Marathon Monday Update: BBA on the Road

With a strict June 15th deadline, BBA volunteer attorneys worked tirelessly to help marathon bombing victims fill out One Fund claims. Our volunteer attorneys helped 14 victims complete One Fund claims, even conducting three home visits to meet with those who are still recovering from physical injuries and are unable to leave home. We touched base with one of those volunteers, David Clancy (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP), to learn why lawyers are uniquely qualified to aid victims:
 

“The One Fund form seems simple at first glance, but in reality it isn't easy, and help from a lawyer is very valuable. Among other things the process involves gathering existing medical information, deciding whether more information needs to be specially requested, clearly and accurately describing the injuries, getting the submission notarized (a practical problem, especially for someone isn't mobile), and potentially an interview with the fund administrator. In addition, there are indirectly-related issues that can be unclear and concerning to people, such as how a claim through the Massachusetts Violent Crime Compensation Fund relates to a claim through the One Fund.”

With almost 250 claims filed and about $50 million dollars available for distribution by the One Fund, the need for a strong application is critical. Volunteer attorneys have advocated for the victims by helping them put together a strong application outlining their injuries and their need for monetary assistance. The One Fund forms prioritize claims based on the severity of injuries and break the injuries down into four categories. Volunteer attorneys helped victims make a strong case for support.

David, with the help of his summer associate Emily Jennings, assisted two victims with the One Fund claims process, including a home visit to one victim. After this experience, David highlighted the importance of the BBA's involvement in this process:

"It's great that BBA offered assistance with One Fund claims. The BBA’s involvement reduces the burden for people who do not need yet another thing to worry about, and gives them confidence that everything is in order on an issue that is very important to them and their families."

Vanessa Pompei-Britt (Ropes & Gray LLP) also visited the home of a victim to help complete a One Fund application. She attributes her personal experiences at the marathon to her strong desire to help:

“I was on Boylston Street waiting for my sister to finish the Marathon when the bombs exploded. When I finally found my sister, she had been stopped at the corner of Commonwealth and Mass Ave. It was an incredibly emotional experience to say the least. I have felt so grateful that my sister, my brother-in-law (who was supposed to be at the finish line waiting for her) and I were okay, but I was utterly heartbroken to learn of all the pain and suffering that had been inflicted on so many other people. Helping one victim submit her claim to the One Fund seemed like the very least that I could do. I truly wish I could do more.”

Many attorneys will be accompanying claimants to a personal interview with Ken Feinberg to advocate on their behalf.  Even though the One Fund deadline has passed, the BBA’s Lawyer Referral Service continues to receive calls from victims and small businesses seeking legal assistance.