November 19, 2018

ABA adds legal assistance hotlines for California wildfire victims

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2018 — Victims of the California wildfires in Butte, Ventura and Los Angeles counties 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 State Bar of California and Legal Services of Northern California and Ventura County Legal Aid, Inc.

To access help from volunteer lawyers, disaster victims in Butte County should call 800-345-9491, and those in Ventura or Los Angeles Counties should call 877-301-4448 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday (messages can be left after hours). 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 180 declared disasters in 44 states and four U.S. territories. In the last year, hundreds of lawyers volunteered to provide legal assistance to those affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, Florence and Michael; as well as wildfires in the West and other natural disasters.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.