Where’s my Lawyer? Pandemic Edition

Whether working from home or the office, our goal is to maintain service to our clients. Based on the guidelines and restrictions as of today’s date (March 24, 2020), we’re able to do the following:

-schedule and conduct phone meetings 

-answer all phone messages within one business day

-respond to all emails 

-accept new clients, subject to conflict checks and our usual intake process

-process payments

We have restricted our office space to two firm members at any one time and we are not seeing clients in the office (as much as we miss doing so!) Firm members not in the office will be working from home.

We still get mail and courier deliveries at the front desk; clients are able to drop things off during regular business hours (8:30-4:30) but we do prefer emailed copies for now!

If it becomes necessary for all of us to work from home, we’re able to do that too, and we’ll post an update.

Courts dealing with family law matters are restricted to hearing emergency matters only: child protection, adult protection, abduction and domestic violence matters, primarily. It’s not a good time to file a court proceeding. However, it IS a good time to work on any of the following:

-a marriage contract

-a cohabitation contract

-documentation required to begin an application once normal Court processes resume

-financial documentation

-obtaining disclosure

-negotiating a settlement

-a Separation Agreement

There is some good news in all of this: Lawyers often have their schedules driven by court deadlines, which necessarily take top priority. Without those demands, we can devote all our energy to work that is less time-critical but highly important. Often that is the work that creates settlement opportunities and resolves disputes in a co-operative way. After all, that’s what we learn from collaborative law: when court is not an option, you continue working until you find a resolution that everyone can live with. And that’s a reason to keep going in these challenging times.

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