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My Thoughts On Ike

Forgive me as I go a bit off topic.

As trial lawyers, we’re taught that it’s important to tell your story to the jury. Stories are powerful.

Most of us in Texas have spent the last few days watching the news. I mean, I had lunch at a sports bar Friday, and most of the TVs were tuned into the Weather Channel. The local and national news stations have done an okay job of explaining the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, but I have been extremely impressed by the coverage of the Houston Chronicle. The Chronicle has embraced the internet and new media to really provide the stories behind Hurricane Ike — not only stories from its own reporters, but stories, blog posts, videos and photos submitted from readers. Those are the real stories from Ike. I urge everyone to take a few minutes and read or watch some of those stories, particularly those from Galveston, which was probably hit hardest by the storm.

And then consider the stories we haven’t heard. Consider those in Haiti or Cuba or some of the other Caribbean countries that don’t have the opportunity to tell their stories. Because we concentrate on the stories of the US, we don’t get the same coverage or same stories from these countries. And then consider where these stories began. Compared to the lifestyles of most here in the US, these people started in a hole, and I have a hard time imagining how they find the hope and optimism to keep on going, especially after being hit by not one, but four large storms in a row. But somehow they do, and because their stories don’t get out to us, they often do it without the amount of aid or help that our Texas gulf coast residents can expect.

How are we doing? I’ve received some emails from attorneys out there just checking in. Austin is only 2 ½ hours from Houston, but with Hurricane Ike, it was a world apart. While Galveston and Houston were being decimated Saturday, Austin experienced blue skies and 90+ degree temperatures. The positive thing about that is that Austin has been able to take in refugees fleeing the coast. And they keep coming. I understand that busloads of coastal residents will be arriving in Austin and San Antonio today and the rest of the week while their home areas try to recover.

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