In Katrina’s Wake, Law Firm Disaster Teams See Action (

Leigh Jones
The National Law Journal

Much of the New Orleans legal community is in shambles following the devastation from Hurricane Katrina.

Attorneys and staffers at some law firms were still unaccounted for last week, and office buildings and courthouses — and the documents inside — remained soaking under water.

Legal professionals said that they thought they had planned for the worst, but until some levees collapsed flooding almost 80 percent of the city after the hurricane hit, they believed they had escaped much of the damage predicted from the massive storm.

“We have never dealt with something of this magnitude, but we’re going to have to,” said Gregory Bodin, president of the Baton Rouge Bar Association. With offices at the Louisiana State Bar Association and the New Orleans Bar Association flooded, the Baton Rouge organization is serving as the headquarters for the other groups.

The New Orleans area was home to about 7,500 lawyers, Bodin said, which equals about one-third of the state’s attorneys. “Most of the lawyers lost their homes, jobs and maybe their practices,” he said. (more…)

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