112 Silver Street
POB 559
Waterville, Maine  04903

Phone:  (207) 872-0112
Fax:  (207) 872-0002
O'Donnell Lee, P.A.
COVID-19 Coronavirus - Procedures for
Real Estate Closings and Will Signings

Butler Whittier LLC merger with O'Donnell Lee, P.A.

As of October 30, 2017, Butler Whittier LLC has merged with O'Donnell Lee, P.A.  David Butler continues to work of counsel to the Firm.  Karen Markowitz and Melody Veilleux joined O'Donnell Lee, continuing their work as paralegals and real estate closing processors.

O'Donnell Lee has pledged to provide David Butler's clients with the same excellent service they are accustomed to.

Butler Whittier phone numbers and emails are scheduled to forward to O'Donnell Lee, but the physical location of Dave, Karen and Melody will be here at 112 Silver Street.  You can reach any of them via the number and address above.
At O'Donnell Lee, we are aware of the importance to our clients and community of continuing real estate closings for sales and refinances, as well as will signings for estate planning.  Unfortunately, these events require physical appearance and signing of documents in the presence of a notary, and also witnesses in the case of wills.  In order to continue providing these services in compliance with Executive Orders and to protect our customers and ourselves, O'Donnell Lee is now conducting closings and will signings with the following procedures.  We will attempt to make special arrangements for parties who need it.  These procedures may change to keep pace with developing events and information, so check back again before your appointment.

The Governor's Order of March 24, 2020 recognizes legal services as "essential".  We therefore continue to do business, but with the extreme precautions outlined in the March 24 and subsequent Orders.
We have refitted our conference rooms with metal folding chairs, so that all surfaces can be sanitized between closings.
NOTE: Any party experiencing symptoms of illness, especially fever, or known to have contact with a person having or suspected of having coronavirus should NOT come into the office.  Contact our staff ahead of time to make alternative arrangements.  If you are coming from out of state or have arrived in Maine within 14 days of the closing, also please discuss alternative arrangements with our staff.

Procedure for Closings and Will Signings Held at O'Donnell Lee:

1) All persons entering the building will are requested to wear a facemask covering mouth and nose in compliance with current State law.  Our attorneys and staff will return the courtesy.

2) We have refurnished two conference rooms with metal folding chairs, able to be sanitized after use.  An exhaust fan in the window blows air from the room out to reduce chance of airborne transmission.  Tables, chairs, and doorknobs are sterilized with isopropyl alcohol after every meeting. 

3) We also have a garage closing location set up with a standing desk and no chairs.  This location affords an even lower-contact option for quicker signings, special situations, and parties who have indicated they are at especially high risk.  With the garage door open, we are almost meeting outside, without being rained on.

4) All three signing locations are fitted with plexiglass dividers as pictured.

5) We have laser pointers, and we're not afraid to use them. :-)

6) Our attorneys and staff (acting as witnesses for will signings) will be wearing face masks during the meeting.

7) All three locations have hand sanitizer on the table for use before or after signings. 

8) Please do not bring children or any parties unnecessary for the signing of the documents to the meeting.  We are happy to meet and sign with one parent/guardian while the other waits in the vehicle with the children, and then swap and sign with the other parent/guardian.

9) Realtors and loan officers are welcome to attend if they wish.  For real estate closings, the Buyers will be handled first, followed by the Sellers.  We will sanitize the tables and chairs in between.

10) We will provide new pens, with blue ink, from the carton for you to sign with.  Afterwards, please keep the pens or we will dispose of them.  Pens are not being reused at this time.

11) Our objective is to reduce each party's signing time in our office to 10-15 minutes or less.  Loan refinances are sometimes completed in 10 minutes.  Sales sometimes in 15 minutes. 

12) We will continue to review and adjust this procedure based upon new events, information from CDC, government orders, and input from our Lender and Realtor colleagues.
Closing Procedure for Closings held at Bank Locations or Realtor Offices:

1) Overall, we will comply with the precautions and measures established by the Realty Office or Bank Branch.

2) Buyers and Sellers will be scheduled to sign documents at separate times.

3) Buyers will be scheduled first.

4) Sellers will be scheduled to sign before or after the Buyer, at a separate time and possibly separate location.

5) To the extent possible, a complete set of closing papers will be scanned and emailed to the Buyers and Sellers for review before closing.

6) We will offer to schedule a phone or video consultation with the closing attorney and the parties to review the closing documents in the same manner we normally would at closing.  All explanations and questions should be resolved during this discussion.

7) Our objective is reduce each party's signing time to 10-15 minutes.  If the pre-consultation cannot occur, we will conduct the normal explanations at signing.

8) Parties will appear at the signing only to present ID, to be copied by smartphone app, sign papers, and deliver checks for closing funds.

9) The closing attorney will wash their hands before closing and present the signers with fresh pens from a ziploc bag, obtained from the carton at the office.

10) The signers will be asked to apply hand sanitizer before signing, if available.

11)  The closing attorney will observe the signing and release the parties.  The closing attorney will apply his signature where needed, and notary signature and notary stamp, after the signers depart or back at the office.

12) Realtors and Loan Officers do not need to attend closing, and are encouraged not to.  They are welcome to participate in the conference call and review of documents prior to signing.  Copies of the Deed and Settlement Statement will be transmitted to the Realtors after closing is complete.

13) If the Sellers sign before the Buyers, the closing proceeds check will be mailed to them or may be picked up after completion of Buyers' signing; it may also be possible to arrange to deposit directly into Sellers' bank account.

14) Signers will be requested not to bring anyone with them, such as children and friends, who are not necessary for the closing.

15) Used pens may be taken home by the signer or will be placed in the trash following signing.

16) We will continue to review and adjust this procedure based upon new events, information from CDC, and input from our Lender and Realtor colleagues.

Vers. 3/25/2020