The Disaster Legal Services Program of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD) has announced that victims of the wildfires in California can get legal assistance by calling a hotline set up in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State Bar of California, 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.) Callers should clarify that they are seeking disaster-related legal assistance and give brief details of the assistance needed. Individuals who qualify for assistance will be 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.
- Disaster Legal Services Program
- American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division
- FEMA resource page for California wildfires
- National Disaster Legal Aid Resource Center
- The State Bar of California Legal Help after a Disaster page
- The State Bar of California Attorneys Impacted by Wildfires page
- ABA Journal on new ethics guidance on dealing with disasters