Florida Bar creates disaster relief fund

first_img October 15, 2001 Regular News Florida Bar creates disaster relief fund I n response to the recent terrorist attacks, The Florida Bar is creating a disaster relief fund called the Florida Attorneys Charitable Trust (ACT). The Florida Lawyers Association for the Maintenance of Excellence (FLAME) will provide seed money for ACT, a 501(c)3 charitable entity, and it will serve as a way for Florida lawyers to make donations to aid the victims’ families. “It was inspired by the terrible events in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania on September 11,” Bar President Terry Russell said. “Beyond that, it is a needed vehicle for lawyers to make contributions to general disaster relief. We’ve already had Hurricane Andrew.” In the wake of the terrorist attacks that have shaken Americans to the core, Russell said many lawyers have told him they want to help in some way, but they’re not sure how their contributions would be spent by large relief organizations. “They’re telling me, ‘I want to know it will go to where it will do the most good to help the victims of the tragedy and to preserve the rule of law,’” Russell said. “That’s the idea.” While the country’s political leaders plot strategies to combat terrorism, Russell reminds lawyers of the need to preserve the rule of law and civil liberties. “What separates us as a nation from the demonic ideology that inflicted this pain upon us is our respect for each other and for the rule of law,” Russell said. And while he asks lawyers to be ever vigilant to find a balance between national security and individual liberties guaranteed by our Constitution, Russell invites lawyers to give to ACT and feel confident their dollars will be carefully spent to do the most good. Until now, the only vehicle for charitable giving at the Bar has been to the Florida Bar Foundation, but those dollars go to a specific purpose of helping provide legal services to low-income people. Still in its final formative stages as of press time, ACT will be administered by appointed directors, who will “make a careful analysis of where the money is going,” Russell said. These initial director-trustees, he said, likely will be officers of the Bar. Those wishing to contribute may now send checks to: Florida Attorneys Charitable Trust, c/o The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300. Donations will be held pending finality of all necessary federal and state approvals, expected by the date of this issue. In addition to ACT, the Bar’s Military Affairs Committee is soliciting Florida lawyers to provide pro bono services to active duty military and National Guard members who are mobilized to respond to the September 11 terrorist attacks. Volunteers are needed to assist in estate planning, powers of attorneys, Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act Issues (SSCRA), Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (USERRA) issues, Consumer Law, Landlord-Tenant Law, and many other legal issues. Volunteers will be advised of training dates, times and places, at a later time. Interested Bar members should fill out the application below and return it to The Florida Bar, c/o Jennifer Wilson, Military Affairs Committee, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300, or fax the application to Wilson at (850) 561-5818. Florida Bar creates disaster relief fundlast_img

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