Computer Virus Pandemic

In the past two weeks, two Manitoba law firms have been hit by viruses – not COVID-19, but computer viruses, specifically a ransomware virus called MAZE. It is suspected that someone clicked on a link or an attachment in an email that was infected with a virus which in turn infected the firms’ entire systems. As a result of the virus attack, they have no access to email, Word, their accounting software, or any of their backups, including cloud backups. Everything is tied up by MAZE and they have been asked to pay an enormous ransom to regain access to any of their work.

You are vulnerable. A ransomware virus could take over and lockdown everything a lawyer or law firm has ever created electronically – accounting software, client lists, document management systems, financial software, email, everything you ever created in Word, Excel, all the photos taken at firm events, and whatever treasures were kept on personal computers. For more on what you can do to protect yourself, please see here.

Connect Now: New Manitoba Blue Cross Mental Health Resource for the Legal Profession.

These are stressful times for everyone. Working remotely is challenging. Social distancing and isolation increases those challenges.

Manitoba Blue Cross has launched a new mental health support for you and your family members that can be accessed immediately, called Connect Now.

Connect Now is a real-time support line that members can call to instantly connect with a mental health professional from our Employee Assistance Program. Support provided through Connect Now is supplemental to coverage through the Lawyers Health and Wellness program and so you and your family are still able to utilize all of the sessions available to you through that plan. Connect Now offers a solution – a brief but necessary check-in and a voice on the other end of the line, waiting to help. For more information please see here.

Court Notices

Please be sure to check our website for Notices issued by the Courts in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. You will find the most recent communication from the Court of Queen’s Bench dated April 7, 2020 with respect to Civil Pre-Trial and Case Management Conferences here.

Annual Member Report Due May 1, 2020

The usual deadline for filing the Annual Member Report is April 2020. Given the unusual circumstances associated with the COVID-19 crisis, the Law Society extended the deadline to submit your annual member report to May 1, 2020. Please be sure to file your report by that date.

To check the status of your report, view your member portal checklist.