Groups offer free legal clinics for Central Texas flood victims

The Austin and Hays County bar associations, in partnership with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), are providing free legal clinics for victims of the Memorial Day floods, addressing issues such as denials of insurance claims, problems with a landlord or mortgage company, price gouging, and replacing important legal documents.

The free clinics are offered from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at St. John’s Catholic Church, 624 E. Hopkins, San Marcos, TX 78666. Attorneys and paralegals will be on hand to answer questions.

Flood victims can also call TRLA’s Disaster Assistance Hotline at (866) 757-1570 for answers to basic legal questions and to be connected to local legal aid providers.

Texans who were affected by the disaster can also call the State Bar of Texas legal hotline, available in both English and Spanish, at (800) 504-7030. Individuals who qualify for assistance will be matched with Texas lawyers who have volunteered to provide free, limited legal help. For more information regarding the State Bar’s flood relief resources, click here.

Other resources available for flood victims can be found at texaslawhelp.org, trla.org/centexfloods, and irs.gov.

State Bar of Texas, ABA, Lone Star Legal Aid and Local Bar Associations Stand Ready to Assist Texans Impacted by the Disaster in West, Texas

The State Bar of Texas has established a disaster legal hotline – 800.504.7030 – to assist people with basic legal questions following the devastating plant explosion in West, Texas.

The hotline – answered in English and Spanish by Lone Star Legal Aid – is intended to help low-income persons affected by the disaster with such issues as replacing lost documents, insurance questions, landlord-tenant issues, and consumer protection issues such as price-gouging and avoiding contractor scams in the rebuilding process. Residents can call and leave a message any time. People who qualify for assistance will be matched with Texas lawyers who have volunteered to provide free, limited legal help. 

A partnership between the State Bar of Texas, Texas Young Lawyers Association, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, Lone Star Legal Aid, local bar associations, and other legal services providers throughout Texas is making a range of assistance available.

Additional resources are available at www.texasbar.com/disasterresponse and www.texaslawhelp.org.

The State Bar of Texas reminds the public that solicitation of a potential legal case is a crime unless the lawyer has a family relationship with you or you have been a client of the lawyer in the past or are currently a client. Solicitation of you is also a crime if perpetrated by a non-lawyer employee or representative of the lawyer, unless the previous conditions exist. Please report any prohibited contacts by lawyers or their representatives, whether in person, telephone or otherwise, to your local law enforcement authority or the State Bar of Texas at 877.953.5535.

Attorneys who want to volunteer to help may visit our Disaster Relief and Attorney Resources page.

President declares disaster For Texas

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal aid has been made available to the State of Texas to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by wildfires beginning on August 30, 2011, and continuing. Read the FEMA news release for more details.