To Our Clients and Friends:
We all continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation in Houston, across the United States, and globally. In light of guidance from state and local authorities, as well as from Hines Property Management (which oversees our physical space and associated common areas), we have established work-from-home arrangements among our lawyers and staff. As a law firm, we do have the need for onsite work but we limit the presence of people on our premises wherever possible. We continue to comply with the Harris County Face Covering Order and Hines limits elevator usage to two occupants per elevator at a time with proper PPE (masks and gloves). Specifically, we follow Hines’s “Preparing Your Workplace” Tenant Checklist.
Since our last update of September 15, Houston and Harris County have experienced an increase, a decrease, and now another increase, in cases. Throughout the pandemic, Harris County has adopted a color-coded COVID-19 Threat Level System. For the past several weeks, our firm has followed the guidance reflected in the new system’s “Level 1” classification: “Stay Home” – minimizing contacts with others whenever possible.
We remain committed to delivering exceptional service and will continue to operate at full capacity. We are working and we are available for you. Our longstanding commitment to first-in-class technology and collaborative methods have allowed us to continue to provide uninterrupted and high-quality service to our clients.
Moving Forward: Our Vision for the Future
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with challenges, but also opportunities to continue to expand our technological infrastructure and to inspire us to use those improvements to create a vision for the future. The pandemic has taught us to work remotely even in complex matters involving virtual depositions, hearings, and mediations.
At the same time however, we continue to value our physical space. Our offices allow us to give our clients the option to meet with us in a discreet face-to-face context (even if those faces wear masks). Similarly, where feasible, we value in-person contact between and among our lawyers and staff. Successful dispute resolution depends on collaboration. Our commitment to collaborative work, both in-person and virtual, reflects our shared experience that in difficult and complex client engagements, a law firm with lawyers and staff of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints working together will be far more likely to serve its clients better than one in which such collaboration does not exist.
The latest updates from the Southern District of Texas is available here; Harris County District Court’s latest update is here. We will continue to monitor this situation for these and other courts in which we practice.