Law Practice Management

Swine Flu Fear Prompts Some Changes in Law Firm Protocol

There’s a new item of professional attire now in vogue at some law firms in Mexico: face masks.

With the help of the surgical masks, frequent hand-washing and avoiding client contact as much as possible, lawyers and staff at the Mexico City office of Gardere, Arena y Asociados are hoping to avoid the swine flu, reports the National Law Journal in an article reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

The virus, which in the past has affected pigs rather than humans, recently is suspected of killing 149 people and sickening as many as 1,600 others in Mexico. It has also, to a lesser extent, apparently crossed the border into the United States.

The Gardere firm, which is in partnership with Dallas-based Gardere Wynne Sewell, is also considering sending lawyers home to work, but hasn’t done so yet, says associate Marco Najera.

Meanwhile, face masks haven’t yet been widely adopted at the Mexico City office of Dallas-based Haynes and Boone, partner William “Hunt” Buckley tells the legal publication.

“We’re socializing as normal, but we aren’t shaking hands,” he says.

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