The WCBA’s Community Recovery Task Force was created by WCBA President Wendy Marie Weathers, Esq. in April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating effect on Westchester County. President Weathers appointed WCBA Vice President Dolores Gebhardt, Esq. as Chair of the Task Force.
We are a cross-disciplinary team of volunteer WCBA attorneys and affiliated professionals offering guidance and solutions to the current challenges facing the legal community, first responders, the business community, and the citizens of Westchester County as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In keeping with the mission of the WCBA, our mission is to employ our resources to aid Westchester County to emerge from this crisis stronger than before it. The Community Recovery Task Force is composed of two distinct programs:
1. The Advance Directives for First Responders Program
This Program prepares advance directives (e.g., health care proxies, living wills, standby guardianship) for Westchester County “First Responders: volunteer firefighters, ambulance workers, and auxiliary police. Community Recovery Task Force volunteers meet with a corps of First Responders, explain the advance directives to them, and assist in completing the advance directives. The Advance Directives for First Responders Program is chaired by WCBA President-Elect James L. Hyer, Esq. and WCBA Treasurer Paul M. Millman, Esq.
2. The Economic Recovery Program
This Program consists of industry-specific guidance to assist those in those industries recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance, in the form of FAQs and links to government websites, is posted on the WCBA website. Since the creation of the Community Recovery Task Force, the number of areas of industry-specific guidance has increased to include:
a) Labor and Employment (including unemployment, workers’ compensation, termination of employment, paid family leave, and OSHA), chaired by Kim Berg, Esq. and Kyle McGovern, Esq.;
b) Landlord/Tenant, chaired by Brian Cohen, Esq.;
c) Small Business (including Business Interruption Insurance), chaired by Jonathan Engel, Esq.;
d) Hospitality, chaired by Russell Yankwitt, Esq. and Dina Hamerman, Esq.