How Is Your Office Operating During The COVID-19 Crisis In Florida?
Our office is still up and running. We had to make some changes for the safety of everyone who works for me, my clients, and the opposing counsel. The judiciary has made some changes as well. We have been making a concerted effort to do as much remotely as we can. Normally, when I receive a call or email from someone who is interested in our services, I like to sit down and meet with them face to face. Now, I am speaking to them on the phone. While it is nice to meet with a person face to face, it is not required, especially for some particular areas of practice.
Mandates have shut down the court system. However, the individual circuits in state court have decided what they are going to take as a priority. Criminal cases are obviously taking priority over civil cases and they are trying to do as much over the telephone as they can. When remote hearings are not appropriate, I object based on the needs of my client and then they will be reset when they can be. We are still doing plenty of business. We are meeting with clients and taking on cases.
Should I Wait Until The COVID-19 Crisis Is Over Before Hiring An Attorney?
I usually try to evaluate a case to see if someone needs action right away or if it is something that could wait, and that has not changed. Right now, people are more anxious, especially if they have some type of obligation that they are unable to meet. They want to be able to know that they are relieved of those obligations or at least relieved of a certain timeframe in which to meet those obligations. I inform clients when I think that either mediation, arbitration, or litigation is going to be necessary and explain to them that we are at the mercy of those mediators, arbitrators, and judges. The court system is trying to work with this on the fly as well.
As far as hearings go, I can accommodate the court system in some cases and in others, I cannot. Some hearings are just not appropriate to be held over the telephone, so we may have to wait until the court systems are completely back up and running. I definitely do not suggest that people wait until everything blows over to hire an attorney. We don’t know when that is going to be. Some things need to be done immediately, especially when the argument is going to be based on the non-fulfillment of some type of duty that the client may have, based upon the current situation of the pandemic.
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