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July/August Volunteer Feature: The City Bar Justice Center Honors Danny Gomez for His Work On Behalf of Low-Income Seniors

The City Bar Justice Center is delighted to honor Daniel (Danny) Gomez of Verizon for his commitment to the Elderlaw Project. Danny became an Elderlaw Project volunteer in early 2008, and by the end of December of that year had spent over fifty hours providing pro bono legal services to five of the Project's clients.

"Danny is an excellent example of how volunteer attorneys can make a substantial difference in the lives of seniors," says Project Director Vivienne Duncan. "Whatever the situation, including the need for an attorney with language skills or to visit a homebound senior, he has answered the call. Through his patient counseling and assistance he has brought peace of mind to many seniors and their families."

(Pictured: Vivienne Duncan & Danny Gomez)

While assisting one disabled senior, Danny made allowances for the difficulties faced by the client. Having traveled from New Jersey for a meeting, he waited in vain for over an hour. He kept at it, however, and was able to complete the documents for his client. On another occasion he prepared a power of attorney for a 72-year-old Spanish speaking man who had experienced multiple strokes that left him with speech problems and
precarious health. In one recent case, Danny worked with two sisters in their 90s. After an initial home visit interview, the older sister had a heart attack and went to the hospital. Her sister and friends came to Danny to expedite matters because her condition was unstable. Danny made a Sunday visit to the hospital and drafted a much needed power of attorney for the client. Other matters were taken care of at home after the initial scare had passed.

"Some seniors are afraid of the legal process and the subject matter," says Danny, "so I have to be tactful when addressing subjects that may indeed be troubling. Some clients are quite sophisticated while others have trouble understanding what we are doing and I have to simplify things greatly. But I have to say," he continues, "that almost always the client is satisfied, relieved and thankful at the end of our transactions. I always walk away smiling. It's a great feeling."

Verizon has recognized Danny's work with the Elderlaw Project also. Through the Volunteer Incentive Program, Verizon gives $750 to any organization with which one of their employees has volunteered 50 hours within a year. Because of Danny's commitment to the Project, Verizon wrote a check to the City Bar Justice Center in support of the work he so cares about.

At Verizon Danny works in Network Operations where he troubleshoots sophisticated telecommunications systems. He had worked there for many years before he decided to go back to school and became a lawyer in 2001. "The pro bono work I do helps me keep my feet wet in the legal field and give back to a group that is often forgotten and neglected," he says. "If anyone is considering doing this kind of pro bono, I highly recommend it."

The City Bar Justice Center is incredibly grateful to Danny for his tireless work on behalf of low-income seniors, as well as to Verizon for its commitment to public service through the Volunteer Incentive Program. Many of the Elderlaw Project's clients are faced with difficult decisions while battling illness and infirmity, and Danny's calm patience and persistence has made an invaluable difference in the lives of his clients and their families.

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