Volunteer Recognition for Work in Human Trafficking

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

  • City Bar Justice Center

City Bar Justice Center Honors Greenberg Traurig: for their outstanding work on human trafficking with the CBJC Immigrant Women and Children Project

The City Bar Justice Center would like to express its appreciation for the tireless legal work of Greenberg Traurig attorneys Bill Silverman, Sara Schneider, Julia Rogawski and Rachel Izower. The tenacious Greenberg Traurig team is currently representing a client of the Immigrant Women and Children Project, who is a victim of labor trafficking, in a civil litigation claim against her traffickers. This client was forced to work without pay as a domestic servant and nanny for eight years. The couple that enslaved this client created a climate of fear that made her feel it was impossible to leave the situation. She was subjected to severe physical and verbal abuse, threats of arrest and incarceration, and false promises of educational opportunities all as a means to force her to continue to work at extreme hours without pay.

A victim of human trafficking does not always have control over whether prosecutors choose to pursue a criminal case against an identified trafficker. Absent an effort from criminal prosecutors to investigate and/or prosecute the crime, civil litigation is often the only mechanism that allows a victim of trafficking to confront the trafficker. It has been no easy task for the Greenberg Traurig team to untangle the legal complexities of this client’s case. While the civil litigation is in the discovery phase, Greenberg Traurig has thus far filed a compelling complaint seeking compensatory and punitive damages, obtained crucial evidence from the opposing party, and brilliantly strategized discovery to be obtained from non-parties. Although the civil litigation cannot undo the harm done to this client, it at least offers the opportunity for justice, healing, and empowerment to this client. Bill Silverman, Sara Schneider, Julia Rogawski and Rachel Izower of Greenberg Traurig deserve much recognition for their dedication and hard work. This client, as well as the City Bar Justice Center Immigrant Women and Children Project, are fortunate to have them as advocates and are grateful for their partnership with the City Bar Justice Center.