2000

  • The Bushwick office opens with its first Managing Attorney, Carol Horwitz, who also directs the Brooklyn A’s Comprehensive Rights Unit that serves clients infected or affected by the HIV/AIDS virus, as well as serving as counsel to the networks of community organizations serving that client population.
  • Brooklyn A is awarded one of the first large federal Violence Against Women Act grants in conjunction with the North Brooklyn Coalition Against Family Violence.
  • An evaluation commissioned by the Legal Services Corporation this year noted that Brooklyn A’s “[Community and Economic Development] CED program [is] one of the nation’s outstanding examples of [community] advocacy and development.” The report continued to note that Brooklyn A “demonstrated a connectedness to the community that must be considered one of its fundamental strengths. The program’s housing and community development work could not have been successful without this long-term sincere connection. …[Brooklyn A] has an important story to tell other programs in New York and throughout the country about the benefits that can flow from long-term collaboration and representation of nonprofit corporations.”
  • Valarie Hing, of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP joins the Brooklyn A Board of Directors. She is currently a member of the Board.
  • Brooklyn A honors three individuals at its Annual Partnership Awards Benefit: Frederick A.O. Schwarz, Jr., Senior Counsel at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; John Imperiale, Senior Vice President, Community Relations at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; and David Pagan, former Executive Director of Los Sures (Southside United Housing Development Fund Corporation).

2001

  • Large staff cut backs are required as a result of funding cuts following 9/11 and the unexpected non-renewal of a large federal grant.
  • Rick Wagner (now deceased) launches anti-predatory lending litigation, including affirmative litigation on the institutional causes of such practices, that continues to the present day in the face of a collapsing economy and a tsunami of foreclosures against economically marginal homeowners, particularly in East New York, Cypress Hills, Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick.
  • Anne Pilsbury, of Central American Legal Assistance, joins the Brooklyn A Board of Directors. She currently serves as Secretary of the Board.
  • Harold Green, of Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (CHLDC), joins the Brooklyn A Board of Directors. He is currently a member of the Board.
  • Brooklyn A honors three individuals at its Annual Partnership Awards Benefit: Barbara Paul Robinson, Of Counsel at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP; Marilyn Gelber, President of the Brooklyn Community Foundation (formerly known as the Independence Community Foundation); and Maurice Reid, former Executive Director of Brownsville Multi-Service Family Health Center.

2002

  • Roberto Marrero succeeds Carol Horwitz as Managing Attorney of Bushwick office.
  • James Windels, of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, joins the Brooklyn A Board of Directors. He is currently a member of the Board.
  • Joseph Lipofsky, now Of Counsel at Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling LLP, joins the Brooklyn A Board of Directors. He is currently a member of the Board.
  • Brooklyn A honors three individuals at its Annual Partnership Awards Benefit: Zachary Carter, partner and co-Chair at Dorsey & Whitney LLP; MacDara Lynch, Vice President and Team Leader at Pfizer Global Manufacturing; and Sister Peggy Walsh, of Southside Community Mission.

2003

  • David Bryan joins Brooklyn A as Director of the Comprehensive Rights Unit.
  • Thomas McC. Souther, now of Pepper Hamilton LLP, joins the Brooklyn A Board of Directors. He currently serves as Chair of the Board.
  • Harvey Lawrence, the current Executive Director of the Brownsville Community Development Corporation, joins the Brooklyn A Board of Directors. He is currently a member of the Board.
  • Brooklyn A honors three individuals at its Annual Partnership Awards Benefit: James Gill, partner at Bryan Cave LLP; Frederick Hill, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; and Jeffrey Dunston, Chief Executive Officer of Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation.

2004

  • Michael Haber and Max Weinstein join the East Brooklyn office as Equal Justice Works and Skadden Fellows, respectively, in the CED and Anti-Predatory Lending Units. Max was the first Skadden Fellow in the Legal Services NYC system.
  • Brooklyn A honors three individuals at its Annual Partnership Awards Benefit: Evan Davis, partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP; Maureen Batemen, Managing Director of Rose Hill Consultants at Evercore Trust Company (formerly of Bank of America); and Michael Rochford, Executive Directorof St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Corporation (St. Nick’s Alliance). Daphne Rubin-Vega, actor (RENT), served as emcee.

2005

  • In May, Victor Torres becomes the first non-attorney to be awarded the New York City Bar Association’s Legal Services Award.
  • Following the unveiling of a new elevator at its Williamsburg office, Brooklyn A dedicates the elevator to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who helped to cover the cost by raising a $70,000 grant from the city’s capital budget.
  • Brooklyn A represents Bushwick Information Coordinating and Action Committee (BICAC) HDFC and its subsidiary, Ozzie Wilson HDFC, in the acquisition of the property and in the HUD Section 202 construction financing of the Ozzie Wilson Senior Housing Project.
  • Brooklyn A honors three individuals at its Annual Partnership Awards Benefit: John M. Callagy, partner at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP; Thomas Early, Executive Vice President of Managed Plans at Elderplan (formerly of Health Plus); and Dr. Claude Offord, of Brownsville Multi-Service Family Health Center.
  • In October Victor Torres partnered with Cleary Gottlieb to create a Pro Bono Social Security Disability project; conducting yearly training sessions with their associates who he then referred cases to and supervised to the conclusion of the case. The project was so successful that Cleary Gottlieb never lost a case.

