Dear Clients, Colleagues and Members of our community,
As we all know, due to the Coronavirus outbreak and the restrictions placed upon us to help curb its spread across our state, the country and the world, our lives have been disrupted beyond anything we could have envisioned. Many of us are now facing financial hardship and other extremely stressful circumstances due to the closing of many businesses, the shortage of food and other crucial supplies and the overall fear that we or our loved ones may contract the potentially fatal virus.
It is during times like these that our community is called upon to make sacrifices and to provide extra care for family and neighbors and to lend a hand wherever possible. The legal community is doing its part to act in accordance with the rules and guidelines the government is asking us to follow and I wanted to provide some insight and guidance for everyone who has any pending family law matters and/or are in need of some legal advice or assistance.
1. With respect to the changes recently and continuously being implemented by the courts, everyone should be aware of the following:
a. All court hearings that are scheduled to be heard within the next few weeks have been continued or are in the process of being continued to a later date through the coordination of the court, opposing counsel and the parties. The exceptions to this practice are domestic violence restraining orders and true emergencies related to custody and/or visitation issues.
b. All pending domestic violence restraining order hearings will remain on calendar without change.
c. All ex parte applications (emergency hearings) related to minor children will continue to be heard as needed.
2. With respect to the manner in which our firm will be conducting business, we are maintaining our normal business hours, but only for the following limited purposes:
a. Answering phone calls and/or emails;
b. Re-scheduling client meetings and court hearings;
c. Scheduling new hearings and/or meetings for a date in April or later; and
d. Addressing and handling any domestic violence restraining orders and/or emergencies related to children.
e. We are canceling and/or rescheduling all in-person meetings with clients. However, any matters that require immediate attention will be addressed through email and/or phone calls.
f. All potential client consultations will be postponed and/or conducted by phone, depending on the preference of the potential client.
Again, we understand that people’s need for legal assistance will continue to exist despite and in part because of these new restrictions being placed on everyone and for that reason, we want to assure everyone that we are available as outlined above. More importantly, we want to urge everyone to exercise greater patience and restraint with your spouse and children. There are many things we can do to help ease the stress and to vent our frustrations, including exercise, listening to music, watching movies and TV shows, etc.
Please care for one another and realize that the sacrifices we are making today will help shorten the time that we are subject to these temporary lifestyle changes. We wish everyone continued safety and good health.