April 2020
COVID-19 Alert: State Bar Provides Ethical Guidance for Real Estate Closings, Notarizations, and Practicing Remotely During a Pandemic
Over the past weeks, the State Bar, like Lawyers Mutual, has received a variety of ethics inquiries regarding the different practice implications of the current public health crisis.  In response to those inquiries, the State Bar published two ethics resources on the State Bar's website:
  1. An ethics advisory addressing a) whether the Rules of Professional Conduct permit a lawyer to notarize a document or direct a notarization of a document via remote conference, and b) whether the Rules of Professional Conduct permit a lawyer to disburse funds in connection with a real property closing prior to recordation of the closing documents, including the deed and deed(s) of trust.  This advisory opinion was originally issued on March 27, 2020 to a number of individuals who had contacted the State Bar about these topics, but the State Bar believes it would be helpful to make the opinion available to all lawyers at this time. 
  1. An ethics article addressing a number of issues related to the practice of law during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on working remotely.  Of note, the article discusses ethical considerations in using online services, including video conferencing. 
Lawyers Mutual is here to help   as you adjust your law firm practice during these trying times.   For additional resources, please visit the Lawyers Mutual COVID-19 Response page. Let us know how we can assist you. 

As a reminder, Lawyers Mutual employees are working remotely at this time. While we have procedures in place to distribute mail, we are unable to receive mail or parcels that require a signature.