The lawyers at Morvillo Abramowitz are trial lawyers, and are committed to using those trial skills to assist pro bono litigants in both civil and criminal cases.
In both the criminal and civil arena, our lawyers’ efforts have been recognized by the Legal Aid Society with awards for outstanding pro bono service. In 2010 and 2011, the firm was honored by The Legal Aid Society as one of the recipients of the Society's Pro Bono Publico Award in recognition of the firm's outstanding pro bono service, dedication and commitment to The Legal Aid Society and its clients.
These efforts have included work saving homes for low-income New Yorkers—in particular, advocacy that saved the apartment of a low-income tenant who was wrongfully terminated from the Section 8 subsidy program while she was on maternity leave. In another effort, Morvillo Abramowitz lawyers provided exceptional representation for an individual in a high-profile case, ultimately helping this defendant avoid indictment. Firm members have also worked with the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Division in the representation of a 13-year-old girl charged in a Family Court proceeding, where motion practice and argument by the firm’s lawyers ensured that she could adequately participate in her own defense.
The Firm assisted Amnesty International in a significant civil liberties appeal whereby the court agreed with our argument, ruling that a coalition of lawyers, journalists, and human rights activists were entitled to challenge the Bush-era expansion of the federal wiretapping laws even if they couldn’t prove that their communications had been “acquired” by the government. Members of the firm teamed with lawyers from the Brennan Center for Justice to write the lead amicus curiae brief, filed on behalf of the Brennan Center and other public interest organizations in support of the plaintiffs.
Morvillo Abramowitz lawyers provided pro bono representation to families of victims of the September 11th attacks before the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Additionally, in 2008 the firm and two of its Partners received the New York City Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award for Capital Representation in connection with the firms’ pro bono representation of a capital defendant.
In a criminal case, Morvillo Abramowitz lawyers brought a federal habeas challenge to a state murder conviction that resulted in the conviction’s vacatur, successfully defended that outcome on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and negotiated a favorable resolution of the matter when it ultimately returned to state court.
Our firm also routinely handles cases assigned through the Southern District of New York’s Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel, representing indigent defendants charged with federal criminal offenses. We have represented clients charged with bank robbery, immigration law violations, narcotics offenses, and a wide variety of theft offenses and conspiracies. In one recent case, the firm was appointed by court order to represent a former police officer charged with interstate stalking, cyberstalking, and interstate violation of an order of protection. After a nine-day trial, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all charges. Our lawyers bring the firm’s full resources to bear in these matters and have achieved excellent results on behalf of CJA clients.