ABA Journal

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.)

Law firms, courts deal with aftermath of Hurricane Ian

Law firms and courthouses are dealing with Hurricane Ian and its aftermath.

Jury rules for Baylor in dispute over business-interruption coverage for COVID losses

Jurors in Texas awarded $12 million to Baylor College of Medicine last week in a dispute over whether its commercial property insurer covered COVID-19 losses.

Reimagining the OCI Process: What we learned from the pandemic

On-campus interviews have long been a staple of law firm recruiting. But when the pandemic hit, law firms, like everyone else, had to adapt by taking this time-honored tradition virtual—in many cases with great success.

Weekly Briefs: DOJ urges SCOTUS to turn down citizenship case; cop asks second justice to block vaccine mandate

Don’t accept citizenship case, DOJ tells SCOTUS

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a brief Monday urging the U.S. Supreme Court to deny review in a case on citizenship rights…

Weekly Briefs: Ex-officer pleads guilty in Breonna Taylor case; ex-BigLaw partner can’t shield 401(k) cash

Ex-officer pleads guilty in Breonna Taylor case

Former Louisville, Kentucky, detective Kelly Goodlett pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge Tuesday for helping falsify an application for a…

Effective Law Office Design: Inspiring and enhancing workplace culture

A thoughtfully considered office has the ability to truly shift the tide, and a successful redesign starts with just one question.

Why this BigLaw firm adopted a permanent work-from-anywhere policy for its lawyers and staff

As things are opening up again and people are getting back to how they lived before the COVID-19 pandemic, will that spell the end of the remote-work era?

Old friends and new celebrate at the first in-person ABA Annual Meeting since COVID-19 (photo gallery)

After being presented in an all-virtual format in 2020 and a hybrid format in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, attendees are celebrating in person for the 2022 ABA Annual Meeting.

Going Viral: Once unpopular, QR codes have taken off, thanks to the pandemic

When the pandemic hit, QR codes became very popular as people looked for a contact-free way to share information. Privacy advocates, however, see a darker side to QR codes. “Really sensitive information about you is being collected and monetized by the QR code-generation company,” says Nicole A. Ozer, technology and civil liberties director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.

Judge on top New York court is now ‘ready and eager’ to get vaccinated; is chief judge vacancy a factor?

A judge on New York’s top court has announced a change in vaccination plans after being banned from the courthouse because of her refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

House committee approves record $675M in funding for civil legal services

The U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Appropriations has approved $675 million in funding for the Legal Services Corp. in fiscal year 2023, an increase of $186 million.

Top California court will consider employer liability for take-home COVID-19 infections

The California Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether state law permits lawsuits against employers when workers contract COVID-19 and bring the virus home to relatives.

Some firms expand and revamp offices to lure back remote and hybrid workers

Firms bucking that downsizing trend say they’re investing in real estate to spark collaboration and camaraderie that lawyers, associates and support staff simply can’t experience when they’re siloed in home or remote offices.

Federal judge orders US to keep in place Title 42 immigrant ousters tied to pandemic

A federal judge in Louisiana on Friday ordered the Biden administration to keep in place a Trump administration order that required immigrants seeking asylum to be quickly turned back.

Judges’ retreat apparently became superspreader event; karaoke said to be one of the activities

Twenty out of 70-plus New York City judges who attended a retreat in the Hamptons last week tested positive for COVID-19 in the days that followed.
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.