Costello & Mains COVID-19 “Safe Mode” Operating Protocols
Please note that the following protocols and expectations will be strictly enforced professionally and courteously, but without exception, with regard to all present and future firm relationships and interactions:
1. Re-Opening/Resumption of “Normal” Operations for New Jersey:
The firm has re-opened fully and has done so in a “Safe Mode” which will require strict adherence to safe interactions with one another and with the public.
2. We Will Continue to Make Appointments by Virtual Means:
The firm will, at all times, request that hearings, motions and other occasions for interaction with any state or federal court or administrative agency be conducted by telephonic or other electronic means, subject to the requirements of those court systems and offices, and subject to any public policy or lawful order extent speaking to such appearances.
Likewise, the firm will continue to conduct all depositions and mediations by telephone or by electronic means, subject to court or administrative agency orders and cooperation of witnesses, verbatim reporters and our colleagues.
Finally, the firm will attempt to conduct all initial and other client meetings and interviews by telephone or by electronic means, whenever possible.
We request that all clients, vendors, contractors and colleagues assist us by keeping such appointments and by cooperating with making necessary technology available to themselves.
3. Visitors, Employees, Clients, Contractors and Colleagues with COVID-19 Symptoms May be Refused Admission to the Office:
In the event that any personnel at the firm have reason to believe that a visitor is displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19, that visitor may be respectfully and politely requested to leave the premises. The event which brought the visitor to the office will be rescheduled as soon as is possible, for all parties concerned.
We will not deny service to anyone on the basis of their illness, but we must reserve the right to provide such services in a manner which safeguards the health of our personnel, of their families, and of our community.
Likewise, we expect and require that all visitors to the firm cancel such visits if either they, or someone close to them, has tested positive for COVID-19 at any point inside of thirty calendar days before the date of appointment, or if they are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19 at any time within 30 days before the appointment. All appointments can be rescheduled or conducted by electronic means, as an alternative, if urgent, or rescheduled for a later date, in person, as needed.
4. Only Persons Necessary to a Meeting Will be Permitted in the Office:
While we appreciate that certain visitors may have had a friend or family member transport them to our offices, those individuals must remain outside the offices at all times unless they are either requested to attend the meeting by a representative of the firm, or unless the individual is needed for a bona fide medical reason; in which case, a firm representative must be consulted, and permission requested, to admit the individual.
Children may not enter the offices unless the meeting directly concerns representation of those children; please make arrangements for necessary child care in advance of your appointment.
5. Strict Social Distancing Will be Enforced at all Times:
All personnel and visitors will be expected to maintain a minimum of 10 feet from one another, whenever physically possible (and maximum workable distance, when not possible) at all times, while performing work or interacting.
Any visitor who fails to adhere to this expectation will be respectfully and politely, but immediately, asked to leave the offices.
Social distancing will be expected when interacting with anyone at the reception desk, including compliance with any signage designating safe distance.
Social distancing will be expected when in the waiting area, including the following of any requests by firm representatives regarding seating.
6. Masks Will be Used at all Times When Interacting:
All visitors to the firm are expected to wear CDC-compliant masks at all times while visiting. Firm personnel will wear masks when outside of their offices and/or when away from their assigned cubicles.
Disposable masks will be made available to visitors as supplies allow, but we thank all visitors in advance for bringing their own CDC-compliant masks.
7. No Physical Touching or Greeting:
Personnel at the firm will politely, warmly and genuinely greet all visitors with non-physical salutation.
We expect all visitors to do likewise, and to respect and understand that no disrespect is intended in the absence of physical contact.
8. Use of Hand Sanitizer:
Hand sanitizer will be available in reception, in kitchen areas and in bathroom areas. All personnel and all visitors are expected to make use of same.
Visitors are expected to make use of same upon entering the reception area and before leaving a restroom.
9. Limited Access to Kitchens:
We appreciate the understanding of all visitors to the firm when we advise that visitors may not enter either firm kitchen at any time.
10. No Food Deliveries to the Office; No Shared Food:
No third-party delivery service will be permitted to deliver food into the office, though such deliveries may be made to the outside of the firm or to a waiting motor vehicle in a parking area.
Regardless of the source, no “shared” food will be permitted in the office, including, but not limited to, foods which require more than one person to use utensils or fingers to retrieve food from a container (e.g., pizza, appetizers, platters or trays of food, snacks in bags, etc.).
11. Protocols May Change At Any Time:
These “Safe Mode” protocols are meant for the protection of all firm personnel, of all visitors and their families, and of the public, generally.
The firm reserves the right and public responsibility to adjust these protocols at any time, in accordance with safe, responsible and sound public health information. Any adjustments to the Safe Mode Protocols will be added as an attachment to all firm salutations, to all email and physical communication, and to our website, as soon as practicable.