To be cautious and minimize risk, Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima is reducing in-person office meetings, but our office is still open. Our attorneys are available 24/7 by email (our first name @rittgers.com – for example: [email protected] and [email protected]) or by phone at our office. We are using technology to limit in-person meetings when possible. We often speak with new clients by phone, review contracts over email, and use e-sign for releases, contracts, and other legal documents. Our attorneys are also available by video conference through a firm conference service.
Some court cases must continue. In fact, many of our lawyers were in court today. We will continue serving clients and meeting in-person whenever necessary.
In yesterday’s Cincinnati Enquirer article concerning the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court’s response to the coronavirus, Judge Kubicki explained, “We’ve got a constitutional responsibility to remain open and function…We’re going to take steps to be proactive to minimize the risks for the people.”
These steps at Hamilton County Common Courthouse (and Municipal Court) include the installation of hand-sanitizers in high-touch/high-volume areas, increased cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, such as hand rails, elevator buttons, and door handles. Nonessential public gatherings at the courthouse, such as tours, mock trial events, and legal education classes are currently suspended.
At the federal level, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (which sits in downtown Cincinnati) issued an order yesterday to continue all criminal and civil jury trials for 30 days. It will otherwise remain open.
Not all courts have issued statements concerning how they are handling coronavirus concerns. That said, many courts throughout Ohio at the municipal, state, and federal levels are currently discussing their first or next steps in handling the issue. In fact, this weekend the Butler County Area Court judges (which hear misdemeanor and small claims cases) are meeting to discuss what measures they will implement.
If you have any questions or need to speak with an experienced attorney at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima for any legal needs, feel free to contact us at our office.