New Jersey State Bar Association - The voluntary Bar Association of New Jersey, serving members since 1899.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 04/27/10
CONTACT:Kate Coscarelli
Director of Media Relations
732-937-7548

New Jersey State Bar Association, ABA Young Lawyers Division and FEMA help residents

New Brunswick – A toll-free legal aid line is now available for victims of recent flooding and storms who need help navigating issues like insurance claims, housing concerns and aid with repair contracts.

The New Jersey State Bar Association, American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency teamed up to provide help to residents.

“As attorneys we have an obligation to reach out to people in need. The recent natural disasters have left many Garden State residents vulnerable and in need of legal assistance, and we are anxious to help them,” said New Jersey State Bar Association President Allen A. Etish.

Residents who cannot afford to pay an attorney can call the help line to request free legal assistance at 888-541-1900.

“The disaster legal services hotline provides attorneys with an efficient, immediate way to reach those in need. I am particularly proud of our association's involvement in providing this service which strengthens attorney involvement with their local community,” said Robert Stout, who helped coordinate the hotline for the association’s young lawyers group.

The hotline is open to residents of Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset and Union counties who need legal help related to the flooding.

Messages can be left at any time. Callers should identify that they are seeking storm- and flooding-related legal assistance, and live in one of the affected counties. Victims who qualify for assistance will be matched with New Jersey attorneys who have volunteered to provide free legal help. For issues like securing government grants, replacing wills, consumer protection matters and landlord/tenant problems.

The helpline is part of a long-standing partnership between the government and the ABA.

The New Jersey State Bar Association is dedicated to the continuing education of lawyers and the public and to reforming and improving the legal system. It encourages involvement in voluntary pro bono activities and supports the fair administration of justice. Incorporated in 1899, it is the state’s largest lawyers group. Visit the Association’s website at www.njsba.com.

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