Business as Usual?

Robert Alpert, President/In House Counsel, ICALM GROUP, USA

Recent (1) criminal penalties paid by Volkswagen, (2) the bankruptcy filing by Takata and (3) the plea bargains by two ex- Penn State University officials, and the conviction of its past President, to felonies of child endangerment, raise once again the perplexing question of why do corporations, universities and the insurance industry treat unexpected events that result in death, serious injury or substantial property damage as “business as usual”? Why do they allow the commercial repercussions and litigation surrounding these events to be dragged out over several years with the employers or clients suffering enormous financial consequences and the victims ultimately receiving 50% or less of the dollars paid? Is it indifference, inexperience, a lack of leadership, an over weighted and under questioned acceptance of legal opinions, a biased reliance on immediate corporate profits or some other inexplicable misunderstanding of what the adverse consequences could be?

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USA Business Continuity General October 2017 Vol.11, No. 41, Autumn 2017

Robert Alpert

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Bob is a New York admitted attorney who has been in private practice with a NY law firm, held an executive position and was a member of the Board of a major subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway companies, served as senior counsel and co-leader of the crisis management practice of a large U. S. law firm and has acted as CEO and in house counsel for a crisis response and litigation management company (ICALM Group). He has responded to forty-six note-worthy crises and catastrophic events that have occurred throughout the U. S., Puerto Rico, France, Spain, Scotland, Italy and the South Pacific, supervising multi-district litigation as lead counsel and actively participating in the defense, prosecution and administration of “bet the company” issues involving airlines, several U. S. and foreign manufacturers, a real estate investment trust, a railroad, a hotel, a super market chain, major national and international insurers, several environmental entities, corporate executives and the federal government. He has prepared crisis/catastrophe response programs for several Fortune 500 companies, including American Airlines, for whom he managed the response to four major aircraft accidents, and supervised litigation worldwide from 1993 – 2000. Several families who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center tragedy sought him to assist them through the litigation and compensation process. Bob has dramatically improved the approach taken by corporations world-wide to address difficult issues, counseled companies (executives, risk managers and in-house counsel) on how to (1) prevent an unexpected event from becoming a crisis/catastrophe, and effective ways to (2) evaluate, select and manage outside counsel law firms and trial attorneys nationally and internationally to advance the effective and efficient administration of litigation arising from these events.

ICALM GROUP

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ICALM Group provides Fortune 500 corporations, casualty companies and individuals in general corporate, transportation, environmental, toxic tort, medical products and product liability matters with financial exposure containment consulting services in the areas of catastrophe/unexpected event preparedness, corporate/product/service/executive reputation exposure, class action litigation management, risk management, productive and efficient investigative techniques, early claim assessment and resolution, insurance coverage analysis, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), reserve evaluation, structured settlements, litigation and law firm management, constructing efficient litigation budgets, retaining and managing outside experts and vendors, and developing training seminars for in-house claims and legal personnel.

USA Business Continuity General October 2017 Vol.11, No. 41, Autumn 2017