The novel coronavirus, Covid-19, is having an unprecedented impact on businesses and individuals, and law firms are doubling down to provide counsel and maintain the operation of their firms. In this series we're asking key questions of attorneys about how this global pandemic is affecting the work they do.
Nicholas A. Gravante, Jr. is a managing partner of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.
Lawdragon: How is the coronavirus pandemic impacting your practice?
Nicholas Gravante: It has definitely slowed down certain of my cases, but also given rise to many new client inquiries. Procedurally, court appearances, depositions and court-ordered deadlines are, for the most part, being adjourned. But cases in different stages of litigation, like document production and appellate briefing, are proceeding with minimal interruption.
Undoubtedly, however, coronavirus is also substantively impacting the manner in which cases are being litigated and resolved. One example is a settlement previously agreed to that is now impossible for a client to comply with in light of its business being shut down. Another example, in one of my white collar matters, is a client’s inability to travel to the United States to proceed with a proffer session in a situation where time is arguably of the essence.
LD: How are you handling BSF's summer associate program in light of Covid-19?
NG: We have already reached out to summer associates to give them comfort that our summer program will proceed as planned. We pride ourselves in giving our summer associates a dose of reality. We want them to know what it is like to practice at BSF full-time. If we are working from our offices this summer, they will join us. If, on the other hand, we are working from home, they will join us working from home and be integrated onto our various litigation teams, which are already meeting regularly. Either way, they will get a genuine experience.
LD: What is your most important piece of advice for clients right now?
NG: Don’t panic and consult with lawyers if you’re wading into unfamiliar waters. Like several law firms, BSF has a dedicated team that is studying and prepared to assist clients with the unique challenges presented in this new environment. I take pride in the fact that we have been ahead of the curve every step of the way and are ready to deal with complex client issues for which there may be no precedent. It’s a very sad, yet very critical, time to be practicing law and servicing top companies in a time of crisis.
Visit our Covid-19 Resource page for a round-up of legal resources regarding the novel coronavirus.