NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA (October 26, 2023) – The U.S. Foundation of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) has donated $75,000 to the Legal Aid Society of Hawai'i (LASH) for Wildfire Disaster Legal Assistance.
The tragic events that destroyed Lahaina and ravaged upcountry Maui continue to reverberate throughout Hawai'i and beyond. Many who lost loved ones, homes, businesses, and priceless possessions, will never fully recover. Nevertheless, there are many people working tirelessly to assist in the long and difficult journey back from this catastrophe.
ACTL recognizes that attorneys will play a prominent role in this recovery, and that access to justice for many victims of the fires will require access to an attorney. The dedicated lawyers working with the Legal Aid Society of Hawai'i – Hawai'i’s oldest and largest non-profit, public interest law firm – will provide zero-fee disaster legal aid to the most vulnerable in our society.
“ACTL’s partnership with Legal Aid is critical to supporting residents whose lives have been upended by the devastating wildfires on Maui, and enhances our ability to provide direct legal services, education, training, and outreach,” says David Kauila Kopper, Executive Director of Legal Aid Hawai'i. “The generosity of the Foundation’s donation to LASH will assist us in serving a clear public need — that those affected by the Maui wildfire disaster may begin to regain some control over their lives through the civil legal assistance and education provided. As individuals are able to rebuild their lives, the communities and economy of Maui will also begin to flourish again.”
LASH staff have been involved in the recovery effort from the start, providing disaster-related training and education at local resource fairs; staffing the Disaster Resource Centers along with other agencies; participating in weekly calls to coordinate governmental and non-governmental people and resources; disseminating information through their website and social media accounts; and, directly serving Maui residents with their immediate needs.
Read the full Press Release here