Law firm & paralegals now prepared for hurricanes

Planning to protect data & business documents in wake of 2005 storms:

"The fear of losing everything on its computer system drove Locke Liddell & Sapp to spend more than $300,000 so the information on its computers is stored on a nightly basis, said David F. Taylor, who was the law firm’s administrative partner and is now head of the corporate section. That way, if the Houston office is down, the Dallas office can pull up the information.

"It was money the firm planned to eventually spend, said Taylor, but the experience with Hurricane Rita sped up the project.

"The firm also found a low-tech solution for another storage problem: all the paperwork generated during the course of a case.

"When Hurricane Rita was bearing down on the Gulf Coast, the lawyers panicked. The wind could blow out the floor-to-ceiling windows and the papers would be ruined.

"In a pinch, the lawyers, along with their secretaries and paralegals, stacked boxes inside the hallways. Since then, the firm has embarked on a huge archiving project, sending the old file boxes to a storage site.

"And that, said Taylor, is not necessarily a bad exercise. ‘Offices are tidier,’ he said."