September 1, 2011: Andrew Finkelstein Reflects on How the Firm Helped Victims of 9/11

superlawyers.com —The morning of the attacks, Finkelstein had a meeting scheduled for 9:30 at his firm’s Manhattan office. “My office was actually right across the street, 222 Broadway,” he says. “It overlooks the World Trade Center. I heard an announcement on the radio that there was a significant event, and it wasn’t really clear other than a plane went into the building.” Instead of going to the meeting, Finkelstein went to one of his other offices and watched the reports on television. “I spoke with the people in my Manhattan office who were on the 18th floor, literally watching the plane go into the second building. … It was just a devastating day,” he says.
 
Finkelstein went to work immediately, helping with the initial structuring of TLC. “We designated captains in each region, of which I was one,” he says. “And each captain would go to the attorneys who volunteered their services and call them and ask them if they could handle this particular matter.”
 
Finkelstein also took on cases for the organization, representing the families of two men who lost their lives. “One was a New Jersey gentleman, a 35-year-old married man with no children,” Finkelstein says. “He was an IT consultant, up on the 96th floor of World Trade Center 1. The plane struck 10 floors below where he was, and his body was never recovered.” Finkelstein recovered almost $3.7 million for the man’s widow and parents, and, like other TLC attorneys, received no fees for recovering the award.
 
Finkelstein’s other client was the family of a union laborer from Ireland. “He was married, also 35, and left a pregnant wife and two young boys behind,” Finkelstein says. “After this tragedy, his wife went back to Ireland with their two children and gave birth to the third boy.” Finkelstein obtained $2.2 million for the family. He receives cards from them every year.
 
“America is a great country that gives their people—and recognizes—so many individual rights that most other countries don’t allow their citizenry to have,” Finkelstein says. “I was always cognizant of the fact that if this happened in other countries, the government would not step up and provide compensation to family members as our government did. Being the vehicle for these gentlemen’s voices was very much a matter of great pride.”

Dear Friends and Clients,

In furtherance of our firm’s culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP