial lawyers were privileged to assist with the Victims' Compensation Fund. Through Trial Lawyers Care, we were able to make claims for victims' survivors, pro bono. The Fund Administrator, Kenneth Feinberg, did a great job. One of the humane things he did was to very slightly stretch the usual legal rules so that people not normally compensated under New York's Wrongful Death laws, could claim something under the fund.

I was privileged to represent a grieving man who would have been married just days after 9/11 and lost his fiancee in the attacks. Not yet a spouse, he would have been entitled to nothing under New York's Wrongful Death statute, had his lady died in a typical negligence case. Based upon their existing life together as an economic unit, I prepared a three-ring binder application for him claiming lost wages.

The object of the fund was to help, not hinder, and he was compensated. His binder was one of many we all made for our pro bono clients. Feinberg expressed his thanks.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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