By Robert Swider
We are all living through a period of time that few if any of us could have envisioned. Swider Haver, LLP remains available to continue to serve your legal needs during this period of history. COVID-19 is a real threat to all of us, we all need to take appropriate steps to remain safe and to help prevent the spread of this virus. Our firm is open and we plan on continuing to be open for business throughout this crisis, although this will require us to work differently than we have in the past. Our receptionist lives in downtown Portland and will be in the office periodically Monday through Fridays during business hours to answer the phones and assist you as appropriate. When he is not in the office the phone calls will be routed to voice mail or the individual attorneys. As you know a shelter in place order is in effect. We will continue to be responsive to your legal needs.
Our attorneys will be working remotely from home with occasional time in the office. We may be able to schedule some in-person meetings where necessary but will be primarily in contact with our clients through telephone conversations, video meetings online, voicemail, email and written correspondence.
Our firm has a Virtual Private Network (“VPN”), which allows us to access our server and our office desktop computers. Our VPN provides a secure connection to our network which protects our client confidential information.
The court systems are in the process of reacting to the crisis. Although they will be continuing to function, it will be in different ways than in the past. With rare exceptions, trials in civil cases are not occurring and will not in the near future. Other court related matters will be handled primarily remotely.
Please also refer to our COVID-19 Resources section, which is a compilation of the best resources for information and assistance during this global pandemic.
We encourage all of you to stay safe, wash hands, sanitize surfaces, practice social distancing and socially isolate as appropriate. Follow the advice of the CDC and other medical professionals. Remember, we are here to help you as we have in the past, and also with addressing the new issues and legal challenges that will be presented by this novel Coronavirus.
Thank you for understanding these changes.