Senators Hassell-Thompson and Sampson Hold Public Hearings To Address IOLA’s Funding Crisis

Ruth Hassell-Thompson

December 8, 2009

New Yorkers Facing Mounting Legal Crises 

Meet Senate Leaders 

 (New York, NY)-Committed to meeting the needs of individuals and families facing foreclosure, and other civil legal issues, New York State Senators John Sampson and Ruth Hassell-Thompson will be holding a joint hearing on Wednesday, December 9 in Manhattan to explore the devastating and long lasting effects on New Yorkers who rely on civil legal services that may no longer have access to them due to the financial crisis that the New York State Interest On Lawyer Account Fund (IOLA) is facing.  

Testimony will be heard exploring the dire need for funding to IOLA, which due to the economic recession and drop in interest rates is experiencing a dramatic loss in funding.  The IOLA Fund, in existence since 1983, is used as a means to provide additional financial support to civil legal service organizations.  The money is used to provide legal representation to people in dire circumstances who are facing, foreclosure actions, unemployment hearings, landlord tenant eviction proceedings, domestic violence, Social Security Disability, fair hearings and many other legal actions. 

Additional hearings will be held on Wednesday, December 16 in Buffalo and Thursday, January 7, 2010 in Albany. 


·         Senate Majority Conference Leader,  John Sampson, Chair of the Judiciary Committee

·         Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Chair of the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction and Conference Chairwoman

·         Senator Eric Schneiderman, Chair of the Codes Committee

·         Senator Liz Krueger, Vice-Chair of Senate Finance Committee and the Chair of the Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform

·         Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Chair of the Committee of Children and Families

·         Honorable Anne Pfau, Chief Administrative Judge of New York State

·         Christopher O’Malley, Esq., Executive Director IOLA

·         Benito Romano, Esq., Chair of IOLA

·         Stephen Younger, Esq., President Elect of the NYS Bar Association

·         Victor Kovner, Esq., Chair of the Fund for Modern Courts

·         Steven Banks, Esq., Attorney in Chief of the Legal Aid Society

·         Deborah Wright, Esq., President Association of Legal Aid Attorneys

·         Adriene Holder, Esq., Attorney- in-Charge of the Civil Practice Division of the Legal Aid Society

·         Andrew Scherer, Esq., Executive Director and President of Legal Services NYC

·         Christopher Lamb, Esq., Executive Director MFY / L.E.A.P.

·         David Udell, Esq., Program Director of the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice

·         Dr. Divine Pryor, Director of Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions at Medgar Evers College

·         Susan Lerner, Executive Director Common Cause/NY

·         Richard Revesz, Dean of New York University Law School

·         Lisa Philp, Vice President Global Foundations Group, J.P. Morgan Private Bank

·         Other leaders from legal, academic, business, government and community groups

·         Civil Legal Service Clients 


New York University Law School

Vanderbilt Hall, Greenberg Lounge

40 Washington Square South 


 Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 11:00 A.M.