Brian D. Berman

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Bet Tzedek Names Greenberg Glusker 2011 Pro Bono Firm of the Year

October 1, 2011Article
Greenberg Glusker Press Release- Bet Tzedek

Greenberg Glusker today announced that it was named 2011 “Pro Bono Firm of the Year,” by Bet Tzedek – The House of Justice during its Evening of Recognition volunteer appreciation reception. The Firm was recognized for its ongoing volunteer work on the Small Claims Project, Holocaust reparations matters and individual pro bono matters.  Bet Tzedek is one of the nation’s premier non-profit legal services organizations and assists people of every racial and religious background in the Los Angeles area.

“We pride ourselves on our active participation in the community and providing legal assistance to those in need,” said Litigation Partner Ricardo P. Cestero, who chairs the Greenberg Glusker’s Pro Bono Committee. “We believe that if every lawyer donates a few hours every month we can make a positive impact.”

Greenberg Glusker’s pro bono commitment in 2010 totaled 2,530 hours across 45 attorneys. This represents a 25 percent increase from the previous year, which stands out from a decrease in pro bono hours reported by law firms during the economic recession and widespread contractions in the legal industry.

The group of Firm attorneys who have participated in recent Bet Tzedek projects includes:

Brian Berman, Hillary Bibicoff, Aaron Bloom, Ricardo Cestero, Aaron Gafni, Jeffrey Krieger, Stefanie Lipson, Megan Rivetti, Katy Spillers, Rachel Wilkes and Rachel Valadez.

While Greenberg Glusker has a long history of service with Bet Tzedek, these recent projects stood out for special recognition this year:

Small Claims Project– Firm volunteers established this monthly training workshop that assists litigants in understanding the small claims process. The success of this collaborative effort with the Los Angeles County Bar Association ALSP, The Center for Civic Mediation and Southwestern School of Law has led to additional law firms joining the workshop and an expansion of services.

Holocaust Reparations - Several firm attorneys supported Bet Tzedek’s well-established program of free help to survivors applying for reparations, pensions and other benefits from Germany and other European countries.

Employment Benefits Dispute–Litigation Associate Megan F.  Rivetti recently helped to overturn an administrative ruling from the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board that deprived a loyal, hard-working, and compliant employee of unemployment insurance benefits.

When presenting Greenberg Glusker the award, Gus May, Bet Tzedek’s directing attorney noted the Firm’s contribution of more than 700 hours to Bet Tzedek projects alone. May also acknowledged the Firm’s leadership role in creating the “truly unique” Small Claims Project and the dedication of the Firm’s lawyers to helping people navigate the complex rules of small claims court.