For an attorney referral in the area, following are several options:
Use the Sarasota County Bar Association's Directory List to find an attorney. The directory allows you to search for attorneys by practice area.
The Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service
The Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) provides referrals to attorneys who will conduct an initial half hour client consultation for no more than $25.00. Participating attorneys are required to:
- Submit an extensive application to the service panel;
- Be a member in good standing of The Florida Bar having no pending probable cause complaints;
- Carry professional liability insurance with limits of not less than $100,000.
LRS has also established Low Fee, Elderly, AIDS Law, and Disability Law panels for clients in need. The initial half-hour office consultation for these specialty panels is free.
In conjunction with its existing operator-assisted, toll-free Lawyer Referral Service (1-800-342-8011), The Florida Bar has developed an online Lawyer Referral Service.
Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory on Line
The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory site is a user-friendly site for those able to pay for legal services as well as an additional source for locating an attorney. Many of the SCBA members are listed with Martindale-Hubbell. www.martindale.com
Legal Aid of Manasota (Pro Bono)
Legal Aid handles civil areas of law including Family Law (Limited to domestic violence, child abuse and/or neglect, Guardianships, Bankruptcy (to preserve your home), Wills (55 years +), Housing Law, Consumer Law and Probate.
Who is eligible?
- Any person who resides in Sarasota County or whose legal problem is located in Sarasota or Manatee County may apply for assistance. Applicants who meet case eligibility guidelines and whose household income and assets are within 150% of the federal poverty guidelines (125% for family law) will be considered.
- Legal Aid of Manasota offers a Pro Se Divorce Clinic for income eligible people who would like to learn how to represent themselves in a divorce proceeding. This clinic is taught by attorneys, and forms are provided.
- Seniors, age 55 an over, or the terminally ill may qualify to obtain a will, power of attorney, or designation of health care surrogate without charge. Legal assistance is also provided to individuals with AIDS or who are HIV positive.
- CRIMINAL REPRESENTATION IS NOT AVAILABLE.
For information call: Sarasota: 366-0038; Manatee: 747-1628; Venice: 492-4631
Gulf Coast Legal Services (Pro Bono)
Gulf Coast Legal Services provides free legal representation to poor and elderly people within Pinellas, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties. Its on-staff attorneys represent domestic violence victims and help them obtain a divorce or custody of their children.
Attorneys prevent illegal foreclosure actions against elderly people, aged 60 or older. Seminars are also provided regarding the rights of mobile home owners for the 86 mobile home parks in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.
Staff also assists in such areas as restoring drivers licenses, reconnecting utilities, and with tax problems, food stamps, employment issues, and immigration. Criminal representation is not provided.
For information, contact: Sarasota County: Glasser-Schoenbaum Human Services Center 1750-17th St., Unit I, Sarasota, Fl. 34234; 366-1746; Manatee County: 430-12th St. West Bradenton, Fl. 34205; 746-6151.
The Family Law Connection, Inc.
The goal of The Family Law Connection is to ensure that children receive financial support from both their parents. The Family Law Connection provides legal services for family law if there is no injunction against domestic violence, or if services were denied by Legal Aid of Manasota or Gulf Coast Legal Services.
The person must have been a resident of Sarasota County for at least six months, have low income/assets, and minor children born of the relationship. Clients who qualify for services are referred to lawyers in the community who volunteer to take cases for a very low fee, which is paid by The Family Law Connection.
For information in Sarasota, visit 1750 17th St. (B-3), Sarasota, Fl. 34234, or call 952-9899.
Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc.
Florida Rural Legal Services provides civil representation in the areas of housing, including landlord/ tenant, public benefits, employment, wage claims, elder law, consumer problems, farm-worker issues, job discrimination and limited immigration assistance. Florida Rural Legal Services serves Lee, Charlotte, Hendry, Glades, Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie, Palm Beach, Highlands, Hardee, Hendry and Desoto Counties.
The agency’s elder law project serves seniors over 60 regardless of income. It also assists clients through its pro bono program with local attorneys and local bar associations, mainly in the family law area. Direct family law services are provided in Charlotte, St. Lucie and Martin Counties.
Florida Rural has a staff that is fluent in Spanish and Creole. DeSoto County residents can call toll free: 1-800-476-8937, or (239)-334-4554.