Jerry Delakas is a popular newsstand operator from Greenwich Village who has also been made famous by appearing in movies. According to legal filings, the city of New York has retained for free the law firm of Proskauer Rose to help it evict Delakas from the newsstand he has operated in Astor Place for the past quarter-century.
“This truly is David vs. Goliath,” said Gil Santamarina. Santamarina is a lawyer who is fighting to protect Delakas from eviction because he does not have a license, according to the New York Post. Delakas appeared in the movie ‘Sex and the City’ along with countless advertisements. He has been running the newsstand for 25 years by subleasing it from the family who has the license to operate.
When the Department of Consumer Affairs found out about this it began the eviction process. The process began when the family’s estate tried to renew the license so Delakas could stay in his familiar spot even after the final relative of the family died. Santamarina received a letter last week that told him the city was being represented by a lawyer from Proskauer Rose instead of a city attorney.
“So, Proskauer, a firm whose lawyers charge upwards of $800 per hour, is lending their legal services for free for the purposes of rending a 64-year-old man unemployed, jobless,” Santamarina said. “What this means is that while Proskauer could have used its pro- bono time toward protecting battered women or saving someone from execution, deportation or eviction. Instead, that time was taken up assisting the city in conducting an eviction!”
With Proskauer Rose joining the case, Delakas continues to suffer defeats in his cause to keep the newsstand alive. He has suffered multiple legal losses and has one chance left with the State Court of Appeals. A petition has been signed by 5,000 supporters asking to keep Delakas in his spot.
“I feel horrible, again,” Delakas said. “I did nothing wrong.”
A spokesperson for the city’s Law Department, said in a statement, “The city must decide who can operate newsstands in a fair and evenhanded way. The fact that Mr. Delakas flouted the rules for so long cannot — and should not — be the basis for denying another vendor an opportunity that’s rightfully his or hers. The lawyer handling the matter worked on it while part of the city’s Public Service Program for young attorneys before she left to go into private practice. It made complete sense for her to continue on the case given that she’d worked on it since its inception.”