News 30 Jul. 2019

Curtis Lawyers Recognized for Pro Bono Work by Puerto Rico Ombudswoman Iris Miriam Ruiz

On Monday, July 29, the Ombudswoman of Puerto Rico, Iris Miriam Ruiz, visited the firm to present a resolution of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico recognizing Partner Hermann Ferré and associates Juan Perla and Robert Groot for their pro bono efforts to bring equal rights to the residents of Puerto Rico in the case United States v. Vaello-Madero. Ombudswoman Ruiz also thanked the other members of the Curtis team who have worked on the case at different stages, including Joshua Hershman and Andrew Larkin.

Earlier this year, the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico ruled in favor of Curtis client, Jose Luis Vaello Madero, and held that excluding U.S. citizens from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits under the Social Security Act based solely on their status as residents of a U.S. territory violated the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment. That decision is currently on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.