Trials and hearings statewide are postponed, with a few exceptions. Visit the Oregon State Bar home page for full details. Here is the announcement:
Oregon State Bar and Professional Liability Fund
The OSB Center, including the Professional Liability Fund, is CLOSED to visitors until March 31 and operating with reduced staff.
Status of state offices, administrative hearings, etc. are changing daily. Plan for reduced hours, reduced staff, and likely closures. Do what you can online and call or visit websites frequently for updates.
Keeping Clients Informed
- Post notices on your website.
- Keep your outgoing voicemail message up-to-date.
- Send an “all client” status email.
- Post reduced hours or closures at your office.
- Limit or suspend in-person client visits.
- Conduct appointments by phone or video conference.
- Work at home if you can. If you can’t, follow CDC recommended health practices like washing hands frequently and sanitizing surfaces.
- Prioritize client files. Follow-up with clients whose matters are now postponed or those with upcoming court dates.
- For specific client outreach, use your phone, not email. Why? Clients will have lots of questions. If you persist with email the likelihood is you’ll be bouncing back and forth for some time addressing all their concerns. You will save time by calling and clients will be reassured when they hear your voice. If calls are running long politely explain you have other clients anxious to hear from you.
- Use staff to spread the load. They can be a huge help reaching out to and responding to clients.
- Get virtual help if you need it. To avoid being overwhelmed by calls, consider services like Ruby Receptionist who can help you remotely.
- If you feel overwhelmed, call the confidential Oregon Attorney Assistance Program. They are available to take your calls and emails.
- If you are worried about potential legal malpractice claims, reach out to the PLF by email.
- For ethics questions, see this FAQ. Bar counsel’s office is available by phone or email or you can reach out to private ethics counsel.
- Practice patience and kindness – especially toward yourself.
All rights reserved 2020 Beverly Michaelis
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