"You can't wait until ... this thing blows over because that might not happen for quite some time." (The World Turned Upside Down, Part I)
2020 has been an interesting year so far, to say the least. We are living through pandemic and we are all in the same boat - sailing through some uncharted territory.
Governor Kemp issued another Executive Order yesterday, April 20. I reviewed the First Order of April 2 and the Family Law Version of April 3 in my previous posts. This newest one and the messaging from the Governor's office coming off of it, are chock full of interesting, must know elements. I'm going to try to share the highlights with you.
At this point, you've likely seen any or all of the following, lighthearted posts on social media. The basketball fan who cannot indulge in March Madness because the NCAA indefinitely suspended the remainder of the season, and is now faced with actual conversation with his significant other. The employee whose office implemented a thirty-day remote schedule, and her idea of remote work consists of watching reruns of "The Office." The forlorn parents who, on day two of schools being closed, are ready to send all of their children back to school.
At the Firm, we are into week number two of working remotely. The Firm is holding up to the self-imposed stress test well. Since we announced our complete conversion, all the court's have closed except for essential services and some have even shifted into video conferencing of their hearings, though on a greatly reduced basis. Several of our attorneys have successfully engaged in remote mediations, assisted by forward thinking mediators and equally adventurous opposing counsels. We still hold our daily Firm meetings (though now via Zoom) and still help out existing clients and new clients every day as they now come in through our virtual door.
Many of you are familiar with the Old Testament story of King Solomon. Two women were claiming to be the mother of the same child. King Solomon was called to decide the issue. He announced that he would cut the baby in half and each woman would receive one-half. The imposter mother consented to this result. The real mother begged that the sword be put away and that the child be given to the other woman to spare the child's life. Having discerned the women's true feelings towards the child, the real mother kept her child. As you can imagine, this reference comes up a lot in the practice of family law and we reference it a lot with wise judges who are using the parties' own actions and deeds to determine who sincerely and genuinely cares about a child's best interests.
"Here's what I suggest we do regarding Junior's school closings. Agree with me, or I'll take it to the highest authority."
It isn't too soon to be thinking about the potential impact of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) on family law issues. Perhaps certain authorities are correct and we have nothing to worry about or perhaps the experience of other countries is a guide to what is to come for us. In that case, to be responsible, we have some planning to do.