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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Professor J.L. Pottenger Jr. ’75 to Receive Award from The Connecticut Fair Housing Center

The Connecticut Fair Housing Center, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people have equal access to housing opportunities in Connecticut, will award its George and Patricia Ritter Pro Bono Award to Yale Law School Professor J.L. Pottenger Jr. ’75 at the Center’s Civil Rights Award Dinner on May 29.

Pottenger is the Nathan Baker Clinical Professor of Law and Supervising Attorney at Yale Law School. He teaches clinics on housing and community development, mortgage foreclosure litigation, legislative advocacy, trial practice, landlord/tenant law, prosecution externship, and professional responsibility.

The George and Patricia Ritter Pro Bono Award is presented to individuals and law firms that have assisted the Center’s legal staff on important cases in recent years or otherwise contributed their time and talent to the Center. In addition to Professor Pottenger, this year’s awardees include Covington & Burling LLP, Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider LLP, and Dan Burns of Burns & Nguyen LLP.

Pottenger, who runs Yale Law School’s Mortgage Foreclosure Litigation Clinic, has taken the vast majority of the Connecticut Fair Housing Center’s pro bono foreclosure referrals since 2011. According to the Center, his work on those cases, and on other important cases, includes: an appeal that could significantly improve homeowners’ ability to bring counterclaims against negligent mortgage servicers; a groundbreaking post-foreclosure case alleging wrongful foreclosure; and a groundbreaking case asserting wrongful conduct during the modification evaluation process.

“Professor Pottenger has consistently gone beyond the call of duty as both a pro bono attorney and a clinical supervisor,” the Center’s managing attorney said. “In both their casework and their several stints volunteering at the New Haven courthouse’s foreclosure advice table, he and his students have directly helped dozens of homeowners.”

The Mortgage Foreclosure Litigation Clinic has filed amici briefs in the Supreme Courts of Maine and North Carolina, and the California Appellate Court, this academic year. The Landlord-Tenant Clinic, which is also supervised by Pottenger, filed an amicus in the Connecticut Supreme Court last year. Students (and/or clients) from both clinics have presented legislative testimony as well.