COVID-19 Office Procedures
How Is Your Office Handling COVID-19? What Cases Are You Able To Take, And What Post-COVID Could Look Like?
As of March 18th, courts in New York State had closed their doors, bringing the legal system to a crashing halt. Since then, my experiences with judges and law secretaries have certainly been limited, however, some have contacted me about cases I am handling that could potentially move forward in the midst of this pandemic. But, unfortunately—for the most part—nothing is really happening. For almost two months, we were unable to file anything. My firm has had a number of foreclosure clients that we’ve been working with, but we haven’t been able to file their papers until recently when the courts opened electronic filing for motions, opposition papers, and reply papers. Thankfully, New York still has a ban on filing new state court cases, which is good for homeowners because it blocks the banks from filing a foreclosure action.
How Is Your Office Taking On New Clients? What’s The Procedure And Best Way To Connect With You?
I’ve continued working throughout the entire pandemic. I’m still dealing with clients and answering questions, of course mostly by phone or email. I am proud to say we are not really missing a step, rather we are going full force! When the courts reopen, we’ll be ready to hit the ground running.
What Do You See or Foresee As A Potential For Post-COVID World In Terms Of The Areas Of Law That You’re Practicing In?
I hope that, at the bare minimum, the court system becomes more efficient in the post-COVID world. The sluggish nature of the court system is at many times frustrating. As a lawyer, when you go down to court, you can get stuck there for hours. For instance, in federal court, appearances are set throughout the day, which staggers arrival times, unlike in state court, where everybody shows up at 9:30 in the morning. The federal court uses the term time certain, which tells you when to come. For example, the court may say to come at 11:15 a.m., in which only one case is called at 11:15 a.m. Subsequent cases can then come in at 11:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., and so on. The cases are spaced out throughout the day to avoid having everybody there at once. Perhaps the New York State Court will be doing something similar, as I believe that the courts will try to avoid having large groups of lawyers in the courtroom at once.
I also foresee a more regular implementation of video-conferencing in the court system. I do most of my work in the five boroughs of New York City, and in Nassau County. A sizeable chunk of time as a lawyer is spent travelling, which further contributes to the inefficiency. In travelling to Nassau County, for example, it takes me a while to get there and back. But, if more conferences are held virtually, then I could cover a much wider range of areas and would be less concerned about the travel time.
Is There Anything Else Specifically That You Want Clients Or Potential Clients To Know Regarding Your Procedures, Anything With The Courts, Anything That We Didn’t Touch On?
One major concern I must address is my lack of faith in the banking industry’s ability or inclination to do the right thing by the people. I’m very alarmed in the sense that, as we move forward, people are going to be led into a false sense of security. Unfortunately, most Americans are headline readers who do not read the underlying story or seek out the details in full. For instance, a lot of people have heard that there is a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions. However, that isn’t necessarily true. As previously mentioned, new cases aren’t being filed, but there is nothing that will truly stop the banks from moving forward with foreclosures as soon as the courts reopen.
For more information on COVID-19 Office Procedures, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (212) 766-9779 today.
Call For A Free Consultation