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C. Mark Warren, left, and John Mark Griffin, with the local law firm Warren and Griffin, P.C., are photographed in their offices in the Dome Building on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Since the Chattanooga law firm Warren & Griffin is an almost paperless office, the technology was in place to work from anywhere when the coronavirus pandemic struck, company officials say.

The firm allowed its support staff to work from home if they wanted. While some support staff preferred to work in the office setting, Warren & Griffin followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to keep them safe.

Warren and Griffin officials say it has always been a family-first law firm, allowing employees to attend school events, recitals or sports games. John Mark Griffin and C. Mark Warren were involved with their children as they grew up, and the firm seeks to nurture that same relationship with its employees' families, they say.

During the pandemic, instead of family-first fun activities, the firm was more focused on family-first safety, Warren says. When the schools in Hamilton County first shut their doors during the pandemic, it was apparent that some employees were needed at home.

"We encouraged our staff to stay at home, work from home, and keep their family safe," Warren says. "WG knew that things would return to normal, but it was going to take some time, and we were very patient with the work flow. Our family-first mentality allowed a smooth transition into the pandemic, that kept our employees safe, while keeping clients happy."

Warren & Griffin

* Founded: 1990

* Employees: 26 companywide; 20 in Chattanooga

* Why this is a Best Place to Work: We treat clients and employees with the upmost respect. We have fun at work, we all work together to achieve the same goal. We have flexible hours, and during this crazy year we have been allowed to work from home as much as needed. Not a single person in our office has been exposed to COVID, and we have followed every practical protocol to ensure the safety of each other, and our clients.

* Online: warrenandgriffin.com

Before the pandemic, Warren & Griffin attorneys met with every new client in person to understand the challenges and hardships they were facing. During the coronavirus, the firm lost the ability and had to adapt. The first week of the stay-at-home order, Warren & Griffin downloaded Zoom meetings to every computer and phone in the office.

"Adapting to technology aided us in seeing our clients via Zoom, allowing the firm to answer all of their questions and reassure them," Warren says.

Clients were also able to sign all of their necessary documents online, so there was no need for them to risk their safety. Having been a local law firm for many years, Warren & Griffin was already hard-wired into the insurance companies, and communicating over email instead of regular mail made no difference, Warren says.

"Because we already had the insurance adjuster's personal e-mails and cell phone numbers, we never missed a beat negotiating fair settlements for our clients," he says.

Warren & Griffin resumed a fully staffed office beginning on March 1, 2021, following strict CDC guidelines.

"We are looking forward to seeing our colleagues in court again to argue motions and try jury trials," Warren says.

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