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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New York Lawyers Can't Get to Work

NEW YORK -- Nearly one-fifth of New York's lawyers have been unable to return to their offices since the attack on the World Trade Center, and reams of legal documents -- from death penalty appeals to white-collar investigations -- may be lost or destroyed.

It is unclear how many lawyers were among the dead and injured in the attack Tuesday.

"We fear we may have lost some irreplaceable records, but we just don't know," said Pat Bath, spokeswoman for Legal Aid, located on the top three floors of the Post Office Building, near the Trade Center.

The part of Legal Aid's offices that may have sustained the most damage -- on the top floor facing the Trade Center -- is where the stakes are the highest: That is where the unit representing more than a dozen defendants on death row is located.

To address the problem, Governor George Pataki suspended all statutory time limitations on criminal and civil proceedings, as well as on deadlines for filing appeals.