Dear Members of the Judicial Division:
I am touching base with each of you because these are the times we need to stay connected, share information and support each other more than ever. We are all grappling with new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. I am in Dallas, Texas where, like many of you, we have been ordered to shelter in place by our local officials. As a result, I am working from home and learning new methods of communication to keep up with work, family and friends. I know each of you have been seriously impacted by the current crisis. You are trying to continue your work while dealing with very new issues. Some of you may even be ill or be caring for a family member who is ill. Others are figuring out how to do their work while caring for children or others. Some have been or have family members who have been severely affected by the financial losses suffered as a result of the shutdown of businesses. And although we are used to communicating by email, text, phone and other than face to face methods, we can feel isolated from our family, friends and coworkers when we cannot continue business as usual and follow our normal routines. Regardless of your specific situation, I know you are all dealing with very difficult conditions.
I would like to thank all of you judges and lawyers who work at the courts for what you are doing to keep the courts operational and for you lawyers who are helping the courts and your clients as well as maintaining your law practices. We are here to help you obtain information you may need or provide assistance whenever possible. The ABA has created the Task Force on Legal Needs Arising Out of the 2020 Pandemic to address issues raised by the COVID 19 pandemic. I am a member of the Task Force and have already participated in two meetings. It is designed to maintain current information to assist judges, lawyers and the public about access to the courts, guidance on unique legal issues people are facing as well as other information people need right now. The website for the information gathered and created by the Task Force is not yet operational but will be up and running very soon. When it is, I will send you the website address. I also want to make sure that the site contains information you need and you believe others need during this crisis. If you are aware of sites or information that we should include, please send that to me or Tori Jo Wible and we will pass it on to the people coordinating content for the site.
These are tough and challenging times. We will get through this and will deal with the problems, uncertainty and anxiety together. We are here for you. Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts and ideas about content on the website or how we can assist our members, the broader legal community and the public.
Thank you again for all you do. Please stay safe and well.