K&F has a long history of helping the underserved through pro bono legal work. COVID-19’s devastating impact has further solidified that commitment. K&F attorneys provide pro bono representation in a wide variety of practice areas, including:
- Representing indigent taxpayers in tax controversies with the IRS through:
- The Exonerees' Tax Assistance Network, in partnership with After Innocence;
- Virginia Community Tax Law Project;
- New York County Lawyers Association: Responding to Tax Court “calendar calls.”
- Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, University of Michigan Law School
- Served as expert witness at New York State Tax Appeals Tribunal hearing on a pro bono matter involving allegedly unpaid sales tax.
Compassionate Release under the First Step Act:
- Working, through the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, to secure a compassionate release order from the federal court in Nebraska for a prison inmate facing COVID-19 risks.
- Working, through the Safe Passage Project, to obtain asylum for an 18-year-old who escaped gang violence in El Salvador.
Outside General Counsel:
- K&F provides general legal advice to Campus Compact, a not-for-profit organization that seeks to advance the public purposes of over 1,000 colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility.
Land Use Litigation:
- K&F has successfully defended a synagogue’s receipt of a zoning variance to support its construction of an annex to promote its religious and not-for-profit mission.
Amicus Curiae Briefs:
- Submitted an amicus brief to New York’s highest court on behalf of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers (NYCDL). The Court endorsed the NYCDL’s position that a juror’s serious misconduct (including sending and receiving numerous text messages during deliberations, and then lying about it) entitled the defendant to a new trial.
- Submitted an amicus brief for the American College of Tax Counsel (ACTC) to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on the question whether only one $10,000 penalty applies per year to a non-willful failure to timely file an accurate Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), or whether the penalty applies to each unreported foreign account.
- Submitted an amicus brief to New York’s highest court for various friends of the court supporting the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission’s “Taxi of Tomorrow” rules. The Court unanimously agreed with the position we presented.
Law Firm Anti-Racism Alliance:
- In July 2020, Kostelanetz & Fink joined forces with other law firms across the country in combating systemic racism as part of the new Law Firm Anti-Racism Alliance (LFAA), which will provide pro bono counsel in concert with legal services organizations and other stakeholders focused on identifying and combating systemic racism. More information here.