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Past and Present Leaders of Legal Services Corporation to Speak at American Bar Foundation Event

August 7, 2017, ABF news

Helaine Barnett, Robert J. Grey, Jr., and Alexander Forger will lead discussion on preserving access to the civil justice system

The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation (ABF) will host their annual Business Breakfast from 7:30-9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12, at the New York Hilton Midtown. The breakfast is one of several events being hosted by the Fellows of the ABF during the 2017 American Bar Association (ABA) Annual Meeting, Aug. 9-13, 2017, in New York, N.Y.

The Business Breakfast will feature a discussion led by Helaine Barnett, Robert J. Grey, Jr., and Alexander Forger on the importance of access to the civil justice system and current threats to Legal Services Corporation (LSC). LSC’s mission is to promote equal access to justice in our nation and to provide high quality civil legal assistance to low-income persons.

Helaine Barnett has devoted her entire professional career to the provision of legal services to the poor and in the pursuit of equal access to justice.  She spent 37 years with the Legal Aid Society of New York, the last 10 of which she headed its civil division. She was appointed president of the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C., in January 2004, the first legal aid attorney to hold that position, and served for six years. In 2010 she was appointed by the Chief Judge of the State of New York to Chair what is now the New York State Permanent Commission on Access to Justice. She was also appointed an adjunct professor of law at NYU Law School, teaching a seminar on access to the civil justice system. She has been active in the ABA as the only legal aid attorney to serve on its Board of Governors and Executive Committee, and represents the New York City Bar in the ABA House of Delegates. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including most recently the 2017 ABF Fellows Outstanding Service Award.

Grey was nominated by President Barack Obama to LSC’s Board of Directors in 2009. He is past president of the ABA and former chair of the ABA House of Delegates. During his time as ABA president, Grey instituted the American Jury Initiative, a project dedicated to examining and educating the public about the American jury system. As Senior Counsel at Hunton & Williams, his practice centered on regulatory, administrative and government-relations matters before state and local governments and their agencies; he continues to serve as neutral in dispute resolution at the firm.

Forger is past president of LSC and former director, president, and chairman of the board of the Legal Aid Society of New York. He is a member of the New York State Permanent Commission on Access to Justice and served as the New York delegate to the ABA House of Delegates and as president of the New York State Bar Association from 1980-81. Following his service in World War II, Forger joined Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, where he practiced estate and personal law for more than 40 years, eventually becoming partner and Chairman of the firm.

Following the talk, Michael H. Byowitz, Chair of the Fellows of the ABF, will review the work of the Fellows over the past year, as well as share new Fellows business.

The event is supported by Platinum Sponsor, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Gold Sponsor, Latham & Watkins, LLP, and Silver Sponsor, Winston & Strawn, LLP.

The Business Breakfast is a ticketed event. To register, please visit the ABF website or the Fellows registration table at the New York Hilton Midtown from Wednesday, Aug. 9 to Saturday, Aug. 12. Please note that registration for the ABA Annual Meeting is separate. For more information on the Fellows events, please email or call 800-292-5065.

Event details:

  • WHAT: Fellows Annual Business Breakfast
  • WHEN:  7:30-9:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017
  • WHERE: Mercury Ballroom (3rd Floor), New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 6th Ave, New York, NY

Posted by: Jennifer Montagne

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