Teamsters Local 237

Legal Services Plan

Local 237 has long been a pioneer in the field of legal services. In fact, Local 237 was one of the very first unions to set up its own legal services office. Since its creation in 1975, the Teamster Local 237 Legal Services Plan has assisted thousands of active members and retirees in the Citywide and Housing Divisions with their personal legal problems.

The Legal Services Plan represents members in a wide range of civil matters. These include domestic relations (Family Court proceedings, divorce and separation) purchase and sale of a primary residence, wills, adoptions, credit and consumer problems, tenant rights and bankruptcies. The Plan does not become involved in job-related disputes, since they are handled by other departments in the union. Representation can include consultation, legal research, drafting of documents and pleadings, negotiation on your behalf with you in court. Legal services are provided to you at little or no cost.

The Plan does not handle matters involving workers compensation claims, tax matters, criminal cases, matters involving an interest in a business, cases generally handled on a contingent fee basis (such as automobile and other accident claims), traffic violations, and cases that have already been commenced with an outside attorney.

The Legal Services Plan currently has nine attorneys who work full time to handle member's cases and answer their questions. Members can call schedule an appointment. If the member does not need an actual appointment, but only has a question, a staff attorney will try to assist the member over the telephone.

Contact: Phone (212) 924-1220 FAX: (212) 647-9421

Legal Services Staff

Mary E. Sheridan, Esq., Director msheridan@local237.org

Kenneth R. Perry, Esq., Deputy Director, kperry@local237.org

Sara N. Wagner, Esq., Assistant Director, swagner@local237.org

Rebecca J. Engel, Esq., Staff Attorney, rengel@local237.org

Jennifer E. Hudson, Esq., Staff Attorney,jhudson@local237.org

Jessica Levy, Esq., Staff Attorney, jlevy@local237.org

Mark A. Ward, Esq. Staff Attorney, mward@local237.org

Francisco Santiago, Esq., Staff Attorney, fsantiago@local237.org

Richard A. Robins, Esq., Staff Attorney, rrobins@local237.org

Israel Y. Levin, Esq., Staff Attorney, ilevin@local237.org

Amanda Colon, Paralegal, acolon@local237.org

 

Commonly Asked Questions

What can the Legal Services Plan do for me?

If you are an eligible member or retiree, a Plan attorney can handle a wide variety of civil matters for you. Representation generally includes consultation with you, legal research, drafting of documents and pleadings, negotiations on your behalf with adverse parties, and, in litigated cases, appearing with the member in court.

Will the Plan handle a problem involving my job?

No. Other personnel, business agents, Division Directors and Deputy Directors, will assist you with job related matters. The Legal Services Plan is designed to help members with legal disputes and transactions that involve matters outside the workplace.

Do I have to pay for Plan services?

You will only have to pay for services if you use more than 50 hours of legal services in a 12 month period. Generally, most cases can be concluded in far less than 50 hours. In all instances, however, members will be responsible for the first $150.00 of court filing fees and other miscellaneous costs such as process server fees. Under the recently instituted Litigation Benefit, the plan covers the next $500.00 of case-related costs.

Can the Legal Services Plan represent me in a matter outside New York State?

Generally not. The Plan is restricted to the greater New York metropolitan area and does not include New Jersey, Connecticut or Pennsylvania.

How do I arrange to see a Plan lawyer?

You simply call the Legal Services Plan at (212) 924-1220 and you will be given an appointment, provided you are eligible for services and your problem is a covered matter. On the date and time of your appointment, you will meet with a lawyer or a legal assistant at the Plan's offices in the Union Headquarters at 216 West 14th Street, New York, New York.

Do you know where I can get some legal advice about a problem not connected with the job?

Members should call the Legal Services Plan at (212) 924-1220 to see if the Plan can provide advice, representation or assistance.

 

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Oral History Project

Hercules Cornish: Caretaker J Stores Man

Herclules CornishHercules Cornish went to work for the Housing Authority as a caretaker J in 1952 and retired 24 years later as a stores worker. He died the year following this interview, which was conducted in June 1999.

Originally I was from Harlem, but when I came out of the service in 1945 my wife had moved to the Bronx, so I moved there, too. I went to work for the New York City Housing Authority in 1952.

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