The Challenge of the New Age
Edited by David H. McIntyre and William I. Hancock
Chapter 4: The Legal Impact of Homeland Security on Business
Greg McNeal Ignorance of the law excuses no man. (John Selden, English Statesman, 1584–1654) INTRODUCTION Homeland security means managing and preparing for emergencies. Similarly, businesses either prepare for the worst disasters or attacks, or suffer the consequences. This chapter seeks to evaluate the legal issues related to planning for, responding to and recovering from homeland security incidents.1 The chapter provides this information in a manner which business leaders can act from and apply. Because each business circumstance is different, this chapter will not provide a comprehensive review of each possible incident. A comprehensive review can only come from a business engaging in the planning process. Instead, this chapter highlights and explains common issues so businesses can identify and further explore those issues with legal counsel. OBLIGATIONS TO PREPARE FOR INCIDENTS In preparing for homeland security incidents, business leaders owe a duty to their organizations to assess current levels of vulnerability, plan for emergencies and periodically review those plans. In the preparation phase business leaders are also responsible for ensuring that their organizations have in place the capacity to comply with legal and regulatory obligations related to their sectors. Following an incident, business leaders must focus on preventing loss, mitigating losses, and reducing legal liability if a loss occurs. Comprehensive incident-related planning that integrates legal counsel is the key to navigating potential liability flowing from a homeland security incident. Potential Routes of Liability It is nearly certain that businesses addressing or involved in homeland security incidents will face the potential...
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