first_img Bar establishes charitable trust Bar establishes charitable trust January 1, 2002 Regular Newscenter_img As Joseph A. Mendola, general counsel for Nikko Securities Co. International, which had its offices in the World Trade Center, put it:“What we went through. . . was horrific. The sights and sounds will never leave me. I just wanted to thank you and all my Florida Bar colleagues for their prayers and good wishes. Our hearts may be broken but our spirit remains strong.”It’s that sentiment that the Bar is seeking to enhance with the Florida Attorneys Charitable Trust, Inc. (ACT), which has finished its organizing phase as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit concern and is now accepting contributions.Bar President Terry Russell told the Board of Governors recently he hopes to raise $1 million, which will be used to help attorneys, their families, and others in the wake of the September 11 attacks, and any future such incidents. It will also ensure that rights and access to the legal system are not impacted by such events. The Bar is experienced with such an endeavor, he said, because of its efforts after Hurricane Andrew 10 years ago and the ValueJet crash in the Everglades.In a letter to Bar members seeking contributions, Russell said, “ACT has been formed as a disaster relief fund offering Florida attorneys an avenue for donations for aid and assistance following disasters which cause the disruption of legal processes and court systems or which result in reduced citizen access to the legal system and the pursuit of justice. ACT will help fellow attorneys as well as victims and their families in the aftermath of a disaster.”Russell also announced that he was appointing President-elect Tod Aronovitz to the ACT Board of Directors. Other members will include the Young Lawyers Division president and president-elect, the president and president-elect of The Florida Bar Foundation, and the chair of the Bar’s Council of Sections, he said.Contributions, made payable to the Florida Attorneys Charitable Trust, Inc., may be sent to Executive Director John F. Harkness, Jr., The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahasee 32399-2300.last_img