Mexico City Lawyer Firms Take Precautions Over Swine Flu

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Mexico City—Lawyers and staff at Gardere, Arena y Asociados in Mexico City wore surgical masks to their office on Monday.

There are various precautions that the office is taking since Mexican government officials announced the deadliness of the swine flu. By afternoon on Monday, 1,600 people across Mexico were reported to have been affected by the virus and 149 were dead.

Health officials in the United States and Canada have also detected the swine flu.

“This is something that has been very quick, and we’re still in the process of figuring out what we should be doing,” said Marco Najera, an associate at the firm, which is a partnership with Dallas firm Gardere Wynne Sewell. “We’re taking all the health precautions that the government is advising.”

The law firm was taking extra precautions ,such as frequently washing their hands and keeping as little contact as possible with others. Attorneys also preferred, when allowable, to conduct meetings with clients via telephone instead of in person.

The government canceled hundreds of social group gatherings—such as concerts and sporting events—over the weekend in order to contain the spreading of the deadly virus. Any worker at Gardere, Arena y Asociados with symptoms of the swine flu were asked to stay home.

The firm considered having attorneys and staff members work from home, but the decision was not finalized yet.

Attorneys in the Mexico City office of Dallas firm Haynes and Boone continued to work despite the swine flu outbreak.

“It’s a little bit slower than usual, but people seem to be reacting very rationally to this,” said William “Hunt” Buckley, a partner who has worked in the Mexico City office for nine years. “I don’t feel threatened by anything at this time.”

Buckley said that the office is functioning as usual but they were not shaking hands. In fact that seems to be the only precaution that the law firm is taking, as no one wore the medical masks handed out by police officers.

The city has very high temperatures in the past couple days, and air conditioning units have been turned off in order to contain the spreading of the virus.

“It’s been a little bit warmer than normal, but that’s about it,” Buckley said.

 

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