Posted Sep 17, 2008 07:18 pm CDT
Lawyers at Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell finally got a chance to survey the damage first-hand when their offices reopened this morning at JPMorgan Chase Tower in Houston.
About 65 offices at the firm were so severely damaged from Hurricane Ike that they can’t be used, managing partner Jerry Clements told ABAJournal.com. But the firm’s computer network kept on humming throughout the storm.
“Some offices, although the windows were blown out, everything is still sitting in place,” she said. “I understand that other offices did have things stripped off the walls and pictures that had been blown away.”
Despite the office damage, the computer network was never down because computer and telephone lines at the office are all buried underground. Clements says the firm’s computer networks are all backed up on a Dallas server, so there was never any risk of lost data.
The Chase tower is making office space available in other parts of the building, and lawyers will be relocating there. Locke Lord’s information technology department is making sure that lawyers will have Internet and phone access in their temporary digs.
“On Saturday morning, as soon as the storm passed, we ordered 50 new laptops with satellite Internet cards, and our IT department has been working nonstop to get those laptops up and running” for lawyers who need them, Clements said.
Clements expects the damaged Houston offices will be repaired in less time than it took the firm’s New Orleans office to reopen after Hurricane Katrina. Clements says about 20 people who worked in New Orleans had to work in the firm’s Dallas and Houston offices for two or three months before they were able to return.