Editor’s Note: The State Bar of Texas is providing a daily collection of important links, blog posts, and media stories to keep its members and the public informed of the latest news and resources related to Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery efforts.
Important Harvey Links
If you have been adversely affected or wish to assist a colleague, please take a moment to complete the State Bar of Texas’ Hurricane Harvey assistance survey.
If you would like to donate money to the hurricane relief effort in Texas, you can give through the Texas Bar Foundation by clicking here.
If you are an attorney who wants to help by giving brief advice, limited-scope service, or full representation to Harvey survivors, please complete the form at texasbar.com/attorneyvolunteer.
State Bar Disaster Resources for Attorneys — Information on this page includes recovery plans, court closures, court orders, and other items.
State Bar Disaster Resources the Public — The State Bar of Texas legal hotline — (800) 504-7030 — helps people find answers to basic legal questions and connects them with local legal aid providers following declared disasters.
MCLE extension available for Texas lawyers affected by Harvey — State Bar of Texas members affected by Hurricane Harvey may request an extension of time for compliance with MCLE requirements. — Texas Bar Blog
Tips for salvaging water-damaged law office records — As floodwaters recede and Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts begin throughout the state, many Texas lawyers will face specific challenges getting their practices back up and running. In some cases, salvaging water-damaged client files and other essential business records will be a key part of that recovery. — Texas Bar Blog
Video: How attorneys can assist those affected by Harvey — The State Bar of Texas has released a video with information on how attorneys can help those adversely affected by Hurricane Harvey. — Texas Bar Blog
Latest Harvey News
Abbott suggests Harvey recovery could cost $180 billion — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said on Sunday the nearly $8 billion requested by the White House for Hurricane Harvey relief was only a small down payment to fuel recovery efforts. — Politico
As storm’s death toll rises to 60, Hurricane Harvey’s displaced stream home to clean up — More survivors of hurricane-ravaged southeast Texas made their way home Monday, even as the tragedy of the storm kept mounting. — The Dallas Morning News
In search for Harvey’s missing, worry grows as some trails get colder — The last time anyone heard from Jim Simmon, he was standing on Bissonnet Street, 20 miles from the Montrose home he’d walked out of hours earlier. At least, that’s what he told his confused son over the phone. — Houston Chronicle
First Harvey lawsuit filed to beat new Texas law — Late Thursday afternoon, a Dallas law firm filed a lawsuit to circumvent a new law that went into effect on Friday, September 1. — Claims Journal
Some apartment dwellers face post-Harvey eviction — Hundreds of residents have been told they will be evicted from the flooded Marquis Cinco Ranch apartment complex in Katy and on Sunday were given five days to reach the building and retrieve whatever belongings they can. — Houston Chronicle
Displaced by fire, legal aid attorneys shift to Harvey shelters — If you don’t have a home, you can’t get housing assistance. That’s the toughest message Karyna Lopez, a staff attorney for Lone Star Legal Aid, has had to deliver to people who have approached her for help in the days since Tropical Storm Harvey pummeled the Gulf Coast. — Houston Chronicle
Continuing coverage: More firms assist Hurricane Harvey victims & tips on how to help — The efforts remain strong from Texas law firms looking to assist Hurricane Harvey victims. (Subscription required) — The Texas Lawbook
Update on the courthouses affected by Hurricane Harvey — Courthouses in the hardest-hit areas of the Texas Gulf Coast will remain closed indefinitely, but others along Hurricane Harvey’s disastrous path are planning to reopen after Labor Day. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer
Mayor again urges calm as residents continue to cause gas shortage with panic buying — San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg took to Facebook on Saturday afternoon to urge residents to stop hoarding and panic buying of gasoline. — San Antonio Express-News
Fearing deportation, immigrant flood victims make do on their own — With Hurricane Harvey hurtling into Texas, unease was already spreading among many of the 600,000 immigrants illegally in Houston. Since President Donald Trump took office, federal agents have arrested more than 6,200 here, the most in the country after Dallas and Atlanta, according to federal statistics. In this, one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit the United States, who would come to their aid? And if someone did, could they be trusted? — Houston Chronicle
Immigration advocates: If you’re undocumented, you can still get Harvey aid — Immigration attorneys and advocates are concerned that some Houston immigrants won’t seek aid in the aftermath of Harvey. — Houston Public Media
