Larry Bathgate was my co-counsel on 23 municipal insurance claims Following Superstorm Sandy and countless commercial and residential claims as well. We spoke on Friday evening and Saturday morning about our former clients, the rebuilding of the Jersey Shore and our law practices. From my view, there has been an amazing transformation and it was gratifying to see the American patriotism in Bay Head, New Jersey, with hundreds of American flags everywhere.
I have numerous posts about Superstorm Sandy and my time in New Jersey. I lived there and in New York between 175-225 days a year from 2013-2015 following Superstorm Sandy and learned a lot about the culture, the history of the area and the people that call the Jersey Shore home. Here are some of the past posts:
Rallying Jersey Shore Policyholders at Joey Harrison’s Surf Club
Superstorm Sandy Insurance Questions? Roadmap to Recovery Workshops Provide Answers
A Fun Day – Joining the New York Bar and Talking with Chris Christie
The Mythical National Flood Claim Memo and Sandy Flood Claims
It is hard to tell the damages still left from Superstorm Sandy unless you were here afterwards and have a somewhat discerning eye. In Bay Head, it is easy to see that the government took part of the shore property and built a huge mound of sand to protect against the next big Nor’easter Superstorm. The homes that did not fully replace roofs have mismatched cedar shake shingles that change color over a period of time from the shingles not replaced. Those that replaced with similar colored but artificial tile roofs are pretty obvious as well as they do not match color or texture. A number of homes and buildings are up on stilts to comply with the flood zone requirements. I am most happy with the brand-new Bay Head City Hall and Police Department. We argued with Zurich and then FEMA for those funds.
The attorneys in our Red Bank office have changed over time. On Saturday night, Michael Buonocore was married. He is a great guy and truly dedicated to helping policyholders. Here is a picture of us celebrating with his bride Rosemary:
I am thinking about this in part because of the changing sentiment of local people severely harmed by a catastrophe caused by auto-crash advertising attorneys looking to jump in and make money with property insurance claims. By contrast in New Jersey, I was literally invited by local New Jersey attorney Larry Bathgate and other attorneys because of our skill set in property insurance.
In Panama City, a town I have lived in and attended school, a number of people have written rather nasty comments about attorneys and have ignorantly directed some at me—they have no idea who I am. Still, the point from people harmed by a catastrophe is that those of us helping truly are not living in their shoes.
This is a valid point and each person harmed by a major hurricane, wildfire, flood or earthquake has unique issues dealing with and coping with the disaster. I just wish I could show them through my eyes how the New Jersey Shore has rebounded. It is not the same, but over time the bad memories fade, real progress is made, and life returns to a new state of normal that can be even better than before.
Thought For The Afternoon
It’s a shame there has to be a tragedy before the best in people will finally shine.