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Area attorneys lend support for Memorial Day

Reflecting deep respect to veterans and the sacrifices they made to protect Constitutional freedoms, several attorneys across Chautauqua County have offered to defend for free anyone arrested for exceeding the size restrictions imposed by state Gov. Andrew Cuomo for Memorial Day services.

Cuomo this week announced that people could attend Memorial Day services as long as there were no more than 10 people in attendance. Last week, Cuomo announced that beaches could be opened to thousands of people on Memorial Day, limited to 50% of capacity.

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.

Throughout Memorial Day weekend, Walmart and other stores will have hundreds of people inside. Imposing an arbitrary limit of only 10 people for an outdoor Memorial Day service honoring veterans raises several serious Constitutional issues, including freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, due process, and equal protection.

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.

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.

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