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Hurricane Recovery Resources Available for Bar members and Floridians

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The Florida Bar will be adding information to this post as it becomes available regarding Hurricane Irma and Maria. For a complete listing of recent hurricane-related news as well as resources for Florida Bar members and the public, go to The Florida Bar’s 2017 Hurricane Information page.

Friday, Oct. 8

PUERTO RICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF FLORIDA WORKING TO ASSIST PUERTO RICAN LAW SCHOOL STUDENTS
The Puerto Rican Bar Association of Florida is using its Scholarship Fund, a 501(c)(3) tax deductible institution, to raise money for the incidental costs of the immediate relocation of Puerto Rican law students who were displaced in their studies as a result of Hurricane Maria.  Through the organization’s Student Temporary Assistance and Relocation “STAR” program, four U.S. schools, including Florida State University, have begun the process of helping to transition 51 University of Puerto Rico Law School students who were affected by the storm. Donations will be used to fill some of the gaps that other organizations or charities may not be able to fill, such as books, laptop computers, meal plans, clothing, travel and housing. Checks for the Scholarship Fund can be mailed to 517 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32806. You can also make your contribution securely via this PayPal linkFor more information contact the  The Puerto Rican Bar Association of Florida.

The University of Puerto Rico’s School of Law has established an Emergency Relief Fund to assist its students and personnel affected by hurricane Maria. For additional information, contact Dean Vivian Neptune-Rivera [email protected].

Thursday, Sept. 26

The ABA has now added a legal assistance hotline for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. To access help from volunteer lawyers, disaster victims should call 1-800-310-7029, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., (Central time) Monday through Friday (messages can be left after hours). Full release here.

Florida Bar Member Benefits: The Florida Bar is currently working with member benefit providers to enhance existing offerings for members affected by Hurricane Irma, including complimentary additional services or extended complimentary trial periods. We will update this page as more enhanced services are added. Deadlines for enrollment have been added below.

Monday, Sept. 25

With the infrastructure of the U.S. Virgin Islands heavily damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the ABA has helped launch a mainland hotline: 800-310-7029. Residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands can call to request disaster-related legal assistance between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. CT, from Monday to Friday. Callers who qualify for assistance will be matched with volunteer lawyers. Read the release for more information.

The federal courthouse in San Juan and one federal courthouse in the Virgin Islands, the one located in St. Croix, are closed due to Hurricane Maria, the National Law Journal (sub. req.) reports. Also closed are courthouses in St. Thomas and Key West, according to a U.S. courts update posted Thursday [Sept. 21]. Read the ABA news item.

 


The Florida Bar’s Hurricane Info page has been updated with the latest available recovery information, including links to state and federal programs available to help Florida lawyers and public impacted by the recent hurricanes.

The Florida Bar has created a system to connect Florida lawyers adversely affected by the storm with other lawyers able to assist with needs such as office space called the Florida Bar Member Disaster Recovery Connection. This system will connect members with Hurricane Irma-related needs to Florida Bar members offering assistance such as temporary housing; temporary office space; office furniture, equipment or office supplies; volunteer clean-up services; legal assistance; and other resources, services or needs not listed.

In addition to the legal aid hotline at 1-866-550-2929, there is now also an online form for Hurricane Irma survivors in Florida who cannot pay for an attorney. Once the form is submitted, the consumer can expect to be contacted by an attorney within two business days. Visit the Consumer Resources tab of our Hurricane Irma page for more information.