I hope everyone is staying safe and following the directives of the CDC. This pandemic was very unexpected and occurred so suddenly. It also appears that it will be with us for a very long time. The “new normal” is what we make it and what we will be doing for a while. But I believe we have always been and always will be survivors. It will be a Brave New World.
So our law firm is going to do things a little differently for the near future. First, we are not going to be meeting in person as before, instead we will be utilizing emails, phone calls and video conferencing. I have represented clients from out of state on several occasions where we only meet in cyberspace, never in person. I would rather meet face-to-face, but I would much rather keep everyone as safe as possible. For new clients, we are answering questions and handling matters via telephone. Additional help and answers are available on our website.
For current clients, we do have a big mail slot by the front door of our office. Feel free to drop copies of paperwork off and then either email or call us. Please use every precaution when venturing out of your home. It is more imporatant that you are safe. I can handle anything that needs legal assistance without you leaving home. In fact, everything we do can be handled by email and phone calls. If not, we will figure out the best way to conduct business safely. In Tulsa County (and most other counties in Oklahoma), the Courts have basically closed until mid to late April and may stay closed longer. If you have a Court date scheduled, it will be continued to May or later. The Court will send us notice of your new Court date as soon as they can. If you believe you cannot wait and are in need of an emergency hearing, contact us if right away and we will see what can be done to get a Court order.
As to our mediations, we have a webpage for you to book your dates online…https://matthewpgomez.com/book-an-appointment/ OR, if you prefer, email email@example.com or call us (918)794-5587 and we will send you an updated list of dates and times. For now, iIt is safer for all of us that we do pratice social-distancing, but it is also important to take care of business and get on to other matters.
The plan for my mediations is to use the ZOOM app for video conferencing. It is basically like Facetime or Skype, except that it was made to talk to a group not just one person. You can download and use Zoom from your personal computer IF you have a microphone and a webcam. For Windows computers, use this link https://zoom.us/support/download for the Mac follow this link: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/203020795-How-To-Install-on-Mac If you have a laptop, the mic and camera are probably built in so that is convenient. Of course, the easiest way may be to just use your cell phone and download the zoom app to use your built-in camera and mic. Mobile apps are Here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=us.zoom.videomeetings or here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id546505307. See the directions below.
Once all the parties and their attorneys agree to a date and time, our office will email a confirmation letter with important mediation information. Prior to the actual mediation date we will also email a zoom “invitation” that has the date time and the link to our online meeting room. All you need to do is download the zoom app following the directions above and then click on the link in the email about your mediation and you will be taken to the virtual mediation room. There will be a “waiting for the meeting” screen that says the meeting is about to begin. If there are any technical difficulties or you have problems, just call my assistant or myself at (918) 794-5587 and we can walk you through it. When everyone is online and ready, the mediation can begin. You basically are still in separate rooms because only I can see everyone. I will go back and forth between the parties discussing how to best settle the issues that are holding us up from settlment. Once we have worked everything out, I will draft up a written agreement and email it to everyone to sign and send back to me. Once everyone has signed, I will email your attorney all the signature pages so they can begin working on drafting the formal order for the Judge to sign. As to payment, my assistant can take credit/debt card information over the phone for payment and a receipt will be emailed to you.
We will also be using conference calls for those without viable webcam access.
As events change, I will do my best to be work with everyone on after-hours help, weekends or whatever it takes. We look forward to working with you. Stay safe and we look forward to hearing from you soon.
*** Update on HCCWD seminar requirements 3-25-20***
Tulsa County has approved using the OSU Tulsa online co-parenting program to meet the statutory education requirement. This link should take parents directly to all the information parents would need to enroll: https://humansciences.okstate.edu/fcs/coparenting/online-registration.html.
Reportedly, Cleveland County also is approving online classes.
Using Zoom Meetings for Mobile
For those of you without access to a computer, you can use your mobile phone to participate in the Zoom Meeting. Please follow the steps below:
1. Download the Zoom app from the appropriate store app (Apple Store or Play Store).
2. Once ready to join the meeting, open the Zoom app on your mobile.
3. Click the button “Join Meeting” to begin.
4. Enter in your Meeting ID and a Name if Desired.
5. Click Join Meeting.
6. You may be prompted to allow your mobile phone to access your camera and microphone, allow these both. You will then see a preview window. You can choose to turn this preview off using the slider below.
You are now ready to connect to the meeting.
Once you are ready to leave the meeting, touch your screen and the menu options will appear. Click “Leave Meeting” to disconnect.