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In the words of Thomas Paine, “These are the times that try (wo)men’s souls”. In “The Crisis”, he wrote about the difficult times Americans were forced to endure during the American Revolution. His words brought comfort to readers who faced panic and uncertainty. Although our current situation is far different from the times in which Paine wrote, there are parallels to be drawn. Most importantly is the need for Americans to commit themselves to a common cause: public health. We are faced with new challenges, but we can and we will rise to the occasion.

As you are aware, Governor Cuomo has ordered a 100% reduction in in-office staff in order to control the spread of the Covid 19 virus. Accordingly, our office is closed until the order is lifted. However, our attorneys and staff are all able to work from home. We spent the last week ensuring that remote access to our computer network was available for each employee, we packed up our files and supplies, and we got situated in our home offices. We have the advantage of technology on our side, and while we cannot currently have in-person meetings with our clients, we can arrange for conference calls and in some cases, video meetings. We apologize in advance – you might hear a dog barking or a child asking for help with schoolwork as we all adjust to the realities of converting our homes to our places of work. Some of us may feel a bit like the Saturday Night Live character, Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, as we navigate video chats – but we want you to know that no matter where we are physically working, we are still here working for you.

As a practical matter, here are a few things you should note:

  1. Our phones are still being answered during normal business hours of 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. Our receptionist will take your call and then email a message to the attorney handling your matter, who will then contact you. From time to time during normal hours, you may get a voice mail message. Please leave a message, and it will be conveyed as quickly as possible.
  2. If you need to send something to us by overnight courier service, please contact the attorney you work with to make arrangements for these deliveries. While the overnight couriers are still at work, no one will be in our office to accept the package.
  3. We can still, for now, receive mail at our post office box. We will pick up mail there regularly, but it may not be on a daily basis. As with overnight courier packages, please contact the lawyer handling your file to make arrangements for delivery.
  4. The best and most efficient way to reach your attorney, for the time being, is by email. That information is available on our firm website.

As Paine told his readers, “There is a natural firmness in some minds which cannot be unlocked by trifles, but which, when unlocked, discovers a cabinet of fortitude”. We have every confidence in our team here, and in all of you, that we will meet our new challenges with strength and determination. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for you.

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Jennifer B. Granzow

Ms. Granzow holds a JD from the Syracuse University College of Law. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of business and corporate law, real estate, economic development, and government relations, with an emphasis on grants and public funding.

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