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May 12, 2021 Modern Law Library

Are you good in a crisis? There may be a growing practice area for you

By Lee Rawles

When they were putting together their new book, Crisis Lawyering: Effective Legal Advocacy in Emergency Situations, editors Ray Brescia and Eric K. Stern didn't know that the world would soon be gripped by a pandemic. But they knew that being ready for crises large or small could benefit lawyers.

In fact, lawyers who specialize in emergency management and handling crisis situations are in more demand than ever, and it doesn’t take a contagious deadly pathogen to need their services.

In Crisis Lawyering, Brescia and Stern gathered personal accounts from lawyers who handled Hurricane Katrina recovery, international kidnappings of journalists, the Muslim ban and contentious family law cases.

These lawyers all make the point that a crisis can pop up in cases large and small. Whether you want to make a career out of handling crisis cases or you want to weather a crisis that’s been foist upon you, the authors in the various chapters have tips and tricks learned from their own experiences.

In this new episode of the Modern Law Library podcast, Brescia and Stern talk about the writing process, their own experience with emergency management in government and the private sector, and delve into the ethical issues that the legal profession should be examining as its members are forced to make hard choices in crisis situations.

For example, the medical profession has come together to produce standards for triage during mass casualty incidents. Should lawyers hold themselves to a different standard of care in the legal equivalent of a mass casualty incident?

In This Podcast

Ray Brescia

Ray Brescia is a law and technology chair and a professor at the Albany Law School in New York. He is the author of The Future of Change: How Technology Shapes Social Revolutions and co-editor of How Cities Will Save the World: Urban Innovation in the Face of Population Flows, Climate Change and Economic Inequality and Crisis Lawyering: Effective Legal Advocacy in Emergency Situations.

Eric K. Stern

Eric K. Stern is a professor at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the University at Albany’s State University of New York. He is the editor-in-chief of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Crisis Analysis and co-author of The Politics of Crisis Management: Public Leadership Under Pressure. He is the co-editor of Crisis Lawyering: Effective Legal Advocacy in Emergency Situations.