As with many of you right now, Rowanoak Law Office is evaluating the COVID-19 situation on a daily basis while we balance the health and safety of our families, staff, clients and ourselves with the need to make sure that our client’s needs are addressed. Our lawyers will largely be working remotely. We are asking that clients and others do not attend our office without first calling and confirming that their attendance is absolutely necessary. At this time, we have made the decision to keep limited staff on the premises, but we are trying to limit their face to face contact with the public as much as possible.
Our lawyers remain able to maintain contact with our clients and with other lawyers by way of email, telephone and video conferencing. We are still able to conduct mediations, parenting coordination, collaborative meetings, settlement meetings and when necessary, arbitrations, by way of ZOOM video conferencing. We are also happy to have meetings with clients, professionals, and other lawyers by way of video conferencing upon request. (The ZOOM platform is very user friendly but if you have any questions about this program, please do not hesitate to contact us.) We are also working with our colleagues in other firms to coordinate emergent, brief arbitration hearings.
The Courts are closed, but emergency applications are being heard on a selective basis, and are largely restricted to issues of personal safety. In family law matters, issues pertaining to the safety of children are the priority. The Court has determined that a number of other issues are not considered “emergencies”, and those issues are not being heard by a judge at this time. Further information on court closures can be found on the Court of Queen’s Bench and Provincial Court websites, or feel free to contact us directly for further information in regards to Court applications/hearings
As this situation develops we may institute other changes but will continue our best efforts to serve our clients and to avoid any unnecessary delays in dealing with their files. In order to assist us in doing this, we request that you forward any documents to our office electronically preferably by email or, if necessary, by fax. Unless there is something urgent and you have contacted our office first, please do not send documents by courier. We will accept service by email and acknowledge the same.
For new mediations, collaborative files and arbitration files, we will accept engagement agreements (i.e. Agreements to Mediate or Arbitrate) that are signed electronically and when Independent Legal Advice is required, we will accept written declarations from lawyers that such advice has been provided to their clients whether in writing, by telephone or otherwise. Should you have any questions for us, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are monitoring our emails and our voicemail messages regularly.
We hope that all of you and those around you stay safe and healthy. To do our part, please remember, if you are not feeling well, stay home. Consider any options you may have to work from home. Wash your hands (a lot and for at least 20 seconds). Maintain your distance from others (at least six feet). Be kind.