FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2020
Contact: Amy Starnes
Public Information Director, State Bar of Texas
(800) 204-2222, ext. 1706, or (512) 427-1706
Free legal assistance available for low-income
affected by Tropical Storm Beta
AUSTIN—Due to potential flooding and destructive conditions predicted in advance of Tropical Storm Beta’s landfall, the State Bar of Texas wants Southeast Texas residents to know free legal resources are available to low-income individuals affected by disasters.
A toll-free disaster legal services hotline—800-504-7030—puts callers in touch with legal aid providers in their area who can help with:
Assistance securing government benefits as they are made available;
Assistance with life, medical, and property insurance claims;
Help with home repair contracts and contractors;
Replacement of wills and other important legal documents lost or destroyed in the disaster;
Consumer protection issues such as price-gouging and avoiding contractor scams in the rebuilding process;
Counseling on landlord-tenant problems and other matters.
The hotline assists callers in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. People who qualify for assistance will be matched with lawyers who can provide free, limited legal help.
The State Bar reminds the public that in many cases it is a crime in Texas for a lawyer or someone representing a lawyer to contact a person for purposes of legal representation if the person has not first requested the call or personal visit. The contact is not illegal if the attorney is not seeking payment or has a preexisting professional-client or family relationship with the person being contacted. If you witness something you believe to be improper solicitation, or barratry, please get the name and phone number of the person making contact and report it to your local law enforcement authority or the State Bar Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Office via email at CDCinfo@texasbar.com or toll free at 866-224-5999.
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The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system. For more information, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @statebaroftexas, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/statebaroftexas, or visit texasbar.com.