Harvey causes chemical companies to release 1 million pounds of extra air pollutants — Oil refineries and chemical plants across the Texas Gulf Coast released more than 1 million pounds of dangerous air pollutants in the week after Harvey struck, according to filings. — The Texas Tribune
In Harvey’s wake, a vast ecological and pollution challenge for Texas — The scope of the ecological and pollution challenges wrought by Hurricane Harvey on Texas has begun to emerge, and it is vast. — Austin American-Statesman
Prison units take hit from storm; water, sewer problems reported — Hurricane Harvey dealt a beating to prison and jail facilities in Southeast Texas, triggering evacuations, marooning staff and depriving prisoners of toilets and running water as it cut a bruising path across the state. — Houston Chronicle
Labor shortage could hamper Harvey reconstruction — Rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey will be slowed by not only the scope of the storm’s damage but also an ongoing labor shortage in the construction industry, experts say. — Houston Chronicle
FEMA extends grace period for paying flood insurance premiums — If your flood insurance premium payments were due between July 24 and Sept. 22, and you live in a county that was included in a presidential disaster declaration after Hurricane Harvey, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended a grace period by which you can pay your premium. — Houston Chronicle
Shelters using facial recognition to reunite pets and owners post-Harvey — People who lost their pets during Hurricane Harvey can upload the pet’s picture into an app that will use facial recognition to match the pictures with animals checked into shelters in recent days. — Houston Chronicle
Vetting charities: How to make sure your donations count — Although you may see calls for donations all over social media, it’s best to be proactive and not reactive and vet charities before giving. — KHOU – Houston
Houston Bar expands LegalLine for those impacted by Harvey — The Houston Bar Association has expanded its LegalLine program to assist those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and has a toll-free number for Texas residents outside the Houston area. — Texas Bar Blog
567 million reasons why Houston faces long, tough recovery from Harvey — In September 2008, following the one-two punch of Hurricanes Ike and Dolly, Congress allocated $3.1 billion in disaster recovery funds to assist Texans recover from the storms. Thanks to poor administration and a sluggish bureaucracy, $567 million of the money designated to rebuild from those storms remains to be spent nine years on, according to the Texas General Land Office, the agency administering the money. — Austin American-Statesman
HARVEY: 51 inches: 5 stories of terror, heartbreak and heroism — In the middle of the night on Aug. 13, a mass of swirling air blew off the coast of Africa, more than 5,000 miles from Texas. (Subscription required) — Houston Chronicle
State Bar of Texas in the News
In Harvey aftermath, lawyers mobilize to help Houston victims — Pro bono attorney Saundra Brown sat at a United Way in Houston for hours on Thursday, fielding questions about insurance claims and disaster-relief scams. She tried keeping her mind off the fact that an explosion caused a fire in her office building, rendering it unusable, and her own home suffered more than 5 feet of flooding. — The Wall Street Journal
As flooded files dry and servers reboot, lawyers share other firms’ space — With her law office flooded by Hurricane Harvey rains, Houston lawyer Karleana Farias asked Facebook friends on Aug. 31 for an office where she could use a fax machine, printer and copier to start the painful ordeal of dealing with insurance companies and FEMA. (Subscription required) — Texas Lawyer
Volunteer spirit drives legal community to create #HELP4TX — Just like other emergency responders from Memphis to Mountain City, the Tennessee Supreme Court is announcing a call to action for “emergency legal responders” to lend a hand to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. — The Chattanooga News Chronicle
Out-of-state attorneys welcome to temporarily practice in Texas — Need a lawyer? Many more may be coming to the Lone Star State after Harvey, as local attorneys offer free legal advice to those affected by the storms and flooding. Attorneys who wish to volunteer with disaster relief should fill out a form on the State Bar of Texas website. — Houston Business Journal
How Hurricane Harvey evacuees can get help in Dallas — Call the State Bar of Texas hotline at 1-800-504-7030 to find answers to basic legal questions and locate recovery resources. — The Dallas Morning News
Recovery assistance for Harvey victims — The State Bar of Texas Disaster Hotline: (800) 504-7030. The hotline — answered in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese — connects low-income people affected by a disaster with legal aid providers in their area. — Beaumont Enterprise
Trial lawyers clash with storm bill supporters over Harvey insurance claims — Not long after Hurricane Harvey crashed upon Texas shores, trial lawyers began publicly urging victims to file insurance claims before Sept. 1 – the date a new law aimed at ending weather-related lawsuit abuse goes into effect. — Southeast Texas Record