The City Bar Justice Center has hired Victor Tello, previously an assistant corporation counsel for the New York City Law Department, to coordinate efforts to mobilize and train volunteer lawyers for Hurricane Sandy cases. The position is projected to last one year. So far, the main concerns are related to FEMA applications and insurance disputes, he said. "There's going to continue to be a significant need for help from the legal community," Tello said. "This is really a multi-phase disaster. Now we're getting into the phase where we're starting to alleviate some of those concerns." As an attorney with the Law Department, Tello worked in the torts division on Staten Island, and later, the special federal litigation division. He is a 2008 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center.
The Justice Center, in partnership with other legal services providers, has trained more than 400 volunteer lawyers on Sandy-specific matters. Its pro bono volunteers have helped more than 120 people at clinics attended by victims. Tello is available for free consultations via the Justice Center's legal hotline, 212-626-7383, which operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.