Carrying on through COVID-19

I’m grateful that law offices are considered an essential service in this challenging time.

Since the middle of March 2020, I’ve had a much higher demand for Wills and estate planning, including cohabitation and marriage agreements. At the same time, there has been a significant cut-back in mediations, partly because of the uncertainty about values and future incomes, which makes it difficult to visualize a settlement that is intended to cover the next decade or decade and a half.

Still, as of the middle of May 2020, more and more mediations are resuming and I have re-configured the seating in my own boardroom so that I can accommodate three people with 2 meters between everyone, and the boardroom at the adjacent law firm which I use for mediations will easily accommodate four people with appropriate social distancing. So it is “all systems go” for the mediation format we used pre-covid.

I’m also well-equipped with non-medical facial shields (as shown in the photo) which have an advantage over masks in that the whole face can be seen and the voice is more audible. I have a stock of these for those who prefer to mediate in person, which I personally am comfortable to do.

And I’m pleased to say that I’ve become quite proficient at Zoom mediations, which I am doing on a steady basis with in-person mediations.  Although it’s not the same as sitting in the same room, a videoconference is markedly better than a telephone conference — and it avoids the requirement to travel. I'm certain that videoconferencing is here to stay, and I look forward to continuing with this new platform.

My hope is that we will move safely through this stage of history and make intelligent adaptations to the world we find when this is behind us. In the meantime, I will help those I can, in any way I can.

© G. Raphanel 2020