October 19, 2017

ABA adds legal assistance hotline for wildfire victims in northern California

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2017 —  Victims of the wildfires in northern California can get legal assistance by calling a hotline set up by a partnership among the Disaster Legal Services Program of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Bay Area Resilience Collaborative (which includes The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service and Justice & Diversity Center, Alameda County Bar Association Volunteer Legal Services Corporation, State Bar of California, Bay Area Legal Aid and Pro Bono Net) and the Legal Aid Association of California. 

To access help from volunteer lawyers, disaster victims should call 415-575-3120, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., (Pacific time) Monday through Friday (messages can be left after hours). Starting Oct. 23, hours will expand to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday. When connected, callers should identify that they are seeking disaster-related legal assistance and give brief details of the assistance needed. Individuals who qualify for assistance are then matched with lawyers who have volunteered to provide legal assistance.

Disaster-related legal issues include landlord/tenant problems, insurance claims, FEMA claims and consumer issues such as contractor fraud.  

Since September 2007, the ABA YLD has responded to more than 160 declared disasters in 43 states and two U.S. territories (including 20 so far this year).

Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that will cite case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

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