|Pictured (left to right): Alba Aviles and Naju Lathia receive their Coleman Awards at a reception in the New Jersey office.|
Day Pitney LLP has announced that attorneys Alba V. Aviles, Rosendo Garza, Jr. and Naju R. Lathia are recipients of the 2018 Coleman Awards in recognition of their deep commitment to pro bono work. This year's Coleman Award winners dedicated a total of more than 725 hours of their time to pro bono service.
The Coleman Awards are given by Day Pitney annually to lawyers whose commitment to pro bono and public service exemplify the highest ideals of the legal profession and preserve the legacy of Cyril Coleman, a former Day Pitney partner who served many public institutions and causes and was known for his dignity, sound judgment and integrity.
Alba V. Aviles, an associate in the firm's Parsippany office, led and managed the Day Pitney team that worked as partners with the BASF team in connection with Veteran's Wellness Clinics held throughout 2017. At each clinic, Day Pitney and BASF attorneys and staff were paired together to interview and provide assistance to veterans. Over 70 veterans were assisted with legal issues related to employment, military records corrections and consumer debts, among other issues. In addition, Aviles has worked on five guardianship matters for SCARC, a nonprofit that supports individuals with developmental disabilities, where she has appeared as the court-appointed attorney for alleged incapacitated individuals. She has also represented various nonprofits with employment issues through the Pro Bono Partnership.
Rosendo Garza, Jr., an associate in the firm's Hartford office, assumed a leadership role as the Day Pitney liaison working with the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) and has handled several CVLC cases representing veterans in housing matters. Garza also handled several matters for Lawyers for Children America, representing children in termination of parental rights and adoption matters. In one of these matters, he has represented a 15-month old child since he was one month old and is currently working through the adoption process so that this child can grow up in a safe, nurturing and permanent home. Garza continues to work on several other significant litigation matters with other Day Pitney attorneys representing inmates and other persons in need of pro bono legal assistance.
Naju R. Lathia, an associate in the firm's Parsippany office, has achieved great results for several of the firm's pro bono clients. Through the ReNew program, which is a partnership between the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Federal Public Defender's Office, and the U.S. Probation Office, Lathia assists those who are formerly incarcerated with legal issues as they reintegrate into mainstream society. In one matter, she helped a ReNew participant avoid re-incarceration following a domestic dispute and negotiated a plea involving a diversionary program so that our client could successfully maintain employment and help provide for his child. Lathia is also assisting a client who is incarcerated in New Jersey State Prison with his claims against prison officials and medical providers. She has successfully opposed three motions for summary judgment and two motions to dismiss, providing our client with the ability to continue to pursue his claims.