Several neighborhoods in St. Louis County were completely demolished from tornadoes that ripped through town on New Year's Eve, 2010.  Several months later, Joplin was nearly wiped off the map due to some of the most damaging tornadoes in state history. Then, in 2012, Branson was hit with severe damage as well.  The human suffering resulting from these storms is tremendous.  So many people want to step up and help the victims, but aren't really sure what they can do.

Out of this devastation, however, I have felt a renewed pride for being an attorney.  The lawyers of this state wanted to do something to help, and boy, they sure have helped.  Many of the state's legal agencies, including The Missouri Bar, Legal Services of Missouri, and the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys (just to name a few) got together and formed The Legal Help in Disasters Committee.  The committee coordinates volunteers from their respective agencies to give free legal help to victims of natural disasters.  Legal problems range from landlord/tenant issues to real estate deed issues to price gouging by repair contractors.  In coordination with the Red Cross, volunteers have been stationed at service centers near the disaster areas.  Victims of the storms can come to the center and meet with a lawyer, on the spot, for free. 

I get to see the work of these individuals being a part of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys' Emergency Response Team.  Some of these folks are amazing in their selflessness. 
Jill S. Bollwerk
Helping St. Louis area residents with personal injury, workers' compensation & insurance appeals/disputes.
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