MSBA Disaster Plan
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Legal Guide for Victims of Mass Disasters- This information
is a public service provided by the Maryland State Bar Association and the
American Red Cross.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
If you are a disaster victim and are not being represented by a lawyer, the
best advice may be to talk to persons you trust before you take action. Members
of your family, close business associates or clergy can often recommend a good
Public libraries usually have directories with names of lawyers listed by
fields of practice, such as negligence, personal injury, property law, and
trial practice. More specifically, many counties have lawyer referral programs.
To see if your county has a referral service, check you local phone book or
call the Maryland State Bar Association at (410) 685-7878 or (800) 492-1964.
Also, you may wish to ask for a free copy of two of MSBA's public service brochures
entitled, "When You Need a Lawyer" and "Lawyers and Legal
Be sure to ask for details about the experience and reputation of anyone you
are thinking of hiring. Just because a person asks for your legal business
does not mean he or she is qualified to give you the legal help you need. You
might also want to speak to clients and former clients of the professional
and ask whether he or she has been skillful, fair, courteous and energetic
in the past. Also, be careful about quickly signing any papers from anyone
who promises you a fast payment. Finally, when retaining a lawyer, keep in
mind that you are entitled to know how you will be charged for the service.
In the event of a mass disaster, you may call the MSBA Legal Disaster
Hotline at (800) 492-1964. During emergencies this Hotline will be manned
by volunteer MSBA members. They will offer information and assistance to
victims and their families. No referrals for legal services will be given.