Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday that a program has been launched to provide free legal services from volunteer lawyers to Los Angeles residents facing "extreme difficulties" from the COVID-19 pandemic.
LA Representates will help people who face immediate problems like rent, employment, or domestic violence, Garcetti said during his daily corona virus update.
"These are complex situations and we don't always understand the law, those of us who are not lawyers," said Garcetti. "Having a lawyer and a lawyer at your side can make the difference between a positive and a negative result."
Garcetti said that LA Representates will be open to residents regardless of their citizenship.
Law firms, chambers of law and lawyers donate their services free of charge to legal aid groups to help vulnerable tenants, victims of domestic violence, low-income families and workers with legal problems. Many thanks to all of our partners.
– MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA), May 6, 2020
"There are no qualifications. You just have to have a problem that you need help with … without fear, without discrimination," said Garcetti. "This is universal."
The program will also develop a legal aid system for companies "devastated" by the pandemic, Garcetti said.
Part of the support that LA Representates will provide to small businesses includes new lease negotiations, business loan applications, or help interpret new laws that have come into force, Garcetti said.
Los Angeles residents can access free legal services at coronavirus.lacity.org/larepresent.
Lawyers who volunteer with LA Representates come from "our top law firms, bar associations," said Garcetti. The prosecutor will also be involved, but Garcetti has not given any details.
Garcetti said that although he hopes to speak later this week about which stores and facilities may be reopening soon, he repeated his message Monday that he would not make any changes to Safer at Home orders until a consensus was reached with them Health authorities of the district and neighboring cities were reached.
However, he said flower wholesalers may be reopened on Tuesday in certain circumstances, as farms are exempt from the state's COVID 19 orders.
Garcetti said the flower markets could be monitored and closed if they didn't follow the city's social distance guidelines.
Mother's Day is Sunday, one of the busiest times of the year for flower markets.
The downtown Los Angeles Flower Market is one of the largest flower wholesalers in the country, according to its website.