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April 28, 2020

Law Office Closure Exceptions Expanded to Address Critical Needs

Governor Wolf has amended the "Legal Services" category of Industry Operation Guidance for business types that may continue physical operations, in relation to the Governor's Executive Order mandating closure for COVID-19 mitigation.

Law offices may not continue physical operations, "except that, although law offices remain generally closed and lawyers and staff should continue to perform all work remotely to the extent possible, lawyers and staff may access physical offices on a limited basis as necessary to render legal services that cannot practically be completed through the use of advanced communication technology, and which are being rendered to comply with a court directive or deadline, or to meet client needs that are critical to the client's health or safety, including, but not limited to, matters of healthcare, incompetence, incapacitation, end-of-life decision making, government benefits necessary to sustain life and access healthcare and income, or legal functions necessary for the operation of government at all levels. Any in-person activity shall be subject to the Orders of Secretary of Health providing for building safety measures (issued April 5, 2020) and business safety measures (issued April 15, 2020), including any amendments, and related Department of Health guidance."

A complete guide to COVID-19 resources for businesses, including orders issued by Governor Wolf and Health Secretary Levine, the complete list of life-sustaining businesses, stay at home guidance, agency contacts and Frequently Asked Questions is available on the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development webpage.

Check the Philadelphia Bar Association's COVID-19 Resource Center for the latest court orders and information focusing on the practice of law during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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