• Steinbach 204.326.3442 - 85 PTH 12 North, Steinbach, MB, R5G 1A7
  • Niverville 204.388.9300 - Box 1120, 62 Main Street, Niverville, MB, R0A 1E0

Why Are We Still Meeting?

In the midst of Covid-19 and social distancing, why is my lawyer still asking me to come in for an in-person appointment?

Everyone in society has drastically reduced in person contact, in efforts to reduce the spread of this dreaded virus.  Meals and deliveries are left on doorsteps.  Virtually all government offices, including the Land Titles Office, are not permitting any members of the public into their buildings.  Even mail deliveries are left in quarantine for three days.

In these circumstances, why on earth have lawyers been insisting that we must still meet in person?

Where we are asking clients to come in person it is not because we are blind to the world around us, it is because we have to.

We have shifted communications to phone calls, emails and video conferencing as much as possible.  The Law Society of Manitoba and the Court of Queen’s Bench have permitted temporary work around solutions for video witnessing for client verification and court documents.  That has helped significantly reduce the amount of in person contact in our office.

Witnessing requirements under legislation such as The Manitoba Evidence ActThe Real Property Act and The Power of Attorney Act have traditionally been interpreted to mean that the signing of the documents has to occur in the presence of the individual.  At this point the Land Titles Office continues to require in person witnessing for the execution of all documents that require witnessing.

Our office, and others in the Manitoba legal community, have made suggestions as to how these requirements might be modified until the conclusion of this pandemic.  If and when that changes we will move to adopt the best practices. At this point, we are still required to meet in person with clients for certain types of legal matters.

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