Few towns in New Jersey were hit harder by Sandy than Hoboken. Homes, businesses and public infrastructure were flooded. Residents woke the morning after and saw the tops of cars barely showing above the turbid waters. It was an obvious site for VLJ's Disaster Legal Response Program. And we are happy to salute a lawyer instrumental in that program's success, Adam Budesheim, an associate at McCarter & English.
Since last December, Adam has served at four clinics in Hoboken, assisting 12 participants from the city and nearby areas. He also took one client for pro bono full representation -- a renter unable to get an insurer's response to a query about damage to her ceiling. Adam also has taken time to use his experience at the clinic to teach other McCarter & English lawyers who have joined the DLRP team. Adam said that when Sandy struck on October 29, it was clear to him immediately that victims seeking redress could benefit from what he knew.
He represents insurance policyholders exercising their rights to coverage under various types of insurance policies, including general liability, property, professional liability and directors and officers polices. Through Emily Goldberg, Pro Bono Director at McCarter & English, he became a VLJ volunteer.
"On a lot of these insurance issues I felt I could add value to the program by using experience I have from my day to day practice," Adam said. "It's what I do."
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. A householder might not know, for example, that coverage might be available for damage exacerbated by a non-functioning sump pump, Adam said. He also has advised participants on post-Sandy dealings with contractors. Like other volunteers in VLJ's 13-year history, Adam 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," he said. "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."
Adam Budesheim advising Sandy victim at Hoboken clinic
Jessica Limbacher, staff attorney with VLJ's Disaster Legal Response team says, "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. Adam has been an enormous contributor to the success of the Disaster Legal Response Program, and we are so lucky to have him as a volunteer."
Adam 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. Super Lawyers Magazine surveys recognized Adam as a New Jersey Rising Star in the legal profession from 2009 to 2013.