A new public-private partnership to provide free
legal services for California victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks was announced last month.
The partnership involves state and local bar
associations and state government agencies, as well as a number of
private law firms.
"Having met with hundreds of these victims and
family members, I am aware of the many pressing needs that they are
facing due to the loss of their loved ones," said Gov. Gray Davis,
in announcing the initiative. "This effort will provide these
victims and survivors with a trained advocate who can help protect
their legal and property rights. This will help them make informed
Many victims and survivors face the loss of
health benefits, immigration issues, loss of wages, child custody
issues, wills and probate complications and financial problems as a
result of the death of a family member during the Sept. 11 attacks.
Volunteer attorneys are being trained to help
these victims and family members identify potential legal issues and
to assist in resolving them, at no cost to the victims.
Families will be contacted by the state Victim
Compensation Board to identify those who would like to receive free
legal help. Those who are interested will be matched with volunteer
attorneys who have been trained in victim-specific issues, including
sources of economic relief, trusts and estates, and emotional and
practical issues facing the families.