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Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC

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Sahn Ward Attorneys Robert Abiuso and Ralph Branciforte Recognized for Public Interest Service by Touro Law Center

Robert Abiuso (left) and Ralph Branciforte (right) display their Public Interest Attorney of the Year awards during Touro Law Center’s 22nd Annual Goods and Services Auction on March 16.

Robert Abiuso, Counsel with the Firm, and Ralph Branciforte, an Associate with the Firm, were selected as Touro Law Center's 2016 Public Interest Attorneys of the Year. Mr. Abiuso and Mr. Branciforte were recognized with the other honorees at a special awards ceremony held during the law school’s 22nd Annual Goods and Services Auction on March 16. The Public Interest Attorney of the Year program recognizes attorneys for their commitment and dedication to performing pro bono work for the good of the public.

Mr. Abiuso has been providing pro bono legal services through Catholic Charities, the Knights of Columbus and the American Legion, as well as other civic and charitable organizations. Using his background in real estate law and transactions, he assists family members and friends who are "underwater" on their mortgages. In addition, he provided legal counsel to help restore the Vietnam Memorial Monument in Queens.

Mr. Branciforte served in a pro bono capacity as an Assistant District Attorney for the Nassau County District Attorney and successfully argued an appeal in People v. Valery before the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department. The defendant, who was caught by two police officers burglarizing a Nassau County residence, appealed his convictions for burglary in the first degree, attempted robbery in the second and third degree, resisting arrest, and assault in the second degree. The Second Department affirmed all convictions, except for the lesser included offense of attempted robbery in the third degree.

This case was the second matter that Mr. Branciforte handled in a pro bono capacity for the District Attorney's Office. He previously participated in the program in 2014.

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