Planning for the unexpected

August 30, 2010
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We make plans to get to a safe place when there’s bad weather. We know where the emergency exits are in case of a fire. We (hopefully) have backed up our important files in case there’s damage to our office. But do we have a plan for a random act of violence?

I’ve written about disaster plans for firms a few times in this blog after firms experienced fires. Some firms aren’t prepared in case a fire happens, but some are. I wonder if firms (and businesses in general) have a plan in place in case someone decides to start shooting at the law firm’s building.

This happened last week at Barnes & Thornburg in Indianapolis, when the husband of a former partner sat atop a parking garage next to the firm, randomly shooting a gun before taking his own life. Two of those bullets struck the firm’s outside walls.

The firm alerted employees by e-mail of the situation and advised everyone to move to the interior of the building.

Companies post signs where the exits are and tell employees where to go in case of a tornado, but how often are we told what to do in case a situation like the one that happened last week occurs? Unfortunately, we live in a world where you can’t predict human behavior and don’t know when someone might decide to come into your office with a weapon or be sitting just a few feet away taking shots at your building.

Has your firm addressed a plan for these types of emergency situations?

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  1. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  3. Don't believe me, listen to Pacino: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6bC9w9cH-M

  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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