For awhile now the city has been eager to kick 63-year-old Jerry Delakas out of the Astor Place newsstand that he has worked for a quarter century. And now it has some white shoe lawyers working for free to get him gone. Thank goodness for pro bono legal work, right? Right?

As the Post reports today, the city has retained Proskauer Rose in its efforts to eject Delakas from his stand. The problem with the vendor? Why, Delakas has been illegally subleasing the stand from a family that owns the space for 25 years. And though the family is very happy with the arrangement, it makes the Department of Consumer Affairs angry. And apparently you wouldn't like them when they are angry: they've now brought in the big guns and Delaksas's lawyer, Gil Santamarina, doesn't want you to forget it: "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," he said.

Still, the city isn't backing down just because the idea of kicking a 63-year-old man out of job seems cruel in this harsh economic climate. A city Law Department spokeswoman, speaking on behalf of both the city and Proskauer Rose says that "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."

Further, the Law Department points out that the Proskauer Rose lawyer working on the case had actually worked on it as part of the city's Public Service Program before going into private practice. "It made complete sense for her to continue on the case given that she’d worked on it since its inception."