How we're approaching COVID-19
Last updated March 19, 2020
“Social distancing” is essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We think it important to take significant steps to protect the most vulnerable in our community. This article has influenced our thinking: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/
Our office is closed to in-person meetings until further notice. We're working remotely and are still fully operational. Here’s how we plan to operate:
- Most importantly, if you're concerned about how your business or life will be affected by the virus, closures, or social distancing, please give us a call. We’d love to chat about it and, as always, provide free legal information calls.
Every small business owner is struggling with how to stay afloat under the crazy circumstances that we find ourselves in. How can we best look after our employees? How can we make sure we still get food on the table for ourselves? We hear you. Now that our firm is totally up and running remotely, We're turning my energy to how we can help the amazing members of our business community.
A lot of the current anxiety is brought about by uncertainty – what are my obligations to employees, landlords, and suppliers? Will these arrangements continue or be suspended? Is my new method of operating onside with all legal requirements? It’s too scary to try and figure this out on your own through a Google Search.
We’ve been working on a project in beta for a while which we’ve decided to take live. It’s a legal subscription program that includes unlimited 20-minute consultations on issues and questions as they arise, access to online tools to generate commonly used legal documents in your business (like employment agreements), a resource library, and discounted legal services. It’s still a work in progress, but we’re launching it now to give small business owners an option to reach out to a lawyer without worrying about the cost.
Between now and May 15, we're waiving the $99/month base fee for our Counsel on Call Program as a way of assisting local small businesses in navigating these challenging times. No obligation after that. In other words, you can get free unlimited 20-minute consultations between now and then and a discount on other legal work. Our hope is that this will help you address your worries and sleep better at night. If you need a hand, get in touch and we’ll see if we can help (we still have an obligation to check for conflicts and whatnot). Click here to set up a call.
- We'll be responding to emails and answering phone calls during our regular office hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 – 5:00.
- If you need to meet with us, we'll schedule a telephone or video meeting depending on your preference.
- As always, you can book an appointment by calling us at 250-837-4971, clicking the “Book an appointment” link in our email signatures, or accessing our online scheduler: calendly.com/mplg (Try it! It’s really easy to use and allows you to pick a time that’s convenient for you).
- We use Zoom for video conferencing. Zoom is free, highly reliable, and works across any platform from a link we’ll send you. We encourage video meetings as it’s the closest thing to an in-person meeting. Social distancing does not mean social isolation, and we’d love to see you!
- If you think you need to meet in person, please give us a call at 250-837-4971, and we will discuss your individual situation.
- Generally, we will be looking to meet in person only with those clients who have upcoming real estate closings and need to sign documents in front of a lawyer. Almost every other instance can be dealt with remotely.
- If you're in the process of drafting a new will, Alicia will be in touch about how we can finalize that process. You can also set up a call with her if you have questions.
- If an in-person meeting is absolutely necessary, we'll implement a cleaning and distancing protocol and ask you to bring your own pen.
- The direction from the courts is evolving and we will share the latest information here:
- Provincial Court - As of March 16, Provincial Court family and small claims (except for extremely urgent matters regarding personal safety and jail time) scheduled between now and May 4 will not proceed. The court will notify us of a new date and we will let you know when we know more. The court is also not accepting new filings for non-urgent matters. More details are available here: https://www.provincialcourt.bc.ca/COVID19
- Supreme Court - As of March 18, courthouse operations are suspended until further notice. All regular hearings are postponed. Further details concerning urgent and emergency matters and the running of timelines will follow shortly. If you have a hearing coming up, we'll be in contact with you specifically when we know more. The court is posting updates here: https://www.bccourts.ca/supreme_court/
- If you need to drop something at our office – consider whether you can send us a scan or a photo of the document (there are many free scanning apps for smartphones - We'd recommend the Office app from Microsoft or Tiny Scanner). If not, please wash your hands before handling it and slip it under our door. We can plan for larger items if you call 250-837-4971.
- If you’d like to pay an invoice, you can do that by following the instructions set out at the bottom of the invoice. Interac e-transfers are preferred. We also accept credit card payments via the link on your digital bill or via our website: https://www.mackenziepeak.com/payments/
Our transition to remote work has been a smooth one, and we appreciate your understanding for any awkwardness or inconvenience. Thank you for your efforts to socially distance and keep our community strong and vibrant. Stay healthy!