The Iowa State Bar Association is keeping its disaster assistance hot-line open indefinitely to help those with legal questions. I.S.B.A. executive director, Brett Toresdahl, says the hot-line opened five days after the tornado ripped through Parkersburg and other cities.
Toresdahl says they knew at the time of the disaster that there would be all kinds of legal questions, and they wanted to be ready to answer any of those questions. That May tornado was followed by statewide flooding, and Toresdahl says they’ve answered some 300 calls with legal questions.
Most the of the questions deal with property issues. He says they had questions about real estate and insurance claims, and then as FEMA came into the picture, there were questions regarding FEMA benefits and appeals to FEMA decisions. Toresdahl says there were also lots of landlord-tenant questions related to the floods. Toresdahl says a pool of lawyers have volunteered to help answer the questions.
Toresdahl says the calls are relayed on to attorneys with the intent of answering the question on the phone, and if the person needs further legal assistance, they try to find an attorney who will work with them on a pro bono basis. Toresdahl says bar association also has information available on-line.
Toresdahl says while they haven’t had many questions about document replacement to the hot-line, they know that’s probably an issue for many people, so they have information on-line to help out.
You can go on-line to the Iowa State Bar Associaton website or call the legal assistance hot-line is 1-877-775-8882. The hot-line number is answered during business hours Monday through Friday. Callers can also leave messages in the evening or weekends for an attorney to call them back the next business day.