OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19
March 16, 2020
An Update to the Lerners LLP Response to COVID-19
We continue to carefully monitor the rapidly evolving developments surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority being the well-being of our clients, people and communities, we have elected to keep our physical offices open, but staffed with critical personnel only. The majority of our lawyers and other firm members will be working remotely to continue serving our clients.
We are dedicated to ensuring seamless delivery of legal services to all our clients and have the technology and procedural policies in place to make certain that we can continue to address the needs of our clients and other stakeholders, despite not being physically present in our offices. We will continue to evaluate the physical status of our offices on an ongoing basis and updates will be made available here on our website.
Over the last few days, Courts across Ontario have made several announcements with respect to closures in the courts and updates on hearings. As of Tuesday, March 17, 2020 the Ontario Superior Court of Justice operations will be suspended until further notice. Complete information can be found here.
All criminal, family and civil matters scheduled to be heard on or after Tuesday March 17, 2020 are adjourned. This includes all telephone and videoconference appearances scheduled prior to March 17, 2020, unless the presiding judicial officer directs otherwise. Lawyers and litigants with matters scheduled on or after March 17, 2020 are advised not to attend the courthouse.
The Court will continue to hear urgent matters during this emergency period where immediate and significant financial repercussions may result if there is no judicial hearing.
Plans will be put in place to reschedule hearings, trials, motions and so forth.
We will work with our clients to ensure their matters are brought forward or rescheduled once the courts begin scheduling dates once again.
Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Ontario Court of Appeal will suspend all scheduled appeals for a period of 3 weeks (until April 3, 2020). During this period, urgent appeals will be heard based on either the written materials or remotely. Certain exceptions apply and complete information can be found here.
The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving. We encourage you to check back on our website and social media platforms for more information as the news and recommendations from our governments and health officials develops. Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to one of our partners.
In the meantime, we wish the best to our clients, colleagues and friends in the business and legal community as they navigate this unprecedented situation.
Graham Porter and Anne Spafford
March 13th, 2020
Lerners LLP has been carefully monitoring the news and recommendations from government and health authorities regarding the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority is the well-being of our clients, people and communities. To that end, we have taken proactive and precautionary measures to ensure the continued health and safety of our clients, employees, partners, families and our communities, and will continue to adjust our operations and policies accordingly.
At this time, all of our offices across Ontario remain open. We also have a plan in place that should events dictate, our firm members will be able to work remotely to ensure we can continue operations, and that our lawyers and staff will be able to continue providing exceptional service and support to all our clients.
To protect our people, we have put policies in place with respect to travel, working from home, events and so forth, as well as bolstered efforts around office sanitation. We have put policies in place for business and personal travel, events and meetings and provide regular updates informed by the guidelines from Health Canada and the Ontario Health Agency.
Our firm is resolute that through good judgment, strong policies and working together we will be able to face the challenges that lie ahead in this constantly and rapidly developing situation. We wish all the best to our clients, vendors and colleagues in the legal and business community as they navigate these developments.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to one of our partners.
Graham Porter and Anne Spafford