Vba Flood Victims Legal Help Project a Success

Publication year2024
CitationVol. 49 No. 4
VBA Flood Victims Legal Help Project a Success
Vol. 49 No. 4 Pg. 14
Vermont Bar Journal
January 2024

WHAT'S NEW

By Mary Ashcroft, Esq.

After devasting floods hit Vermont in early July last year, VBA members responded with a special project to assist victims of the devastation. Thirty-seven attorneys and one paralegal stepped up to help.

With a $20,000 grant from the Vermont Bar Foundation—money left from the Bank of America Settlement Fund—the VBA's Flood Victims Low Bono Project was up and operating less than two weeks after the flooding— just as home and business owners started confronting legal obstacles in their recovery efforts.

To assist our lawyers, and through them the public, the VBA hosted two free CLE programs highlighting the basics of the FEMA and SBA disaster help programs. We captured recovery information, links and other training materials and posted them as resources on the VBA's website.

Armed with this training and solid information, our low bono attorneys ultimately served 49 flood victims with triage, quick legal help, and more extensive representation. Attorneys were paid $75 per hour for up to 5 hours per client, but many did the work pro bono and for far more than 5 hours.

Common legal issues included FEMA appeals, insurance claims for loss of personal...

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