Pictured: Lieff Cabraser attorneys Kenneth Byrd (left) and John Spragens (right) of the Nashville office.
Lieff Cabraser attorneys Mark P. Chalos, Kenneth S. Byrd, and John T. Spragens volunteered today at the Legal Aid of East Tennessee clinic in Gatlinburg, Tennessee to provide free legal help for the victims of the Smoky Mountain wildfires in Sevier County. The wildfires, constituting one of the largest natural disasters in the history of Tennessee, occurred from November 28 to December 9, 2016, claiming at least 14 lives and injuring 134 others.
The volunteer effort comes on the heels of the creation of a partnership service by the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA), Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET), Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS), the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) who worked together to develop and provide a toll-free legal aid hotline for victims of wildfires in Sevier County, TN.
Victims of wildfires residing in Sevier County facing legal issues who are unable to afford a lawyer may call TALS’ free legal helpline, 1-844-HELP4TN (1-844-435-7486). Callers will be guided to an extension set up specifically for wildfire-related legal assistance where they will be able to leave a message and receive a return call from a volunteer attorney. Survivors can also go online to www.help4tn.org for resources and access to TN Free Legal Answers.
The legal assistance provided at the clinic includes assistance with securing FEMA and other benefits for disaster survivors; assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims; help with home repair contracts and contractors; replacement of wills and legal documents destroyed in the disaster; assistance with consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures; counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems; and counseling on landlord and tenant issues.
Again, victims of the wildfires can call the free legal helpline at 1-844-HELP4TN (1-844-435-7486) or they can go online to www.help4tn.org.