Pro Bono News
Disasters like Harvey and Irma show how lawyers' stodgy rules kick Americans when they're down (Opinion)
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
- Los Angeles Times
Op-Ed Disasters like Harvey and Irma show how lawyers' stodgy rules kick Americans when they're down
"My house burned down in the Oakland firestorm of 1991, along with almost 3,000 others. I and my husband at the time lost everything we owned that wasn’t in our car, but we considered ourselves fortunate: Our 17-month-old son and his paternal grandparents survived. They were driven to safety by a neighbor minutes before our house burst into flames. Twenty-five people died in the firestorm, two at the foot of our driveway.
We would feel the effects of the fire for months. We had to find a temporary place to live with a toddler when thousands of others were looking and rents were skyrocketing. We had to decipher insurance policies, file and contest claims. We had to figure out whether to rebuild, and when. And we had to do all this while juggling work and disrupted child care, continuing to pay bills even though the stuff we were paying off was now a pile of ashes. Still, we were lucky. As law professors, we had financial and legal resources to meet these challenges.
Most people hit by Harvey and Irma don’t have these means..."