To our Valued Clients, We hope you and your families are safe and that your communities remain strong during this unprecedented time.

On March 23, 2020, Dallas County issued a shelter-in-place order (the Order). As a result, JOA would like to provide you the following update:

1. Offices: The Order included an exemption for law firms (Section Nonetheless, most of JOA’s team is successfully working from home. We are, however, maintaining a minimal presence in our physical office to handle administrative tasks that are difficult to do remotely (such as mail processing and some accounting functions). Our legal work on your behalf will continue uninterrupted.

2. State Courts: The Texas Supreme Court is encouraging social distancing and have issued the following specific orders:

a. Courts must avoid all risk to court staff, parties, attorneys, jurors, and the public and are able to make such necessary modifications, within Constitutional limitations. These include modifying or extending deadlines, allowing appearances through teleconference or video conference, consider out of court sworn testimony, and other measures deemed appropriate by the court.

b. Until at least May 8, 2020, the courts must follow the most restrictive guidelines issued by local, state, or national directives regarding maximize group size.

c. Evictions

i. No trial before April 30, 2020;

ii. Writs of possession may issue but may not be executed until after May 7, 2020;

iii. New filings are accepted but may not be served on the defendant until after April 30, 2020.

iv. All deadlines are tolled to comply with the order.

3. Federal Courts: We are closely monitoring the directives from the federal civil and bankruptcy courts and are adjusting accordingly. When possible, we will continue to utilize the federal electronic filing system (CM/ECF) to move your cases forward.

4. We are here for you: We pride ourselves in our accessibility to our clients and that will not change. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any legal needs or questions or concerns. Email is the quickest way to reach us.

Be well and stay healthy,

Your JOA team