FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUBJECT: Area Lawyers Providing Legal Services to Storm Victims in Northeastern Ohio
CONTACT: Ken Brown, OSBA Director of Public & Media Relations, 614/487-4426
COLUMBUS, OHIO (August 1, 2003) – Residents of Mahoning, Portage, Stark, Summit and Trumbull Counties are currently suffering from the effects of massive flooding, with approximately 1,500 people displaced from their homes. In addition to disaster relief, some families are in need of emergency legal assistance.
Legal relief of this nature is sometimes provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the American Bar Association (ABA). Unfortunately, for FEMA to activate legal relief, an area must be designated as a federal disaster area which can take several weeks. The Ohio State Bar Association’s New Lawyers Section (OSBA), in conjunction with the Akron Bar Association and other local bar associations, can fill the gap.
The OSBA and the Akron Bar Association have put together a team of volunteer lawyers with particular experience, including real estate, estate planning and insurance to field calls from those in need.
The OSBA has activated a hotline number – 1-800-282-6556, extension 4406 -- to assist those affected by the flooding in getting legal information and counsel. Volunteer lawyers will return phone calls and provide general advice and counsel, or will make a referral.If callers need to hire an attorney, they will be referred to the Lawyer Referral Service. If the person needs pro bono help, he or she will be directed to Community Legal Aid.
Attorneys interested in volunteering may email the NLS Disaster Relief Coordinator Pam Bolton, firstname.lastname@example.org. All volunteers must have malpractice insurance and be in private practice.
The Ohio State Bar Association, founded in 1880, is a voluntary association representing approximately 25,000 members of the bench and bar of Ohio. Through its activities and the activities of its related organizations, the OSBA serves both its members and the public by promoting the highest standards in the practice of law and the administration of justice.
The Akron Bar Association was founded in 1875 and serves some 1,500 members. It is dedicated to improving the administration of law and justice by fostering community service, educating the Bar, improving public understanding of the law and justice system, and promoting the integrity of the profession.