The Suffolk Pro Bono Project is very pleased to honor Richard F. Artura, for a second time, as its Pro Bono Attorney of the Month. Mr. Artura has accepted nearly 70 pro bono Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases since joining the Project in 2004! His level of generosity and constant dedication to pro bono work is truly inspiring and most deserving of this honor.
Richard Artura is a named partner at Phillips, Weiner, Artura & Cox, in Lindenhurst, N.Y. The firm practices divorce, criminal, personal injury, real estate and bankruptcy law. He joined the firm five years ago, bringing to their legal practice his consumer bankruptcy expertise. Approximately twenty percent of his practice is bankruptcy litigation. His clients are typically working class or considerably low-income individuals who have incurred substantial consumer debt.
Mr. Artura obtained his undergraduate degree from Hofstra University, an MBA from Penn State, and his law degree from St. John’s University. Artura has been practicing consumer bankruptcy law since graduating from St. John’s in 1985.
A firm believer in giving back to the community, Mr. Arutura is not only a stalwart contributor to the Suffolk Pro Bono Project, but also volunteers at Touro Law Center’s Bankruptcy Clinic. Additionally, he provides substantially reduced-fee services to those clients in his private practice who cannot afford his usual fee. Artura often represents individuals with physical or mental disabilities. Asked why he devotes such a substantial amount of his time to pro bono and reduced fee legal work, Mr. Artura responded “ I feel for many of the clients I encounter - - some of them the poorest of the poor. It’s rewarding to know I’m providing assistance to them.”
Mr. Artura describes the local bankruptcy bar as “an amazing group of people,” and considers most of the attorneys his good friends. Artura discovered just how kind and supportive his bankruptcy colleagues are, when he recently was hospitalized for three months. He described how many of his colleagues continually called during his leave of absence to see how he was, and how several voluntarily covered his cases without ever accepting payment from Artura for their time. Artura is grateful to the many judges, clerks, and trustees in the Bankruptcy Court as well, who were also extremely understanding and accommodating during his three month leave. Mr. Artura and his wife, Bridget have two sons, Jared and Brandon. Jared recently graduated from Touro Law Center. Brandon attends SUNY Plattsburgh, where he studies international business. When not working or spending time with his family and friends, Artura can be found restoring his classic 1965 Mustang.
In light of the continuous, outstanding work Richard Artura has done for the Project, we are very pleased to recognize him as the Pro Bono Attorney of the Month.
The Suffolk Pro Bono Project is a joint effort of Nassau Suffolk Law Services, the Suffolk County Bar Association and the Suffolk County Pro Bono Foundation, who, for many years, have joined resources toward the goal of providing free legal assistance to Suffolk County residents who are dealing with economic hardship. Nassau Suffolk Law Services is a non profit civil legal services agency, receiving federal ,state and local funding to provide free legal assistance to Long Islanders, primarily in the areas of benefits advocacy, homelessness prevention (foreclosure and eviction defense), access to health care, and services to special populations such as domestic violence victims, disabled, and adult home resident. The provision of free services is prioritized based on financial need and funding is often inadequate in these areas. Furthermore, there is no funding for the general provision of matrimonial or bankruptcy representation, therefore the demand for pro bono assistance is the greatest in these areas. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Ellen Krakow, Esq. 631 232-2400 x 3323.