We live in a very interdependent world. Even manmade or natural disasters which happen far away from us geographically can cause economic disasters at home. In both business and social settings, the world is a much smaller place than it was ten years ago. We must now take this into account when preparing for disasters so that the impact is mitigated.

I am the keynote speaker at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum’s legal conference on September 16, 2011. I will be talking about preparation for disasters and means to protect businesses. For lawyers, it is a Continuing Legal Education Seminar and will take place at the Louisiana Endowment for Humanities Conference Center, 938 Lafayette St., New Orleans, Louisiana. It is presented in partnership with the Tulane University School of Law. The agenda is as follows:

Friday, September 16, 2011

2011 Food Symposium: Eating and the Law

8:30 AM: Registration

8:45 AM: Welcome — Elizabeth Williams, Southern Food and Beverage Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

9:00 – 10:30 AM: Panel: Contemporary Issues in the Law of Restaurants

Panelists: William T Abbott, Attorney at Law, New Orleans, Louisiana; Alan Yacoubian, Johnson, Johnson, Barrios & Yacoubian and General Counsel of the Louisiana Restaurant Association, New Orleans, Louisiana

10:30 –10:45 AM: Break

10:45 – 12:15 AM: Panel: Issues in Obesity Law

Elizabeth Williams, Southern Food and Beverage Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana

12:15 – 12:30 PM: Break

12:30 – 1:30 PM: Keynote Speaker: Anticipating Manmade & Natural Disaster Trends That Impact Business
William “Chip” Merlin, The Merlin Law Firm, Tampa FL

1:30 – 2:00 PM: Lunch. Sponsored by The Merlin Law Firm, Tampa Florida. Chip Merlin will be available for questions during lunch.

2:00-3:30 PM: Panel: Food Law 2.0: Food & Law Beyond the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act

Panelists: Emily Broad Leib, Senior Clinical in the Health, Law, and Policy Clinic, Harvard Law School; Margaret McCabe Professor of Law and Director of Accreditation and Academic Integration, University of New Hampshire School of Law; Michael Roberts Adjunct Faculty, School of Law, University of California, Los Angeles

Moderator: Baylen Linnekin, Keeping Food Legal, Washington, DC

3:30 – 4:45 PM: Break

3:45 – 5:15 PM: Panel: Ethics in Food Law

Michael H. Idoyaga, Attorney at Law and Adjunct Faculty at Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana

The topic of my speech is something that I have been studying for quite some time. Disasters are occurring with greater frequency with widespread financial impact; this is inevitable as the world’s population has increased and global trade is more frequent. Even when disasters occur far away or last for a relatively short period of time, we live in a globally interdependent society and are likely affected.

When disaster strikes directly, life as you know it is either put on a hold or is forever changed. A collaboratively designed contingency plan is paramount to survival and getting your business and life back on track. My plan is to share trends proving that insurance alone cannot provide peace of mind or guarantee that you will financially survive economic disasters. I plan to show how we can more fully prepare for disasters, and for some, how they can even profit from catastrophe.

For those that would like to attend the conference, here is the registration.