Hurricane Harvey Support from TTLA
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, TTLA is committed to providing support to our members affected by the storm, as well as supporting relief efforts for the communities that were devastated. TTLA members and their families have been forced out of their homes and their law offices, and many of you have reached out to us asking, “How can I help?” Below are ways you can get and give assistance.
TTLA has established the Texas Family Safety Foundation Hurricane Relief Fund to raise funds for local relief agencies in the communities affected by Hurricane Harvey. To make a contribution, click here.
All proceeds will go to support agencies providing assistance to families and businesses in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.
TTLA Member Support Database
TTLA has established a database to connect members who need shelter or office space with members who have space available.
- If you are in need of assistance, please complete this form.
- If you would like to offer assistance, please complete this form.
TTLA staff will follow up to connect those in need of support with members who can provide assistance.
Harvey Donation Drive at TTLA
In an effort to provide some of the basic needs for families displaced by Hurricane Harvey and relief supplies for those returning to their homes, TTLA in conjunction with the Capital Area Trial Lawyers Association, is collecting donations of essential items. We made our first delivery on Friday, September 8th.
Please bring your donations to TTLA, 1220 Colorado, Ste. 500, Austin 78701. If you have questions, please contact Mona Fults at 512-476-3852 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not have the time to shop for or deliver items, you can order online and have them shipped directly to TTLA.
Our next delivery will be on September 19th.
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Trial Lawyers Care School Supply Drive
AAJ's Trial Lawyers Care has created an Amazon Wish List that includes school supplies for students in Houston ISD who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. Select "Becky Lanier's Gift Registry" to have your purchases delivered to the home of Mark and Becky Lanier where they will be sorted and distributed. For more information or to assist with sorting and distribution of the supplies, contact Jessie Hoerman or Karen Schroeder. The wish list will be open through September 24th.
Lawyers Needed at Houston Area Shelters
The Houston Bar Association is organizing attorneys willing to volunteer at Houston area shelters. The task will be to attempt to answer questions and assist as much as possible with legal issues. Most persons will want help with FEMA/insurance claims, lost documents, food stamps (which has a 10 day deadline to order replacement food stamps), Landlord/Tenant issues, and other things they need to get food and shelter established. There will be materials to help you answer the anticipated questions.
Volunteers are needed starting Friday, September 1st and continuing thereafter. Shelters where lawyers are currently needed are George R. Brown, Toyota Center, and NRG Stadium.
Please go to https://Portal.Makejusticehappen.org to sign up to volunteer for one or more of the time slots.
Harvey-Related Government Orders & Bulletins
Supreme Court of Texas
The Texas Supreme Court has amended orders relating to problems created by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, amending one to allow out-of-state lawyers to practice temporarily in Texas and adding others (1) to permit the Aransas County court at law to sit in San Patricio County and (2) extending the August 31 deadline to pay State Bar membership fees for attorneys whose principal offices are in areas subject to disaster declarations.
The following orders have been issued and posted to the Court’s web page:
- Joint Order with Court of Criminal Appeals to Modify and Suspend Court Proceedings
All courts in Texas should consider disaster-caused delays as good cause for modifying or suspending all deadlines and procedures—whether prescribed by statute, rule, or order—in any case, civil or criminal.
- Emergency Order Resetting Limitations in Civil Cases
Because statutes of limitations are not subject to a good-cause exception, the Supreme Court orders, pursuant to Government Code Section 22.0035(b), that any applicable limitations statute is suspended for any civil claim if the claimant shows that the disastrous conditions resulting from Hurricane Harvey prevented the timely filing of the claim despite the party’s and counsel’s diligent efforts. Any such suspension extends only to the date on which it becomes reasonably possible to file the claim despite the disastrous conditions, taking into account the circumstances. Expires September 28, 2017, unless the Court extends it.
- Order Permitting Out-of-State Lawyers to Practice Temporarily in Texas
Affects attorneys in good standing where they are licensed to practice law outside Texas and either (1) are displaced because of Hurricane Harvey and are practicing in Texas remotely as if the practicing in their home jurisdictions or (2) are retained by a legal-aid or pro bono program or a bar association providing services to Hurricane Harvey victims. Attorneys must register for temporary practice (form attached to order) with the State Bar of Texas and agree to abide by the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and to submit to Texas disciplinary jurisdiction.
- Amended Order Permitting Out-of-State Lawyers to Practice Temporarily in Texas
References to practicing law in Texas have been changed to practicing Texas law and language requiring an attorney to register with the State Bar of Texas changed to as soon as possible after beginning to provide services under this order. Language referring to an attorney retained by a legal-aid or similar organization has been changed to providing services under this order to assure the order applies to attorneys who provide pro bono services for no compensation.
- Joint Order with Court of Criminal Appeals Authorizing the Aransas County County Court at Law to Conduct Proceedings Temporarily in San Patricio County
- Order Extending Deadline for Payment of State Bar Membership Fees by Certain Attorneys Affected by Hurricane Harvey
For Texas attorneys whose principal offices are counties declared disaster areas, the deadline for paying State Bar membership fees is extended to October 31, 2017. Failure to meet that deadline will result in automatic suspension November 1, 2017.
Texas Department of Insurance-Division of Workers' Compensation Commissioner's Bulletin
Re: Hurricane Harvey - an extraordinary event; Workers' compensation issues concerning hurricane victims or evacuees
Click here to read.
FEMA Activation of NFIP Catastrophic Event Enhanced Claim Payment Process for Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey has caused widespread and ongoing flooding in Texas and Louisiana. Due to the catastrophic impacts of Hurricane Harvey to National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is activating the NFIP’s enhanced claims payment process. Click here to read.
Governor Suspends Auto Insurance Waiting Period
Working with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV), the Governor suspended a statute and rule requiring a 30-day waiting period and notification requirements for insurance companies that are unable to obtain current vehicle titles prior to paying claims on nonrepairable vehicles. This suspension will alleviate the burden on vehicle owners and will expedite the claims process, resulting in a faster claim payments from the insurance companies to the owners of nonrepairable vehicles. Click here for more.
Health & Human Services Commission Information for Providers and Beneficiaries
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has tools and resources to ensure the provision of services. Information for providers is available here. And, information for beneficiaries is here.
Official Order of the Texas Commissioner of Insurance
Subject Considered: Extension of the Deadline for TWIA Claimants to Demand Appraisal for Hurricane Harvey Claims
Click here to read.
- State Bar of Texas Disaster Relief Resources for the Public
- State Bar of Texas Disaster Relief Resources for Attorneys
- Texas Bar Blog (includes regular posts with resources for attorneys)
- Houston Bar Association
- FEMA Disaster Assistance
- National Flood Insurance Program
- Small Business Administration Disaster Loans
- Texas Windstorm Insurance Association
- Texas Young Lawyers Association Contractor Hiring Tips
- Houston Chronicle: After the Storm - Resource & Recovery Guide