Task Force on Disaster Preparedness and Response: A Stellar Inaugural Year

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Originally published in The Brief, Volume 41, Number 4, Summer 2012.

TIPS Chair Randy Aliment’s 2011–2012 theme is Disaster Preparedness and Response. The Disaster Preparedness and Response Task Force was formed in partnership with Thomson Reuters’ West LegalEdcenter, and developed that theme through teleconferences, webcasts, the task force blog, podcasts, articles, community service projects, law student writing competitions, and outstanding CLE programs at each of the fall, midyear, spring, and annual meetings. The task force also was responsible for acquiring new TIPS sponsors for these meetings, Exponent and Agility Recovery. The task force worked actively throughout the year with the ABA’s Standing Committee on Disaster Preparedness. TIPS has been nominated for the Meritorious Service award for the work of the task force in combination with the TIPS Law in Public Service (LIPS) and Animal Law Committees. The nomination is sponsored by the Long Range Planning Committee.

Teleconferences. Disasters unfortunately are with us. All we can do is prepare for them. They have occurred in the past, and they will occur in the future. In commemoration of September 11, 2001, the task force sponsored 10 teleconferences hosted by various general committees on the following topics: "September 11th, Ten Years Later, Where Are We in the Handling of Mass Claims within the Legal System?," which featured Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein, Kenneth Feinberg, and Sheila Birnbaum; "The Call: Aviation Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response"; "Ten Years Later: Mass Disaster Spawns Canine Heroes"; ?The World Trade Center Rescue, Recovery and Clean-Up Mass Litigation"; "Disaster Preparedness–Disaster Recovery"; "International Approaches to Disaster Preparedness and Response"; "Changes in Insurance Underwriting and Claims Handling since September 11th"; "The Silverstein Properties Trial and the Issue of Contract Certainty in the Aftermath of September 11, 2001"; "September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks: Duties of Corporate Directors and Officers in the Preparation and Execution of Disaster Avoidance and Recovery"; and "Employment Issues When Disaster Strikes." Each of these programs was recorded and is available through Thomson Reuters’ West LegalEdcenter...

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