Legal Assistance for Environmental Disaster Recovery: Filing Claims with the Office of the NYC Comptroller(OnDemand)

Originally held on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 | 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Program Instructor:
Natalie Bump Vena
Assistant Professor, Department of Urban Studies, Queens College, CUNY

  • Between climate change and New York City’s aging infrastructure, disasters pose an increasing threat to New York City residents — particularly members of low-income environmental justice communities, many of whom lack the resources to pursue meaningful recovery. Members of the legal profession can play an important role in advancing New York City’s resiliency, by supporting fellow New Yorkers so they receive fair compensation for their disaster-related damages. This continuing legal education program will familiarize attorneys with how to represent clients who are filing water damage claims with the Office of the New York City Comptroller. Drawing on their experiences representing clients whose homes flooded with raw sewage after a municipal sewer pipe collapsed, lawyers from the South Ozone Park Sewage Legal Assistance Project will provide an overview of the City’s claims process and give practice tips for navigating each step.

    Program Fee:
    Free For Members | $50 For Nonmembers

  • Hayley Gorenbeg
    Legal Director, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

    Jenna Newmark
    Associate, Dechert LLP

    Vivian Prieto
    Associate, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

  • 12-12:15pm
    Introductions & Program Overview

    Summary of New York City claims process, overview of importance of pro bono representation in the claims process

    Hayley Gorenberg


    Filing a Notice of Claim

    Attorneys will learn how to file a notice of claim for water damage, including calculating pertinent deadlines.

    Vivian Prieto

    Presenting Evidence

    Attorneys will learn how to present the best evidence on behalf of their clients, including photographs, receipts, and estimates from licensed contractors.

    Vivian Prieto


    Representing Clients During 50 (h) Hearings and Amending Claims

    Attorneys will learn how to best represent clients during 50(h) hearings, which are essentially depositions conducted by attorneys contracted by the Office of the Comptroller. Attorneys will also learn ways of amending claims and how to request a client’s claim file and 50(h) hearing transcript.
    Jenna Newmark


    Negotiating Settlements

    Attorneys will see an example of an offer letter and learn how to ask for an extension for their clients to consider and to review the offers. Presenters will note NYC Administrative Code 7-203 which states the Comptroller is “governed by the rules of law and principles of equity which prevail in courts of justice” when settling claims. Attendees will also learn what to expect at the negotiation stage, including the extent to which Comptroller staff share methodologies for calculating offers.

    Hayley Gorenberg


    Motion Practice and Filing Complaints

    Attorneys will learn how to file a late notice of claim (through a 50 (e) motion) as well as how to commence a court action in the event a just settlement with the Office of the Comptroller cannot be reached. As part of this overview, attorneys will learn how to calculate the statute of limitations.

    Jenna Newmark


    1:25 – 1:30
    Question and Answer Session


  • New York: 1.5 Skills
    New Jersey: 1.8 General
    California: 1.5 General
    Pennsylvania: 1.5 General
    Connecticut: Available to Licensed Attorneys

  • Sponsoring Association Committee:
    Environmental Law, Bethany Davis Noll & L. Margaret Barry, Chairs
    Pro Bono & Legal Services,  Jessica M. Klein & Nicole L. Fidler, Chairs

    Sponsorship Opportunities are Available! Please Contact:
    Senior Director, Membership & Customer Relations | (212) 382-6685 |