Harter Secrest & Emery attorneys continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and provide legal guidance to our clients on this rapidly evolving challenge. This site is being continuously updated with current and relevant information to help employers prepare for and respond to the crisis. Please check the COVID-19 updates below for the latest articles and information regarding the pandemic, and click here to subscribe to our email communications.


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Healthcare Immigration: Hiring Medical Professionals from Abroad
Thursday, June 11, 2020
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HSE In the News:

May 29 - Phase 2 Firms Establish Precautions as They Prepare to Reopen Offices - Rochester Business Journal

HSE Managing Partner, Craig S. Wittlin, was featured in a recent Rochester Business Journal article titled, “Phase 2 Firms Establish Precautions as They Prepare to Reopen Offices.” In the article, a few law firms and accounting firms were asked how they will proceed returning to their offices during Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan.  Craig provided details on HSE’s cautious approach to reopening, where he expects no more than a couple of dozen employees out of roughly 250 people in the Rochester and Buffalo offices initially.  “In the beginning, and in the near future, there will be very few people in the office even though we will be re-opening,” he said. “The law firm has a comprehensive plan in place that covers everything from cleaning and sanitizing offices to social distancing.” To view the article on the Rochester Business Journal website, click here. (Subscriber-only article)

May 29 - Leading Businesses Towards Brighter Days - Buffalo Business First’s Small Business - Big Mission Special Report

John G. Horn, Partner in Charge of our Buffalo office, recently contributed an article to Buffalo Business First’s Small Business, Big Mission Special Report. In the article titled, “Leading Businesses Towards Brighter Days,” John described our “all-hands-on-deck” response to helping clients tackle coronavirus challenges. To read the article content as published in Buffalo Business First, click here.

May 11 - COVID-19 Impact on Buffalo’s Largest Law Firms: What's Changed?Buffalo Business First

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> Message from HSE Managing Partner Craig S. Wittlin

April 23, 2020

Wittlin Craig 2015 075 HSE Roc 1234WebReadyDear Clients and Friends:

I hope this message finds you and those you care about well and staying safe. The ongoing COVID-19 response has presented an unprecedented challenge for our communities and our country. Together, we have delivered an equally unprecedented response, changing our daily lives and behaviors to help slow the spread of the virus.

Over our 125-year history, Harter Secrest & Emery has created a culture of family within our firm. You are at the center of that family, and our attorneys and staff are dedicated to helping all of our clients and friends navigate this unique time. Indeed, we focused our milestone anniversary year on a celebration of “clients, colleagues, and communities”, and those core values reflect our driving principles in approaching this challenge. Like so many of you, we are working remotely within a secure environment, while collaborating with each other to ensure our clients continue to receive the same caliber of service and attention they deserve and rely upon.

We are able to maintain this level of service because of the lifeblood of our family – the 250 dedicated professionals - lawyers, paralegals and staff members - who work with us. Our team remains fully intact, with all of our people engaged in serving the needs of our clients and supporting one another. We remain confident that we will weather this storm as a united HSE family, and will soon be able to resume normal operations while we help our clients do the same.

Please continue to contact your HSE attorney as you normally would, and do not ever hesitate to contact me or any HSE attorney as questions arise, regardless of the day or time. Our firm’s COVID-19 web page provides legal guidance on this rapidly evolving challenge, including a contact list for the HSE COVID-19 Task Force.

We remain fully committed to serving your legal and business needs during these uncertain times without any interruption in service or disruption to your client service teams. Everyone at HSE wishes you, your colleagues, and your families good health and continued safety. Thank you.

Craig S. Wittlin
Managing Partner 

March 24, 2020

Wittlin Craig 2015 075 HSE Roc 1234WebReadyDear Clients and Friends:

As we continue to watch and monitor the worldwide COVID-19 response, we are confident that we will emerge from this once-in-a-lifetime experience stronger and more grateful for our connections with family, friends and colleagues.

For the last week, Harter Secrest & Emery attorneys and staff have been working remotely.  I am pleased to share that our tools and technology are working well in a very secure environment. Our attorneys and staff are collaborating well in new ways and continue to be fully engaged and accessible as they provide our clients with vital strategic legal counsel and support.  I personally could not be prouder of the way our people have banded together to service clients and help each other.

As we continue to do all we can to support each other and our clients through this very interesting period, I want to emphasize that our single-minded focus on client service remains our most important firm value. At this time, perhaps more than ever, we will not waver from our focus on our clients.

Please continue to contact your HSE attorney as you normally would, and do not ever hesitate to contact me or any HSE attorney as questions arise, regardless of the day or time. The firm’s COVID-19 web page provides legal guidance on this rapidly evolving challenge, including a contact list for the HSE COVID-19 Task Force.

We are committed to serving your legal needs during these uncertain times without any interruption in service. Everyone at HSE wishes you, your colleagues, and your families good health and safety. Thank you.

Craig S. Wittlin
Managing Partner 

March 12, 2020

Wittlin Craig 2015 075 HSE Roc 1234WebReadyDear Clients and Friends:

Like you, HSE is monitoring and developing responses to the worldwide spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Our ongoing efforts are centered around two priorities: protecting the health and safety of our people and clients to the fullest extent possible and continuing to serve our clients without interruption during these increasingly uncertain times.

Our five offices remain open.  Within our offices, we have implemented important safety protocols, including enhanced cleaning and sanitation efforts, and requiring that anyone exhibiting any symptoms of infection not come to work or enter our offices.  Visitors to our offices will be advised of our safety protocols, and anyone exhibiting symptoms will be asked to depart.  Our lawyers have limited their travel significantly, and will continue to do so, serving clients via telephone and videoconference, rather than face to face wherever practical.

We have rescheduled a number of meetings and other events, or have transitioned to “virtual meetings” where possible.  We will continue to evaluate events on our firm calendar, and additional changes should be expected.

We are assessing daily whether temporary office closures may become necessary.  If one of or more of our offices does close, we will provide notice of closure on our website and our lawyers will keep our clients and others informed.  We have broad resources to allow our lawyers and staff to work remotely and, while the way we work may change, our client service mindset will remain the same.  We are well situated to continue to serve our clients however this situation evolves.

We are also advising many of our clients across the full spectrum of industries on the legal implications of the Coronavirus, and have published various client alerts on the topic that can be found on the HSE website. Our website also includes a link to download a webinar featuring HSE labor attorneys providing employers with guidance on this situation. The impacts are far reaching from a legal perspective, touching on labor, employee benefits, contracts, insurance, and a myriad of other issues.  If you have particular concerns, please reach out to us.

Of course, we do not know with any certainty how this will continue to evolve.  We are focused on doing everything possible to protect our people and serve our clients.  Please do not hesitate to contact me at 585.231.1260 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions or concerns we can address.

Craig S. Wittlin
Managing Partner

Disclaimer

This website presents only general information not intended as legal advice. Although we encourage calls, letters and emails from prospective clients, please keep in mind that merely contacting Harter Secrest & Emery LLP (HSE) does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Confidential information should not be sent to HSE until you have been notified in writing by HSE that a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Information sent to us before then may not be treated as confidential by HSE or the court.

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