The COVID-19 virus is dominating our lives in ways most of us have never experienced. In a crisis such as this, our foremost concerns must be the personal health and safety of our families and ourselves. We are all facing many unusual challenges in our business and personal lives. I wanted to take this brief moment to assure you that I am attending to all legal matters to the extent possible during this crisis.
The following information may be useful to you in order to understand how your legal matter may be affected by the current government-ordered closing of many businesses and courts:
1. I am continuing to be responsive to my clients at this time. I am available for telephone discussions. I am able to dispense legal advice and to draft legal documents that you may require. I am responding to emails on a daily basis. My goal is to accomplish what we can during this unprecedented closing of our economy, in order to be better prepared to address the burdens we will all face once we are able to return to our normal activities.
2. State Courts in Illinois are closed. This includes the Circuit Court of Cook County and surrounding collar counties. Municipal Courts such as the Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings are also closed. These courts have procedures in place for addressing emergency legal matters. If you have a legal emergency requiring court involvement, please contact me for further discussion. If you have a scheduled court date during this closure, it is being rescheduled, and we will communicate the new date to you as soon as that information is made available to us.
3. We are continuing to file legal documents as needed in court. Most court documents are filed electronically. We are able to initiate new legal matters in court, and to file new documents as may be required in ongoing legal matters. If you have a new matter that needs attention, please contact me. However, be aware that while we can initiate new court matters using electronic filing capabilities, we will be limited in our ability to appear before a judge and seek a court order until courts re-open, except in the event of a legal emergency.
4. If you have a pending bankruptcy case, the United States Bankruptcy Court is continuing to function at this time. All documents are filed electronically, so we remain able to service existing matters and to file new matters. With some exceptions, judges are holding hearings by telephone in order to keep cases moving. If you have a scheduled meeting with a bankruptcy trustee, most such meetings are able to be held by telephone, so please contact my office to discuss what to expect and the procedures for attending meetings by telephone.
5. Finally, you may be facing legal or financial challenges in your business or personal lives as a direct result of the Covid-19 crisis. Like all citizens, I am watching developments in the news and awaiting forthcoming economic stimulus measures being instituted by federal and state governments. As we move forward together, please contact me if you have questions about how such developments may affect your business or personal life and whether they may alleviate your financial stress. I will be doing my best to understand the legal effect of such government actions on your personal or business situation.