With the renewal of increases in COVID-19 cases in Wayne County, Indiana, and the country, I have determined that it is in the best interest of myself, my staff, and my clients, to reinstitute certain protocols to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Everyone has an absolute Constitutional right to maintain the absolute privacy of their health information. However, I have deemed it necessary to exercise my right to avoid as much contact as possible with those who will not take the COVID-19 vaccine, which I believe is the most effective way to reduce the continuing escalation of this deadly virus.
Therefore, I am asking all of my clients and prospective clients to provide proof of vaccination prior to any in-person meeting. Again, it is well within one’s right to decline to do so. Those who chose not to provide me with that proof (by way of Indiana’s vaccination certificate) will not be allowed to enter the office and will only be allowed access via remote means (telephone, email, videoconferencing). I will request that hearings and mediations be conducted remotely as well, which is less than ideal. Evidentiary hearings, in particular, are incredibly awkward via videoconferencing. Despite being vaccinated myself, I feel incredibly unsafe having an unvaccinated person stage whisper in my face as is quite common during court proceedings.
If you’re concerned about the confidentiality of your health record, don’t be. The absolute greatest obligation we lawyers have, the hill most of us would die on, is maintaining the sanctity of the attorney-client privilege. We hold in our hands our clients’ deepest, and sometimes darkest, secrets. And there is very little indeed that would force us to abdicate that most sacred of rules. So just like with the rest of the information I learn in representing you, your vaccination status stays safe with me.
I recognize and acknowledge the probability that I will lose clients as a result of this policy. I place a higher value on the health and safety of my loved ones, friends and family alike, to whom I might unknowingly transmit the virus. I am not doing this to set an example, although I do hope others in similar situations would consider similar measures. However, I recognize my privilege in having the room to enact such a policy and regret that many in our society are required to put their health and that of their families at risk just to make ends meet.
If you’re interested in what the U.S. Supreme Court once had to say about government mandates in the face of a national health crisis, read this.
This policy has been made with the full support of the entire Dudas Law team. We at Dudas Law appreciate your understanding of our need to maintain a safe distance from those who are more likely to be carrying the virus.