On March 13th the Supreme Court of Texas issued its first order regarding COVID-19 that permitted all judges to modify or suspend any deadlines and procedures and move to remote hearings, depositions, and other proceedings. This order also permitted the extension of the statute of limitations in all civil cases for a period no later than 30 days after the Governor’s state of disaster has been lifted. On March 31st, Governor Greg Abbott announced the “Stay at Home Order” that required all Texans to stay at home unless they were providing essential services or doing essential things like going to the grocery store. This order went into effect on April 2nd and lasted until April 30th.
Throughout March and April the Supreme Court of Texas continued to issue a number of orders that prohibited judges from conducting non-essential proceedings in person and established that the court reporter did not have to be in the same room as the witness so long as they could see them remotely. Texas courts made a seamless transition to Zoom meetings and the Bassett Firm followed suit. Every single employee at The Basset Firm was given a laptop to work remotely. Additionally new software such as Zoom, The Reach app, and Microsoft Teams were installed on everyone’s laptop. This software has been vital to keeping every member of the Bassett Firm connected, and has allowed us to continue carryout out business as usual.
The Bassett Firm has been conducting internal meetings, meetings with clients, depositions, mediations, and hearings via Zoom, and we have refused to let working from home effect our commitment to our clients. It will be interesting to see how these changes will effect how hearings and mediations are conducted moving forward. Perhaps with the current use of remote mediations, Plaintiffs and the courts will be more accepting of claim examiners participating in mediations remotely via telephone or video. If this transition becomes long-lasting, it could take the burden off of insurance companies who have to travel all around the county for mediations and hearings. Although these times are hard time for everybody, The Bassett Firm has found a way to grow stronger internally, and will continue to fight the good fight for our clients.