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After the disaster

Author of
2 September 2006
What should you do after a disaster hits? First, call your attorney.

Robert Mangels, one of JMBM’s mass disaster and insurance claim experts, says “We can make the biggest contribution to maximize recovery when we are brought into a situation as early as possible. We like to be at ‘ground zero’ within 24 hours, leading your disaster team to find and preserve critical evidence and offer the protection of the attorney-client privilege for vital and sensitive information gathered by your expert disaster team.”

When the insurance carrier beats your team to the disaster site, they can shape interviews and document evidence that is unfavorable to your claim. If someone protecting your interests was there, those interviews might have been clarified, or credible evidence that supports your claim might have been captured. Much of this evidence becomes unavailable in a short time as witnesses’ memories fade, witnesses disappear, evidence decays or is lost and images set by the carriers take hold as the “official view” of things. This can all be avoided if your team is at ground zero protecting your interests.

Some cynics might say, “The insurance company is not your friend. It wants to pay as little as possible, and pay it as late as possible, if ever.” We probably wouldn’t go that far, but we believe it is in every owner’s interest to bring the greatest expertise possible to bear on big claims at the earliest possible moment. What do you think?

Our Perspective. We represent developers, owners and lenders. We have helped our clients as business and legal advisors on more than $50 billion of hotel transactions, involving more than 1,000 properties all over the world. For more information, please contact Jim Butler at or 310.201.3526.

Jim Butler is one of the top hotel lawyers in the world. GOOGLE “hotel lawyer” or “hotel mixed-use” or “condo hotel lawyer” and you will see why.

Jim devotes 100% of his practice to hospitality, representing hotel owners, developers and lenders. Jim leads JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® – a team of 50 seasoned professionals with more than $50 billion of hotel transactional experience, involving more than 1,000 properties located around the globe.

Jim and his team are more than “just” great hotel lawyers. They are also hospitality consultants and business advisors. They are deal makers. They can help find the right operator or capital provider. They know who to call and how to reach them. They are a major gateway of hotel finance, facilitating the flow of capital with their legal skill, hospitality industry knowledge and ability to find the right “fit” for all parts of the capital stack. Because they are part of the very fabric of the hotel industry, they are able to help clients identify key business goals, assemble the right team, strategize the approach to optimize value and then get the deal done.

Jim is frequently quoted as an expert on hotel issues by national and industry publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, BusinessWeek, and Hotel Business. A frequent author and speaker, Jim’s books, articles and many expert panel presentations cover topics reflecting his practice, including hotel and hotel-mixed use investment and development, negotiating, re-negotiating or terminating hotel management agreements, acquisition and sale of hospitality properties, hotel finance, complex joint venture and entity structure matters, workouts, as well as many operating and strategic issues.

Jim Butler is a Founding Partner of Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP and he is Chairman of the firm’s Global Hospitality Group®. If you would like to discuss any hospitality or condo hotel matters, Jim would like to hear from you. Contact him at or 310.201.3526. For his views on current industry issues, visit