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NABE - News of Interest: Public Outreach

Bars do their part in Oklahoma tornado recovery

Thursday, May 30, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Dan Kittay
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Disasters in densely populated areas have unfortunately been more frequent of late. The most recent involved Oklahoma City, where multiple tornadoes struck over a 10-day period, causing many deaths and injuries, as well as extensive property damage.

And once again, area bar associations rose to the challenge, by offering free legal assistance to victims.

Under its Disaster Relief program, the Oklahoma Bar Association provided a toll-free phone number, as well as a form on its website, where residents affected by the storms could request free legal advice.

"When victims are ready to start piecing their lives back together, Oklahoma attorneys will step in and do our part. At that point, providing free legal assistance related to this disaster will become essential," said OBA President Jim Stuart, in a news release announcing the program.

As of early June, 256 lawyers had volunteered to give legal assistance, and 46 people had requested help, according to Communications Director Carol Manning. The number of those seeking assistance was expected to rise.

The Oklahoma County Bar Association worked with the OBA in its efforts, said Executive Director Debbie Gorden. Rather than end up duplicating efforts, in cases such as this it's easier for the two bars to work together, Gorden said.

Both bars report that no staff were injured or suffered serious property damage from the storms.

National Association of Bar Executives
c/o ABA Division for Bar Services
321 N. Clark St., 17th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 988-5408