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Law Firms Open Following Hurricane Sandy

On Wednesday, law firms throughout New York opened their doors following Hurricane Sandy but had to deal with power outages in courts and accommodating staff members who suffered personal property damage, according to Reuters. Law firms either had their lawyers work from home or used meeting rooms in midtown as there was still many areas in the city without power.

Mel Immergut, the chairman of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCoy had to keeps its office at One Chase Manhattan Plaza closed. The firm had its lawyers work in a midtown location and in added space the firm acquired specifically for the storm.

A spokesman for Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft said that power had been restored to its offices in One World Financial Center but that the majority of the staff worked from home. Dan Neff, a partner for Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, said that his firm had to deal with interrupted telephone service. The firm is located at West 52nd Street and was not overly affected by the storm.

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According to managing partner Brad Karp, the law firm of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison had to deal with cooler temperatures. The building’s steam heat was cut to conserve energy by Con Edison. Phone calls made to Perkins Coie were transferred to the home phones of attorneys. The firm also gave its attorneys laptops with video capabilities for video conferences so they could work from home. One Perkins partner from New Jersey, John Squires, said he was working from home but had to run back and forth to homes of friends in order to charge his cell phone.

Andrew Joseph, a managing partner for Drinker Biddle & Reath, said that their office was open but attorneys had trouble commuting to work because of long lines for gas. Ed Gramigna, the managing partner, had to rent a van to get to work on Wednesday after he discovered that a tree crushed his car and blocked his driveway.

“It’s been an ordeal,” said Gramigna. “Today I was able to get into the office and get some work done.” Gramigna said that close to $10,000 in damage was done to his 2009 BMW.

Plenty of law firms had their daily efforts hindered by closures of courts in both Delaware and New York. An attorney from Latham & Watkins said that the firm had attorneys ready to attend a hearing in Delaware Bankruptcy Court in the case for the takeover of A123 Systems Inc. the hearing was rescheduled for November 5.

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