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BOUND FOR BERMUDA? David Moss, founder of Catalina Lighting, was on his way home to South Florida from Italy when the Alitalia pilot announced that because “all the Florida airports are closed, we are diverting the plane to Bermuda.” He called his wife, Sylvia, from the plane that was supposed to land in Miami at 2:40 p.m. She says that when he asked, “What the hell is going on?” she told him, “We’re under terrorist attack.” After the short conversation, she started scrambling to get him a hotel in Bermuda, but, with so many planes diverted there, the island was sold out. The plane refueled in Bermuda, then headed back to Milan. POLITICS TAKES A BACK SEAT Twenty-five top movers and shakers in Broward County, Fla. — among them lawyer Roy Oppenheim, George Platt, County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman, political strategist Barbara Miller and furniture king Bobby Baer — attended a breakfast for gubernatorial candidate Bill McBride at the Renaissance Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. As they departed, they saw the news on a television in the bar. All stopped in their tracks and watched for about 20 minutes. Then, the cell phones started ringing, and everyone started calling people they knew in New York. At first, they were able to get through, but not later. “Then we all collectively dispersed,” said Oppenheim. He said he didn’t know if a lunch for McBride, scheduled at a Weston lawyer’s office, would be canceled, but he would not be attending. Instead, he went to pick up his kids at school. WANDERING MINDS Feldman Gale & Weber, a law firm in the Miami Center skyscraper on Biscayne Bay, sent everyone home Tuesday, leaving an answering machine message saying, “Due to the closure of various nearby federal and state offices and the evacuation of several office buildings in the downtown area our office will be closed. We should resume normal business hours [Wednesday].” Partner James Gale was giving a seminar on trademark law to about 30 attendees in the morning when the news hit. “We gave the news to attendees, and generally everyone requested the seminar be rescheduled because they could not concentrate. Some people were concerned about their corporate offices in New York. We had in-house counsels attending who had operations in New York.” Gale himself had just flown back from Minnesota. Jeff Feldman, his partner, still is out in Los Angeles, “so we are concerned about making sure he gets back safely,” Gale said. Meanwhile, U.S. Magistrate Bill Turnoff excused a jury during the sixth day of a trial, after lawyers for both sides agreed that the jurors would be hard-pressed to focus on the case. Turnoff said that since it was a civil and not a criminal trial, there was no reason it could not wait a day to reconvene. Given that news was continuing to break through the morning and that rumors were circulating that the federal courts in Miami might be evacuated, it was best to hold off on the case, he decided. Besides, Turnoff says, he himself was distracted by the day’s events. He has a daughter who works at a law firm in Washington, D.C. $15 MILLION DEAL ON HOLD Back at Miami Center, partner Tom Lehman was closing up the Tew Cardenas Rebak Kellogg Lehman DeMaria Tague Raymond & Levine law firm shortly before noon, at least in part because “many of our employees have children who are being let out of school. Generally, most people want to be near their families. … My wife has called twice to ask me why I am here. I am about to clear out, I am pulling stuff together and leaving.” The Miami Center office building itself wasn’t being evacuated, and the nearby First Union Financial Center, Florida’s tallest building at 55 stories, also emptied. Tew Cardenas had a $15 million real estate refinancing put on indefinite hold for a couple of reasons. For one, Lehman said, “We were expecting a $15 million wire transfer, and now the banks are closed.” Also, the attorney for the bank handling the refinancing is located in Manhattan, in a building near the World Trade Center. Tew Cardenas lawyer Lisa O’Neill said, “He was in his office when the first plane hit. Then they shut his building down. Thereafter, one tower collapsed. He said he was going to try to walk home. He joined the throngs of people on the streets.” It’s unknown how the collapse of the second tower affected his plan, but “all bets were off,” O’Neill said. “Things got out of hand and everybody closed down.” Lehman said his law firm would open today “unless they close downtown, and we will alert our employees.”

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