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Miami-In the wake of Hurricane Wilma last October, there wasn’t enough plywood on hand to cover the many broken windows in the Greenberg Traurig office building on Brickell Avenue in downtown Miami. But this year, Greenberg President and Chief Executive Officer Cesar Alvarez said his firm is ready. “We’re cornering the market on plywood,” Alvarez quipped. Both large and small law firms are preparing for the predicted blitz of hurricanes that may threaten south Florida. But the different-sized firms are proceeding quite differently because of vast differences in resources. At the high end, Greenberg Traurig has purchased 10 satellite phones for a total of $5,000 for use if land-based and wireless phone services go down, as they did after Wilma last year. A second ‘bunker’ The big firm has spent $1 million for a second “bunker” computer backup system-a hard drive stored in a building that can withstand hurricane-force winds. The overall computer backup systems have been strengthened so that Greenberg Traurig’s 290 south Florida-based attorneys, in an emergency, can return to work within several hours. “This year we didn’t want to just rely on one bunker system, because the impact for us to not be able to bring up our technology system would be massive,” Alvarez said. At the small-firm end, Miami appellate attorney Lauri Waldman Ross said the plan at her two-lawyer firm, located in southern Miami-Dade County, is to pull any electronic equipment away from the windows and pray. “Does it hurt? Of course it does,” she said. She will let her firm’s other partner and two assistants go home to focus on protecting their families and homes. Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, a 19-lawyer firm in Coral Cables, Fla., also has a much less elaborate plan than Greenberg Traurig’s. It plans to shut down if a hurricane strikes. Tucker Ronzetti, the firm’s new managing partner, said the firm has changed few of its procedures since last year, other than purchasing one satellite phone so a single member of the firm can serve as point person for the firm’s employees. The firm has an off-site data backup for important files. “If there were a disaster, we’d have our data all preserved,” Ronzetti said. Meanwhile, solo lawyers and firms of just a few lawyers acknowledge that they’re hoping to get lucky. Miami criminal defense attorney Bruce Lehr, who has a three-partner firm in downtown Miami, said that he doesn’t have time to think about emergency planning for his office, which took heavy damage last hurricane season. That’s because he’s in the middle of a major financial fraud trial in a Miami federal court. “Everything else will go by the wayside,” Lehr said.

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