During the last year, nearly a third of the inmates at Rikers Island suffered blows to the head from guard or inmates, a New York City Health Department report revealed. The internal report was released exclusively by the Associated Press.
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After a 33-year legal career devoted to fighting for low-income New Yorkers, Steven Banks, The Legal Aid Society's Attorney-in-Chief, is leaving the Society to become the Commissioner of the New York City Human Resources Administration. Mayor de Blasio announced the appointment at a press conference at City Hall, saying “I admire that Steve has been fighting for what he believes is right. He’s been a voice for the voiceless in this city." Banks has served as the Society's Attorney-in-Chief since 2004, after rising through the ranks of the organization from a law student intern and a staff attorney to a series of major leadership positions.
The Legal Aid Society celebrated Black History Month with a special reception honoring all black women and men who are members of the Legal Aid family for their many accomplishments and contributions. Steven Banks, Attorney-in-Chief, is pictured with the speakers for the celebration including Reggie Haley, Supervising Attorney in the Brooklyn office of the Criminal Defense Practice; Grace Oboma-Layat, a Staff Attorney in the Bronx office of the Juvenile Rights Practice; and Jacques David, a Staff Attorney in the Community Development Unit of the Civil Practice.
Seymour James, Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Practice at The Legal Aid Society, was honored for contributions to the legal community by Boston University School of Law. The alumni award was presented to James at a special reception by Maureen A. O'Rourke, Dean of Boston University School of Law. James, former President of the New York State Bar Association, is a graduate of BU Law and has been at the Society for the past 40 years.
The New York Law Journal has published an essay entitled "Domino's Challenges Joint Employer Liability for Franchisors" by Hollis Pfitsch and Richard Blum, who are Staff Attorneys in The Legal Aid Society's Civil Practice Employment Law Unit. The essay focuses on a recent major federal court settlement in which delivery workers in four Domino's pizza restaurants in Manhattan are receiving payments totaling nearly $1.3 million for unpaid wages. Ms. Pfitsch and Mr. Blum were members of the Legal Aid litigation team in Cano v. DPNY in which Shearman & Sterling LLP served as pro bono counsel. As described in their Law Journal essay, " while the original lawsuit was against a franchise and individual franchise owners and managers, Domino's Pizza Inc., the international corporation, was successfully added to the lawsuit in a motion to amend seeking liability of Domino's as a joint employer. While rare, the case applied well-settled principles of joint employment under wage and hour law to bring in the franchisor."
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