covid corona law legal; Covid-19 Corona Virus Legal Issues; Alberta law

Protecting Clients & Staff

We take the protection of clients and our whole legal team very seriously. We also know that people require legal services to deal with emergency situations, and significant financial transactions. Any client with specific concerns or health issues requiring immediate legal assistance, is invited to contact Jeffrey Kahane directly. With regards to the office, we have implemented the following measures and protocols to reduce the risk to everyone, while ensure client legal needs remain protected. We implemented the:

    • Disinfecting of boardrooms after every meeting;
    • After each use, all pens and items touched by clients and staff run through a UV sterilization machine;
    • Hand sanitizer in each boardroom;
    • Disinfecting surfaces such as the reception desk, door handles and bathrooms;
    • Reception is using disposable gloves for handling client ID (which we are happy to sterilize for clients while they meet with the lawyers);
    • With the exception of meeting with clients to sign documents, our lawyers and paralegals are fully able/prepared/equipped to work remotely to ensure client matters are addressed when needed;
    • Encouraging client meetings by phone or video conferencing where possible;
    • Lawyers wash hands and use sanitizers between all meetings and frequently throughout the day;
    • Providing medical masks for clients with any cold symptoms; and
    • HEPA and UV air purification filters / sterilizers in our reception areas and each boardroom.

Covid-19 Corona Virus Legal Issues

The world as we know it has faced extreme changes in a very short period with regards to day to day life since the onset of Covid-19 (or the Corona Virus) in Canada. The process for changing law is usually very slow. The courts hear new cases and governments pass new laws but this takes time. When sudden unprecedented changes occur in society, lawyers act having to use similar past situations, and known legal concepts to give advice. Here are recently and frequently asked questions about Covid-19 legal issues in Alberta.

An Important note or two: The current situation impacting Covid-19 Corona Virus legal issues is a fluid one. We expect changes to legislation to occur quickly. We shall update this list as frequently as possible. The second, and more important note: All situations are unique. This is page includes basic information, but for a proper legal opinion, a lawyer needs to review your individual situation. Specific points that should not change in light of Covid-19 Corona Virus, will be specified below.

Corporate Covid-19 Corona Virus legal issues

Our corporate lawyers help clients with all aspect of corporate law. In the current times, the help clients protect their businesses and operate within the law. The following include examples of issues clients ask us about:

Shareholder Meetings:

In Alberta, under section 131 of the Business Corporations Act, shareholder meetings may be held via electronic means or telephone. Therefore, if necessary a previously scheduled meeting may be held in this manner. Further, in emergency situations requiring immediate shareholder voting, under Section 141, a resolution signed by all shareholders, is equally valid as if passed at a shareholders’ meeting. This is true regardless of quorum or giving proper notice, as all shareholders sign the resolution thus demonstrating agreement.

Directors Meetings:

Similar to shareholders’ meetings, under Section 114 meetings of the shareholder may be held by telephone or other electronic means. In addition, under Section 117, a resolution signed by all directors is equally valid as one passed at a directors’ meeting called with proper notice and quorum.

Litigation Covid-19 Corona Virus legal issues

We expect many Covid-19 Corona Virus legal issues surrounding litigation matters. In order to make these issues easier to access, our litigation lawyers break down current issues by topic. Please use THIS LINK for more information about the Alberta Courts, Litigation and the current Covid-19 Pandemic.

Contracts & Breach Of Contracts

Assessment of contractual rights and obligations considering Covid-19 Corona Virus legal issues, needs to occur on a case by case basis. If currently negotiating a contract, consider adding terms to protect against changes arising from the changing, legal, political and social environment.

Force Majeure

In recent days many people toss this term around. Force Majeure essentially mean that there is an unforeseen circumstance that prevents a party from fulfilling their obligations under a contract. It is crucial to speak to a lawyer if considering serving notice under this clause in a contract or generally. Details of your specific situation are key to determining if it applies or not. One thing to consider is if the implications of the virus has made fulfilling the contract impossible or just more difficult to fulfill.

Frustration Of Contract

If your contract contains no Force Majeure clause, another related legal concept is the frustration of the contract. This involves the impossibility of fulfilling obligations under the contract. The test here is objective impossibility with regards to the fulfillment of contractual terms. One aspect of this legal concept includes the degree to which the circumstantial change leading to frustration of contract was unforeseeable. Again, it is key that all parties to a contract considering a contract as frustrated seek a proper legal opinion.

Employment Law Covid-19 Corona Virus legal issues

Employment law Covid-19 Corona Virus legal issues have rapidly changed over a short period of time and continue to change. The federal and provincial governments have announced both proposed and actual changes to law, thus leading to confusion for employers and employees equally. Current issues our employment lawyers suggest considering include:

  • Ability and procedure to lay off employees during a shut down;
  • An employee’s ability to access Employment Insurance;
  • Obligations to provide modified work environments with or without a doctor’s direction;
  • Individuals under quarantine due to medical or travel situations (or caring for a family member);
  • Notification of employees of a positive Covid-19 case in the workplace;
  • Banned travel;
  • Forced sick leave or short term disability for Covid positive employees; and lastly
  • Steps an employer takes to safeguard employees.

Family Law Covid-19 Corona Virus legal issues

Current issues regarding family law, our family lawyers address include:

Custody and Access

In view of the closing of schools, quarantine and social distancing, families need to address custody and access issues. For example, court ordered access may not be possible in the current environment. Families must address these issues.

Medical Decisions

Parents of children with medical issues or potential medical issues in the current Covid-19 environment, need to make medical decisions for their children. Some families may require legal help, if they disagree on medical and/or social (that may impact health) decisions.

Vacations

Court orders often set out vacations and vacation times. For example, which party has the children over spring break. If the current corona virus situation causes a disruption of the parties’ ability to fulfill the court order, parents need to act appropriately. Ideally, parents come to a consensual decision as to how to make up the time for a parent who lost time with their child.

Child Support Payments

In light of inability to travel or return home, quarantine and social distancing, we expect changes to some parenting situations. If the time spent with each parent changes for an extended period of time, a parent may look to a change in the calculation of child support.

Please use THIS LINK for more information about Family Law related Issues and the Family Courts during  the current Covid-19 Pandemic.

Residential Real Estate Covid-19 Corona Virus Legal Issues

Our real estate lawyers see the emergence of several residential real estate Covid-19 Corona Virus legal issues. These include, for example,the many issues which exist for people looking to buy a home in this market, looking to sell a home, and those in the middle of current real estate transactions. For people in the middle of transactions, issues may arise for people currently negotiating contracts, in conditional contracts and also those who signed a binding contract to buy or sell but have not reached the completion day.

For more information regarding residential real estate Covid-19 Corona Virus Legal Issues use this link to click to this page.

REMOTE VIDEO SIGNINGS: Now allowed in Alberta during Covid. Learn more here.

Help With Covid-19 Corona Virus Legal Issues

If you need help during these uncertain times, we ask that you email us directly here.  We currently have as many lawyers and support staff working from home as possible so email works best. You may also call us in Calgary, Alberta at 403-225-8810or toll-free at1-877-225-8817. It may take longer to get back to you but we will.