COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients.
Justia Lawyer Rating
Super Lawyers
State Bar of Michigan
Avvo
BBB Accredited Business
American Bar Association
Michigan Association of Justice
Macomb County Bar Association
Premier Lawyers of America
Badge

COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients

We here at SMDA, PC wanted to let all of our valued clients, past and present, know that we are thinking of you and we are here for you during this unprecedented pandemic.

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) pandemic continues to present significant challenges and disruptions across the US and the world. We urge everyone to follow the directives of government authorities and take significant precautions to minimize their risk exposure during this difficult time. Resources and updates about the coronavirus outbreak can be found at the CDC site.

We are closely tracking the rapidly evolving public health and community concerns related to the new coronavirus or COVID-19. Rest assured that we are taking all available steps to remain accessible to our clients as we continue to act in accordance with their best interests during this difficult time.

Please see below for answers to some frequently asked questions, and feel free to reach out to us any time at phils@smdalaw.com or patd@smdalaw.com or (586) 264-3756 for assistance with your legal matter.

At this time, for our existing and prospective clients, we have identified some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which we hope answers some of the questions you may have regarding your legal matters.

Q: Is your office currently open during normal business hours?

A: We are trying to follow the governor’s order so we are coming in on a limited basis mostly to process checks etc. and get things done that will be due when the CDC/our Governor authorizes us to conduct business again.

We have essential staff working with a modified schedule to avoid interpersonal contact. However, as directed, we are not allowing anyone but essential staff in the office.

For our new clients, where we would normally conduct an in-person conference, we are sending out paperwork to fill out and return. We are following the same procedure when we require signatures or information from present clients.

Q: When and how can I contact you?

A: For the safety of our staff, our clients and the community in general, pursuant to the CDC and Governor Whitmer’s order, we are currently restricting communication with clients to email, telephone, and, if need be, video conferencing instead of in-person meetings. At present, there is generally at least one attorney and/or one essential staff person in the office during normal business hours Monday through Friday. The best way to reach us is to email one of the following essential staff members:

Phil Serafini at phils@smdalaw.com,
Pat Derkacz at patd@smdalaw.com, or
Jennifer Fuller at jenniferf@smdalaw.com

You may also call us and follow the prompts to reach one of us directly at (586) 264-3756 and press 104 for Phil Serafini, 107 for Pat Derkacz or 112 for Jennifer Fuller to reach one of us directly regarding your legal matter. If we are unable to immediately take your call, please leave us a message and, rest assured, we will have the appropriate attorney or assistant return your call as soon as possible. It is our goal to return all calls within 24 hours.

Q: What video chat platforms do you offer for clients?

A: We can use Zoom or Google Hangouts

Q: Are you accepting new clients?

A: Yes, at SMDA we understand that our client’s legal needs are a continuing concern in spite of the Covid19 pandemic. So, we are here to assist you with your legal needs. We have found that most insurance company employees are working remotely from home. Thus, for the most part, we have been able to contact them and attempt to get our clients some answers regarding their legal matters.

How can I get updates regarding the status of my case or legal matter?

A: The best way to reach us is to email one of the following essential staff members:

Phil Serafini at phils@smdalaw.com,
Pat Derkacz at patd@smdalaw.com, or
Jennifer Fuller at jenniferf@smdalaw.com

You may also call us at (586) 264-3756 and press 104 for Phil Serafini, 107 for Pat Derkacz or 112 for Jennifer Fuller to reach one of us directly regarding your legal matter. If we are unable to immediately take your call, please leave us a message and, rest assured, we will have the appropriate attorney or assistant return your call as soon as possible. It is our goal to return all calls within 24 hours.

Q: Are courts of law still open in my area? Will my court date be rescheduled? What if I can’t come to court because I’m sick or quarantined?

A: The short answer is that, for the most part the courts are closed except for limited criminal matters. At present, the courts are following the guidelines set forth by the CDC and Governor Whitmer. Therefore, all court dates and deadlines in any pending civil cases have been adjourned for 60 day and they will be rescheduled once the courts re-open. So, you do not need to appear at any court appearances set during that time. We will contact you when the court reschedules the date for your case to be heard.

Q: Will scheduled depositions, trials, mediation, arbitration, or settlement negotiations occur as planned?

A: In general, all depositions and “independent” medical exams have been adjourned pursuant to the guidelines set forth by the CDC and Governor Whitmer. However, mediations, facilitations and settlement negotiations are continuing to take place in most cases. These conferences/negotiations are generally being conducted by phone or by video conference. Of course, we will contact you by phone or email with any further on your case.

Again, please feel free to reach out to us with questions at any time, and see the following links below for CDC, state, and/or local updates regarding public health orders, court operations, and other information.

In the meantime, our family here at SMDA would like to extend our thoughts and prayers for the continued safety and health of you and your loved ones during this trying time.

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Thanks so much for all your help these past five years in helping me with all the legal aspects of my folks, L & E.M's, trust. Thanks for answering all my questions. It's been a difficult last 5 years on making decisions for my father, but I'm so grateful that god blessed me with them for so many years! I appreciate all you did to help me though to the end. D.C.
★★★★★
I want to thank you both for all your help and hard work on my case. This certainly was good news! You both did tremendous jobs dealing with Cigna and answering my questions. Thank you and have a wonderful Christmas season! Marc
★★★★★
Thank you so much for all of your help getting me thru this mess. You have no idea how much you have helped. I couldn’t have done this without you! Only one more hurdle, yay!! B. T.
★★★★★
I really wanted to thank you, the way you talked with me and worked with me, it was amazing. I was dreading the experience & the deposition & you really made it very easy for me. So, thank you very much for a job well done. H. H.