Ann Massie Nelson
Vol. 76, No. 8, August
Find out how to protect electronic records in
this third and final column in a series about managing your firm's most
valuable tangible assets - your records - in a disaster.
by Ann Massie Nelson
Nelson is a regular contributor to Wisconsin Lawyer
and communications director at Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co.
(WILMIC) in Madison.
One-fourth of businesses never reopen following a disaster, according
to the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Institute for Business
& Home Safety. Will your firm be one of them? Back up every byte of
information that passes through your law firm, some experts say, and you
will never be caught off guard. But is the risk of losing vital records
in a disaster worth the cost of creating and maintaining a mammoth
Electronically storing all the contents of your files - including
externally created documents - entails considerable human effort and
discipline. Costs include staff time, scanning equipment, imaging
software, storage media, and the continuous need to convert data to
newer and better configurations.
Most importantly, finding and reproducing the information you need in
the days and weeks following a disaster could be a Herculean task, the
proverbial needle in a bitmap.
Plans made in anticipation of Y2K often are credited for the quick
recovery of organizations struck by subsequent disasters. According to
Robert Hagness, a Mondovi sole practitioner and vice chair of the State
Bar's Law Practice Section, an effective electronic records management
plan gathers input from lawyers and staff and answers the following
"Recovering from Disaster: Step by Step" (Script, Train, Execute,
Process), a morning-long continuing legal education seminar for
attorneys and staff, will be presented this fall at these four
Thursday, Sept. 18, Skyline Golf Course, Black River Falls
Thursday, Sept. 25, The Waters, Minocqua
Friday, Sept. 26, The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake
Friday, Oct. 10, Dodge Point Country Club, Dodgeville
Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company will apply for 3.0 CLE
credits, including 2.0 EPR credits. All programs begin at 9 a.m. Call
WILMIC at (800) 373-3839 or visit www.wilmic.com for details.