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State bar comments on volunteer attorneys

New York State Bar Association President Seymour W. James Jr. commended the state Court of Appeals for allowing out-of-state attorneys to volunteer their legal services to New Yorkers affected by Superstorm Sandy.

The court authorized out-of-state attorneys, those who are not licensed in New York, to provide pro bono services in designated counties in New York. The attorneys cannot represent clients in court, but can assist with clinics and other services for storm victims under the supervision of an established New York bar association or other eligible legal service provider.

“With thousands of New Yorkers suffering, we welcome pro bono help from out-of-state attorneys,” James said.

The New York State Bar Association has created a toll-free helpline — 1 (800) 699-5636 — for New Yorkers facing storm-related legal problems. Volunteer attorneys are answering storm-related questions about insurance, real estate issues (landlord-tenant and other property disputes) and general legal matters, such as replacing missing wills and other documents.