COVID-19 & the Practice of Law

The current COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for everyone. Fortunately, Canadian society has met the challenge with the resolve and resilience we all expect. From our acceptance of social distancing to our generous contributions to local food banks, Canadians across the country have come together to mitigate the harm caused by the pandemic. This same spirit has pervaded the legal community in much the same way it has Canadian society more broadly. Lawyers, judges and paralegals are all working together to ensure that the country’s legal system is running as smoothly as possible.

Here at MacDonald, Charette & Associates, we are doing our part to make sure our clients needs are satisfied while also doing our best to limit the spread of the virus. As lawyers, we have been classified as an essential service by the government of Ontario. Fortunately, for us and our clients, this means we have been able to remain open with some modification to the way we operate. We are still meeting with clients in person, but are restricting the number of clients who can attend our office to one at a time. After each visit, our meeting room is thoroughly wiped down. We have also decided to do as much possible by way of phone, email and other electronic means. This means we are still providing many of the same services we provided prior to the pandemic. Real estate transactions are still being completed, wills and powers of attorney are still being executed and certain litigation matters are still moving forward.

This is not to say that the pandemic has not impacted our office or the legal profession more generally. In March, as the extent of the pandemic became more apparent, courts in Ontario elected to curtail their operations in order to protect the public. This does not mean they have shut down completely. Some urgent criminal and family matters are proceeding. While this has made life harder for many people, it is not the case that all non-urgent matters are trapped in limbo. Much of the work that goes into litigation occurs outside of the court. Things like drafting affidavits, reviewing documents, conducting research and much more can be done without ever stepping foot in a courthouse.

What does this mean for you? During this time of crisis, our office remains ready and willing to provide you with the assistance you require, be it buying or selling a home, creating a will or incorporating your business. All you need to do is call – just do not expect a hug when you come through the door.