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Disaster Checkup: Are you ready?

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1 September 2006
The current hurricane season serves a strong reminder to be prepared for the next disaster. We never know when there might be an earthquake, tornado, fire, flood or riot, but here are a few tips that can make a big difference, especially when taken before the disaster strikes:

· Insurance – Carefully examine your insurance coverage, ideally with help of legal counsel. Do you have the right kind and amounts of coverage? Business interruption insurance? Full replacement value coverage? How about policy ownership and named insureds? Are all relevant individual and corporate owners, lenders, and operators covered? Are full copies of the policies in secure locations? (Make sure to get both sides of the 2-sided forms!)

· Emergency response plan -You need a designated emergency team with a clear set of procedures to activate during the first hours of a crisis; the first 24 hours after a disaster is the most critical time period. Each member of your emergency team should be clearly identified, have specified tasks to perform, and should be ready to go when the call comes. They should have regular emergency drills so they understand their roles.

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