COVID-19 and RPNLAW
Dear Clients & Friends,
I write to you today to update you with the Law Office of Robert P. Newman, P.C.’s action plan in light of the escalating spread of the novel Coronavirus. This situation is new and unique to all of us, and our core values have guided us to the following decisions regarding how RPNLAW will operate for our two most precious assets, our clients and our staff, until it is safe to return to business as usual.
Please be assured that, thankfully, no one at RPNLAW, nor any of our family members has tested positive for COVID-19 nor is anyone displaying any symptoms.
However, in an abundance of caution and in light of the CDC's and both the District of Columbia and Maryland health departments' recommendations, we have made the decision to take precautionary measures to limit the further spread in our community and to safeguard the health of our clients and team members. Effective immediately, we will be closing the office to walk-ins/in-person meetings until further notice.
We will continue to send further information on our procedures as this develops, all of which will also be posted on our blog, so please check back for updates.
Our staff will continue to work normal hours (9:00 am – 5:00 pm), so please feel free to give us a call or send an email as you would normally do;
We will be implementing a closed-door policy, so we will not be accepting any walk-ins or in-person meetings for the time being;
If you have an in-person meeting scheduled, you will receive a call or email from Eryka or Angelique to explain the transition to a phone meeting or virtual “face-to-face” meeting via Zoom Meeting at your convenience. Please kindly await their instructions, so that they are not bombarded all at once with calls; they are both extremely efficient so do not be concerned that you will be overlooked.
If you would like to schedule a meeting, especially an estate planning meeting given current events, we will arrange either a telephone consultation or a virtual “face-to-face” meeting via Zoom Meeting at your convenience.
Estate Plan Document Signings:
We recognize that during this time, more than ever, peace of mind is important and some if not many of you will want to have your estate plans finalized. To that end, we have taken substantial precautions to continue executing estate planning documents in accordance with the statutory laws of the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland and comply with the best practices provided regarding the prevention of the spread of the virus. These precautions include reviewing documents prior to the day of execution, limiting both the distance and duration of interaction between clients and witnesses, personal signing instruments, and electronic delivery of final documents. Please call us to schedule your estate plan signing and learn more about the steps we are taking to ensure you can "Live with your bags packed!" during this challenging time.
Dropping off documents:
If you need to deliver any documents, we strongly prefer that you send these via email or fax if possible. Our fax # is: 301.883.1533. If you are unable to send via email or fax, please feel free to drop them off in our temporary office “in-box”, located outside our office doors starting 3/18, in the following manner:
Please wash your hands and do not touch your face prior to handling the documents;
Make sure you have your documents sealed in an envelope clearly marked with the attorney’s name & matter reference, as applicable;
Leave your document(s) in the container that will be OUTSIDE the office doors;
Please notify us via phone (301.892.2713), text (301786.3793), or email (email@example.com) that you have dropped a document off; and
Make sure the document is delivered between 9 am – 5 pm only.
In order to do our part to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, and in concert with the recommendations by our public health agencies and officials, some members of our firm will be working remotely all or part of the time. However, be assured any documents delivered to our office will be taken inside as soon as possible since as always, your confidentiality is extremely important to us. And if you have been to our office, you are aware we have cameras that constantly monitor outside and inside our office for added security and protection.
As of today,
We are advised all hearings, trials, or court-mandated events in Maryland are canceled at least until April 3rd.
In the District of Columbia, the court is operating on a limited schedule and accepting new filings (e.g., probate and guardianships).
If your case is currently set for trial, or if there are other deadlines that are upcoming, the Court may continue and/or extend the dates for trial or response.
If your matter is currently set for a hearing, the hearing may go forward, but no in-person attendance is permitted unless you are notified by RPNLAW before.
If we represent you in a matter before the court, we will contact you to advise of all changes with your case/matter as they occur.
If you are not sure if your court case/matter has been canceled or postponed, go to: http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/casesearch/ for Maryland matters, or https://eaccess.dccourts.gov/eaccess/home.page.2 for matters in the District of Columbia, to check for yourself. DO NOT go to court without verifying the court is open and/or your case is going forward.
Matters that are not currently pending before the Court will continue in the normal course as the situation permits.
PLEASE NOTE: as of 3/18/2020, there are no cases in which the Law Office of Robert P. Newman, P.C. is representing a client in an “essential matter”, as defined by the courts.
For Business formation and related filings (DC/MD) - these will continue to be electronically filed, as usual, so no changes are needed.
We would like to share some great, fact-based resources:
If you think you are sick, please click here.
SBA’s Press Release - on Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses
U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Combating Covid – 19
Finally, as a local, small business ourselves, we encourage you to support other small businesses during this trying time. But we urge you to be smart and practical - stay away from crowds, implement social distancing, wash your hands, do not touch your face, and be considerate to and mindful of your fellow man (and woman). We are all in this together. So please stay healthy and sane. As we have for every other ordeal this country has encountered, in this too, we shall overcome.
We here at the Law Office of Robert P. Newman, P.C. are confident we will still be able to service all of our clients through this period of uncertainty and simply ask you to stay in contact with us and communicate any special concerns you may have during this time.
Thank you and all our best,
Robert P. Newman and the RPNLAW team.