COVID-19 Updates & Available Technology

  1. Baltimore County Bar Association created the following webpage to better organize updates, closures, and resources related to COVID-19 and the Maryland Judiciary.
  2. Administrative Orders have been issued for the following Counties:
    1. Baltimore City
    2. Carroll County
    3. Montgomery County
    4. Prince George’s County
  3. The BCBA is coordinating a supply donation drive with local hospitals for items needed to protect front line medical workers.  We are looking for hand sanitizer, masks, and cleaning/antibacterial wipes to donate.  Please contact Rachel Ruocco at rruoco@bcba.org to coordinate delivery or pick-up.  We are also coordinating the delivery of meals and coffee to local hospitals and will provide additional information if you are interested in participating or donating.
  4. Civil legal aid organizations continue to provide remote assistance to low-income litigants.  The Women’s Law Center of Maryland’s Family Law Hotline (1-800-845-8550) and Emergency Law Hotline (1-877-422-9500) remains open to provide free legal advice, referrals, and information.  More information can be found at the MSBA’s Access to Justice Covid-19 resources page

Technology

New technology allows our staff and members to effectively and efficiently communicate while maintaining social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 crisis.  In order to better serve our members, the following are websites on the basic of video conferencing.  Additionally, through individual BCBA members and the BCBA Technology Committee, if you need assistance, individualized training on specific programs will be provided.  Please simply ask for assistance and we will coordinate a telephone call.

 Video Conference Calls

  • Zoom –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMUxzrgZvZQ
    • BCBA Secretary Stanford G. Gann, Jr. (sgannjr@levingann.com) is a prolific user of Zoom and is available for any questions on using Zoom.  Mr. Gann provided the following to related to Zoom:
      • Zoom is very intuitive.  If you are invited to join a Zoom meeting via e-mail and have never used Zoom before, simply click on the link and follow the minimal steps to install and accept the program.  Then, you are all set for that invited meeting and future meetings with anyone.  Some invitations include a required password.  If you wish to schedule a meeting and set up an instant meeting, you can require a password or simply allow access without a password.  Once Zoom is installed, the home program is a window with 4 options – New Meeting, Join, Schedule [a meeting] and Share screen.  At the bottom left of a meeting box, you can mute and unmute yourself and turn video on and off, presuming you have a webcam either imbedded in your computer or as an attachment to your computer.  Zoom also works well on smart cellphones.  The program allows you to kick the tires, to try things out and to play with it without worrying that you will mess anything up or be locked out.
  • Skype for Business – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNYQcHVgwlM
    • Maryland Judiciary-issued computers and hardware include Skype for Business, which can be used for remote access of a party during the COVID-19 crisis.  Additionally, Skype for Business recently created a “Meet Now” function to allow for conference calls with multiple participants.
  • Google Hangouts – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfZ1Wyltxjo
    • Similar to Zoom, Google Hangout allows participants to message, have video calls, and phone calls right from your computer or mobile device.

Depositions

Through BCBA sponsor Planet Depos, members can take advantage of remote depositions.  The witness and attorneys can connect via laptop or mobile device.  A Planet Depos technician will monitor the connection during the entire deposition to ensure a smooth, continuous link between the parties.  Additional information on remote depositions is available here.

Planet Depos is offering FREE Live Webinars of their Remote Deposition platform and processes.

The video will show you:
How exhibits work
How to control the screen
Recording options
Tips on how to ensure a smooth experience
Role of PD’s “white glove” technician
And any further questions you may have

It’s time to embrace this technology. This is our new reality for the near future.

Sign up to attend at the links below:
Tuesday April 7th @ 4pm:  Register here
Wednesday April 8th @ 11am: Register here
Thursday April 9th @3pm: Register here
Friday April 10th @ 11am: Register here