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Federal Practice and Social Security Disability Appeals 2012


Speaker(s): Anne K. Callagy, Jocelyne Martinez, Kyla L. Ratliff, Larissa Eustice, Louis S. Sartori, Marie I. Mombrun, Marie Richardson
Recorded on: Mar. 20, 2012
PLI Program #: 37199

Larissa A. Eustice is a member of the firm's Products Liability group and focuses her practice on mass-tort pharmaceutical product liability litigation. Ms. Eustice is an integral member of a national, multi-firm "virtual" law firm representing AstraZeneca in parallel federal MDL and state court proceedings. Ms. Eustice is a member of both national coordinating counsel teams and trial teams, and has played a key role in all phases of the litigation process, including motion practice, discovery, and deposition and trial preparation. Ms. Eustice has supervised and coordinated large-scale, crossborder e-discovery, in which documents and complex, tructured datasets were collected, reviewed, and produced. Ms. Eustice also has experience briefing dispositive motions and jury charges , and has played a significant role in coordinating trial strategy and preparing witnesses across all aspects of the MDL and state litigations.

Ms . Eustice is also extensively involved in the firm's pro bono program. Among other types of pro bono work, she co-chairs the firm's award-winning Social Security Disability Pro Bono Project, and has personally represented and/or supervised the representation of 31 pro bono clients seeking Social Security disability benefits. Ms. Eustice recently received the Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Award for Outstanding Service to the Society in recognition of her advocacy on behalf of low-income disabled clients.


“YES! We can help with that.”

Across the top of the whiteboard hanging in Lou Sartori’s office are the watchwords of Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Practice. Whether through individual representation of an at-risk client, answering calls on the Access to Benefits Helpline, or bringing groundbreaking civil rights litigation, the Pro Bono Practice provides over two thousand volunteers from major New York City law firms with training, supervision and mentorship which allow them to deliver life changing legal assistance to a multitude of Legal Aid clients each year.

Prior to joining the Pro Bono Practice, Lou was the Attorney-in-Charge of the Society's Manhattan and Staten Island Juvenile Rights Practice offices, supervising staff representing thousands of court involved youth and oversaw the initiation of programs focusing on literacy and the needs of adolescents transitioning from foster care. He previously served on the First Department Family Court Advisory Committee and was an Adjunct Professor at St. John's University School of Law. A frequent presenter at the ABA’s Equal Justice and other national conferences, Lou also co-chairs the Practicing Law Institute’s annual Ethical Issues in Pro Bono Representation program. Lou is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Pro Bono Coordinators Network, The Public Interest Pro Bono Association (PIPBA), and the New York City Bar Association Committee on Pro Bono and Legal Services.

Since his appointment as Director in 2011, Lou has worked closely with Society staff in developing pro bono projects benefitting trafficking survivors, senior citizens, immigrants, LGBT communities and residents of public housing. Increased participation by attorneys from in-house legal departments and other corporate professionals helped expand the number of clients served. As a result, each week Legal Aid staff call with new ideas and requests for assistance. The answer is always the same:

“YES! We can help with that.”


Anne Callagy has been at The Legal Aid Society since 1993. From 1993 – 2007, she was a staff attorney in the neighborhood offices in Staten Island, Brooklyn and the Bronx in the areas of housing and public benefits.  Since 2007, she has been the Supervising Attorney for the government benefits unit in The Legal Aid Society's Bronx Neighborhood Office. Since 2017 she has also been the Director of the Government Benefits Practice at Legal Aid. Ms. Callagy trains and supervises legal services and pro bono attorneys in government benefits practice, including Social Security disability benefits hearings and appeals. Ms. Callagy taught as an adjunct professor in the Urban Law Clinic at New York Law School during 2006-2007.  She graduated from Boston College and the New York University School of Law. 


Jocelyne Martinez is a Supervising Attorney for the Government Benefits unit in the Brooklyn Neighborhood Office of The Legal Aid Society's Civil Practice.  Ms. Martinez is co-coordinator of the Society's city-wide disability law practice.  In her current position, Ms. Martinez supervises both attorneys and case handling paralegals that assist and represent clients with issues regarding the improper application of the regulations relating to the application, continuance and/or termination of their public assistance benefits and disability benefits.  Ms. Martinez has been in the Society since 1990 and was a staff attorney in the Housing, Benefits, Consumer Law and Family Law units.  Ms. Martinez graduated from St. John's University and Georgetown Law Center.


Kyla L. Ratliff is a Senior Staff Attorney at Legal Services of the Hudson Valley.  Prior to joining LSHV in December 2013, she worked at The Legal Aid Society in the areas of housing and public benefits.  While at The Legal Aid Society, she assisted in affirmative litigation including Jiggetts v. Dowling (adequacy of shelter allowances for families in NYC), Doe v. Doar (SSI budgeting for families receiving public assistance) and Lovely H. v. Eggleston (right to reasonable accommodations for disabled public assistance recipients).  Ms. Ratliff graduated from the City University of New York School of Law.


Marie Mombrun is a staff attorney in the Disability Advocacy Program of The Legal Aid Society.  Since 2002, Marie has represented disabled claimants in administrative proceedings and affirmative litigation.  She engages in community outreach and education to individuals, local community-based organizations, education and disability advocates and pro bono lawyers.  In 2012, Marie’s practice expanded to include advocacy for disabled children in administrative hearings and proceedings at the New York City Department of Education. She counsel clients on Education Law and represents parents of disabled children at special education committee meetings, resolution conferences and hearings. Prior to joining the Disability Advocacy Program, Marie represented tenants in various stages of housing litigation in New York City.  Marie is a graduate of Rutgers University Newark School of Law and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University.


Marie Richardson is a Supervisor at The Legal Aid Society in New York City. She is currently working at the Civil Practice's Bronx office. She has worked in various capacities throughout her twenty year career with The Legal Aid Society, including handling social security appeals. She previously served as the Managing Attorney for The Legal Aid Society's Civil Practice as well as the Director of Training for the Civil Practice.  Marie is a graduate of New York Law School.