Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall a little more than a week ago, the ABA has been working with state and local authorities in Texas to provide relief to the millions who were affected. The ABA Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provide immediate temporary legal assistance to disaster survivors at no charge. Andrew VanSingel, ABA YLD Disaster Legal Services Director, traveled to Texas this week and met with Texas State Bar President Thomas Vick, Houston Bar Association (HBA) president Alistair Dawson, HBA Executive Director Kay Sim, and Texas Bar Foundation Chair Cindy Tisdale. Topics of discussion were meeting the short and long term needs of disaster survivors, and what other states can do to provide assistance. In addition, the Supreme Court of Texas entered anorderto allow any attorney not licensed to practice in Texas, but licensed and in good standing in any other jurisdiction of the United States, to provide legal assistance to individuals and entities affected by Hurricane Harvey. Lawyers may volunteer through programs supported by the State Bar of Texasand the Houston Bar Association. For a summary of information on national mobilization of legal relief efforts, visit the ABA Hurricane Harvey Reliefresource page.
Congratulations to newly elected NCBP Council members... Members of the National Conference of Bar Presidents (NCBP) Nominating Committee have selected five bar leaders to join the NCBP Executive Council for the 2017-2020 term. Read more about the NCBP Council on the NCBP website.
Cost-shifting court fines, fees hurting poor Americans, say panelists...The shifting of costs has hit those with limited incomes the hardest, including job loss, incarceration, and more. This was the topic of an NCBP and Center for Innovation Annual Meeting program Aug. 10, in New York, “Just Debt? Reimagining Fines & Fees in America,” where panelists, including moderator CNN Commentator Van Jones, explored the consequences and discussed creating a more just system.
Legal Services Corp., Microsoft plan voice-response portals for legal advice...Legal aid providers are pushing forward plans to allow those seeking legal help to tell their stories through the internet at a site that could guide them through the available resources and appropriate contacts.Read more in the ABA Journal.