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B.C. law society issues guidance for lawyers who test positive for COVID-19

Wednesday, April 08, 2020 @ 12:35 PM | By Ian Burns

The Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) has released guidance for lawyers who test positive for the COVID-19 virus.

In its April 7 release the LSBC noted the following:
  • Lawyers who test positive, or who are being treated as presumptively positive, may be required to provide information to the provincial health officials, including the names and contact information of clients or other individuals with whom they had recent contact.
  • The law society has developed the guidance to assist with maintaining confidential information while complying with legal responsibilities for disclosure to health officials.
  • Sole practitioners and small firms with lawyers and staffs who are working remotely have asked questions about the use of electronic banking and electronic signatures, using e-mail to send clients their bill, or how to manage banking now that several financial institutions have closed branches temporarily or reduced in-person services as part of their COVID-19 response. Further information and answers to these questions are available in the trust accounting and financial FAQs on the COVID-19 information web page.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for lawyers and law firms, including economic pressures and potential changes to the business of law. The law society has heard from individuals who are concerned about the economic future. Its practice advisers and other departments have assembled 17 tips for the business of law during COVID-19 to address concerns and questions that some lawyers and students are experiencing during this difficult time.

Over the past several weeks, the law society has also seen an increase in the frequency of e-mail phishing and fraud attempts. Fraudsters are sending COVID-19 related e-mails impersonating a colleague or person in authority that trick recipients into installing malicious software on their computer or mobile device by opening an attachment or clicking a link in e-mails or text messages. The law society recommends being vigilant and protecting yourself and your firm’s network and finance. Alert your staff. Avoid clinking links or opening attachments unless you are certain of their legitimacy.