OSB Professional Liability Fund

Staying the Course During the COVID-19 Pandemic

walking
March 20, 2020
by Sheila Blackford

Most law offices are operating with a skeleton crew onsite to receive, sort, scan, and deliver mail that is important for lawyers to continue practicing law by working from home. Other lawyers who are solos without support staff are working from home and visiting their law office to retrieve mail in the night or very early morning, daily or semi-weekly.

As of now, all deadlines and statutes of limitation currently remain in place. Until the State Judicial Department issues any changed rulings, adhere to the deadlines and SOLs affecting your personal cases.

During this time period of uncertainty, practice the precautions of social distancing to decrease the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to practice law.

Here are some steps you can do for as long as feasible:

  1. Designate one person to go to the office when no one is present to open, sort, scan, and distribute the mail.
  2. The person designated to process incoming mail and deliveries should wear a mask and protective gloves while handling mail and packages.
  3. Instruct this designated person to thoroughly wash their hands, before and after touching surfaces.
  4.  Consider that the safest time to enter the office when no one is present will likely be very early in the morning or late in the night, if common sense tells you are not imperiling your physical safety or that of anyone else's.
  5. Bookmark the website for the Oregon Department of Justice for the latest information. Chief Justice Walters issued a press release March 13 providing court guidelines on how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic which can be read here: https://www.courts.oregon.gov/news/Documents/Covid-19News_3_13_20.pdf