COVID Legal Resources
In Maryland, courts are currently closed to the public as a part of the state’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though trials and other public gatherings have been rescheduled, legal activities are still going—albeit with some significant interruptions. Although the outcome of cases should not change, cases will be delayed.
Governor Hogan’s order on Monday, March 23rd to close all nonessential businesses does not apply to law firms and lawyers. However, in order to best follow social distancing recommendations, all of our staff will begin working from home. This way, we reduce the risk of exposure for our staff and community.
At Miller & Zois, we are continuing to work hard to serve our clients through this difficult time. We are all in this together, and we hope that everyone in our Maryland community is staying safe and healthy. Even though we are out of the office, our law firm remains fully operational. Clients will still be able to reach us via email and phone. Those looking for a free evaluation will still be able to get one by calling (800) 553-8082 or by filling out our online form.
Thankfully, we were prepared for this crisis because the online systems we use to manage our cases make it practicable for us to work remotely. Additionally, online chat platforms like Google Hangouts, Skype, Apple’s FaceTime, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams allow us to conference in real time as a staff and with our clients.
Technology is allowing us to proceed with our cases while still following social distancing guidelines. For example, as I write this update, one of our attorneys is currently in a video as opposed to an in-person deposition.
This is not to say that the virus has been easy for our firm. Everyone is working harder than ever before to ensure that your call gets where it needs to be and that your case is a success in spite of these unexpected circumstances.A Look at What Other Local Firms are Doing
Miller & Zois is not the only law firm in Baltimore that is taking action in response to the coronavirus situation. Below is a summary of what some of our colleagues are doing to deal with the situation. (Let us know what your firm is doing by filling out a contact form and we will add you to this list.)
|Miles & Stockbridge, PC|
In response to the pandemic, Miles has implemented “business continuity procedures” to ensure the safety of colleagues and clients. More significantly, the firm has created its own Coronavirus Task Force with a special page on the firm website providing updates, guidance and resources as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
Venable has implemented social distancing policies to protect employees and the community. The firm has also created a multidisciplinary COVID-19 Task Force to work with clients on emerging business, legal and operational issues created by the pandemic. The task force is advising clients on issues related to employer group health plans; paid sick, family and medical leave; OSHA and workplace safety; healthcare; insurance; force majeure clauses; false advertising; commercial considerations and business disruption.
|Maryland Legal Aid||In response to the coronavirus, Maryland Legal Aid has temporarily terminated all in-person intakes and client meetings at their offices. People in need of assistance can still apply for services online or by phone. They are striving to respond to applications for service within 2 business days.|
|Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP|
A recent statement from the firm announced that it will follow the CDC guidelines on social distancing and working remotely. The firm has a cloud based platform that allows for secure and seamless communication and remote management for all the firm’s legal services. Attorneys at the firm are actively advising clients on the legal and regulatory implications of COVID-19 and offering guidance on legal issues.
Whiteford also has a COVID-19 legal resource page providing articles and other resources from the firm’s professionals on a range of legal topics from employment to tax.
|Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Dann, LLP|
On March 16, 2020 Goodell announced that it was following recommendations for social distancing by having all lawyers and staff work remotely. Goodell states that it has invested heavily in cloud initiative and business continuity procedures that should enable the firm to remain fully operational during the emergency.
|Shulman Rogers||The firm is working closely with clients to help mitigate the negative effects that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on their business and employees. They have created a COVID-19 Resource Center providing timely updates and guidance for navigating the evolving legal and regulator landscape.|
|DLA Piper||The firm remains fully committed to the success and well-being of its clients and has developed a Coronavirus Resource Center offering a range of Insights, Events and Contacts to deliver proven guidance and direction during these uncertain and challenging times.|
|Pessin Katz Law, PA||PK Law offices remain open but with limited staff as the majority of the firm’s attorneys and employees will be working remotely. If necessary, the firm is prepared to convert to fully remote operations without compromising client service. The firm has posted a PK Law Business Continuity & COVID-19 Update page on their website.|
|Gordon Feinblatt, LLC||GF appears to have closed their office and is servicing their clients via their “robust remote work capabilities.” The firm has also created is own unique COVID-19 Information Hub which provides links to articles and resources from the firm’s attorneys regarding the new legal updates and evolving situation. GF has also been actively updating followers on COVID-19 issues on the firm’s Twitter Feed which offers daily information and insights.|
Coronavirus Resources for Legal Professionals
|Practical Law Coronavirus Toolkit||A resource toolkit from Thompson Reuters designed to guide legal professionals through the Coronavirus pandemic and business interruption.|
|ABA COVID Pandemic Resources||American Bar Association’s collection of resources and information for lawyers regarding the COVID-19 shutdowns.|
|Families First Coronavirus Response Act||Explanation and summary of key features of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act recently passed by congress.|
|HUD Statement on Stay of Foreclosures & Evictions||Official explanation from HUD regarding the newly passed rules which effectively stay any evictions or foreclosure proceedings for certain properties.|
|ACC Coronavirus Resource Center||Curated suite of legal resources designed to help businesses and employers navigate the COVID-19 shutdowns.|
Other COVID-19 Resources from Our Colleagues
- FAQs for lawyers from the Maryland State Bar Association
- 5 Ways for Nursing Homes to Combat Loneliness During COVID-19 Quarantine from Brown and Barron, LLC
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Where It Stands Today and Legal Impact of Coronavirus on the Workplace from Ferguson, Schetelich & Ballew, P.A.
- Can You Sue for Getting the Coronavirus? from Steven H. Heisler
- CMS Announces Actions to Address Spread of Coronavirus from Potter Burnett Law
- Q&A for Maryland Health Care Providers on Regulatory Changes During the COVID-19 Pandemic and What COVID-19 Means for Businesses from Gordon Feinblatt LLC
- Employment Law Issues Business Owners Should Consider Amid COVID-19 Outbreak from McNamee Hosea
- How Will the Coronavirus Affect My Personal Injury Case? from Hach & Rose, LLP