A Jersey City resident had sewage back up into her condominum was looking for help securing additional funds to restore the property.
 
A renter in Toms River asked if she can recoup the rent she paid in advance, since the apartment is covered in mold and is uninhabitable.
 
A union carpenter from Vineland was trying to determine if he could file a claim for lost wages due to the storm.
 
They were among hundreds of New Jersey residents facing legal issues following Hurricane Sandy who last week called a free New Jersey State Bar Association help line.
 
Those pleas for help are being answered by over 70 attorneys who have volunteered to provide free legal assistance through the association’s Mass Disaster Response Program.
 
“Lawyers have a special obligation to give back to the community, and as the state’s largest lawyers group the New Jersey State Bar Association is dedicated to serving as a source of assistance to the public. As they have in other disasters, our volunteer attorneys are ready to help people whose lives have been forever altered by this storm,” said State Bar Association President Kevin P. McCann.
 
PUBLIC HELP LINE
 
Residents who cannot afford to pay an attorney can call the help line to request free legal assistance at 888-541-1900. The help line is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 
Assistance is available in connection with insurance-related claims, Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) appeals, landlord-tenant matters and creditor-debtor matters.
 
The way the program works is:
  • Through an intake process, callers will be matched with a volunteer attorney who can provide assistance or general legal information regarding their issue.
  • Callers should identify that they are seeking legal assistance related to Hurricane Sandy.
  • The hotline will be staffed during normal business hours, but messages can be left at any time.
 
The New Jersey State Bar Association help line is part of a long-standing partnership between state bar, American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division and FEMA.
 
ATTORNEY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
 
Over 70 attorneys from around New Jersey and the tri-state area have agreed to provide legal aid to people affected by Hurricane Sandy, but more are needed given the magnitude of the disaster, said state bar officials.
 
Volunteers are asked to complete a contact information form and sign a pledge that they will provide pro bono assistance to storm victims.
 
To volunteer, reach out to assist@njsba.com or visit Hurricane Sandy Response Program at njsba.com.