Saturday, September 29, 2012

NYC Points To Legal Technicality To Evict Longtime Greenwich Village Newstand Operator; Big Shot White Shoe Law Firm Volunteers Services To Help City Boot Hapless, Soon-To-Be Jobless Senior

In New York City, the New York Post reports:

  • The city has gone nuclear in its efforts to oust a longtime Greenwich Village newsstand operator beloved by thousands of New Yorkers and made famous in feature films. Legal papers show the city has retained — for free — the services of powerhouse international law firm Proskauer Rose to boot Jerry Delakas from the Astor Place news kiosk he’s run for the past quarter-century.

    This truly is David vs. Goliath,” said Gil Santamarina, the lawyer waging a long-shot battle to keep Delakas from being evicted over his lack of a license. Delakas — a neighborhood fixture who alongside his newsstand has appeared in such movies as “Sex and the City,” as well as countless ads — has run the business for 25 years by subleasing from the family who held the license.

    The city Department of Consumer Affairs became aware of that forbidden arrangement, and began eviction proceedings, only after the estate of the family tried to renew the license and keep Delakas there when the last relative died.

    Last week, “much to my shock and dismay,” Santamarina said he received a new letter revealing that the city now is being represented pro bono by a lawyer for the prestigious Proskauer Rose — instead of by a city Law Department attorney, as had been the case since last year. Such charity legal work is strongly encouraged for lawyers as a means to help criminal defendants and others who can’t otherwise afford legal counsel.

    So, Proskauer, a firm whose lawyers charge upwards of $800 per hour, is lending their legal services for free for the purposes of rending a 64-year-old man unemployed, jobless,” Santamarina said of the firm’s donating associate Alyse Fiori’s time — and the global company’s vast resources — to try to evict his client.

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