The New Normal
It's been a strange spring. For the world, for our community, and for our business. The Covid-19 crisis halted many areas of legal practice in Nova Scotia, as the courts moved to an essential services model, face-to-face meetings became Zoom meetings, and many people's business or real estate transactions were cancelled or postponed until things went back to "normal."
We were lucky that our staff and their families remained healthy throughout the first wave of the outbreak. Since March, our office doors have been closed to the public, and we have been operating with a reduced staffing model. We have alternated office days with work-at-home days to try to make social distancing in the office easier. We have done our best to keep up with our clients' needs in a logistically challenging environment.
Now, the courts are re-opening for non-urgent matters. The property market is heating up, and businesses are reopening. Seasonal residents are returning to the south shore from other areas of Nova Scotia and soon we expect to greet our out-of-province and out-of-country clients as well.
For the time being, we plan to err on the side of caution with respect to in-person meetings. If we believe that we can provide excellent service by telephone, email, or zoom, that is what we will recommend. The Land Registration Office has temporarily relaxed standards for execution of documents via videoconferencing, as have the Courts with respect to documents sworn in Nova Scotia.
If clients do not have the facilities for videoconferencing, we can arrange signature appointments at our office. We will meet clients in the reception area, provide an unused pen, and maintain a physical distance of at least six feet. We will clean the signing area with antibacterial wipes after each use. Hand sanitizer will also be available in the signing area. Sensitive matters requiring a higher degree of confidentiality and privacy may be dealt with in our private offices with similar precautions, or preferably via telephone or videoconference.
We would like to thank our clients for their patience throughout this transitional period. Wishing you a healthy and productive summer,
The Team at MacLeod Webber