2006

  • David Bryan, then Director of the Comprehensive Rights Unit, succeeds Roberto Marrero as Managing Attorney of the Bushwick office.
  • The Mobilization Against Displacement, a coalition of all major housing groups in Williamsburg-Greenpoint, with Brooklyn A as counsel, forces the city to incorporate “inclusionary zoning” with a minimum of 30% affordable, in the re-zoning of the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront, enabling the construction of over 10,000 new apartments.
  • The Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center’s (BSFHC) facility expansion project culminates in the opening of its new, state-of-the-art family health care center on Fulton Street in central Brooklyn. Brooklyn A’s Paul Acinapura and Jessie Rose represented BSFHC in the assemblage and acquisition of the real estate, the project structuring, and the construction financing through tax exempt bonds issued by the NYS Dormitory Authority and grant funds from the Primary Care Development Corporation and the NYC Economic Development Corporation.
  • Saul Shapiro, of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, joins the Brooklyn A Board of Directors. He currently serves as a member of the Board.
  • Brooklyn A honors three individuals at its Annual Partnership Awards Benefit: Robert Sheehan, Of Counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP; Terri Thomson, of Thomson Strategies LLC and formerly of Citigroup; and Barabara Schliff, Director of Housing Resources for Los Sures (Southside United Housing Development Fund Corporation).

2007

  • Joshua Hoffman is hired as Director of Administration & Finance.
  • The Broadway Triangle Community Coalition (BTCC) is formed in response to a re-zoning plan proposed for 21 acres of land located between the neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant. The BTCC is a group of neighborhood residents and business people involved in efforts to make the public planning of the Broadway Triangle area more transparent and more reflective of the needs of the community. The coalition consists of over 40 organizations (religious, civic, educational, and community-oriented) that represent the largely black, Hassidic, and Latino demographics of the community. The individuals and organizations of the coalition advocate for a re-zoning plan that is free of political favoritism and special interests, in addition to one that provides for affordable housing and public amenities.
  • CHLDC, together with the School Construction Authority, breaks ground on the construction of a permanent new school facility for the Cypress Hills Community School. Brooklyn A CED Program attorneys Hillary Exer and Jessie Rose represent CHLDC and its subsidiary in the negotiation of the financing and real estate construction process.
  • Southside United HDFC (Los Sures) opens the doors to its first senior housing project at 145 South 3rd Street. Ralph Martinez of Brooklyn A’s CED Unit represented Los Sures in the acquisition of the property and in teh HUD Section 202 construction financing.
  • Robert Crotty, of Kelly Drye & Warren LLP, joins the Brooklyn A Board of Directors.
  • Frances Lucerna, of El Puente, joins the Brooklyn A Board of Directors. She is currently a member of the Board.
  • Brooklyn A honors three individuals at its Annual Partnership Awards Benefit: Paul J. Curran (1933-2008), partner at Kay Scholer LLP ; Brendan J. Dugan, President of St. Francis College and former Chairman & CEO of Sovereign Bank (Metro NY Division); and Maria Contreras-Collier, Director of Cypress Hills Child Care Center. Dominic Chianese, film, television and theatre actor (The Sopranos) served as emcee.

2008

  • Nicole Prenoveau (then Olympia) joins the East Brooklyn office as an Equal Justice Works Fellow to found the CED Unit’s Green Building Law and Justice Project.
  • Brooklyn A CED attorney Mike Haber represents Make the Road by Walking in its merger with the Latin American Integration Center, resulting in today’s Make the Road New York.
  • Jessica Rose is designated as Director of the CED Unit.  Former Director of Development Denis Berger passes away.
  • Rick Wagner and Brooklyn A experience a string of major foreclosure prevention victories, highlighted by a front page story in New York Law Journal’s account of the “Watson” case: granted summary judgment to the former homeowners, restored their deed and property ownership, and condemned lendors’ misconduct.
  • Brooklyn A honors three individuals at its Annual Partnership Awards Benefit: Bettina Plevan, partner at Proskauer Rose LLP; Vincent Palagiano, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dime Community Bancshares, Inc.; and Luis Garden Acosta, President and CEO of El Puente. Michael Cardozo, Corporation Counsel of the City of New York, was the guest speaker and Rosanna Scotto, co-anchor of Good Day, New York, served as emcee.

2009

  • Shekar Krishnan, a deferred associate from Weil Gotshal, joins Brooklyn A and with Marty Needelman represents the Broadway Triangle Community Coalition in challenging a racially and politically exclusionary process and plan for the re-zoning of the large Urban Renewal Area at the border of South Williamsburg and North Bedford-Stuyvesant. They initiate a law suit in the Manhattan Supreme Court and get the re-zoning stayed and then, with co-counsel New York Civil Liberties Union and Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP, obtain a preliminary injunction with the litigation ongoing to the present day.
  • Rick Wagner, Brooklyn A’s Director of Litigation, passes away.
  • Dave Bryan takes over as Director of the Anti-Predatory Lending Unit (now the Consumer and Economic Advocacy Program).
  • Brooklyn A honors three individuals at its Annual Partnership Awards Benefit: John D. Feerick, Sidney C. Norris Professor and former Dean of Fordham University School of Law; Eileen Auld, Community Development Director for New York State at Citi; and Father John Powis of the Bushwick Housing Independence Project. Judith Kaye, retired Chief Judge and current Of Counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, was the guest speaker, and Errol Louis of NY1 served as emcee.

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