Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Illinois adopts new rule to help deliver legal services after major disaster

The Illinois Supreme Court announced today that it has adopted a new rule to facilitate the delivery of legal services in an emergency resulting from a major disaster.  In the case of an Illinois disaster, new Supreme Court Rule 718 would allow attorneys who are licensed in another state to provide pro bono publico legal services to residents of Illinois. In the event of a disaster in another state, the rule would allow attorneys licensed outside of Illinois to provide pro bono legal services to residents of the stricken state who have been displaced to Illinois because of the disaster.  The rule also would allow attorneys licensed in a stricken state to provide legal services in Illinois as long as those legal services arise out of and are reasonably related to the lawyers’ practice of law where the major disaster occurred.   Illinois Lawyer Now has more information here.

The rule is based on the ABA's "Model Court Rule on the Provision of Legal Services Following a Major Disaster" which has now been adopted in at least 14 states.  (Go here for a chart on which states have adopted the rule.)

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