OUR NEW SHARED REALITY
This is a message to our friends, family and clients on what we – the staff and lawyers – at GREEN GERMANN SAKRAN / GGS LAW are doing in response to the COVID–19 pandemic.
GGS clients and employees are always our top priority. Rest assured that we are taking all necessary precautions and closely monitoring the (COVID-19) situation with Public Health Announcements so that we conduct business with peace of mind.
Read about our COVID-19 Policy
Safety and hygiene are cornerstones of GGS values and how we operate our office. Given the acute concerns with containing the spread of COVID-19, we recognize the importance of being vigilant to clean and disinfect. We are taking proactive and preventative measures to protect against the exposure to the virus in our office.
As early as last Monday, March 9 – all staff and lawyers met to discuss and brainstorm ideas on what we need to do to ensure the continued health and safety of each and every one of our staff, lawyers and clients.
We immediately drafted and implemented office policy and procedures that have evolved as the situation evolved.
Here is an up-to-date account of what we are doing:
- We have discontinued handshaking or any form of touching and mindful of not touching our face or each other;
- We are respectful of each other’s personal space – ensuring to maintain a meter distance apart – and not violating the other person`s work station area by not touching their equipment or areas;
- We routinely sanitize our personal work space – mouse, keyboard, monitor, phone handset, desk, countertops, and routinely clean and sanitize all areas of our office;
- We have placed sanitization products (such as lotions and wipes) throughout the office (front desk, offices and waiting areas) and provided staff and lawyers with latex gloves;
- We are disinfecting and sanitizing all usable surfaces (ie. tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, pens and debit machines);
- We routinely discuss and review our health and safety procedures to ensure we are doing everything necessary to ensure the health and safety of each other and our clients;
- We are informing our clients of those measures and procedures;
- We are not sharing pens;
- We are conducting ALL client meetings and consultations via ZOOM or SKYPE video conferencing and providing clients with an email link to download either of these video conferencing platforms:
- Where “in-office” attendances are necessary:
- We are screening clients to ensure they do not attend if they are sick or experiencing a fever or flu-like symptoms;
- We are restricting client attendances to our one (1) main floor meeting room which is sanitized before and after each meeting;
- We wear a fresh pair of latex gloves during in-person client meetings;
- We provide the client with a sanitized pen to use;
- Client attendances are intentionally kept as brief as possible and restricted to the signature of documents only (IN/OUT is the idea);
- The conversational aspects of reviewing, explaining and amending documents are conducted in advance of client attendances by video and/or telephone conferencing;
- Where there are multiple clients – such as spouses/business partners/co-executors – we are staggering their entry to the meeting room;
- By restricting client attendances to one office on the main floor, it is allowing us to better control the health and safety of that area for clients – and ensuring that the larger upstairs work area of staff and lawyers remains safe;
- We are constantly and frequently washing and sanitizing our hands and everything we touch. As much as possible, we are conscious of not touching our mouth and nose;
- We are regularly discussing and assessing if we need to modify what we are doing and if we need to add or modify our procedures;
- We are not forcing staff or lawyers to work – and yet, the consensus is we WANT to be here – and that is primarily because we feel safe in all that we are doing;
- We are mindful of everyone and their personal space and our shared responsibility to remain vigilant in all that we do and how we conduct business.
At GGS LAW, we value the health and safety of every individual.
We are and will continue to do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of all concerned.
And if you have any questions, simply call me at 905-639-1222 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a meeting invite via ZOOM or SKYPE.
Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding – we are a caring and thoughtful society – I know we will get through this together.
Why don’t we include developers vested in the downtown in the City’s ongoing “engagement” process on Grow Bold? Why not bring developers to the table?
Why are we afraid to ask the private sector, experts in development, to participate openly in the process?
Why not bring developers together in a room (initially away from the public – away from the anger, hostility and venom) and ask for their “help” in dealing with the public fears on:
- The loss of sunlight;
- Increase in vehicular congestion;
- Loss of green and liveable space;
- Ensuring safe pedestrian flow and places of gathering;
- Promotion of downtown businesses;
- Ensuring sufficient parking for residents and visitors; and,
- Any other big issue item….
Developers are not afraid of criticism. They deal with it all the time. And, they can be a powerful team to help with resident issues if we ask them.
Why not ask them to sign onto a Memorandum of Understanding to come up with a coordinated design away from the fear of public scrutiny and criticism, at least in the initial stages of brain storming and design.
Challenge them to put together a coordinated plan or design, and more than one plan or design, which addresses the public concerns and ensures an integrated approach to responsible development rather than the “one offs” we are currently getting with individual development applications.
Put their coordinated plan or design(s) before the citizen engagement forums. At least the residents would have something tangible to review and comment on.
Developers will listen, and even though they may not like the resident feedback, the hope is that their engagement gives them an incentive to incorporate the good design ideas into their individual development applications.
What do we have to lose?
I told you it was a crazy idea…..
Karmel Sakran, Ask a Real Estate Lawyer »