Brooklyn Boro

NYS Bar Association helping lawyers to get prepared for end of quarantine

May 4, 2020 Rob Abruzzese
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When Gov. Andrew Cuomo finally lifts the stay-at-home order, there is going to be a rush to the courts to file new motions and cases. New filings have been on hold for about a month and a half now and the New York State Bar Association wants to make sure the legal community is prepared for it.

The NYSBA has been working with law firms both small and large over the last few days in order to prepare a list of recommendations about how to bring lawyers back to their offices once restrictions are relaxed or removed entirely.

The NYSBA created a “Restarting the Economy Work Group” to guide its 70,000 members.

“This is an enormously important issue to lawyers around the state and the working group has pledged to move quickly to give law firms guidance,” NYSBA President Hank Greenberg said. “Clients come to us because they need someone to listen carefully to their concerns and many times the best way to do that is at the office. Collaboration with the entire legal team is also easier and more effective when everyone is in the same place.”

Brooklyn is home to many small firms and solo practitioners. Many had their practices shut down almost entirely immediately after the courts closed. Since the courts have moved to video teleconferencing they have only heard essential, emergency and old matters.

This work group will consult with law firm managers, health authorities and labor experts to recommend the most efficient ways to reopen. The governor has asked businesses to submit reopening plans that allow employees to return to work while maintaining social distancing.

There are eight members of the work group, including Domenick Napoletano, a solo practitioner, past president of the Brooklyn Bar Association and NYSBA treasurer. Napoletano is also the co-chair of the NYSBA Emergency Task Force for Solo and Small Firm Practitioners that was formed immediately after the coronavirus pandemic hit.

In conjunction with this effort, the NYSBA has planned a webinar for Friday, May 8 entitled, “What Businesses Need to Know and Do Before Bringing Employees Back to Work.” It is an attempt to provide training on legal exposure, privacy issues, medical screenings and cleaning protocols.

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