Vol. 81, No. 7, July
Inside the Bar
A Wild Ride
More than half of the State Bar's members have been affected by the
June floods. Resources are available to recover from the current
disaster and to plan ahead for the next one.
George C. Brown,
State Bar executive director
June, the rains came and kept on coming, turning
the southern half of Wisconsin into one huge water park, complete with
slides, wave pools, and even a magic act in the
form of a disappearing lake. A water park, alright, with none of the fun
and all of the
soggy clean up.
Thus far, 27 counties have been declared federal disaster areas.
areas, 12,658 State Bar members live or work. These members represent 55
percent of the
total State Bar membership and 81 percent of the lawyers who live and
work in Wisconsin.
More than 4,000 of these members live or work outside Milwaukee and Dane
Many of these lawyers have been affected by the flooding in some
flooded, files damaged or ruined, offices abandoned for dry quarters,
lengthened - that is if a safe route could be found.
As the waters rose, the State Bar emailed 11,385 members to
offer assistance if
they were affected by the flooding; and emailed other members with
information how they
could volunteer to help their colleagues and the public recover from the
State Bar's Practice411TM practice assistance program advised
members about what they could
do to prevent further damage to documents from mold, how to recover
water soaked computers, and how they might communicate with clients. As
a result of that
advice, some law firms have used their Web sites to keep clients updated
location, contact information, and the timetable for recovery.
Now, while the clean up continues, is the time to plan for the
because it surely will come. The State Bar offers you resources to begin
process. On WisBar, you will find disaster planning articles published
in this magazine,
including guides for preparing disaster recovery plans, tips for
recovering damaged records,
and computer management practices that will protect you and your clients
disaster strike. You'll also find links to general disaster assistance
including legal assistance for the public.
Disaster can take many forms: flood, tornado, massive snowfall,
pipes, sudden illness. Disaster can be anything unexpected that keeps us
out of our offices
and prevents us from serving our clients.
Begin the disaster planning process now. Use the resources at www.wisbar.org/disaster. Take a copy of the plan
home, because if you depend on the
plan that you have securely stored on your office computer, you'll have
a tough time
accessing it if the power grid goes down or the waters rise.