Arent Fox’s Pro Bono Efforts Recognized
Arent Fox’s unwavering commitment to pro bono work has recently resulted in a number of successes.
Appleseed, a nonprofit network of public interest justice centers and professionals with whom Arent Fox works as a partner to help build a just society through legal, legislative and market-based structural reform, will honor the Firm at Appleseed’s Pillars of Justice Awards reception to be held on June 21 in New York.
Specifically, Arent Fox will be recognized for its work with Appleseed in designing fair access to health care for low-income taxi workers in New York City. Arent Fox and Appleseed has been working with the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, an organization serving 15,000 cab drives in New York, to advocate before the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission for the creation of a Health & Benefits Fund that would ensure access to group health care insurance for the city’s drivers.
Appleseed will honor Arent Fox’s Connie Raffa, Lauren Tabak Fass, and Tope Yusuf, who have spent countless pro bono hours working with Appleseed and the New York Taxi Workers Alliance on this matter, which NY Appleseed considers an integral component of its mission to bring fairness, justice and opportunity to all.
Arent Fox’s Jackson Toof was successful in having the Department of Veterans Affairs reverse its previous denial of a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) claim filed by a US Army veteran who served in the early 1980s. The client, James E. Price, had initially filed for VA benefits in 1982.
In December, 2008, Mr. Price again filed a request for benefits, including a PTSD claim due to allegations of sexual abuse while on active duty. After the VA denied the PTSD claim, Arent Fox, led by Jackson Toof, began representing Mr. Price in an appeal of his benefits denial. At the time Jackson took on the case, there was no evidence linking Mr. Price’s PTSD claim to his military service. After numerous visits to several health care providers, Jackson and the client obtained a report from a VA doctor establishing the critical linkage between the PTSD claim and Mr. Price’s military service. After working on the matter for more than a year, Jackson was informed in March, 2012, that the VA had reversed its earlier decision and, granted Mr. Price a PTSD rating of 100 percent (the highest award possible). In addition, the VA made the rating retroactive to December, 2008, thereby affording Mr. Price several years of disability compensation.
This success was made possible by Jackson’s hard work, tenacity, and steadfast dedication to providing legal assistance to our nation’s veterans, and will significantly improve Mr. Price’s quality of life and access to needed medical care.