Your BCA Update regarding COVID-19
Your BCA Update regarding COVID-19
The following letter is an update to BCA’s current clients in regards to COVID-19
First, we want to again thank you for entrusting your legal matter to our law firm. Over half of our lawyers have 30 years or more experience in providing first class legal services, and we are celebrating once again being recognized as a Top 100 Law firm in the country in 2019 by the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Texas Monthly, National Trial Lawyers Association and many others.
Many of you are understandably anxious about the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases being diagnosed across the country, and the resulting decisions of our various government services at the local, state and national level in taking remedial measures to help contain the spread of this virulent virus. We are starting to see widespread closures of sporting events, concerts, schools, bars and restaurants and other public facilities and activities. Unfortunately, this is also resulting in the closure of court houses in most jurisdictions. We are in uncharted territory dealing with the potential impact of court closures on cases pending in the system and with law firms handling the cases. Short term, we will be able to continue to work on various aspects of many of the cases without involvement of the courts. However, at some point the courts need to deal with motions filed by the parties, resolve discovery disputes and set cases on the docket for potential trials. Most cases that we had set for trial this spring have been removed from the dockets as a result of court closures. Other cases that would be set will be pushed back. Ultimately this will unfortunately result in some delays in resolution on some of the cases as a result, potentially even most of them.
As we do not yet know how long courthouses will be closed, and what the prioritizations will be when they open back up, we are left to speculate at this juncture and just have to play the wait and see game. In the interim, most litigation firms are also working to comply with the latest recommendations by the government to avoid folks gathering in groups. This means staggering hours of staff, allowing some work in certain instances to be handled outside the office, and spreading out and even reducing staff resources. Fortunately, much of what we do within the offices, with the courts, with opposing counsel, and with clients is done electronically, and we will continue to remain in touch throughout this process with periodic advisories. While the firm will not close in the interim, we may be required to further disband certain aspects of regular office activities as a result of the courthouse closures and additional government advisories.
The main thing for everyone to focus on in this time of uncertainty is to stay healthy and avoid contracting this virus. It generally appears that our government at all levels is slowly tightening restrictions on activities and business functions to a point where they are now seriously impacting entire business sectors, and that process will probably continue through the near future. Whether all of these new government decisions are an over-reaction or not remains to be seen, but based on what has happened elsewhere, it is probably better to be safe than sorry, even if it means that many companies will be shut down, and some may not survive. Having represented individuals and small business owners our entire careers, we understand how hard everyone must work to make ends meet, and what is going on now is making that very difficult. We know that this has already directly impacted some of our client’s business operations and work activities. We will continue to monitor all of the rapidly changing news and provide any further updates that change the playing field, but as it looks now, we anticipate court closures will continue on into the summer months. While this may result in some delays in resolution of cases, we will remain on standby as long as it takes to get cases back up in the system and moving in right direction.
Please be safe and stay healthy.
Brent W. Coon