Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ) of Newark, N.J. has named Adam Budesheim, Esq., an associate with McCarter & English, as its "Volunteer Attorney of the Month." A resident of Pequannock, Budesheim has been instrumental in the success of VLJ's Disaster Legal Response Program (DLRP), which provides pro bono assistance to New Jersey residents who have incurred legal problems directly related to Superstorm Sandy. Since last December, Budesheim has volunteered at four clinics in Hoboken, assisting 12 participants from the city and nearby areas.
"So many of the walk-in clients at clinics have expressed to me how grateful they were after meeting with Adam. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable when it comes to Sandy-related insurance issues, but he is also incredibly patient, understanding, and eager to help, which is greatly appreciated by the individuals with whom he speaks," said Jessica Limbacher, Esq., staff attorney with VLJ's DLRP. "Adam has been an enormous contributor to the success of our Disaster Legal Response Program, and we are so lucky to have him as a volunteer."
Budesheim's commitment to VLJ extends far beyond volunteering at the clinics. He devotes his time to mentor other McCarter & English lawyers who have joined the DLRP team. In addition, he took a client for pro bono full representation who was unable to get an insurer's response to a query about damage to her ceiling.
McCarter & English is a longtime, generous supporter of VLJ. In his practice at McCarter, Budesheim frequently represents insurance policyholders exercising their rights to coverage under various types of insurance policies. Those include general liability, property, professional liability and directors and officers policies.
Insurance problems have been at the top of Sandy victims' woes. Beyond the broad question of whether coverage exists are a host of small ones. "On a lot of these insurance issues, I felt I could add value to VLJ's program by using experience I have from my day-to-day practice. It's what I do," said Budesheim.
Like other volunteers in VLJ's 13-year history, Budesheim has learned that pro bono service can be good for professional advancement. "Although most of the Sandy victims visiting the clinics had similar insurance issues and similar flood damage, many faced problems with unique elements," added Budesheim. "Talking with the Sandy victims and helping them work through the key issues they were facing has broadened my own professional experience in ways that have been applicable and beneficial to my clients that have Sandy-related insurance concerns."
Budesheim graduated from Seton Hall University in 2001 and Harvard Law School in 2004. He clerked for 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge William H. Pryor Jr. From 2009 to 2013, Budesheim was recognized as a New Jersey Rising Star in the legal profession by Super Lawyers Magazine.
A state-wide 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, VLJ works to ensure fair and equal treatment within the legal system. Programs include free legal counsel and advice, educational seminars on various legal matters, and direct representation for at-risk individuals facing critical civil legal issues. VLJ's DLRP features free clinics, extended representation and a statewide hotline.