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Greenberg Traurig’s James W. Perkins Receives Cornerstone Award for Pro Bono Excellence

NEW YORK (Oct. 28, 2014)James Perkins, a shareholder in the New York Litigation Practice of international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP has been selected as a recipient of the Lawyers Alliance for New York’s Cornerstone Award for pro bono excellence. The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, Oct., 30 at Credit Suisse in New York City.

Perkins and Greenberg Traurig colleagues, including, New York co-chairman Edward C. Wallace and associate, Lauren B. Grassotti, worked on a case that resulted in a favorable appellate court result in their pro bono representation of the Lawyers Alliance for New York, the Queens Chamber of Commerce and the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York in support of appellants Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and Jamaica First Parking, LLC.

The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization engaged in supporting the development and expansion of the business-commercial-retail district in Jamaica, Queens. It appealed an order and judgment of the Supreme Court, Queens County upholding a determination of the New York City Department of Finance revoking a tax exemption that had been granted to five public parking facilities owned and operated by appellants.

The Greenberg Traurig team drafted and submitted an amicus brief on behalf of their clients in support of the appellants that demonstrated how the Department of Finance acted arbitrarily and capriciously and failed to meet its burden to prove that the parking facilities did not conform to a charitable purpose. The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York heard the appeal, and ultimately made a decision that adopts much of the reasoning and authorities cited in the brief.

“We have been honored to represent the Lawyers Alliance, in particular in helping to express its views on the very important appeal concerning the rights of not-for-profit organizations to receive tax benefits for helping to build up underserved communities,” said Perkins. “I am honored to receive the Cornerstone Award for this work on behalf of those who worked on this matter with me and Greenberg Traurig, which is committed to pro bono service in the New York community and across the various communities of which we are a part.  We will use this recognition as an incentive for our colleagues to continue to strive to provide pro bono legal services for those who could not otherwise afford them."

Lawyers Alliance for New York is the leading provider of business and transactional legal services for nonprofit organizations that are improving the quality of life in New York City neighborhoods.

About Greenberg Traurig’s Pro Bono Program

Greenberg Traurig lawyers across the firm’s offices provide pro bono legal services to the indigent and working poor, as well as to numerous civic and charitable organizations dedicated to assisting them. The firm focuses its resources on specialized and interrelated issues including civil rights and affirmative action, anti-human trafficking, family law matters, criminal appeals, immigration and political asylum, housing and homelessness.