Irma Disaster Relief Message From Second Circuit BOG Representatives Posted September 21, 2017 by Tallahassee Bar Association

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Information and resources to assist Florida Bar members and to provide volunteer opportunities. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your BOG representatives at larry.sellers@hklaw.com and mvansickle@broadandcassel.com.


TO:          All 2nd Circuit Florida Bar Members

FROM:    Larry Sellers and Melissa VanSickle, 2nd Circuit Representatives


With Floridians across our state grappling with significant losses of life, community and property due to Hurricane Irma, The Florida Bar is committed to finding all practical ways to help its members and our fellow citizens. We are heartbroken by the tragedies and devastation caused by this historic storm. But we know that our unique state will recover, however changed, and we are proud to know that our incredible legal community is already at work to help fellow Floridians and each other.

The Florida Bar is focused on finding the most effective ways to help in your recovery, as well as on how we as Florida lawyers can assist others impacted by this disaster. As a centralized location for continually updated lawyer and consumer resources, opportunities for lawyers to volunteer, and disaster-related links, please take a look at our 2017 Hurricane Information page. Please also see the lists of resources and services below to help you and other Floridians post-Hurricane Irma.

Help for Florida Lawyers Impacted by Hurricane Irma

The Practice Resource Institute (PRI) provides a web page with disaster planning and business continuity resources for Bar members.

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.

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 legal research is making its full research service available through Sept. 30. CLIO has already agreed to offer free access to their cloud-based practice management platform for the next three months to lawyers affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Please visit The Florida Bar member benefits page for a continually updated list of these benefits.

If you have not yet paid 2017-2018 annual fees and late fees, the deadline to pay has been extended to Oct. 30. If further extensions are needed due to extenuating circumstances or you need additional information, call 850-561-5832 for assistance.

Continuing Legal Education Reporting Cycles ending on September 30 have been extended to Oct. 30. If further extensions are needed due to extenuating circumstances or you need additional information, please email jmalloy@floridabar.org.

The Florida Supreme Court’s emergency information webpage posts state court closures, re-openings and tolling orders. Please check this page if you have business pending in the state courts.

Check floridabar.org/hurricaneinfo frequently for updates to resources and information for Bar members, your clients, family and friends including helpful links to government disaster response programs.

Assist Floridians With Hurricane Irma Relief and Recovery

The Florida Bar YLD, working with the ABA Young Lawyers Section and FEMA, set up a Disaster Relief Hotline and online request form. All Florida Bar members eligible to practice may volunteer to provide basic civil legal services for people who cannot otherwise afford legal representation in non-fee generating cases. Volunteers should complete this form and review the FEMA Disaster Assistance Manual for Legal Services Advocates posted here.

Florida Free Legal Answers added a Hurricane Irma category and a temporary increase of the qualifying cap. To volunteer for this virtual civil legal advice clinic, please register here. If you are already a volunteer, please subscribe to the Hurricane Irma category to receive email alerts when questions are posted.

The Florida Bar Foundation created a web page for resources and volunteer opportunities for legal aid and pro bono attorneys and information to help Floridians seeking civil legal aid and set up the Florida Hurricane Legal Aid Fund for donations to go directly to civil legal assistance for any hurricanes making landfall in Florida.

Florida Pro Bono Matters is another way to assist Floridians via an interactive website both in hurricane recovery and year-round.

Now is the time for each of us to help each other, help our colleagues, help our neighbors, and help our communities. If you need assistance or have any questions concerning the above resources, please feel free to call the Bar at 850-561-5600. Together, we will make a difference and we will recover stronger than ever.