March 22, 2020
As you know, the presence of COVID-19, or the “coronavirus” in the the U.S. has created a public health emergency unlike anything most of us have ever seen. The virus is present in Arkansas, and the number of confirmed-positive cases in our state continues to rise as more testing is done. Worse still, some of us may unknowingly be positive for the virus because are without symptoms. Officials at every level, along with medical and public health professionals, have advised all of us take precautions to limit unnecessary contact with others and avoid large gatherings. This has been called “social distancing,” and the purpose is to reduce as much as possible the ability of the virus to pass from one person to another. Yes, it is very inconvenient. Yes, it may even seem like an overreaction. But right now, avoiding close contact with others may be the best tool we have to prevent the virus from spreading. We must take social distancing seriously.
However, even in a pandemic, daily life continues and legal issues can still arise. Just as you need to be able to get in touch with your doctor when you are sick, you need to be able to get in touch with your lawyer when you have a legal problem. That is why I am here to let you know that my staff and I will continue to be available and working during this emergency, with some changes. For the foreseeable future, we will be working remotely from our homes, and we will not be meeting with anyone in our office in Conway except in rare cases, and even then additional precautions will be taken.
Fortunately, my firm has always had the ability to work remotely, and my approach to law practice is taylor-made for the sort of circumstances in which we find ourselves. Instead of in-office meetings, we will be available by phone, email, and video conference by FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom, and other similar software. Our client portal, MyCase, allows our clients to securely communicate with our office and stay informed about their case. We also utilize electronic signatures, online payments, and cloud storage so that meeting with our clients in person is rarely required.
My staff and I are also here to help anyone else in our community that needs it. If you have a legal problem, certainly contact us. But, if you need assistance in some other area and don’t know where to turn… contact us. We will do whatever we can to connect you to the right people or services that can help solve your issue. And, no — I’m not going to send you a bill for doing that. Because not every problem needs a lawyer, but we all need to pitch in whatever way we can right now. We all have responsibilities to the places where we live and to our friends and neighbors. If you need us, we’ll be here, just as I hope you will be there for those who might need you. There are a lot of intelligent, capable, committed, and brave people who are on the front lines of this epidemic, working for us. So do what you can do, from where you are. Ask for help when you are in need. And let’s all keep each other safe.
~ J. Tyler Henderson
Attorney at Law