I want to talk to you today about how Kruse Law Firm has successfully adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic. One thing you should realize and you’re probably aware of this, criminal lawyers are considered essential service in the province so we’ve been operating fully during the Covid pandemic even though the court system was paused to a certain extent from March until July 6th. On July 6th the courts have opened in a limited way in terms of the number of courtrooms operating criminal trials across the province.

So what we’ve been doing is we’ve been servicing our existing clients, taking on new clients across the province and we have 4 physical locations. Offices and lawyers in 4 different cities. In Toronto, Kitchener, London and Windsor so those offices have been fully functional. Our staff’s been there we’ve been keeping everyone safe within our buildings.

The court protocol across the province right now is a lot of things are operating virtually. Guilty pleas are going virtual, bail hearings. They are trying to keep the court system safe so we’ve been doing that day in and day out. On July 6th of course trials resumed for example, in a limited number of courthouses. For example in London and in Kitchener and in Windsor. A few courtrooms have been renovated. Not many by the way so there’s still going to be some delay so we’ve been doing this for years. We’ve been operating virtually in other counties as well. We service all the counties in between those locations, north and south and central and western Ontario and this is the new virtual reality. Clients are choosing to meet with us on zoom or phone. We’re encouraging that and things have gone very well so we’ve been very pleased with that. We haven’t been meeting to date at least with people in person. Most clients don’t want that and it’s worked out very well. Virtual, you know the technology we have now you can operate anywhere in Ontario as a lawyer. So you don’t necessarily have to hire a local criminal lawyer. The virtual reality is probably here to stay for some time. We may continue with virtual guilty pleas for some time. Even trials are being offered virtually right now. So do you really need to hire a local lawyer say if you live in Owen Sound or any city, Windsor, Kitchener, London or Toronto. My message is to you with the new reality we’re in is that you need to hire and find the best possible criminal lawyer you can find within your budget. That may be a local lawyer. It may not be.

So that’s what we’ve been doing. I also want to mention that we’re keeping our staff and lawyers very safe. Let’s just take some of our offices. We have each staff member and lawyer has their own separate office within our buildings so they can socially distance. We’re practicing cleanliness standards every day. So this is all working out well. I want our staff to be safe. I want our clients to be safe. Clients haven’t even needed to come into the building because we have we can do everything electronically. We can share files with them and that’s working out really well.

Going forward there’s the odd, with the province slowly re-opening right now there’s the odd client who is now asking look can I meet in person and I’ve made the decision yes we will do that but we want to be very safe about it. If that happens we are going to meet in a boardroom. We are going to do safe social distancing with masks and keep everyone safe. If the client wants to review their police reports and disclosure we will set them up in a separate room and they can do that so that, you know, there’s no effect from the pandemic then. So that’s going on. We’ve been successfully adapting to the situation. I believe we will continue to do so and with the courts in the province right now virtuals can continue. It’s not going away. In person trials have resumed but you also have an opportunity to do virtual trials if you want. That’s an opportunity within the province and I’ll be talking about that in one of my other videos because that’s a very interesting topic as well.