Pro BOno Work

We at Petrillo Klein & Boxer LLP are committed to pro bono work on behalf of indigent litigants and we encourage all of our lawyers to undertake pro bono representations. Recent Firm pro bono matters include federal and state fair labor law actions, enforcement of New York City housing regulations, and criminal trial and appellate defense. We bring the same energy, dedication and resources to pro bono matters as we do to all Firm representations. Examples of our pro bono matters include the following:


We represented an adjudicated youthful offender seeking to expunge a DNA sample that he had submitted to law enforcement during the criminal investigation. In the Appellate Division, First Department, we challenged a trial court ruling denying the motion for expungement in an Article 78 proceeding. The appeal raised several questions of first impression regarding the State law governing the storage of DNA samples in New York. The Appellate Division, in a written opinion (2019 NY Slip Op 04120), agreed with our position that the State Executive Law extends to local DNA databanks and that the trial court had the discretion to expunge a youthful offender’s DNA profile from the database.


We successfully represented a citizen of a West African country in asylum proceedings, following his flight to the United States to escape torture by law enforcement agents, on account of his political opinion, in his home country. Two of our associates developed an extensive factual record, including expert testimony, submitted a legal brief, and represented our client at his asylum hearing. Following an interview by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, our client was granted asylum. Afterwards, we successfully secured derivative asylum for his wife and children abroad, who recently arrived in the U.S., reuniting with our client after a five-year separation.


We represented two individuals who worked as superintendents in several residential apartment buildings in Manhattan. Despite working more than 60 hours a week, our clients were not paid overtime, and we, along with The Legal Aid Society, filed and prosecuted a lawsuit in federal court alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law. Ultimately, we achieved a substantial settlement for our clients.

Domestic Worker Wage Violation

A Nepali domestic worker was brought to the U.S. in 2004 by a wealthy family on a domestic employee visa. For over nine years the employee worked for the family, and was paid significantly less than minimum wage, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law. After instituting litigation as co-counsel with The Legal Aid Society, our representation helped achieve a favorable settlement for the employee.

Criminal APpeal Based on Racial Discrimination

In collaboration with the Office of the Appellate Defender, we briefed and argued an appeal of a criminal conviction before the Appellate Division, First Department, on the basis of racial discrimination in jury selection.

Wage Recovery for Housekeeper

We represented an individual who worked for a married couple as a housekeeper at their three homes and provided cleaning services for their business. Despite working more than 40 hours a week for many years, our client was not paid overtime and, towards the end of her employment, the couple withheld payment entirely. We, along with The Legal Aid Society, filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law. After exchanging discovery and conducting depositions, we reached a favorable settlement with the defendants.  

Support on Sentencing Issues

We served as a defendant's co-counsel, with the U.S. Federal Defenders of New York, Southern District of New York, in the submission of a memorandum that addressed various district court sentencing issues.

Employment Termination of Store Employee

We, along with The Legal Aid Society, represented a non-English-speaking store employee in a civil action against his former employer. Our client was terminated because he requested sick leave due to a severe back injury, in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act and state and municipal statutes. We settled the matter after the close of discovery.

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