Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ABA 2012 Workers’ Compensation Midwinter Seminar and Conference

The American Bar Association's Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section's Workers’ Compensation and Employers’ Liability Committee, along with the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section, recently presented a captivating seminar in San Antonio, TX, which included a panel on Natural Disasters and Their Aftermath. I was fortunate enough to moderate this panel, which included Bruce Blythe, Chairman of Crisis Management International, David Smith, Divisional Vice President- Risk Management for Family Dollar Stores, Inc. and Sidney Degan, III, Managing Partner of Degan, Blanchard & Nash, New Orleans, LA.

Mr. Blythe, a crisis management expert, addressed traumatic stress injuries created by natural disasters and how to best minimize the extent of these injuries and expedite the employee’s return to work. Mr. Smith spoke about the award winning disaster response plan that he helped Family Dollar implement in 2003. The focus of Mr. Smith’s presentation was having an adequate response plan in place before the natural disaster or traumatic event occurs and “Doing the Right Thing.” Mr. Degan addressed how his law firm and the Louisiana court system dealt with Hurricane Katrina and the handling of ongoing litigation. One of the most interesting aspects to me was how the Louisiana and Federal court systems protected its attorney, plaintiffs and defendants by declaring the days following the disaster “holidays.” This tolled any deadlines, such as the statute of limitations, during the time that the attorneys or pro se litigants were misplaced due to the damage.

I hope you are able to join us at the TIPS Spring meeting in Charleston, SC, May 16-20, 2012. The TIPS Disaster Initiative Program will take place on May 17, 2012.

Click here to find out more about the TIPS Spring meeting.

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