The Florida Bar News
September 15, 2017
HURRICANE IRMA: THE FLORIDA BAR SHARES LEGAL RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
The Florida Bar will be adding information for Florida Bar members and links for Floridians as it becomes available regarding Hurricane Irma. Follow social media for additional updates.
RESOURCES FOR FLORIDA BAR MEMBERS
President Higer sent a message of support and a comprehensive list of resources for Florida Bar members and other Floridians affected by Hurricane Irma.
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.
Florida Bar Member Benefits: The Florida Bar is currently working with several member benefit providers to enhance existing offerings for members affected by Hurricane Irma, including complimentary additional services or extended complimentary trial periods.
- Fastcase is now offering a full three-month complimentary access to its full research service to Bar members impacted by Hurricane Irma. Florida Bar members now have access to the full Fastcase premium library until December 20th (originally posted as through September 30th.) To access Fastcase, just follow this link to log in. If you have any questions or need support, call Fastcase at (866) 77-FASTCASE (866-773-2782) or email [email protected].
- CLIO has agreed to offer free access to their cloud-based practice management platform for the next three months to lawyers effected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Please visit http://www.floridabar.org/memberbenefits for a continually updated list of these benefits.
- Ruby Receptionists is offering Florida Bar members a month of free remote receptionist service if you need assistance answering your calls.
- More than a dozen Florida Bar Member Benefit providers offer free trials or initial services, including practice resources, legal forms and legal research.
Annual dues, late fees and CLE: If you have been affected by Hurricane Irma and have not yet paid 2017-2018 annual fees and late fees as a Florida Bar Member, Authorized House Counsel (AHC) or Florida Registered Paralegal (FRP), the deadline to pay has been extended from Sept. 30 to Oct. 30, 2017 . If you have any questions or need additional assistance, please call the Membership Records Department at (800) 342-8060. Also, if you have been affected by Hurricane Irma and your Florida Bar Member, AHC or FRP Continuing Legal Education Reporting Cycle ends on Sept. 30 , an extension is being granted until Oct. 30, 2017 . Email questions about CLE reporting to [email protected]
The Florida Supreme Court is posting announcements about state court closures and reopenings following Hurricane Irma on its emergency information page continually, so please check this page if you have business pending in the state courts. This page also gives web links to local courthouses so you can be sure you have the latest local information.
The Florida Office of State Courts Administrator is updating its Hurricane Irma news page with changes to meetings and conferences affected by Hurricane Irma. In addition, The Federal Courts are are posting updates about federal court closures.
The Florida Bar Foundation has been working to ensure that our statewide civil legal aid team, families, offices, and information are protected. Visit https://thefloridabarfoundation.org/storm-aid for resources and volunteer opportunities for legal aid and pro bono attorneys, as well as information to help Floridians seeking civil legal aid. The Foundation has also created the Florida Hurricane Legal Aid Fund and approved an allocation of up to $500,000 to support Florida legal aid organizations. All donations to the fund will go directly to civil legal assistance for Floridians affected by Hurricane Irma and any subsequent hurricanes that make landfall in Florida. Read the full release here.
The Practice Resource Institute (PRI) has disaster planning information and resources for Bar members collected on one page including links to The American Bar Association disaster response, preparedness, and recovery advice; a LexisNexis publication “Surviving Disasters: Questions and Considerations for Law Firms Preparing Business Continuity Plans;” an after disaster strikes checklist; as well as links to FEMA, DisasterAssistance.gov, and disaster recovery services provided by the Florida Small Business Development Council. PRI advisers will assist members by phone during regular business hours (866-730-2020) and the live chat feature at pri.floridabar.org is active. In addition, members may email for assistance: [email protected].
Florida Free Legal Answers: Although attorneys are strongly cautioned against engaging in the solicitation of hurricane victims (which is prohibited by Rule 4-7.18), the Florida Free Legal Answers program offers a relatively easy way to lend your expertise. It is easy to do, takes only a couple of minutes and can mean so much to those in need. Not only can you help answer questions from those affected by Hurricane Irma but, as a result of a Texas Supreme Court order, you also can help those still recovering in Texas from Hurricane Harvey, through February 2018 when the order is set to expire.