The City Bar Justice Center has hired Victor M. Tello as its coordinating attorney for disaster relief. Mr. Tello will centralize the Justice Center’s various activities in training and mobilizing volunteer attorneys to assist in Superstorm Sandy relief.
Mr. Tello, a native Spanish speaker, began his career with the New York City Law Department and interned in the Miami-Dade County Public Defenders Office. He is a 2008 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center with a BA from the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he received national recognition in mock trial and debate competitions.
Together with legal services providers, the Justice Center has held trainings for more than 400 volunteer lawyers. The trainings are posted on www.probono.net. Since November, pro bono volunteers working with the Justice Center have completed more than 120 in-person legal counseling sessions with Sandy victims on issues including FEMA eligibility, disaster unemployment assistance, landlord-tenant law, and flood and other insurance coverage. In December, the Justice Center joined FEMA in the New York City Restoration Centers so that bar association pro bono volunteers working with legal services programs could meet with clients where they were seeking other forms of disaster relief.
Sandy victims seeking pro bono legal assistance through the City Bar Justice Center can obtain a free consultation with Mr. Tello in English or Spanish on Monday and Wednesday from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. by calling (212) 626-7383. The City Bar Justice Center’s Legal Hotline is available at (212) 626-7383 to low-income New Yorkers with legal problems from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, with translation available in all languages.