LatinoJustice PRLDEF mourns the loss of its special counsel Richard Bellman
19 April 2012
New York, NY
Richard Bellman a noted civil rights attorney and crusader in the struggle for equal rights for all, passed away yesterday of natural causes. For the last five years, Dick Bellman served as Special Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF where he maintained an office and assisted the legal staff in complex civil rights litigation.
Mr. Bellman had a storied career as a civil rights litigation attorney. He worked for Robert Carter, a pioneer of the civil rights movement, while at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and was a lifelong friend of the late jurist. He worked in private practice for decades including his association with Lewis Steel and others at the firm of Steel & Bellman. He was perhaps best known for his work in eliminating discrimination in the sale or rental of housing. Indeed, his hands are all over the major Title VIII and constitutional fair housing struggles of this time in the metropolitan area including litigation in Huntington, Long Island with the Open Housing Center that expanded the scope of Title VIII disparate impact standards, litigation to force municipal “fair share” requirements in the Mt. Laurel litigation in New Jersey, and litigation in Westchester County to ensure fair housing opportunities.
At LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Dick was a guide and mentor to many attorneys and worked to ensure equal treatment of Latino communities in employment, housing, voting and immigrants’ rights.
LatinoJustice PRLDEF sends its condolences to Richard’s wife Bobbie and his family. He will be sorely missed.
President & General Counsel