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Update on Norris McLaughlin Firmwide Business Operations

Norris McLaughlin Shifting to Remote Operations Across ALL Offices 

Last Update: March 21, 2020, at 5:30 PM ET

As Norris McLaughlin continues to monitor developments and directives from federal, state, and local authorities related to the coronavirus health crisis, we also want to update our clients, friends, and colleagues about some critical changes to our business operations.

On March 19, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered the closure of all “non-life-sustaining” business locations to combat community spread of the virus. The order took effect at 8:00 PM last night with promises for enforcement action to begin at 12:01 AM on Saturday, March 21. Under the order, all businesses operating in Pennsylvania must close the doors to their physical locations entirely, with exceptions made for businesses that are required to sustain life. A list of those exceptions, which was included with the Governor’s order, can be found here.

Additionally, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo followed suit this afternoon ordering the physical closure of all non-essential business locations in the State, beginning at 8:00 PM tonight, with exceptions made for essential services such as shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks, and related financial institutions. Additional information about New York’s Executive Order can be found here.

On Saturday, March 21, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s office issued a statement confirming an Executive Order signed by the Governor requiring all New Jersey residents to remain home or at their place of residence until further notice. The Order includes a host of exceptions for allowing residents to leave their homes, such as obtaining goods or services from essential retail establishments, picking up or delivering food orders from restaurants, seeking medical attention, escaping peril from a danger in the home, or leaving at the order of law enforcement or other first responders. Additionally, the order includes stronger mandatory directives on social distancing practices for those times when residents are out in public. As expected, Governor Murphy also ordered that brick and mortar locations of all “non-essential businesses” be closed until further notice. As with New York and Pennsylvania, exclusions to the mandatory closures are outlined in the full text of the order, which can be found here.

To comply with these orders, until further notice, all Norris McLaughlin office locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania,and New York shall be closed, however, we have implemented remote office capabilities for our attorneys and certain business-critical staff so that they can work remotely while these orders are in effect. We are confident that these contingencies will allow us to continue the high level of service that our clients have come to expect from us and anticipate little (if any) interruption of service. During this time, we will respond to all inquiries as soon as is reasonably possible and thank you in advance for your patience.

NOTE: IF YOU HAVE AN UPCOMING MEETING OR CONSULTATION SCHEDULED IN ANY OF OUR AFFECTED OFFICES THAT HAS NOT ALREADY BEEN RESCHEDULED, PLEASE CONTACT THE ATTORNEY INVOLVED IN YOUR MATTER TO RESCHEDULE OR MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THAT VISIT TO BE CONDUCTED BY PHONE OR VIDEO CONFERENCE. IF YOU ARE UNSURE WHO TO CONTACT, PLEASE CLICK ONE OF THE LINKS BELOW TO CONTACT THE MANAGEMENT FOR THAT OFFICE LOCATION AND THEY WILL ASSIST.

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We recognize that fully understanding the nuances of each of these orders is potentially challenging or overwhelming, and with penalties of noncompliance looming ahead, getting it wrong is not an option for you or your business. So, if you own or operate a business in New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania, and you have questions about whether your business may be exempt from your state’s order, or you want to clarify some other provision, we encourage you to reach out to one of our experienced attorneys to review the Order that your business is subject to and develop a plan to close the doors of your brick and mortar location(s) as soon as possible.

As we have been doing throughout this unprecedented crisis, we will keep you informed of any additional changes to our business operations and advise on any new developments as they occur in this very fluid situation.