Abraham Lincoln said, "A lawyers time and advice are his stock in trade." We have all heard this and few disagree with it. We generally take for granted that we will have the time to dispense the advice as we ply our trade.
Few, if any, of us spend much time considering the possibility that our time may be interrupted and lost for a while. We are not talking retiring or dying here as those situations have considerations that are fairly obvious and we all anticipate at least one, but hopefully both as certainties.
It is when we have a short term loss of time, for our discussion a disability, that the answers to the question, "What do I do now?" are less clear.
This program is intended to start the thought process for practitioners as to what to do in these situations, even though we are each sure it will not happen to us.
I. Becoming aware of the disability
a. Accident (No advance warning at all)
b. Illness (Gradual onset)
a. "What has happened?"
b. "How long will it last?"
a. Case Management
i. Current cases
2. Filings due
3. Client appointments
4. Notice to clients
5. Letters of Protection
6. Substitute counsel
ii. New cases
1. Meeting with new clients
2. Acceptance of new cases
3. Notice to prospective new clients
b. Office Considerations
i. Staff responsibilities
ii. Office hours
iii. Communication and work from home
iv. Maintaining CLE and professional requirements and dues
IV. Ethical considerations
a. Supreme Court directive
b. Client information and case management
V. Practical Considerations
a. Your physical limitations
b. Scheduling Medical appointments
c. Financial limitations
i. Defer debt Payments
ii. Reduce staff time
iii. Limit optional expenditures
d. Psychological and spiritual impact of your health issue
e. Family Considerations; how they impact your practice now
VI. Office Emergency Plan
a. Your Personal "Emergency Plan"
b. Your office "Emergency Plan"
i. Staff communications
c. Plan for substitute counsel
d. Review Health insurance plan
e. Review short term and long term insurance plan
f. Listen to your doctor, follow his/her advice
DON'T stress over it. But NEVER presume it will not happen to you.