News from and about Ukraine & Ukrainians: Ukrainian Community Press Releases
BRAMA, January 17, 2001, 10:00am EST
Ukrainian American lawyer receives Presidential recognition
NEW YORK - Attorney Myroslaw Smorodsky received high honors from the President of Ukraine last week for his efforts on behalf of the victims of the forced labor policies of Nazi Germany during WWII. At an informal ceremony on Wednesday January 10, Acting Consul General of Ukraine Sergey Pohorel'tsev read a congratulatory letter signed by the President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma. The letter (dated 12/1/2000) cites the hard-earned success in the forced labor case against Germany at the end of which a total of 10 billion DM was awarded to the victims. Mr. Pohorel'tsev also presented Mr. Smorodsky with an Honorary Gold Medal award conferred by the International Lawyer's Fund of Ukraine.
Born in Austria in 1944, Mr. Smorodsky emigrated to the United States at age six and grew up in New Jersey. Having completed his law studies at Rutgers Law School, Mr. Smorodsky first worked in the area of corporate litigation and later as a public defender. After returning to civil practice in the 70's, he launched the foundation for the firm which in 1985 became known as Smorodsky & Stawnychy.
Mr. Smorodsky has long been an active member of the Ukrainian-American community in the New York/New Jersey area. He has held high-level community and professional positions with the Ukrainian American Bar Association, World Congress of Ukrainian Lawyers, Ukrainian American Professional and Business Persons Association of New York and New Jersey, and others. Among other things, his interests in international affairs led him to involvement in projects with the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe in reference to Soviet violations of the Helsinki Accords and the international conference on Territorial Integrity and World Peace in Japan.
In addition to his community activities, Mr. Smorodsky has been working on behalf of Ukraine representing the interests of the Consulate General of Ukraine and the Permanent Misson of Ukraine to the United Nations. Most recently, Smorodsky worked in tandem with the legal team representing Ukraine (Ukrainian Foreign Law Collegium) as he represented the "rest of the world" Ukrainians in the legal negotiations with Germany in the forced labor action.
According to Smorodsky, the disbursement of funds from the settlement will begin towards late spring or early summer 2001. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been assigned the task to distribute the awards to the qualified applicants. Mr. Smorodsky continues to work in an advisory capacity with the IOM on this project.
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