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Empire Justice Taining Center

Standing Ovations and Special Recognition for 2009 Contributors

January 20, 2010

2009 ended in a blaze of training events, including the delivery and video-taping of 12 substantive law programs.  We wish to give special recognition to advocates in our community who are working hard to make high quality training available to legal services advocates and pro bono volunteers in New York.

With the outstanding help of Tom Karkau and Joe Kelemen at Western New York Law Center many of the trainings were video recorded and are now available through the On-line Resource Center.  These training can be accessed through the Empire Justice Training Center  Tom is a remarkable director, producer and editor of the training videos and also merits “road warrior” status for his work-related travel that, in the last three months of 2009, included stops in Albany, Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Bath and Long Island.  Joe has been a speed demon in getting all the videos up and a masterful webmaster maintaining the On-line Resource Center.  For example, the Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB) training program was posted one day after it was recorded.

Many thanks to Legal Assistance of Western New York which supported staff in developing and delivering the UIB training.  Trainers for the program were:

Phillip J. Barton
Chemung County Neighborhood Legal Services

Bethany Hamilton
Legal Assistance of Western New York

Jeffrey P. Nieznanski
Southern Tier Legal Services

Other members of the training team were:

Jeff Hogue
Legal Assistance of Western New York

Hannah Nezezon
Monroe County Legal Assistance Center

David B. Pels
Southern Tier Legal Services

Each member of the UIB training team provided extremely insightful help as the program developed.  Each gave freely of their time, energy and expertise in producing an excellent CLE training program.  And their contributions do not end with the training.  Hannah Nezezon recorded a series of public service announcements on what consumers need to know about Unemployment Insurance that will be available shortly. The training team also produced a video demonstrating how a UIB hearing is conducted.  After editing is completed that video can be used as part of administrative hearing skills training and other programs. Many thanks to the team members.

We know that each legal services organization in New York has outstanding staff with much to share with other legal services advocates.  In 2010 we hope to record these advocates talking about the issues and providing training in areas in which they have expertise and passion. Let us know who is out there and we will follow up.  Contact: Jerry Wein, or Michelle Peterson,



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