2012-12-28 / Top Stories

Relief Fund Aids Legal Groups

Recognizing that many victims of Superstorm Sandy are in dire need of legal assistance, the New York State Bar Association and The New York Bar Foundation have jointly established a fund to help them.

The "Superstorm Sandy Relief Fund" will lend financial support to local bar associations and legal service providers, helping those organizations reach out to those in need and provide essential legal services to storm victims.

Among the legal services most sought are help with landlord-tenant issues, insurance matters, obtaining government assistance and dealing with contractors. "As we move forward with the recovery process, we anticipate that there will be a growing need for assistance with the many legal issues facing individuals, families and businesses in the affected areas," State Bar President Seymour W. James, Jr. (The Legal Aid Society in New York City) and Bar Foundation President Cristine Cioffi of Niskayuna (Cioffi Slezak Wildgrube) said in a joint letter to potential donors.

Tax-deductible donations can be sent to the New York Bar Foundation, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207.

Checks should be made payable to: The New York Bar Foundation, with the notation, "Superstorm Sandy Relief Fund." Donors may also contribute by visiting www.tnybf.org, clicking "Make a Donation," and choosing this fund from the "Restricted Funds" drop-down.

The creation of this fund is the latest in a series of efforts by the State Bar Association to assist victims of Superstorm Sandy.

In the wake of the hurricane, the State Bar Association created a toll-free helpline for storm-related legal questions, has been working with local bar associations to coordinate relief efforts and assist in recruiting volunteers and publicizing clinics and other free legal assistance.

The State Bar sponsored a free webcast, now available online, covering a wide range of disaster recovery issues and has been working with other organizations to educate attorneys to help those in need and bolster pro bono efforts.

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