As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads, people throughout Maryland are being told to work from home. Many people are being told to limit their contact with others as much as possible. Working from home and communicating from home helps ensure that people keep a safe social distance from each other, which can reduce the risk of transmission of the virus (AKA, “flatten the curve”).
At McCabe Russell, PA., we understand that your divorce, custody issues, alimony issues, and other family law issues do not stop just because of an outbreak. You are still going to have questions, and we are still going to move forward with your case. However, as of March 16, 2020, all of Maryland’s courts are closed to the public, which means your divorce proceedings may face delays. You can find statements from the Howard and Montgomery County courts here:
Internet communication tools
Just because the courts are closed, however, does not mean we cannot continue to assist you. McCabe Russell has a number of online platforms and programs in place that we can use to ensure that your case moves forward as much as possible, and to ensure that our lines of communication are open:
- This software is used for video conferencing. It’s a way clients and lawyers can communicate face to face. It’s also a way that divorce collaboration, mediation, and negotiation between opposing counsel, their clients, and any third-parties can also take place. Usually, all the client has to do to speak with us is call the number we give them. To see us while we chat may require that your computer has a camera.
- Sharefile is a way for sending emails and attachments so that they are encrypted. You can send encrypted files right from your portal. You can also add on the ShareFile Plugin for Microsoft Outlook, so that you can send encrypted attachments. Sharefile also allows our lawyers to access the law office files of our clients from our home so that we have all the important records we need. Sharefile also helps medical offices send us files so they are protected through HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
- LawPay. We have an encrypted service available for payments, which can help you (and us) avoid spending time in banks.
Remember, too, that no outbreak disrupts attorney/client privilege. Lawyers are required to keep the information clients give them confidential. Using a secured encrypted service helps us keep your email communications just between the client and the lawyer.
Additional online tools
There are other tools that can help us manage your case from afar, such as Skype, Zoom, Dropbox, and scanning technology. As always, you can email, call, or text us at any time, and we can conduct virtual meetings through WebEx or Zoom, if you have that program plugin.
You can also send us messages through social media platforms, but we would warn you against saying anything specific to your case: social media sites like Facebook and Twitter aren’t secure. They are, however, a great way to learn about the divorce process as a whole.
You have enough to worry about during a health crisis. By using technology, the Fulton divorce lawyers of McCabe Russell, PA are able to assist our clients with their divorce issues while helping to ensure that we minimize the risk of transmission. For questions about the use of telecommunication in our law office, please call 443-812-1435 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment. Our offices in Columbia, Bethesda and Rockville are also able to provide online and telecommunication options.