How is COVID-19 going to affect your legal matter?

In an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus across Australia, numerous business and services have begun to change the way they conduct their day to day operations. The legal system is not immune to the coronavirus pandemic and has employed certain measures to ensure the safety of staff, clients and the wider community. The question many of our clients are facing is how these measures and the recent Government directives on ‘social distancing’ will affect the progress of their legal matter.

Working remotely, flexi-communication to serve clients

Whilst the Corney & Lind office currently remains open, our lawyers, clerks and support staff are all equipped with the ability to work from home via remote access technology. Our number one priority is always our clients. Our aim for just redemptive outcomes remains regardless of the current climate and we will continue to endeavour to provide high quality legal assistance, whether that is working in the office or working from home. We will still receive your emails and phone calls and will respond in due course as normal business practices.

One important measure we are adopting is changing the way we deliver face-to-face appointments. Where we once might have had a face-to-face appointment, a teleconference or videoconference will be convened instead. Teleconferencing is not a new practice for us and we will use this method as necessary for the immediate future to ensure that we are doing our part to prevent the spread of the virus and that your legal matter continues to progress. Should you prefer video conference, our system will support FaceTime (for Apple iPhone users), Skype, WhatsApp and Zoom.

Court Appearances during COVID-19

You may have heard that the Courts have been shut down or are haltering proceedings to times as late as August 2020. The Courts have made necessary adjustments in order to deal with matters whilst navigating the challenges posed by coronavirus. Whilst the arrangements for Courts will vary between jurisdictions, and it is important to review which arrangements may apply to your matter, here are some things to note:

  • Courts will continue to hand down judgments.
  • Court matters can be heard via teleconference or video link where it is deemed appropriate or urgent or there are special circumstances. Non-critical matters have been suspended.
  • All legal practitioners have leave to appear by telephone or other audio visual link.
  • Most matters will be heard individually to reduce numbers of persons inside the courtroom
  • All new jury trials have been suspended. Those that have commenced will continue until completion.

We will continue to progress your legal matter through the court (if required) and will keep up to date with the adjustments made to the legal system in the coming weeks and months.

What is really important in your legal matter is that you follow any Court Orders, plans, timelines or any other requirements unless directed otherwise by the Court or your legal representative.

Contact our COVID-19 Crisis Response Team

If you are unsure or concerned about your rights or obligations during this time, don’t hesitate to get in contact our COVID-19 Crisis Response Team so that we can assist you in navigating these uncertain times.

Author Melissa Sidney

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