Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
One of the problems with going global is that when disaster occurs in some far-flung locale, every corner of the law firm is affected. Take Thursday’s massive blackout on the East Coast. Though the power was out in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and parts of Canada, the effects were felt acutely elsewhere. At Thelen Reid & Priest, for example, the firm’s accounting team was hamstrung. Computer servers in New York serve as a hub for the systems in San Francisco; thus, the accounting department was “somewhat restricted in what they could do today,” said John Heisse II, Thelen’s San Francisco managing partner. The chaos that occurred in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks gave law firm managers a lesson in what might occur if a major store of documents or firm information is lost. But two years later, firms are still largely unprepared to deal with the loss of a major office. “They understand backing up files,” said Peter Zeughauser, a principal at law firm consultant Zeughauser Group, “but on a firmwide basis, did they really address what would happen if there were a more organization-wide threat?” Zeughauser, who is based in Newport Beach, Calif., said firm managers worry about disaster planning as they mull over global expansion plans. But few have gone far enough in their planning, much less consulted or hired a risk management professional, Zeughauser said. “I don’t think anyone has the whole thing wired, so that no one feels it without a glitch,” Zeughauser said. With about 125 lawyers in New York, Morrison & Foerster managers started thinking about disaster planning after Sept. 11, but they weren’t ready for Thursday, said Jo Haraf, MoFo’s chief information officer. The firm’s two major endeavors-adopting a synchronized, backup e-mail service and creating a twin for each computer network server in New York-are still in the final testing stages. Haraf said she was disappointed that her new systems couldn’t be tested real-time on Thursday. “The timing of this is very sad,” Haraf said. “This could have been really cool, not that I wish it on my colleagues in New York.” Haraf put a contingency plan in place to cope with the blackout if it lasted longer than a few hours. In that event, the firm would recreate information that was on the New York computer network using backup tapes in the Washington office. In the meantime, Haraf said, the firm’s East Coast lawyers could still communicate with one another using BlackBerry handheld devices.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.