The Buckmaster & Ellzey Team views our clients’ legal needs as critical services so we are still available and working proactively cases during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are making necessary adjustments to ensure the safety and health of our clients, staff, and visitors during this time while doing everything within our power to minimize the impact on our clients’ cases. Here is what you can expect from Buckmaster & Ellzey in the upcoming weeks.
Commitment to Clients
While delays are inevitable, we are fighting back to minimize the impact on our clients by offering proactive solutions to opposing parties and attorneys and doing everything within our power to make progress on our cases when others want to step back. We understand how important each case is and we will not stop working to defend our clients and their rights!
Seamless Office Function
Anyone should be able contact our office via phone or email without interruption. The Buckmaster & Ellzey offices are classified as Lower Exposure Risk work environments, but out of an abundance of caution, both our Daytona Beach and DeLand offices are closed to the public and operating remotely until further notice.
Availability via Phone, Video conferencing, Email, or In-Person
We are available to schedule a telephone or video conferences for consultations or about a current case. If in-person services are required, we can schedule to meet those needs. Please note, that in the event an in-person meeting is scheduled, our team is taking every effort towards the cleanliness of our office.
Jails have limited attorney visits to video conferences and we are ensuring our attorneys are set up to continue to meet with new and current clients.
Flexible Billing Practices
We understand that these can be difficult times for families, as some of our clients may be experiencing temporary or permanent layoffs. If you expect to experience this type of financial impact, please let us know so we can discuss a plan for your case in more detail.
The State Attorney’s Office for Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia county has cancelled all depositions scheduled until April 1, 2020. However, we are working to reschedule those proceedings as soon as possible and imploring that the State implement remote depositions immediately to preserve our clients’ rights.
There have been no changes to the Rules of Procedure which require discovery to be completed timely. We are continuing to require production of discovery and urging our clients to meet our requirements for the same.
Most offices are very reluctant to schedule any in-person meetings, so we are insisting that other offices to consider remote depositions and mediations to continue to push cases forward toward a resolution consistent with our clients’ goals.
Scheduling Court Hearings
As always, our team is prepared to attend any and all hearings scheduled. The Courts have continued or canceled several hearing and have implemented the following Emergency Court Procedures:
Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia Courts, court proceedings are limited to “mission critical” functions and all courthouses are closed until April 6, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.
For those facing criminal charges, mission critical functions include the following: First appearances, Bond hearings, Juvenile detention hearings, Juvenile shelter hearings, Injunctions for protection from violence (restraining orders), Risk protection orders, Warrants, Violations of orders on travel, closures, or curfews, and other issues determined by the court to be Emergency.
For our clients with family law matters, mission critical functions include the following: Juvenile shelter hearings, Injunctions for protection from violence (restraining orders), Cases where the imminent safety of children is an issue, Violations of Orders on travel, closures, or curfews, and other issues determined by the court to be Emergency.
If your case had a court event scheduled before April 6, 2020, feel free to contact our office to confirm the cancellation and rescheduling.
Seminole County courts have taken the following actions:
Criminal Law cases: continued all out of custody defendant’s appearances for arraignments, VOP arraignments, docket soundings, pretrial, docket reviews, and calendar calls until after April 15, 2020.
Family Law cases: declared that contested civil family cases may be rescheduled after April 15, 2020. Otherwise, it is with in the discretion of each individual judge in the civil family divisions as to whether any motion, stipulation, or hearing may move forward. Injunction petitions and proceedings shall move forward telephonically or via videoconference. All hearings for domestic violence injunctions scheduled before April 15, 2020, will be heard in Courtroom A of the civil courthouse.
The Buckmaster & Ellzey Team would be honored to be your legal representatives. We appreciate and value our clients as individuals
These changes during the COVID-19 outbreak have required some adjusting and we appreciate your patience. Should you have any questions or concerns with these changes that have been made, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (386) 257-0606 or Nichole@BuckmasterEllzey.com.