Advocates for Justice Newsletter – 2011.11.01







The A4J Leader

        Vol. 1  No. 3   November 1, 2011

           (c) 2011 Advocates for Justice

                          Public Interest Law Firm


Chris Owens Headshot
Chris Owens,
Executive Director

Welcome to the third issue of the A4J Leader.


Only a few days to go until our 1st Fall Awards Reception – Friday, November 4, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm.


Let me salute our honorees and our sponsors. 


For fighting for our gallant first responders and communities victimized during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, we salute John Feal, founder of the FealGood Foundation, and the LIN SING ASSOCIATION in Chinatown.

For standing with our public school children against bad education policies and the exclusion of parent voices, we salute Patrick Sullivan, Manhattan’s representative on the Panel for Education Policy, and IS 303K parent activists Julia Daniely, Marylou Consolo and Eliot Wofse, along with high school student activist Priscilla Consolo.

For her vigilant and enduring effort to keep local government working for the residents of Lower Manhattan (while supporting freedom of expression by Occupy Wall Street), we salute Julie Menin, Chair of Community Planning Board 1.

For its incredible work addressing environmental challenges in Northern Manhattan, we salute WE ACT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE under the leadership of Hon. Peggy Shepard.

For the power of their voices as new leaders fighting for public sector workers, we salute Anthony Wells, the President of Local 371, District Council 37, and Santos Crespo, President of Local 372, District Council 37.

We are proud to list some of our sponsors to date who are making this event possible.   (We would be happy to add your name to our list of sponsors.) 

Our Drum Majors for Justice ($2,500 or more) are Board President Arthur Z. Schwartz, whose support for Advocates for Justice makes this work possible, and the United Federation of Teachers, who graciously provided us with a great space for this Fall Awards Reception.

Our Champions of Righteousness ($1,000 – $2,499) are Mr. Darren Dougherty. Hon. Julie Menin, CSEA – Local 1000, Local 372 (District Council 37), Mr. John Feal and the Feal Good Foundation, and Local 983 (District Council 37).

Our People’s Advocates ($500-$999) are Richard Bashner, Esq. & Dr. Audrey Buxbaum, Hon. Chris Owens, Stuart Salles, Esq.,  and Advocates for Justice Advisory Board member Bessie Wong.

Our Justice League Members ($250-499) are Hon. Jim Brennan (NY State Assembly), Hon. Joseph Crowley (U.S. House of Representatives), Ms. Mona Davids, Ms. Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters, Mr. Don Jacobs and In Concert Audio, Kenneth Sacks, Esq., and Local 1549 (District Council 37).

So please join us for a wonderful event that will leave you feeling good and with time left to go out and party on a Friday night.  And if you purchase a basic ticket on-line by mid-day Friday, you can buy your $100 ticket for only $65!  What a bargain! 


You can also have your name or your organization’s name included on our website, in our newsletters and in our program.  Just click here and select the appropriate package, or give me a call directly at 212-285-1400.

Thank you for taking a moment to read our newsletter.  As always, I hope you find it informative and helpful.

     Chris Owens 

Advocates for Justice In Court

While we wait for decisions on four different cases — three involving the co-location of charter schools in New York City, and one involving the obligation of the State of New York to replace the closed St. Vincent’s Hospital on the Lower West Side of Manhattan — we have been busy on two other fronts:

First, in conjunction with Local 338 RWDSU and New York Communities for Change, Advocates for Justice has filed eight wage and hour lawsuits on behalf of grocery store workers who are not paid minimum wage or overtime pay.

Some of these workers work as many as seven days-a-week, 12 hours-a-day, and get paid as little at $350 per week. We settled the first of these cases with a Fine Fare store, winning back pay for four workers. Three of them left the store but the one who stayed not only got back pay, but (i) a contract with a “just cause” clause before the worker can be fired, (ii) a 48-hour week at $8.50 per hour, and (iii) seven paid vacation days!

