Natural Disasters

Disaster response news from the ABA Journal, American Bar Association legal resources, volunteering opportunities and disaster helplines.

Hurricane Florence/Sasa Kadrijevic via NASA (Shutterstock.com.)

First-year associate pay continues to rise, despite pandemic, NALP survey says
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t curtailed base pay for beginning associates, according to the National Association for Law Placement's survey of mostly larger law firms.
How to make a professional transition during the COVID-19 pandemic
Do you find yourself living with the stark reality of having to make a transition during COVID-19? Are you looking at changing practice areas or making a move to a new firm? Change in the best of times can be daunting. Add to that the various challenges we are currently facing with restrictions and lockdowns, and it may seem insurmountable. But it doesn’t have to be.
Afternoon Briefs: Supreme Court rules for religion; Ramsey Clark dies at 93

SCOTUS blocks restrictions on religious meetings at homes during pandemic

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked California’s restrictions on religious meetings at homes during the COVID-19 crisis in a 5-4 vote…

This firm takes top spot for its COVID-19 response, Yale Law Women says; which others took top honors?
Yale Law Women has named the top 2021 law firms for gender equity, inclusion and family-friendly practices in a number of categories, including the best law firm for a COVID-19 response and the best law firm for racial justice contributions.
State supreme court justice confirms he has been working from outside the country for 3 months
Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein has been working from Dubai and Israel for the last three months while he participates in a program to improve cultural understanding of people with disabilities.
Holland & Knight in merger talks to create 1,600-lawyer firm; does it portend ‘next wave’ of mergers?
Holland & Knight and Thompson & Knight are discussing a merger that could close this summer, the law firms announced Friday.
Former death row inmate thanks God and his lawyers for his release after 30-plus years in prison
A former death row inmate in Florida told reporters Thursday that he thanked God and his legal team for his release from prison.
Afternoon Briefs: DA wants to vacate 90 drug convictions; BigLaw firm targeted by law student climate group

90 convictions could be vacated after detective is charged

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in New York says his office has lost confidence in 27 felony and 63 misdemeanor convictions…

Company donates 1.2M eggs to food banks as part of lawsuit settlement
The Hillandale Farms Corp. is donating 1.2 million eggs to food banks in New York to settle a state price-gouging lawsuit.
Legal industry loses 1,400 jobs in March following big gain in February
The legal services industry lost 1,400 jobs in March, leaving it 35,000 jobs behind where it was in March 2020—the month that the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic.
Afternoon Briefs: Uber ordered to pay $1.1M to blind passenger; state supreme court overturns mask mandate

Uber must pay $1.1M after drivers discriminated against woman who is blind, arbitrator says

Uber has been ordered to pay a San Francisco woman—who is blind and uses a…

Lawyers find their skill sets make them ideal candidates for college presidencies

A rapidly growing number of lawyers have been chosen to lead higher education institutions during an era when experts say the job has become much more difficult because of the ever-increasing regulatory demands and crises presidents must confront.

Some lawyers have reinvented themselves to become ‘COVID-19 attorneys’
Reluctant trial witnesses should disclose vaccination status to judge, motion says
Witnesses who want to avoid in-person testimony at an upcoming trial should disclose their vaccination status and explain their bid to testify remotely, according to a motion filed in a suit alleging retirement-plan mismanagement.
Afternoon Briefs: No-mask lawyer’s lawsuit tossed; suit alleges 60-plus mistaken-identity arrests

Judge tosses case for lawyer’s refusal to wear mask

Judge Lawrence Knipel of New York City has tossed a car-crash lawsuit because of a lawyer’s refusal to wear a face…

Disaster Response Resources
Volunteering Opportunities

Florida attorneys can visit the Florida Bar Foundation to find post-storm volunteer opportunities for legal aid and pro bono attorneys, or visit Florida Pro Bono Matters.

North Carolina attorneys can find info on volunteering on the North Carolina Bar's Hurricane Florence page.

South Carolina attorneys can volunteer for the South Carolina Bar's disaster relief legal service hotline by filling out this form.

Not licensed in those states but looking to donate your time or money? Check out ambar.org/DisasterRelief.

ABA Journal Coverage
Disaster Helplines

The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is a national hotline dedicated to providing year-round disaster crisis counseling. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (text 'TalkWithUs' to 66746) to residents in the U.S. and its territories who are experiencing emotional distress related to natural or man-made disasters.

For low-income individuals with disaster-related legal needs, the following phone numbers are available:
North Carolina residents: 1-833-242-3549
South Carolina residents: 1-877-797-2227 ext. 120
Virginia residents: 1-804-775-0808 in the Richmond area, or 1-800-552-7977.
Florida residents: 1-866-550-2929.