At Ratcliff Law, we are closely monitoring the evolving situation surrounding the Coronavirus. During this time, our clients and their cases remain our top priority. In addition, to me personally, the health and safety of my team and their families is of paramount importance. Therefore, as of Monday, March 16th, our entire office will be working remotely until further notice. We are fully equipped to do so, and it is doubtful you will notice much of a difference. If you have documents you need to send our way that cannot be emailed our faxed, please contact Fanny (Fanny@ratclifflaw.org) and she will let you know how to mail them to us. We will also be conducting all meetings via phone or Skype, for the time being.
Here are answers to some of the questions we are hearing from our clients:
Will my scheduled impartial hearing go forward as planned? As of now, scheduled impartial hearings have not been canceled. We have received word that hearing officers now have permission to conduct hearings via telephone. We do not have details on how this be organized logistically, but I will be in touch with our clients, individually, as their hearing dates approach.
How will school closures/absences affect my case/reimbursement? Unfortunately, we are not entirely sure at this moment. Any impact on cases will likely be dependent on whether or not the DOE decides to close its schools (in my opinion, this is highly likely at this point). While there is limited clarity on this issue right now, I see no reason to be overly concerned. We are here to protect your interests and rest assured, Ratcliff Law, along with the entire Parents' Bar, are working to address this question. We are working together to make sure the DOE remains accountable.
Could the closure of the DOE delay my case? If DOE schools close their doors, it is possible that the legal department will also close, or reduce their staff. We are working to obtain answers regarding the DOE's plans (or lack thereof). We continue to aggressively follow up on all our open cases, and have no plans to let up on that front.
This situation is playing out day-by-day, so we will continue to be in touch with any updates and as we receive additional clarity on some of these issues. We wish all of our families, as well as their providers and schools the best of luck and health during this time.
For additional questions about the impact of the coronavirus on your specific case, or other inquiries, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646-741-3030.