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Professional Services Reopening Plan in the Works

Governor Scott recently established a State of Vermont Economic Mitigation and Recovery Task Force. It’s tasked with “providing technical assistance and expertise to mitigate the devastating short-term economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with developing strategies designed to speed long-term business and community recovery”. Here’s a LINK to more details. The Task Force includes Action Teams, one of which is a RestartVT Team, focused on re-opening business sectors. One of the RestartVT Teams includes “Professional Services” as a sector.

 

The RestartVT Team asked the VBA, the VTCPA (the Vermont Society of Certified Public Accountants) and the AIAVT (the American Institute of Architects in Vermont) to develop a Reopening Plan for lawyers, accountants and architects to ultimately present to Governor Scott for approval. Such plans are required to be based on a template that the Task Force has created. Bob Fletcher and Andrew Manitsky, as Co-Chairs of the COVID-19 Committee, worked first with a small subcommittee that included practitioners, a paralegal representative and a law office administrator to develop the lawyers’ team draft, and then with the full COVID-19 Committee to refine the draft. The VBA Board reviewed the draft and approved it on Friday, April 24.  VTCPA and AIAVT also approved it and the Professional Services Reopening Plan was submitted to the Task Force on April 27. A revision was suggested to comport with the 5 workers per location criterion that has been approved for other sectors. A copy of the revised Plan that is currently awaiting approval is HERE. Many thanks to all who provided invaluable input on an expedited basis to a proposal that will ideally enable lawyers and law firms to return to work soon with appropriate health and safety guidelines. We’re told that we’re in the queue for consideration and will keep you posted on the Task Force’s response.