Kasowitz Receives Legal Aid Society 2018 Pro Bono Publico Award
Kasowitz Benson Torres has been awarded a 2018 Pro Bono Publico Award for “Outstanding Advocacy in Defense of the Accused” by The Legal Aid Society. The firm was honored for its work representing low-income defendants’ family members who posted bail, in the form of a bail bond, on the defendants’ behalf, which was later forfeited when the defendants failed to appear in court or retained by the bail bond company when the defendants were not released on bail due to an administrative technicality. These family members are faced with either an attempt by the bail bond company to recover the full amount of the bail, even though they were never advised or understood that they would be responsible for the full amount (instead of the 5 to 10% cash deposit they posted) or the bail bond company’s refusal to return the cash deposit when the defendant was not released on bail.
Partnering with The Legal Aid Society’s Decarceration Project, Kasowitz has successfully recovered the cash deposit for some of these families already, and is helping other families resolve their matters, as well as identifying ways families facing a similar situation can protect themselves.
In addition to recognizing the firm, The Legal Aid Society also recognized several Kasowitz attorneys for their outstanding work: Counsel and Assistant Pro Bono Coordinator Teresa Matushaj; Associate Elliana Openshaw; and Staff Attorney Ranya Khalil. The Kasowitz team is supervised by partner and Pro Bono Committee Chair David J. Abrams and Teresa Matushaj.
Kasowitz was presented with the award at The Legal Aid Society’s annual Pro Bono Publico Awards ceremony on October 16, 2018. Learn more about the event.