Law Firms

Hurricane Sandy Didn't Stop Some NY Lawyers--and One Law Firm Chef--From Coming to Work

A few lawyers and paralegals at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s New York headquarters made it to work on Monday, even though the office was officially closed for Hurricane Sandy. One person even came to work by bike.

Peter Bicks, partner in charge of the office, told the New York Law Journal that lawyers continued work to complete filings in jurisdictions not affected by the hurricane. And some clients weren’t giving the firm a pass. “We’ve gotten both well wishers and those looking to us to get the job done,” he said.

Bicks was among several lawyers who showed up for work at New York law firms on Monday. Nonlegal personnel also showed devotion, the National Law Journal reports. At Cravath Swaine & Moore, the firm’s chef showed up to work, cooking breakfast and lunch that was free to those who decided to come to the office.

Some cafeteria staffers also showed up at Proskauer Rose to serve the few lawyers and staffers who came to work, the New York Law Journal says. Secretary Rosetta Matasaran explained why she was in the office. Matasaran said she also worked during Hurricane Irene and decided to do it again because “Why not?”

Meanwhile, information technology personnel were working hard in advance of the storm, according to the NLJ. IT workers at Goulston & Storrs made sure backup services were working last week. At Lowenstein Sandler in Roseland, N.J., IT staffers worked through the night before the storm hit to make sure all employees could work from home.

Several law firms across the East Coast were closed, along with many federal and state courts (though some arraignments and emergency hearings continued). The U.S. Supreme Court was open for oral arguments on Monday, but it won’t be hearing cases on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the ABA Young Lawyers Division was coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to staff disaster hotlines with volunteer lawyers offering expert advice on legal issues stemming from the hurricane.

Many lawyers who stayed home on Monday continued to work nonetheless. Reed Smith partner David Grimes told the National Law Journal he was working double duty, finalizing a deal for client Patheon Inc. and tying down flying objects outside his house in Westport, Conn. “You multitask,” he explained.

Mel Immergut, chairman of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, was working at home after keeping a lunch date with a client. “Great bonding experience!” he told the New York Law Journal.

Prior coverage: “As Hurricane Sandy Sweeps In, Courts and Law Firms Close Down in DC, NJ and NY” “Hurricane Sandy Shuts Down DC-NY Travel, and Lawyer Stays Put Post-SCOTUS Arguments” “ABA Groups and Members Offer Help to Those Affected by Hurricane Sandy” “Supreme Court Switches Course, Cancels Tuesday Arguments” “As Hurricane Sandy Closes Many East Coast Courts, Supreme Court Stays Open on Monday” “Several Law Schools Announce Hurricane Sandy Closings”

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