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Day Pitney LLP has announced that Michael Fialkoff, Douglas Florence and Elizabeth Retersdorf are recipients of the firm’s 2020 Coleman Awards, which recognize exemplary service and dedication to pro bono work. This year’s Coleman Award winners dedicated a combined 460 hours to pro bono service.

The Coleman Awards are presented annually by Day Pitney to legal professionals whose commitment to pro bono and public service exemplify the highest ideals of the legal profession and preserve the legacy of former partner Cyril Coleman. Coleman served many public institutions, including as the mayor of Hartford, CT for two terms, and was known for his dignity, sound judgment and integrity.

“Pro bono work is a cornerstone of Day Pitney’s practice, and we are thrilled to recognize Mike, Doug and Elizabeth for their outstanding service and contributions,” said Theresa Kelly, chair of Day Pitney’s Pro Bono Committee.

2020 Coleman Award Recipients

Michael L. Fialkoff, an associate in the firm’s Parsippany office, successfully litigated a matter in which the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled in favor of our pro bono client, finding that indigent defendants have a right to counsel in administrative child abuse proceedings. The case marked the first time that the courts have recognized a right to counsel in administrative proceedings in New Jersey.

Douglas S. Florence, a paralegal in the firm’s Parsippany office, has devoted hundreds of hours to Day Pitney’s SCARC Guardianship Services program, which was developed in partnership with SCARC Guardianship Services to provide pro bono legal services for allegedly incapacitated young adults. To date, Day Pitney has handled 175 SCARC matters.

Elizabeth P. Retersdorf, a counsel in the firm’s Hartford office, has taken the lead role handling a pro bono litigation matter that challenges the constitutionality of the Connecticut Department of Corrections’ ban on materials in the prison system. Retersdorf developed our team’s case strategy and presented the case at trial, seeking to protect the civil rights of incarcerated persons.

About Day Pitney

Day Pitney LLP is a full-service law firm with more than 300 attorneys in Boston, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C. The firm offers clients strong corporate and litigation practices, with experience on behalf of large national and international corporations as well as emerging and middle-market companies. With one of the largest individual clients practices on the East Coast, the firm also has extensive experience helping individuals and their families, fiduciaries and tax-exempt entities plan for the future.