As broad awareness of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. really began taking hold in March, we wrote about what Schauermann Thayer had begun to do in response. See our posts here, here, here, and here. At that time we may have been gulping hard at the prospect of remote work and how that would impact our clients' cases, because to that point no one in our office had been doing it. We like our office, we like our partners and staff, and we like seeing our clients and our colleagues face to face when we do our work.
For the last six or so weeks, we have continued to push our clients' cases forward using different means, yet unabated. Visitors to our website will see our new banner explaining some of this:
We have been (to name a few big ones):
- Conducting client intakes by phone, e-mail, and file-sharing programs;
- Taking and defending depositions by video-conference;
- Presenting cases in arbitration hearings held by video-conference;
- Mediating cases via video conference (with multiple parties segregated into separate “rooms” the mediator can move between);
- Holding firm-wide meetings of attorneys and staff to hone office procedures and socialize.
In fact, after a brief flurry of deposition rescheduling at the start of all this while the entire profession was trying to figure out what to do, we have been for the most part able to continue to vigorously pursue our clients' cases with success. The one exception seems to be jury trials, which due to statewide and federal court orders may not be available for quite some time yet. All we can do about that at this point in time is what we've already been doing—rigorously preparing our cases for trial so they are ready to go when the courts reopen.