O’Connell and Aronowitz was honored by The Sanctuary for Independent Media on Saturday, March 3, for their pro bono work in a First Amendment civil rights case on behalf of the Troy-based gallery and media arts facility operated by Media Alliance. The firm was acknowledged, along with the New York Civil Liberties Union, at a community event celebrating the opening of a new gallery show and start of the Spring 2012 season.
O’Connell and Aronowitz strongly supports the provision of pro bono legal services with recognition that pro bono work benefits the community, the Firm and individual lawyers. In his comments, Senior Partner Cornelius D. Murray
confirmed the right to free speech as central to our freedoms as Americans. “When the government tramples on free speech, we will fight to protect it,” Murray said. His sentiments were echoed by O’Connell and Aronowitz Senior PartnerNeil H. Rivchin who also made remarks.
“We’re extremely grateful to O’Connell and Aronowitz for their generosity and hard work on our behalf. The depth of their knowledge of the law, combined with their thoroughness and patience, made it a pleasure to work with them,” said Steve Pierce, executive director of Media Alliance. “Working with the O’Connell and Aronowitz team was a great experience.”
In the Sanctuary case, the lawsuit challenged the city of Troy’s decision to close the media center on purported code violations a day after the opening of controversial art installation. The case was settled February 22 by a federal judge.
New York Civil Liberties Union Capital Region Board President Colin Donnaruma, on hand at the event to represent NYCLU which partnered with O’Connell and Aronowitz in filing the lawsuit in June 2009, also expressed his gratitude to O’Connell and Aronowitz for taking the case.
O’Connell and Aronowitz has adopted a formal, Firm-wide pro bono policy. Steeped in a pro bono tradition, the Firm has a history of generosity to the local community that dates back to its founding partner, Sam Aronowitz. Mr. Aronowitz forged partnerships with local banks to offer low interest, no cost home mortgage loans to low income Capital Region families with O’Connell and Aronowitz providing free closing services. Countless families benefited from the program over its 30-year course.
O’Connell and Aronowitz is one of the Capital District’s largest and most diverse law firms. With more than 35 attorneys and offices in Albany, Saratoga, and Plattsburgh, the Firm provides a broad range of legal services to businesses and individuals throughout the State. If you have questions about the Firm or its services, please contact Jeffrey J. Sherrin at (518) 462-5601, or visit the Firm’s website at www.oalaw.com