Now, one of the things I want to point out is that we are still open. Governor Justice recently issued an order in which certain categories of businesses are considered to be essential services. A law office is considered an essential service. I’m actually here at my office. Some attorneys are working from home, others aren’t, but we are open.
Now, that being said, even though we’re open, doesn’t mean that the courthouse is open in the sense that it normally is. If you go to the courthouse you’re probably going to find that it’s closed except for certain emergency situations. I’ve been having court over the past few days. I just had an emergency hearing earlier today, but it was again, an emergency hearing. The number one thing the courts are doing is pushing off trials that have been set for at least a couple of weeks as of now. There are no trials going on right now at all.
The only thing the courts are hearing are emergency hearings. Domestic violence petitions, issues with regards to people’s speedy trial rights and other emergency matters in certain categories of cases are being heard, but they’re supposed to be heard if possible, telephonically. I had a telephonic hearing earlier today, so I just wanted to give you an update on that about what the court system is doing currently.
Just because the court system is closed doesn’t mean that things are totally going to stay still. We are continuing to work on our cases, continuing to represent our clients and trying to get things moving along as best we can given the current situation going on. One thing we don’t know as of right now is how long this crisis is going to last. As of right now, I’m just trying to make sense of it and do my best to represent my clients in the best way possible. We’ve implemented some things with our office that I’d like you to know about.
Number one, we are still continuing to have consultations. Those actually have to be arranged over the phone. My interpretation of Governor Justices order is that going to and from one’s attorney’s office does not fall within the order. Now somebody else might have a different interpretation of it. I don’t interpret it that way. I think that any kind of contact between myself and any clients is going to need to be done over the phone.
That being said, if you’re a potential client and you want to set up a telephone conference, we can certainly make that happen. If you’re a current client, you can certainly make time to meet with me over the phone. One thing that I do want to note is that some of my clients have my cell phone numbers, some of them don’t. So sometimes it’ll be necessary for me to give it out and in the past, other times it hasn’t been necessary. This is what I want you to do if you do not have my cell phone number. I want you to send me a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know you would like my cell number.
Also, in the meantime, we have a call answering service that’s going to be available between eight o’clock in the morning up until the later hours in the evening. What I would like you to do is take advantage of that. If you don’t have my telephone number and for example after hours call me, at a minimum I’m going to get the message. They’re going to send me an email.
If there’s any kind of emergency situations that come up that would require law enforcement, I certainly want to encourage you to take advantage of our emergency services here in West Virginia. Call 911 if it’s an emergency and go from there. If you think it’s an emergency situation, then make the call and be safe.
If you have any questions at all, feel free to give me a call or send me an email and I’ll respond as promptly as humanly possible. Again, we’re having consultations, we’re having telephonic meetings and we are in emergency situations, having court over the phone. If you are not sure if your situation is an emergency, then feel free to just give me a call and we can talk about it and figure it out.