A few tidbits from cyberspace on Katrina and New Orleans:
5,000 – 6,000 lawyers (1/3 of the lawyers in Louisiana) have lost their offices, their libraries, their computers with all information thereon,their client files….Our state supreme court is under some water – with all appellate files and evidence folders/boxes along with it. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals building is under some water – with the same effect. Right now there may only be 3-4 feet of standing water but, if you think about it, most files are kept in the basements or lower floors of courthouses. ….
The city and district courts in as many as 8 parishes/counties are under water, as well as 3 of our circuit courts – with evidence/files at each of them ruined. The law enforcement offices in those areas are under water – again, with evidence ruined. …. And what happens when the evidence in their cases has been destroyed? Will the guilty be released upon the communities? Will the innocent not be able to prove their innocence?
What quarrel, what harshness, what unbelief in each other can subsist in the presence of a great calamity, when all the artificial vesture of our life is gone, and we are all one with each other in primitive mortal needs?
George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss