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Several Area Attorneys Offering Free Representation

Several area attorneys are offering free legal representation to anyone who faces a criminal charge for attending a Memorial Day observance.

Attorneys from both the Jamestown Bar Association and the Northern Chautauqua County Bar Association have offered free legal representation to those attending Memorial Day Services, including Daryl Brautigam, Andrew Brautigam, Phil Cala, Peter Clark, Andrew Goodell, Craig Jackson, Andrew Kehrer, Andrew Molitor, Avery Olson, Pete Pillitieri, Jason Schmidt, Dale Robbins, Neil Robinson, Paul Webb Jr. and Paul Webb, III. Other attorneys may provide the same representation upon request.

To be eligible for free legal representation, the person must have been arrested in connection with a recognized Memorial Day service in Chautauqua County, acted in a respectful manner, wore a mask or practiced social distancing, and acted in a lawful manner.

The offer does not apply to anyone who was merely attending an informal social party or other gathering or was engaged in any other criminal activity. In a news release, the attorneys emphasized that everyone should comply with all reasonable health and safety guidelines to ensure that there are no new cases resulting from any Memorial Day activities.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said earlier this week that the state will allow Memorial Day ceremonies with up to 10 people despite statewide lockdown rules. Ceremonies marking the Monday holiday with 10 or fewer people will be allowed by the state, but at the discretion of local governments, Cuomo said. Nonessential gatherings have been barred in New York since March, but the governor said honoring the sacrifices of military members is an “important tradition.”

Localities can also stage vehicle parades, which have become more popular during the pandemic.

“This is important to many, many families all across this state,” the governor said at his daily briefing. “It’s important to the veterans that they be recognized, and I think we can do that, and I think we can do it safely.”

A Cuomo aide said the rule applies to traditional activities like wreath layings and that social distance rules will still apply.

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