(a)  Rapid Response

(1)           It is essential that the State Bar establish an awareness and sensitivity to disaster situations.

(2)           The disaster response plan will be disseminated through the publications of the State Bar and continuing legal education programs.

(3)           The disaster response team shall be properly trained to respond to initial inquiries and appear at the site.

(4)           The disaster response team will provide victims and/or their families with written materials when requested.

(b)  Effective Mobilization of Resources

(1)           An appropriate press release shall be prepared and disseminated.

(2)           The coordinator shall confirm the individuals who will make up the disaster response team.

(3)           Individual assignments of responsibilities shall be made to members of the team by the coordinator.

(4)           The coordinator shall arrange for the State Bar to be represented at any victims' assistance center established at the disaster site.  The coordinator will request the YLD to assist the State Bar by providing additional staffing.

(5)           The coordinator shall contact the local district attorney(s) and request that he or she prosecute any persons engaging in the unauthorized practice of law (N.C.G.S. 84‑2.1, 84‑4, 84‑7 and 84‑8); improper solicitation (N.C.G.S. 84‑38); division of fees (N.C.G.S. 84‑38); and/or the common law crime of barratry (frequently stirring up suits and quarrels between persons).

(c)  Publicity

(1)           It is important to focus on the fact that disaster response is a public service effort.

(2)           The disaster response team shall ensure approval and dissemination of an even‑handed press release.

(3)           The director of communications will be utilized for press contacts.

(4)           It is important to ensure that the press release indicates that the State Bar is a resource designed to assist victims, if requested.

(d)  On‑site Representation

(1)           It is normally desirable for the disaster response team to arrive at the site of the disaster as soon as possible.

(2)           Only the president or president‑elect or their designee will conduct press interviews on behalf of the State Bar.

(3)           The availability of the State Bar at the site of the disaster should be made known to victims.

(4)           The disaster response team shall establish a liaison with the State Emergency Management Division, Red Cross, Salvation Army, and other such organizations to provide assistance to victims and furnish written materials to these organizations.

(5)           It is crucial that the State Bar not become identified with either side of any potential controversy.

(6)           All members of the disaster response team must avoid making comments on the merits of claims that my arise from the disaster.

(e)  Dissemination of Information to Affected Individuals

(1)           The team shall emphasize in all public statements that the State Bar's major and only legitimate concern is for those persons affected by the disaster and the public interest.

(2)           The State Bar's role is limited to monitoring compliance with its disciplinary rules, to requesting reports of any violation needing investigation, and to informing victims of rules concerning client solicitation.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 84‑23;

Readopted Eff. December 8, 1994.