Second, in conjunction with Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union and Occupy Wall Street, we filed suit on October 3rd in response to the New York City Police Department’s commandeering of five buses and their drivers to transport 700 OWS supporters who had been arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge on October 1st.

We sought a preliminary injunction prior to an October 5th march (which drew 10,000 people) seeking to prevent this from happening again. Although the injunction was denied, the lawsuit is proceeding — with an effort to get a declaration from the Court that the 4th Amendment rights of the bus drivers against “unreasonable searches and seizures” was violated.   

9/11 Victims Seek Zadroga Help

Advocates for Justice is assisting Chinatown residents or workers who were injured either on September 11th or between 9/11 and May 30, 2002.  At stake is possible eligibility for medical monitoring and/or compensation due to the Zadroga Act.

The Lin Sing Association has been an invaluable partner in this effort.  We continue to look for individuals interested in working with us. 

Mandarin-speaking or Cantonese-speaking individuals wishing to contact Advocates for Justice should call (646) 543-9102 to schedule an intake appointment or ask questions. 




Arthur Schwartz Headshot
Arthur Z. Schwartz, Esq.
Board President



A Message from   

Arthur Schwartz 


Happy Fall!

I hope you will join me at our First Fall Awards Reception on Friday, November 4th from 6 pm to 8:30 pm.  


The event will take place at the UFT Building, 52 Broadway, on the 2nd Floor.

Our honorees this evening will include individuals and organizations who, through their work, exemplify the commitment to advocacy that we hold dear.

So please join Congressman Major Owens, TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen, activists Peggy Shepard, Matt Chachere and Bertha Lewis, and other Advocates for Justice Board members for a memorable evening.  I look forward to seeing you on November 4th, if not before.   

I am also proud to announce that four attorneys are joining Advocates for Justice during the next month, dramatically increasing our capacity to do the work of the people.   


Richard Soto, Esq., arrived this past week.  This week we welcome Sabrina Tann, Esq., followed by Joe Patrice, Esq., and Tracey Kiernan, Esq


Would you like to work with Advocates for Justice?


Advocates for Justice is looking for Project Attorneys to work pro bono on cases and we are looking for Project Associates, Development Associate and Community Associate interns to work on other projects as well.   


If you are interested or you know someone who may be, check out our website and send an email with the subject line “VOLUNTEER” to  

Advocates for Justice

225 Broadway, Suite 1902

New York, NY  10007

212-285-1400 x 2 

Thank You To Our Supporters

Advocates for Justice wishes to thank those individuals and organizations that have provided support for our work at the level of $200 or more.

The Consolo Family

William P. Kelly, Esq.


Richard Kenny, Esq. 


The Malakoff Family Fund – The Pittsburgh Foundation  


Milton & Yvonne Massop 

Parents of IS 303 (Brooklyn)





Richard Soto

Born in Brooklyn, Richard Soto is admitted to practice in the State of NewYork and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
A 2003 graduate of Harvard Law School, and a 1995 graduate of New York University, Richard comes to Advocates for Justice with experience litigating complex products liability matters as well as commercial matters and contract disputes.
Sabrina Tann

Sabrina Tann is a civil rights litigation attorney.  Ms. Tann’s expertise includes employment discrimination and Section 1983 litigation. 


Prior to joining Advocates for Justice, Sabrina was a senior associate in the Labor and Employment Division of a national law firm.  She also served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Special Federal Litigation Division of the New York City Law Department. 


Sabrina is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, and the NewYork University School of Law.  






6:00 pm –

8:30 pm

UFT Building

2nd Floor   

52 Broadway  








Purchase a ticket package today!

Discount of 35% off Basic Ticket Price
Advocates for Justice would like to thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter.  Please take a moment now to purchase a special discounted ticket to our Fall Awards Reception before 2:00 pm this Friday, November 4th.
Offer Expires:  Nov 4, 2:00 pm

Advocates for Justice | 275 Seventh Avenue | Suite 1760 | New York | NY | 10001-8407