Natural Disasters

How you can help those affected by Hurricane Harvey

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Hurricane Harvey

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Updated: Hurricane Harvey will go down as one of the worst storms in U.S. history. While the cleanup has yet to begin, those needing legal help cannot wait.

The ABA has a web page with information on how to get involved.

The Texas Supreme Court has issued an emergency order (PDF) that lets out-of-state lawyers in good standing practice for six months in Texas in either of the following situations:

• If the out-of-state lawyer is retained by a legal aid program, pro bono program or bar association that provides services to victims of Harvey. Lawyers who want to help must fill out a temporary registration form with the State Bar of Texas.

• Lawyers licensed in other jurisdictions are allowed to practice in Texas if they are displaced from their home jurisdiction due to Harvey and they practice in Texas remotely as if located in their home jurisdiction.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Texas and Louisiana devastated by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath,” ABA President Hilarie Bass said Thursday. “Lawyers are stepping up to help alleviate the human suffering and assist in navigating the bureaucratic hurdles that occur as people try to recover.”

The ABA has made two on-demand CLEs on representing disaster survivors available for free: Representing Disaster Survivors: Challenges to Survivors AND Lawyers and Representing Disaster Survivors II: Practical Litigation Tips on How to Succeed in Court and Administrative Hearings.

The legal community in Texas is strongly advising homeowners to file claims related to Harvey before a new law goes into effect Friday. The law reduces the penalty interest rates insurers must pay if they’re late in paying weather-related claims.

For more information, go to the Lone Star Legal Aid’s Facebook page.

Important links:

Harvey relief page through the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division.

Free Legal Answers is a 42-state network for online pro bono service established by the ABA.

State Bar of Texas Disaster Relief resources page.

National Disaster Legal Aid Resource Center.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) resource page for Hurricane Harvey.

Lone Star Legal Aid.

Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid.

Texas Access to Justice Foundation.

Houston Volunteer Lawyers.

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

Law firms surviving Hurricane Harvey.

Important Twitter handles:

@ABAEsq American Bar Association.

@ABAYLD American Bar Association Young Lawyers.

@StatebarofTexas State Bar of Texas.

@TRLA Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid.

@LStarLegal Lone Star Legal Aid.

@LouisianaBar Louisiana State Bar.

@LaCivJustice Lousiana Civil Justice Center.

@LSCTweets Legal Services Corp.

Important phone numbers:

Disaster Legal Aid hotlines through the ABA Young Lawyers division: For Texas, call (800) 504-7030; for Louisiana, call (800) 310-7029.

Our coverage of Hurricane Harvey:

ABA Journal: Lawyers licensed outside Texas can provide help to Harvey victims, Texas high court order says

ABA Journal: How can lawyers help Hurricane Harvey victims? Disaster response attorneys share tips (podcast)

ABA Journal: New Texas law, taking effect in September, could affect some homeowners filing Harvey claims

Click here for more.

Updated at 8:36 a.m. on Aug. 31 with Twitter handles, additional information; updated at 3:18 p.m. on Aug. 31 with a statement from ABA President Hilarie Bass; updated Sept. 1 to note the free CLE programs on representing disaster survivors.

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