Over the past weeks, the developments and evolution of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) has touched us all and our hearts and prayers are with those who have been significantly affected by the virus. At FitzGerald Law Company, the health, safety, and well-being of our clients, our staff, and our community is our highest priority and we are determined to facing this crisis together responsibly and supporting one another.
Our office will remain open as long as we can offer a safe and healthy environment for our clients and employees. Towards this effort, we have made some changes to our staff schedules and will perform some work remotely from home. We remain committed to delivering exceptional service to our clients, while helping to control the spread of COVID-19, by following precautions such as increasing our frequency of hand washing, cleaning and disinfection of our office area, keeping a safe distance from visitors and each other, providing access to hand sanitizer to our associates and clients and by monitoring the health of our team and instructing anyone to stay home if they experience flu-like symptoms or have been exposed to others with symptoms. In addition, we have established the following new protocols.
If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or are quarantined due to potential COVID-19 exposure, contact your medical provider to address your situation and call or email our office to reschedule any appointment, interview or hearing that you have scheduled until you have been cleared by your medical provider. Do not take risks that could expose others to the virus.
Generally we schedule meetings with clients at our office for a variety of reasons, including preparation of testimony, review of petitions that have been prepared, to receive documents, and others. We will be changing many of these events to be done by telephone, via email or regular mail, unless it is necessary to have a meeting at our office.
We also schedule meetings with potential new clients to learn about their situation and needs and to determine if we can help them with their legal needs and if we are a good fit to work together. Some of these meetings can be done by telephone and we will be scheduling mostly telephone conference calls for the time being, however, we understand that due to the seriousness and complexity of some matters, it may be necessary to do the meeting in person and we will continue to have these, following the precautions previously described.
If you are scheduled to attend a meeting at our office we ask that you advise us of any virus-related health issues that you are experiencing as well as any potential incidents of exposure that you may have had and we will gladly reschedule your appointment. Please arrive at the time the appointment is scheduled (not earlier) in order to avoid unnecessary exposure to other people in our waiting area and please limit the number of people who accompany you to the meeting for the same reason.
Currently most state and federal courts have issued orders to limit the number of people that are attending hearings. Our office will communicate with you if there are identifiable issues with your appearance at court, but please be aware of any public announcements that are issued as well.
At this time the Federal Courts in Massachusetts have cancelled all criminal and civil trials until April 27, 2020; the Immigration Courts have cancelled all Master Calendar Hearings until April 27, 2020; and the Massachusetts state courts have issued restrictions that will prevent anyone who is ill, who has traveled to certain areas, who has been in contact with anyone from certain countries, who has the virus, or who has been exposed to the virus, from entering the court house.
USCIS has not announced any actions but we expect they will shortly.
We will continue to monitor the situation carefully and will continue to make procedure changes as appropriate and inform our clients if we foresee anything that will affect their cases.
Thank you for the trust you have placed on us and for the opportunity to continue serving your immigration, criminal defense and personal injury legal needs.
The FitzGerald Law Company Team