The Sound of the Sawdust, the Smell of the Chainsaw

Morning in Dearborn: Chainsaws buzzing on fallen trees and limbs, traffic moving through major intersections where the traffic lights are out. It was a Hell of a storm yesterday. Many streets were blocked by trees that were uprooted or shattered. A long-time friend had his house completely destroyed by a fire that was started by lightning or a downed wire. He had to watch his home burn for over an hour, waiting for the fire department. My wife and I consider ourselves very lucky that our house was not damaged. We even have electricity!

My friend’s tragedy is a wake-up call to check our insurance coverage and make sure that my business and personal computers are adequately backed up. I have a back-up internal hard drive on my server at the office and I also do backups on portable drives that I switch out and take home. However, I have been lax recently. This morning, I took a portable hard drive to the office and ran a special back-up. Whatever you think is unthinkable can happen. A colleague was the victim of arson–then was accused of torching his own law office.

As an attorney, I have a special responsibility to my clients to preserve their documents and information. There is no failsafe protection against a disaster at my office. It could burn down or be destroyed by a tornado at any time. Therefore, I try to keep multiple back-ups so I have one at home and one at the office. It would be possible for both my home and my office to be destroyed at the same time, but there is no way to protect against that kind of statistical fluke. Keeping copies of my office server and laptop at both places is a reasonable precaution that is a very minor expense.

One can purchase a couple of 1.0TB portable hard drives for less than the cost of a pretty-good sofa or new tires for your Gremlin. It would certainly be less than a decent set of golf clubs, or 18 holes at Pebble Beach. The peace of mind that comes from having a good back-up is worth more than all of those together.


John B. Payne, Attorney
Garrison LawHouse, PC
Dearborn, Michigan 313.563.4900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 800.220.7200
©2011 John B. Payne, Attorney

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